a reading plan for 2021: big stacks of nonfiction, plus some fiction, and series for mind breaks

2018: Titles and reading projects that were languishing on my List.

2019: The year of the biography. The first time I created a reading plan for the year.

2020: I liked having the 2019 plan, and created a new plan for 2020.

In each case, I read many titles from the plan, and many off-plan -- enough that I feel I've accomplished part of a goal, but not so much that the goal became a chore. 

For 2021, I consulted The List, and selected sub-lists of nonfiction, fiction, and YA. Add to that the authors I want to read or read more of (from the 2018 list), plus the long-term goals that may or may not advance. 

Recently I made a brilliant discovery: I enjoy reading on the treadmill! I use a treadmill for exercise in bad weather or if for some other reason I don't want to outside. In the past I've always listened to music while walking to nowhere. A few weeks ago I tried reading, just as an experiment, and found that I love it. This new habit has made it possible to increase time spent on two of my life goals at the same time. Amazing!


Ghosts of Gold Mountain: the Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, Gordon Chang (reading now)

Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy, Leslie Brody (A surprise gift from Allan.)

The Sword and the Shield: the Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Peniel E. Joseph

Janis: Her Life and Her Music, Holly George-Warren (I read biographies of Janis Joplin as a teenager; this new book sounds fantastic.)

Poisoner In Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control, Stephen Kinzer (Ever since reading Kinzer's Overthrow, I am interested in almost anything he writes.)

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, Alicia Elliott

Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck, William Souder

Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit (Working my way through these amazing essays.) 

The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power, Desmond Cole

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, David Treuer

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, David Wallace-Wells

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, Cal Newport


Charlie Savage, Roddy Doyle (One I've missed by a favourite author.)

Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (Author I've been meaning to read; first of a trilogy.)

The Cold Millions: A Novel, Jess Walter

There There, Tommy Orange

The Resisters, Gish Jen

True Story: A Novel, Kate Reed Perry

Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel, S. A. Cosby

Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence (I will try again to read this Canadian classic.)


The Bridge, Bill Konigsberg

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

A List of Things That Will Not Change, Rebecca Stead

Continuing to read more by:

Frans de Waal

Carl Safina

Robert Sapolsky

Giving my brain a break between nonfictions:

Martin Beck, Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall

Parker, Donald Westlake as Richard Stark

Long-term goals

Orwell still to read: three titles

Dickens still to read: four titles

Re-start weekly chapters of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 and Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919. (Project started in 2018 but abandoned later that year.)

1 comment:

With God's Help said...

Thanks for sharing your booklist. I have added these to my 2022 list, my 2021 list already being full:A mind spread out on the ground; Girl, woman, other; Sia Martinez and the moonlit beginning of everything. I read this title you have on your list and enjoyed it: Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.