New Year's Goal #1: Read 10 Books, Cover to Cover

February 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

New Year’s Goal #1: Read 10 Books, Cover to Cover

I chose this goal because although I love reading, I find myself regularly reading half of a book and then not making time to finish it. There are several books on my shelf right now that have dog-ear marks half-way through the book and have for over a year. It is crazy. In 2017 I am going to read 10 books completely, and they are good ones.

I have chosen my books based on several traits. First, I picked several books that I have always wanted to read for whatever reason. Some I have owned for a while and some have sat in my Amazon wish list for years. Secondly, I picked several books that will hopefully be helpful in my development as a person. Third, I wanted to read a couple of books that are relevant to the climate of the society that I live in today. 

These are the books in the order that I plan on reading them this year:

1.    Rough Riders, Mark Lee Gardner

This narrative on the Theodore Roosevelt classic by the same name reaches into the intimate details of Teddy’s role in the Spanish-American war as a leader of the “Rough Riders” regiment. 

TR’s courage, manliness, and demand for involvement in something bigger than himself are all virtues that every man could strive for. I am fascinated by Roosevelt and look forward to digging into this conflict and his role in it more deeply.

2.    Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists, Nora Gallagher and Lisa Myers

Issued as a guide for Patagonia grantees and employees alike, “Tools for Grassroots Activists” is a rousing manual for combating environmental injustice.

I have always found Patagonia and Yvon Chouinard fascinating. Once I read “Let My People Go Surfing”, I was hooked. The company is impressive and I am excited to try and apply some best practices in my activism efforts.

3.    1984, George Orwell

The 1949 satirical story of then-future negative-distopian 1984, Orwell “narrates with infinite precision.

It is no surprise that sales of 1984 have increased since the presidential election, but I have had it on my shelf for far too long and President Trump has merely reminded me of the need to read it.

4.    The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis

A story of revelation, conversion, and salvation from one of the most gifted writers of the modern age; what is not to love?

This is another book that I have wanted to read for some time. Lewis’ insights in this book are said to be derived from his own conversion experience. 

5.    For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemmingway

Published in 1940, For Whom the Bell Tolls shows Hemingway’s personal fixation with the Spanish Civil War.

This novel was selected merely for its popularity and how much I enjoyed the other Ernest Hemmingway books that I have read. 

6.    On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Kerouac (one of my all-time favorites) describes a journey of learning and exploration of the American West specifically the colorful characters, immense landscapes, and personal growth.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Kerouac’s other works and I was told to save this book for an epic road trip, so I am doing just that (SPOILER ALERT-There is an epic road trip in my near future).

7.    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig

Suggested to me from a professor as one of the best novels to introduce a person to philosophy and the deeper questions of life. This book includes personal growth, travel, and meditation on how to live BETTER.

8.    Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner

    “It's a revealing, absorbing, often amusing and alarming report on where billions of their (taxpayer’s dollars have gone - and where a lot more are going.”  

–NY Times 

Cadillac Desert taps into the controversial history of water in the west and how much water and money is being wasted in the desert.

9.    A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean

Made famous by the Brad Pitt film, A River Runs Through It is a story of nature,wonder, and growing up in rural Missoula, Montana.

 I hate this about myself, but I am reading this book solely because of how much I enjoyed the movie. I am a big fan of Brad Pitt’s, but I have a feeling I’m about to be a bigger fan of Norman Maclean.

10.    Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

This is the book that came out of left field. I have always appreciated Jane Austen as being truly gifted author, only based on what others had said. I had never actually cracked one of her books. After listening to an Art of Manliness Podcast I was convinced that this was a book that I needed to read.

That’s the list! I am going to read all 10 books by the end of 2017 and I will report back with my thoughts on each of them as I work my way through them. Feel free to leave me a comment with which book you think should be on my list and why! Thanks for reading and as always, check us out on Instagram and YouTube @okienomads.



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