I was one of those odd ones who liked school…especially college. In fact, I think my husband was a bit worried that I might be a perpetual student. Receiving a syllabus the first day of class was always exciting to me. So much promise!
To this day, when I step on the campus of our local university where I obtained my two degrees, there is a little part of me that misses it. I wouldn’t want to commit to another degree at this stage in my life but I’ve often thought it would be fun if I could just sit in on some classes now and then. No pressure, just the opportunity to learn.
When I read about creating a personal syllabus for self-study I knew that was the perfect answer for me.
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My Syllabus for 2020
I met Marisa Mohi at a blogging event last year. She was one of the presenters. In fact, she was my favorite. Since then I have watched a number of her YouTube videos and read her blog occasionally. When I read this post, I got really excited:
What a great idea! I’ve been wanting to ratchet up my reading for some time. I used to read constantly but in recent years I’ve slacked off quite a bit.
Creating my own syllabus for 2020 is a really appealing way for someone who is a student at heart to read in a more intentional way.
I chose a total of sixteen books for this syllabus.
These first four books will be read throughout the year as part of my daily readings:
Simple Abundance: 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful Life by Sarah Ban Breathnach
I read the original version of this years ago for the first time and then again a couple of years ago. I love the daily readings and am thrilled to dive into this new and updated version.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
I’ve had this book for years but only read the first few chapters. It’s time to take it seriously and finish it this year.
I’ve read the Bible all the way through before (New King James version), The Message, and the New Testament a second time. Back in the 70s when I was a teenager, The Living Bible was popular. I had a copy of the New Testament which I read quite a bit of. Several months ago I decided to purchase a new copy and this year I plan to read through it.
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
I was an English major (my first degree) and read portions of “Leaves of Grass” as class assignments. A couple of months ago I found a nice, hardbound copy at our public library used book sale and picked it up. I want to read more poetry so this is a good place to start.
I then selected twelve more books, one per month:
This is another book I’ve had for ages but never finished.
Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg
I have quite a collection of books for writers. This is one I’ve chosen to read in 2020.
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
Another book for writers in my collection which I’ve yet to read. Are you seeing a pattern here?
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
This is one of those books I’ve heard highly recommended by people I admire.
Be Here Now – by Ram Dass
I first heard of Ram Dass via a book my maternal grandfather had. Several years ago I borrowed an audiobook of his from our local library, read by the author. I don’t recall which one it was but I do remember enjoying it. Ram Dass recently died and this seems like a good time to read his most well-known work.
The Wander Society by Keri Smith
This book was on a list of recommended books I saw recently and it sounds interesting.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is the book that taught me how to enjoy audiobooks. Back when I was a hospice nurse in the mid-90s I spent a lot of time driving to patients’ homes. I drove hundreds of miles a week, oftentimes in areas with poor radio reception. I decided to borrow an audiobook on CD from the library to listen to in the car. I am a visual learner, not an audio learner. It took me a bit to get into listening to a book rather than reading it but within a few chapters I was hooked. Somehow I had missed reading any Jane Austen as a student but after listening to this one I bought a copy of the collected Jane Austen and read all her books. I’m looking forward to revisiting this one.
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I chose this one as a personal challenge. I was never assigned this one as a student but after hearing that my older cousin had read this as a young teenager and that relatives seemed impressed, I decided to give it a whirl. I always read above grade level but this one stymied me. It wasn’t that it was difficult so much as, well, boring. Pages upon pages that didn’t advance the plot. Several chapters into it, I quit. And a few years later I’d give it another try. I’ll bet I’ve read the first 6 chapters at least half a dozen times. This year I’m going to finish it or decide “never again”.
This was another book from a recommended list that sounds intriguing.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
One of those books I never got around to reading.
I wanted to choose something about organizing and this is a brand new one.
Blackberry Cove Herbal: Healing With Common Herbs by Linda Ours Rago
A friend listed her favorite books that she read in 2019 on Facebook and this was one of them. I’ve been interested in natural healing since I was a young teenager and I’m looking forward to this one.
I haven’t assigned these to particular months. I’ll just choose one from the list at the beginning of each month, according to my current interest or in a couple of cases, when I’ve been able to obtain a copy.
These will all be in addition to the LWD Book Club selections each month. There will be other books, of course. I love to read something light and fun on vacations. And every so often I’ll see a book I just have to read right away. However, I’m really excited about having an intentional list of books to really sink my teeth into this year.
“The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith