2019: A Year of Reading: The Nerd Bit, with Charts

“With such wishes for the New Year as still seem possible”
~ C.S. Lewis to his father from the WWI trenches in France

“Except at my job—where the machine seems to run on much as usual—I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much…. Do these notes merely … confirm the monotonous, tread-mill march of the mind round one subject? But what am I to do? I must have some drug, and reading isn’t a strong enough drug now.”
~ C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed

As a PhD student it is–was, as of the fall–my “job” to read and write about what I read. 2019 was an exceptionally difficult year for me, but one that ends in hope. At the end of 2018, I was writing at a terrifying speed. By the end of this October, my dissertation was successfully defended, minor modifications complete, a postdoc applied for, and classes well underway. My relief for finishing 2019–and the decade–with a PhD complete is beyond words.

Yet, I continue to struggle. There is damage left behind by the years of neglect–damage that emerges in variable and interesting ways. Like Lewis upon the death of his wife (see the epigraph), I have found work this autumn to be incredibly difficult. My mind and body are lazy, so that unless a task is before me, it seems impossible. Unlike Lewis, it is to reading rather than writing that I turned for a medicinal draught. I now realize that the strong reading I did through the spring and summer to prepare for my Viva was actually a way to heal my body, to rest my mind, and to cover my laziness. That spell continued into the fall, so that 2019 was a crazy year for reading.

I had a few goals for 2019:

  • Ease off my reading to 100 books (averaging 320 pages/book)
  • Read 120 articles, shorts stories, essays, or other short pieces
  • Listen to or watch 10 lectures series or classes
  • Read one theological or devotional book each month
  • Achieve a 1:2 female:male ratio of authors (as I did in 2018)

My goals this year were really about:

  • focusing my reading to be successful in completing my PhD with strength, including a rereading of key C.S. Lewis books and Lewis studies texts
  • reading for course prep (which overlaps with my PhD program)
  • extend my reading of L.M. Montgomery‘s catalogue and other Canadian authors, complete Stephen King‘s Dark Tower Cycle (including the tangibly connected books), and finish my chronological reading of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

So, how did I do?

Once again, I did not manage to reduce my reading, radically increasing it to just shy of 50,000 pages and 154 books. Here’s hoping for 2019! My average word length went down, though, to an average of 323 pages/book (from 333 in 2018).

Though I didn’t reduce my book-reading, and I only read 2/3 of the short pieces, I met most of the individual goals, including reading Lewis, King, Pratchett, and Montgomery. And I completed my thesis well, and probably over-read for my Viva and final dissertation submission.

As is pretty usual for me, my reading was seasonal:

  • Winter and Early Spring: I completed my too-slow autumn reading of Harry Potter in a season largely dedicated to the closing chapters of my thesis. I did a great deal of reading about gender and C.S. Lewis (basically, this bibliography) and larger questions of feminism and theology, including work by Dorothy L. Sayers, Roxane Gay, and Anna Fisk. I also taught my annual course on Lewis’ fiction at The King’s College (NYC), and read the fiction along with the students through May. In that late-stage PhD period I also read a number of Lewis studies books, some for the second or third time. For bedside reading in the cold Canadian winter, I finished the terrible Tom Clancy book, The Bear and the Dragon, and read some Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, and L.M. Montgomery–as I did throughout the year.
  • Late Spring and early Summer: Because of the Tolkien biopic and some writing I was doing about it, I did some background reading, including John Garth’s Tolkien and the Great War. I had a turn to the apocalyptic for a paper I presented at the International Conference on Religion and Film, including the Hunger Games trilogy. I reread The Stand (the restored version, this time), and did some reading on literature and spirituality. Otherwise, the spring was mostly about submitting my thesis.
  • Summer: When I was free of the thesis, I sort of went mad reading, especially SF: Suzanne Collins, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Haruki Murakami, Walter Miller, Charlie Starr, P.D. James, Orson Scott Card, H.G. Wells, N.K. Jemisin, and Margaret Atwood’s nonfiction collection on SF, In Other Worlds. It was a great summer, though I did little writing about those great books!
  • Autumn: I indulged in Stephen King‘s Dark Tower cycle throughout latter-2018, with only the final volume remaining for 2019. I picked it up again by rereading Gunslinger in the summer (the edited version, this time), before finishing The Dark Tower. In the fall, I then read the tangibly connected books, like Rose Madder, The Regulators, Desperation, and Doctor Sleep–which isn’t connected, but I read it just for fun. The fall reading was otherwise defined by my “C.S. Lewis and Mythologies of Love and Sex” course, and you can see the eclectic reading list here. Beyond more L.M. Montgomery, I extended my Canadian reading in the fall with Emily St. John Mandel’s lovely Lola Quartet, and with two brilliant new novels: Atwood’s The Testaments and Michael Crummey’s The Innocents. Add a little T.S. Eliot, Neil Gaiman, and the completion of Pratchett’s Discworld for a full fall reading.
  • Early Winter: November saw a shift for me as I began to prepare for Winter classes, including C.S. Lewis’ fiction and local courses on “Christian Literature” and “Japanese Religion and Culture.” The result is an increase in Japanese fiction, like Shūsaku Endō, Yasunari Kawabata, Arthur Golden, and some nonfiction. Nervous about teaching Flannery O’Connor for the first time, I read three of her books in December.

