Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid—awesome supermom, media personality, speaker, host and all around G—recently sparked a one-woman reading revolution by sharing on Instagram that she read 45 books in 2019. Many people were shocked because that’s close to a book a week and how does she find the time when she’s, like, the definition of busy? If you’re familiar with Terri-Karrelle and have that question yourself, check out her blog post where she breaks it all down.
As an unabashed #wordnerd myself, I also spent 2019 buried in books—more than 100 by my guess, but whereas Terri-Karelle’s reading list is chock full of great books that can teach you something or help you grow as a person, mine was…not so much.
If it wasn’t fiction, I didn’t want it. More specifically, I craved and basically mainlined lighthearted to downright cheesy romance and rom-com novels—the funnier and/or cheesier, the better. I was desperate to escape my life and the turmoil in my mind, and my book boos were there to see me through. I’d download heaps of them at a time and blow through a book every day or every two days, depending on whether it was a weekday or the weekend. I don’t even remember most of them now, to be honest. In fact, I’d already forgotten many of them by the time I flipped the last electronic page. That book had served its purpose and it was on to the next. And you know what? I’m not ashamed nor am I going to apologise for doing what I needed to do to get through.
But I’m determined to have a better year this go-round, and my intention is to read with a different purpose in 2020. I don’t want to focus on hiding anymore. I want to empower myself and learn something and become a better version of Tracey. So I’m switching my focus to books of the spiritual/self-help/memoir/non-fiction variety. There’s gotta be some fiction in the mix, of course. And I have a few romances and rom-coms on pre-order on Amazon from last year because although I’m bitter as gall and cynical as all get out, I am a sap at heart and I luh me some love! (I already downed three between January 1-4. 🤷)
So, inspired by Terri-Karelle, I present to you my list of books I plan to read, re-read or finish reading in 2020.
- Who Switched Off My Brain? and Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf (She’s a Christian and a neuroscientist and her insights/teachings will blow your mind. Check out Bring Toxic Thoughts into Captivity on YouTube.)
- Becoming by Michelle Obama (Been waiting for the paperback edition of this to land in Jamaica, but alas, I’ma have to get the ebook.)
- Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o (Technically, I’m buying this for my baby cousin because it’s a children’s picture book, but it’s written by Bae [she called my name in a Twitter Q&A so we’re totally BFFs] and it’s GORGEOUS, so I have to read it myself!)
- To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (Technically, this should be on the ‘Finish reading’ list because I’ve listened to a few chapters on Audible, but I wanna read read it.)
- On the Corner of Hope and Main by Beverly Jenkins (what feels like the conclusion of the best African American women’s fiction series I’ve ever read.)
- Change Your Words, Change Your Life by Joyce Meyer
- The Power of Your Mind by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome (my pastor, BTW)
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
(Clearly, I’ve been a delinquent where ‘good’ books are concerned. This is the longest list. Yikes!)
- The Bible (I’ve made many a half-hearted attempt to complete one of those “Bible in a year” plans. I still haven’t started one this year, but let this post shame me on December 31, 2020, if I can’t report back that I read the Good Book from cover to cover. [PS. Yes, I know one can never “finish” reading the Bible.])
- Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
- How to Make Your Faith Work by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
- How to Pray Effectively by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
- The Power of Words by Pastor Dwight Wright
- Cling by Kim Cash Tate
- Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision by Andy Stanley
- The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I have to finish this before the miniseries Lupita’s producing premieres.)
- Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland
- The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Wiel
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (Because bird by bird/word by word, I must complete a significant writing project of my own this year.)
That’s what my 2020 booklist is looking like at the moment. No doubt the ‘Read’ list will expand as books lead me to other books and I’m sure I’ll recall another one or two that I want to finish or reread. What’s on your reading list for 2020? If you’ve read or want to read any of the ones on my list, let me know what you thought/think of those books. And if you have any recommendations of your own, do let a sista know!