I haven’t been writing as much as I should. I’ve gotten better, but there’s definitely a gap between my current creative output and where I would like to be.

Which is another way of saying I’m kinda lazy.

Stephen King, my literary hero, says “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” I agree. So for this reason alone, I need to read more.

Reading gives me joy. It’s my first love. I have sacrificed far too much time looking at my phone and watching Netflix. I used to read constantly. My mother will attest to this. For pretty much my entire childhood and adolescence I frequently crashed into things because I would read while walking.

Now, I come home after working and (ideally) exercising and I don’t want to use my brain anymore. I want to zone the fuck out in front of Frasier or a cooking show. And that’s okay once in awhile. But not as a routine. No fucking way. I could die any day (as could we all) and I don’t want to punch out for good on a day when I haven’t picked up a book.

To that end, I’ve decided that over the next year I’m going to read at least 52 books.

Four books a month seems very reasonable. Four is a small number. A month is a big chunk of time. But that means a book per week, give or take. What the hell am I doing? Holy shit.

Okay, I can do this. I can do this.

Books for January: 

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford

The Rules The Guidelines and General Predictions

I haven’t read any of these books. If I re-read a book, it doesn’t count towards that month’s total.

Books may be read concurrently or consecutively, at my discretion.

If I don’t finish a book, I have to justify it.

I will try to include a good mix of genres but more importantly voices.

I’ll write a response to each book.

Remember being a kid in school when you had to read a book at the same pace so you could take quizzes on the chapters? I was always reading ahead. This is likely to continue.

The rest I’ll make up as I go along.

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