Throughout the year I had a few projects:

  • I was obviously very focussed on C.S. Lewis, with 23 Lewis books, 28 Lewis studies books, and dozens of other articles
  • I finally completed my chronological Discworld reading with 7 books, including #35 Wintersmith on New Year’s Day 2019, and concluding with #41, The Shepherd’s Crown, in December.
  • 10 Stephen King books, most of which were connected to the Dark Tower cycle,
  • 7 L.M. Montgomery books, and 5 other Canadian books

The chart shows the Lewis focus well, and shows that I didn’t get to read as much Tolkien as I’d like. I always think that I could have broken down the SF&F category into science fiction and fantasy, but it shows that this kind of reading is about 1/4 of my year, down from last year in ratio but not in sheer numbers of books. Feminism is a section I split off from nonfiction two years ago (what remains is mostly history and literary criticism), but I may change it again next year as I focus on particular projects. I met my theology goals, though much of the theology I read is under the C.S. Lewis category.

Here’s a pretty version of the same thing:

My last goal was to achieve a 1:2 female:male ratio of authors. This is tough to do when your primary author is male (C.S. Lewis), his primary partners are male (Tolkien and the Inklings), my field has been largely male (theology), and I’m trying to read through catalogues of Stephen King and Terry Pratchett. I wanted to increase my feminine voices in a few ways this year, but mostly succeeded in keeping steady with 2018. Working against me was that I didn’t do a full annual Harry Potter readthrough this year, and I intended to read Montgomery’s poetry, which didn’t happen. These were offset by some great recent SF and apocalyptic lit by women, and a focus on feminist theology, Lewis and gender, and spirituality.

As a whole, I achieved a slim 1:2 ratio on books (34% women authors), as well as nearly 40% of my overall reading.

There are limits to how effective tracking of reading by gender (or other categories) can be, but when designing my upcoming “Christian Literature” class, it helped me create a more engaging curriculum.

The Goodreads app is kind of limited, though you can check out my 2019 infographic. They have a thousand possibilities for creating infographics including gender, language, geography, genre, and popularity, yet they choose not to give us that power. This year, I also tracked books by era, with some mixed results. The charts are a bit lopsided as 5/6ths of my reading is since WWII–despite studying figures that were active in the “modernist” period, which was only 10% of my book reading.

What does 2020 look like? As long as I’m doing literary scholarship, it will be weighted upon the last century. Looking ahead, the first half of the year is heavy with Lewis, the Inklings, and Montgomery as I move into the June conference season. After that, I have no idea. Who knows where this adventure in reading may get me!

