(Almost) 100 Reads in 2020

(Almost) 100 Reads in 2020

Each 25th January I am hit with the same remorse as I recall that I have yet to make any meaningful progress on my dreams.

I think of Dwynwen, the patron saint of lovers in Wales, and I think of Robert Burns, the Scottish poet and lyricist. It’s not a coincidence that I think of these two seemingly unrelated figures, they are drawn together in my mind in great part because the 25th January is both Dydd Santes Dwynwen (Saint Dwynwen’s Day) and Burns’ Night.

Partly due to my Celtic ancestral sympathies, and partly because I have a love of, well, many things related to the both of them, such as Wales, Scotland, writing, history, culture, nature, creativity and folk-stories, my feelings feel focussed and heightened on this day. Yet each year I am reminded that I’m no further forward than the last.

This year will be different, she said.

If this year is to be any different, I must take an approach that is proactive, meaningful, and useful. Mel Robbins‘ free course Best Decade Ever, with her free attachments that can be printed off, such as her toolkits and her Dream Book, is providing a spring board for me to take some little jumps forward. I’ve written my five big dreams for the decade, I’ve narrowed that list down to just one for this year’s theme, and the theme is WRITING.

Encouraged to brainstorm via some scribbling at the bottom of my Dream Book page for 26th January, I wondered what momentum my writing would take if I gave more time to reading. After all, some of my favourite novelists already share this pearl of wisdom, so I know it but I don’t readily apply it. What if I actually, meaningfully, did?

[I am readily prepared with my own excuses as to why I don’t read more, and the biggest of all is actually less excuse and more observation: reading wears me out. Everything I now do affects my medical condition, M.E. but seeing as I already know this, I can plan around it. I don’t have to stipulate how much I read every day, and on my worst health days, this may prove to be utterly unsconscionable. But I have to give it a go.]

What if I read (almost) every day?

What if I read something almost every day, and gave myself a list of 100 books/publications/journals (there’s really no need to be specific) to read?

Instead of the popular pastime of Run Every Day, which I specifically can no longer do for the foreseeable future, what if I gave my brain the training, gave my heart the workout, and my mind the techniques to become a great writer? I used to run well, I could race at many different distances and terrains, and I learnt strategies to help me cope when these became tough and emotional, to say the least. Can I transfer these skills into a writing practice?

I’m going to give this a shot. I will update this page throughout the year, adding to it whenever I read a new book or something else, and record how I manage this reading (intentionally) (almost) every day idea.


My 100 Reads in 2020 (so far)

  1. Dreams of Gods & MonstersLaini Taylor
  2. Find Your Artistic VoiceLisa Congdon
  3. A Rare Book of Cunning Device—Ben Aaronovitch
  4. Tales of Max Carrados: The Coin of Dionysius—Ernest Bramah
  5. Tales of Max Carrados: The Game Played in the Dark—Ernest Bramah
  6. The End of the World Running ClubAdrian J. Walker
  7. The Watchmaker of Filigree StreetNatasha Pulley
  8. The Bedlam StacksNatasha Pulley
  9. Magpie MurdersAnthony Horowitz
  10. The Colony—F.G. Cottam
  11. The Outcasts of TimeIan Mortimer
  12. The RadleysMatt Haig
  13. Strange the DreamerLaini Taylor
  14. Flesh WoundsChris Brookmyre
  15. The Prisoner of BrendaColin Bateman
  16. Their Lost DaughtersJoy Ellis
  17. Differently MorphousYahtzee Croshaw
  18. Rivers of LondonBen Aaronovitch
  19. Moon over SohoBen Aaronovitch
  20. Whispers UndergroundBen Aaronovitch
  21. The Dead PassColin Bateman
  22. The MuseJessie Burton
  23. The Secret Life of BeesSue Monk Kidd
  24. The Secret HoursSanta Montefiore
  25. The Shadow of the WindCarlos Ruiz Zafon
  26. The Sacred EnneagramChristopher L. Heuertz
  27. Broken HomesBen Aaronovitch
  28. Foxglove SummerBen Aaronovitch
  29. The Angel’s GameCarlos Ruiz Zafon
  30. The Furthest StationBen Aaronovitch
  31. The Hanging TreeBen Aaronovitch
  32. Lies SleepingBen Aaronovitch
  33. The October ManBen Aaronovitch
  34. False ValueBen Aaronovitch
  35. OutlanderDiana Gabaldon
  36. The Lost Future of PepperharrowNatasha Pulley
  37. Things in JarsJess Kidd
  38. City of GirlsElizabeth Gilbert
  39. OrlandoVirginia Woolf
  40. Just One Damned Thing After AnotherJodi Taylor
  41. A Symphony of EchoesJodi Taylor
  42. The Graveyard BookNeil Gaiman
  43. Talking to StrangersMalcolm Gladwell
  44. A Tale for the Time BeingRuth Ozeki
  45. The Midnight LibraryMatt Haig
  46. A Second ChanceJodi Taylor
  47. A Trail through TimeJodi Taylor
  48. When a Child is Born—Jodi Taylor
  49. Roman Holiday—Jodi Taylor
  50. Platform SevenLouise Doughty
  51. The Prisoner of HeavenCarlos Ruiz Zafon
  52. The AlchemistPaulo Coelho
  53. Cambridge BlueAlison Bruce
  54. The SirenAlison Bruce
  55. The CallingAlison Bruce
  56. The BacksAlison Bruce
  57. Lincoln in the BardoGeorge Saunders
  58. Notes on a Nervous PlanetMatt Haig
  59. Reasons to Stay AliveMatt Haig
  60. Muse of NightmaresLaini Taylor
  61. Paper CutsColin Bateman
  62. The Labyrinth of the SpiritsCarlos Ruiz Zafon
  63. The Girl BeforeJP Delaney
  64. White SilenceJodi Taylor

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