Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Nook: A New Year

By Shelley Akins
Happy New Year! 
No I’m not messed up with my calendar. I’ve always thought that the beginning of school was a more appropriate time to celebrate new beginnings and starting over. At the start of the school year, you get a new teacher, new classroom, new people, new unsharpened pencils, clean white paper full of possibilities. You get new clothes and new shoes. Anything is possible in this new year.
As a kid, teacher and now a parent, I looked forward to these new beginnings. When I was a student, I was reunited with friends that I hadn’t seen for an entire summer. As a teacher, I was filled with the hope of the year that was to come and what great and awesome things my students and I would do together. Now, as a parent of a kindergartner, I’ll send Joel off to school on Monday with the anticipation of learning new things, meeting new people and starting his own journey into the school cycle.
In light of this New Year, I have made some reading goals for myself:
1. I will read at least four non-fiction books before the end of May. I’ve been generating a list and am excited to read them.
2. I will read at least 10 books on the Illinois Read for a Lifetime list (can be this year’s list or past years). I discovered new authors and wonderful new stories. I will not spend time reading books I don’t like just because they are on this list.
3. I will read the five books on my shelf that others have lent me and give them back.
4. I will continue to read the next books in the series as they come out: Power of Six, Beautiful Days, and Goliath come out in the next few weeks.
5. I will keep track of everything that I read. This was a resolution of mine a few years back and I am still working at it.

So five goals. If I add it up that’s 21 books to read in nine months. That’s doable.
What are your New Year’s goals?
Shelly can be reached at She’s always searching for book recommendations.


  1. I so agree, this always seems like a much better time to start new projects than a few days after the Christmas blitz!
    Have fun reading some great books--my latest non-fiction favorite was "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. I also loved "Ruth, A Portrait The Story of Ruth Bell Graham"by Patricia Cornwell and "Six Pixels of Separation" by Mitch Joel, for leaning about social networking. Also love Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods) and Ann VosKamp "One Thousand Gifts" was life-changing for me.

  2. Shelley, I think your idea to set reading goals for yourself is a good one.
    Reading books opens up a whole new world to people with lots to learn. I grew up at a time when I didn't have the opportunity to do much traveling. Living in a single parent home the money and time wasn't always available.
    Now, some years later I read a lot and books have opened up a whole new world to me. And as I look at the books on my shelf and at my bed side table, I can't begin to tell you how many other worlds I'm currently in with lots to learn.
    Thank you for at excellent post Shelley.

  3. Thanks, Gail. I'll add these to my list. I'm always on the lookout for non-fiction titles.

    Marvin, I've always been a reader and I think it's because I enjoy that escape. I love to travel, but don't always have the money to do so. Books help me get to other worlds.