Until next year, here is my old-fashioned reading excel sheet list. I wish I was infographically-inclined, but I do like lists! Here is my list of reading form 2019. “CSL” below means “C.S. Lewis.” I’ve linked some of the blog posts that connect with the things I’ve read. Are any of these books or papers yours? If so, feel free to link my list. If you have your own year-end list or best-of blog, make sure you link it in the comments.

Jan 01 Carolyn Curtis, “Was C.S. Lewis sexist? Is he relevant today?” (2015)
Jan 01 Crystal Hurd, “The Enduring Influence of Flora Lewis” (2015)
Jan 01 Paul McCuster, “What do we make of Lewis’ relationship with Mrs Moore?” (2015)
Jan 01 Alister McGrath, “On Tolkien, the Inklings – and Lewis’ blindness to gender” (2015)
Jan 01 Colin Duriez, “C.S. Lewis and the friends who apparently couldn’t really have been his friends, but actually were” (2015)
Jan 01 Devin Brown, “Are the Chronicles of Narnia Sexist?” (2015)
Jan 01 Steven Elmore, ““The Abolition of Woman”: gender and hierarchy in Lewis’ Space Trilogy” (2015)
Jan 01 Joy Jordan-Lake, ““She is one of the great ones.” The radical world of The Great Divorce” (2015)
Jan 01 Brad Davis, “Setting the Man-Woman Thing to Rights” (2015)
Jan 01 Christin Ditchfield, ““She is one of the great ones.” The radical world of The Great Divorce” (2015)
Jan 01 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
Jan 01 Selections of Christine Hoff, Marcella Maria Althaus-Reid & Lisa Isherwood, Joy Davidman, Ruth Pitter, Valerie Saiving
Jan 01 Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith (2006)
Jan 04 Rachel Held Evans, Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012)
Jan 04 Don v. Devil” and other Lewis pieces in Time (1947)
Jan 07 Selections from A.N. Wilson, Roger Lancelyn Green & Walter Hooper, Stella Gibbons, Kathryn Lindskoog,  Candice Fredrick & Sam McBride, Corbin Scott Carnell, Karla Faust Jones, Nancy-Lou Patterson, Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, Kath Filmer, Don King, Adam Barkman
Jan 07 Margaret Hannay, “C.S. Lewis’ Changing Attitudes Toward Women” (1976)
Jan 07 Dorothy L. Sayers, “Are Women Human?” (1938)
Jan 07 Dorothy L. Sayers, “The Human-not-quite-Human” (1947)
Jan 08 Doris T. Myers, “Lewis in Genderland” (2007)
Jan 08 Joe R. Christopher, “Gender Hierarchies and Lowerarchies: A Response to Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen and Adam Barkman” (2007)
Jan 08 Harry L. Poe, “Lewis and the Ladies” (2007)
Jan 08 Diana Pavlac Glyer, “‘We are All Fallen Creatures and All Very Hard to Live With’: Some Thoughts on Lewis and Gender” (2007)
Jan 09 Ann Loades, “C.S. Lewis on Gender” (2010)
Jan 10 Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, A Sword between the Sexes?: C.S. Lewis and the Gender Debates (2010)
Jan 10 CSL, The Four Loves broadcast (1958)
Jan 11 Selections from Courtney Reissig, A.N. Wilson, Sarah Bessey, Joe Rigney, Monika Hilder
Jan 11 David Birkett, “The Lewis Bonfire Case” (2011)
Jan 11 Margaret P. Hannay, “C.S. Lewis: Mere Mysogynist?” (1975)
Jan 13 Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy: A Story of Faith, Tragedy and Triumph (1977)
Jan 14 Selections from Laura Lee Smith, Margaret Hannay, Monika Hilder, Terry Glaspey, William Griffin, Kath Filmer, David Mark Purdy
Jan 14 Peter J. Schakel, “The Satiric Imagination of C. S. Lewis” (1989)
Jan 15 CSL, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1949)
Jan 15 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
Jan 16 CSL, The Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast (1941)
Jan 16 Rob Fennell et al, Both Sides of the Wardrobe: C. S. Lewis, Theological Imagination, and Everyday Discipleship (2015)
Jan 21 CSL, Prince Caspian (1950)
Jan 21 CSL, The Four Loves (1958)
Jan 22 Kameron Hurley, The Geek Feminist Revolution (2016)
Jan 23 Kath Filmer, The Fiction of C. S. Lewis: Mask and Mirror (1992)
Jan 24 CSL, Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1950)
Jan 25 Selections from Edith Humphrey, Kathryn Lindskoog, Alister McGrath, Joe Laconte, Don Williams, Margaret Hannay, Kath Filmer, Monika Hilder, Colin Duriez
Jan 26 CSL, The Horse and His Boy (1953)
Jan 26 John Owen, The Mortification of Sin (1656)
Jan 30 CSL, The Silver Chair (1951)
Feb 01 Selections from John Beversluis, Kath Filmer, Laura Miller, David Llewellyn Dodds
Feb 01 Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist (2014)
Feb 02 Robert Bishop, review of The Magician’s Twin (2018)
Feb 02 CSL, The Magician’s Nephew (1953)
Feb 04 Sørina Higgins, Caduceus (2012)
Feb 04 Selections from Christine Chou, Devin Brown, Wesley Kort, Joe Rigney, Louis Markos, Kathryn Lindskoog
Feb 05 Alan Jacobs, The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis (2018)
Feb 05 Stephen Fry, Victorian Secrets (2018)
Feb 05 John Stackhouse, selections of Making the Best of It (2008)
Feb 06 CSL, The Last Battle (1953)
Feb 09 A.N. Wilson, C.S. Lewis: A Biography (1990)
Feb 11 Andrew Walker & James Patrick, eds. A Christian for All Christians: Essays in Honour of C.S. Lewis (1990)
Feb 12 A.N. Wilson, The Man Behind Narnia (2013)
Feb 13 Selections from Nancy-Lou Patterson, Doris Myers, Sr. Sheila Galligan, Kathryn Lindskoog
Feb 14 Stephen Prickett, “Informing the Inklings: C.S. Lewis’s Debt to George MacDonald” (2018)
Feb 14 CSL, Preface to George MacDonald: An Anthology (1947)
Feb 14 Stephen King, Everything’s Eventual (1994-2000)
Feb 16 Terry Lindvall, Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis (1994)
Feb 18 Selections from Kathryn Lindskoog, Jeff McInnis, William Gray, James Williamson, Rolland Hein, Catherine Persyn, Glenn Edward Sadler, Gisela H. Kreglinger, Caroline Simon, Peter Schakel, Doris Myers
Feb 20 CSL, The Great Divorce (1944-45)
Feb 20 Selections from William Calin, Joe Velaidum, Northrop Frye, Nancy-Lou Patterson, Curtis Weyant, Till Kinzel, Jared Lobdell, Richard Brett Campbell, Paul Rovang, Kath Filmer, David Downing, Don King, Anna Fisk, Don Williams, John Fleming, René Girard, Stephen Logan
Feb 22 Lindsey Fitzharris, The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine (2017)
Feb 23 Adrian Thatcher, God, Sex, and Gender: An Introduction (2011)
Feb 23 Selections: Gretchen Bartels, Alicia Burris, Nancy-Lou Patterson, Kath Filmer, Susan McCaslin, Jean Graham
Feb 24 Don W. King, ed., The Collected Poems of C.S. Lewis: A Critical Edition (2015)
Feb 25 Selections from Duncan Forrester, David Hein and Edward Hugh Henderson, Wayne Morris, Michael Gorman, Matthew Dickerson and David O’Hara, Andrew Linzey, Tony Richie, Don Williams, Ann Loades, Monika Hilder, Kyoko Yuasa, Alan Jacobs
Feb 25 Elizabeth A. Dreyer, Retrieving Women’s Voices in the Christian Theological Tradition: Four Doctors of the Church (2017)
Feb 27 Selections from: Kyoko Yuasa, Don Williams, Paul Fiddes, David Downing, Robert Moore-Jumonville, Owen Barfield, Chris Armstrong
Mar 01 George Sayer, Jack (1988)
Mar 01 Selections from Paulette Saunders, Nancy-Lou Patterson, Doris Myers, Paulette Saunders, Kath Filmer, Sanford Schwartz, W.H. Auden, C.S. Lewis, Monika Hilder, Amber Dunai
Mar 03 Tom Clancy, The Bear and the Dragon (2001)
Mar 04 Selections from Michael Ward, Nancy-Lou Patterson, Steven Paul Mueller, David J. Hawkesworth, Wayne G. Smith, Devin Brown, Sr. Sheila Galligan, David Downing, Don Williams, Kathryn Lindskoog
Mar 06 Gilbert Meilaender, The Taste for the Other: The Social and Ethical Thought of C.S. Lewis (1978)
Mar 07 Stephen King, Black House (2001)
Mar 08 Alan Jacobs, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis (2005)
Mar 09 Ben Fulford, Introduction to Divine Eloquence and Human Transformation: Rethinking Scripture and History through Gregory of Nazianzus and Hans Frei (2013)
Mar 11 Selections from W.W. Robson, Don Williams, Terry Lindvall, Richard Brett Campbell, Monika Hilder, Kath Filmer, Don King, Brian Melton, Howard Worsely, Brian Hudson, Colin Manlove, David Emerson, Nancy-Lou Patterson, Devin Brown, Emily Rose Kempton, Crystal Hurd, Stephen Logan, Harry Reader, Aaron Cassidy, Peter Schakel
Mar 11 CSL, “On Three Ways of Writing for Children” (1952)
Mar 11 CSL, “The Weight of Glory” (1941)
Mar 11 Don King, “The Childlike in George MacDonald and C.S.
Lewis” (1986; 2014)
Mar 11 David Bentley Hart, The New Testament (2017)
Mar 13 Joseph Pearce, C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church (2004)
Mar 14 Sarah Williams, Mapping Gender (2010)
Mar 17 CSL, Out of the Silent Planet (1937)
Mar 20 Theologia Germanica, translated by Susanna Winkworth (14th c.)
Mar 22 Armand M. Nicholi Jr., The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life (2003)
Mar 25 Marilynne Robinson, What Are We Doing Here? (2018)
Mar 27 CSL, Perelandra (1943)
Mar 27 Selections from Michael Gorman, Adam Mattern, Joe Rigney, Sr. Sheila Galligan, Arend Smilde, Lucy Bregman, Donald Williams, Kath Filmer, Gilbert Meilaender, Victor Reppert, Greggory Bassham, Alan Jacobs
Mar 27 CSL, The Abolition of Man (1943)
Mar 28 Alister E. McGrath, Luther’s Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther’s Theological Breakthrough (1986; 2011)
Mar 30 Phillip K. Dick, Blade Runner, originally published as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Apr 01 Terry Pratchett, Making Money (2007)
Apr 01 L.M. Montgomery, The Alpine Path (1917)
Apr 01 Carolyn Curtis & Mary Pomroy Key, eds., Women and C.S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today’s Culture (2015)
Apr 04 CSL, That Hideous Strength (1945)
Apr 07 Derek Tidball et al, The Atonment Debate: Papers from the London Symposium on the Atonement (2005)
Apr 07 Selections from Nancy-Lou Patterson, Monika Hilder, Alan Jacobs, Wesley Kort, Michael Ward, Adam Barkman, Richard Sturch, Alister McGrath
Apr 11 Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (1990; 1999)
Apr 13 Patti Callahan, Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (2018)
Apr 15 Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals (2009)
Apr 23 CSL, Till We Have Faces (1954)
Apr 25 Diana Pavlac Glyer, The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community (2006)
Apr 26 L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle (1926)
Apr 29 N.T. Wright, Paul: A Biography (2018)
May 04 CSL, “The Efficacy of Prayer” (1958)
May 04 CSL, “Work and Prayer” (1945)
May 04 CSL, “Petitionary Prayer: A Problem Without an Answer” (1953)
May 06 CSL, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (1963)
May 09 Selections of Sr. Galligan, Monika Hilder, St. Augustine, Jared Lobdell, Marsha Daigle-Williamson,
May 13 John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (2003)
May 14 Arthur G. Holder, The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality (2005)
May 15 James Como, C. S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction (2019)
May 16 Heather Walton, selections from Literature, Feminism, and Theology (2007)
May 16 Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible & Literature (1983)
May 17 Elisabeth Jay, “Now and in England” (2007)
May 17 David Jasper, “Study of Literature and Theology” (2007)
May 18 Cleo McNelly Kearns, “Modernism” (2007)
May 19 Christopher Rowland, “Apocalyptic Literature” (2007)
May 20 Cath Filmer-Davies, “C.S. Lewis” (2007)
May 21 Joseph Loconte, A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War (2015)
May 23 Abigail Santamaria, Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis (2015)
May 25 Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight (2010)
May 26 Virginia Woolf, Orlando (1928)
May 29 Stephen King, The Stand, Complete & Uncut Edition (1978, 1990)
May 31 Kyoko Yuasa, C.S. Lewis and Christian Postmodernism: Word, Image, and Beyond (2016)
Jun 01 Josh Malerman, Bird Box (2014)
Jun 03 Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien: A Biography (1977)
Jun 06 Selections from Mitchell Reddish, N.T. Wright, John J. Collins, Donna Bennett, Kyle William Bishop, Kathryn A. Cady and Thomas Oates, R. Rubinkiewicz, Jonathan Kirsch, Frank Kermode
Jun 07 Charlie W. Starr, The Heart of Light (2014)
Jun 07 Robert J. Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson, How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World (2016)
Jun 08 Gregory A. Boyd, Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence (2017)
Jun 08 Walter Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)
Jun 11 CSL, The Screwtape Letters (1940-41)
Jun 12 Selections from John J. Collins, Maud Ellmann, Eleanor Cook, Jonathan Kirsch, Frank Kermode, Stacey Abbott
Jun 12 W. Scott Poole, Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror (2018)
Jun 15 Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook (1962)
Jun 17 Owen Barfield, Owen Barfield on C.S. Lewis (1964-1988)
Jun 17 N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season (2015)
Jun 19 P.D. James, Children of Men (1992)
Jun 25 Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (2008)
Jun 25 Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker, selections from Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us (2001)
Jun 28 Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990)
Jul 01 Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire (2009)
Jul 02 Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay (2010)
Jul 05 N.K. Jemisin, The Obelisk Gate (2016)
Jul 09 Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction (1968)
Jul 10 Stephen King, Gunslinger (The Dark Tower I; 1982-2003)
Jul 11 CSL, Spirits in Bondage (1916-19)
Jul 11 Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
Jul 12 Bruce A. Demarest,  Bradley Nassif, Scott Hahn, Joe Driskill, Evan Howard, Four Views on Christian Spirituality (2012)
Jul 16 Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (2003)
Jul 17 L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams (1917)
Jul 19 Selections from Alana Vincent, Cecily Devereux, Gillian Thomas, Mary Rubio, Carole Gerson, Virginia Careless, Ethel Chapman, Carol Gay, Rosemary Ross Johnston, Nancy Huse, Katharine Slater, Rea Wilmhurst, Nancy Holmes, Rita Bode, Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, Laura M. Robinson, Caroline E. Jones, Elizabeth Waterston, Lesley D. Clement
Jul 19 Stephanie L. Derrick, The Fame of C. S. Lewis: A Controversialist’s Reception in Britain and America (2018)
Jul 21 CSL, Christian Reflections (1939-1963; 1967)
Jul 22 Pamela Bedore, “Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature” (2016)
Jul 23 Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)
Jul 24 Anne Arnott, The Secret Country of C.S. Lewis (1975)
Jul 28 CSL, Screwtape Proposes a Toast, and Other Pieces (1941-59; 1965)
Jul 31 Corbin Scott Carnell, Bright Shadow of Reality: Spiritual Longing in C. S. Lewis (1974)
Aug 01 Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology (1962)
Aug 01 Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (1972)
Aug 03 Terry Pratchett, Snuff (2011)
Aug 04 N.K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky (2017)
Aug 08 Elizabeth R. Epperly, “‘This Enchanted Shore’: Anne’s House of Dreams” in The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass: L.M. Montgomery’s Heroines and the Pursuit of Romance (1992)
Aug 08 Craig Childs, Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Ever-Ending Earth (2012)
Aug 08 Selections from the work of Laura M. Robinson, Elizabeth R. Epperly, Rita Bode, Jean Mitchell, Nancy Holmes, Mary Henley Rubio
Aug 09 Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011)
Aug 15 Stephen King, The Dark Tower (Dark Tower VII; 2004)
Aug 17 Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game (1985; 1991)
Aug 21 Gary S. Selby, Pursuing an Earthy Spirituality: C. S. Lewis and Incarnational Faith (2019)
Aug 23 Susan Wise Bauer, “The Words we Use” Laing Lectures, Regent College (2010)
Aug 28 CSL, The Problem of Pain (1939)
Aug 29 CSL, The Four Loves (lectures, 1957)
Aug 29 Stephen King, The Regulators (1996)
Sep 01 Terry Pratchett, Raising Steam (2013)
Sep 02 J.R.R. Tolkien, “On Fairy-stories” (1939; 1947)
Sep 03 Sam Reimer & Michael Wilkenson, selections from A Culture of Faith: Evangelical Congregations in Canada (2015)
Sep 03 Selections from Reginald Bibby, David Seljak, Stephanie MacPhail, Phyllis Tickle, Peter Berger, Callum Beck, Peter Beyer, Alyshea Cummins, Scott Craig, Meagan Campbell
Sep 05 Lisa Chilton, “Receiving Canada’s Immigrants: The Work of the State Before 1930” (2016)
Sep 05 Lisa Chilton, selections from Agents of Empire: British Female Migration to Canada and Australia, 1860s-1930 (2009)
Sep 10 Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Shadow (1999)
Sep 10 CSL, The Four Loves (1960)
Sep 11 Emily St. John Mandel, The Lola Quartet (2012)
Sep 13 James Stephens, “The Threepenny Piece” (1913)
Sep 13 CSL, “Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s to be Said” (1956) and “It Began with a Picture….” (1960)
Sep 16 Plato, The Symposium (384 BCE)
Sep 16 Edith Humphrey, Further Up and Further in: Orthodox Conversations With C. S. Lewis on Scripture & Theology (2017)
Sep 17 CSL, The Four Loves (lectures, 1957)
Sep 23 William Levitan, trans., The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse (12th c.)
Sep 24 CSL, “Courtly Love” from The Allegory of Love (1928-1936)
Sep 25 Chrétien de Troyes, William Comfort, trans., Four Arthurian Romances (1170-1190)
Sep 26 Alan Jacobs, “Evangelical Has Lost Its Meaning” (2019)
Sep 26 Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith (2009)
Sep 27 L.M. Montgomery, Kilmeny of the Orchard (1908-10)
Oct 01 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
Oct 01 William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet (1595)
Oct 07 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, trans. Catherine Hutter (1774)
Oct 09 Margaret Atwood, The Testaments (2019)
Oct 09 Reginald Bibby & Angus Reid, selections of Canada’s Catholics (2016)
Oct 13 Chaim Potok, My Name is Asher Lev (1972)
Oct 14 Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Oct 15 Kim Phuc Phan Thi, with Ashley Wiersma, Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace (2017)
Oct 16 H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man (1897)
Oct 16 Laura Smit, “Theology of Beauty” (2017)
Oct 28 Chaim Potok, The Gift of Asher Lev (1990)
Oct 30 Selections from Jacques Sys, James Patrick, Anna Fisk, Chaim Potok, Sallie McFague, C.S. Lewis
Oct 30 Simon Chan, Spiritual Theology (1998)
Oct 30 N.T. Wright, “Grappling With Galatians” (2019)
Nov 01 William Matthews, selections from Later Medievval English Prose (1963)
Nov 01 J.R.R. Tolkien, A Secret Vice, eds. Dimitar Fimi & Andrew Higgins (1930s; 2016)
Nov 04 Michael Crummey, The Innocents (2019)
Nov 04 Stephen King, Desperation (1996)
Nov 06 Susan Wise Bauer, The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople (2013)
Nov 08 Selections from Roger J. Davies, David Clough, Giuseppe Pezzini, Paul Tankard, J. Patrick Pazdziora, Greg Cootsona, Erik J. Wielenberg, Stephanie L. Derrick, Malcolm Guite, Katrina Bolman, Rebecca Hans, Jon Fennell
Nov 11 CSL, Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1950)
Nov 11 Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia (1977)
Nov 15 T.S. Eliot, The Poems of T.S. Eliot (1905-1965)
Nov 16 Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere (1996; 2016)
Nov 18 Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (1988)
Nov 19 G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)
Nov 19 Brenton Dickieson, Sara Brown, Liam Daley, C. S. Lewis and the Mythologies of Love and Sex (2016)
Nov 22 John Wain, “C.S. Lewis” (1964)
Nov 24 Stephen King, Doctor Sleep (2013)
Nov 26 C.S. Lewis, Brian Aldiss, Martin Amis, “Unreal Estates” (1963)
Nov 29 Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha (1997)
Nov 30 Alison Milbank, Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians (2007)
Dec 06 Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man is Hard to Find, and Other Stories (1955)
Dec 10 Shūsaku Endō, Silence (1966; 2016)
Dec 10 Terry Pratchett, The Shepherd’s Crown (2015)
Dec 12 Flannery O’Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories (1964)
Dec 12 Steve Turley, “Classical vs. Modern Education
A Vision from C.S. Lewis” (2014)
Dec 13 Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country (1948)
Dec 16 Stephen King, Rose Madder (1995)
Dec 20 Selections from Daniel Sargent, Irene Gammell, Janet Wesselius, Gillian Thomas, Northrop Frye, Eugene Peterson, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Ellwood, George J. Tanabe, Mitsutoshi Horii, Ian Reader, Winston Davis
Dec 20 Stephen King, Different Seasons (1982)
Dec 21 Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood (1952)
Dec 31 Sallie McFague, Speaking in Parables: A Study in Metaphor and Theology (1975)
Dec 31 L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley (1919)
Dec 31 J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King (1955)

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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7 Responses to 2019: A Year of Reading: The Nerd Bit, with Charts

  1. I do love your year-end posts with all the graphs and statistics. If I can find the time, I’d like to do the same one year. Despite the blips, it looks like it was a great reading year for you in 2019 and I hope for even a better one in 2020!!


  2. louloureads says:

    I also wrapped up my PhD this year – though I was viva’d last year, I had a lot of corrections so didn’t actually finish until May this year – and I similarly found myself reading much more than I have in a long time – maybe since I was a teenager. I found it to be a very effective tool for recovery and starting to feel more like myself again after an absurdly gruelling process.

    Also, thank you for reminding me that I want to read The Lola Quartet – I loved Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and keep forgetting that she has another book out that I can read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats on completion of your PhD. A huge deal. I kept putting off my submission and was able to avoid some of the post-viva changes.
      Reading can be a great tonic. “Feel like myself”… yes, that is growing back in my, I hope.
      Lola Quartet is a good read.


  3. hatrack4 says:

    Alas, you have bested me, but oh, so close. My numbers for 2019: 46,220 pages in 152 books.

    I love your charts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Allyson says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love seeing the data of other’s reading. Always pick up titles to add to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: 2021: A Year of Reading: The Nerd Bit, with Charts | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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