Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Books Read in 2018

I have always been a list maker. This included tracking the books I read for many years. However, once babies and toddlers came into the picture, I became much more sporadic in my tracking. I have since made attempts to go back and recollect those missed books to create a record, as well as, proceeding in diligence to track reading going forward.

Early in 2018, I picked up a book by Pamela Paul titled, My Life with Bob, Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues. Pamela Paul has kept a record of all the books she's read throughout her life in what she affectionately refers to as her "Book of Books" or "BOB" for short. My Life with Bob is about the deep and meaningful connections readers make with books. Paul suggests that why we read what we read tells the story of ourselves and that the books we choose shape us into the person we are. My biggest takeaway from My Life with Bob was the significance of recording the books we read in an attempt to maintain a record of our lives. Therefore, in 2018, I began my own relationship with Bob.

I didn't want to make it complicated to begin or I knew I wouldn't stick to it when the going got tough. I simply grabbed a composition notebook off the supply stack and created the following five star rating system.....

***** = Excellent, would read again!
**** = Very good, would recommend and assign
*** = Good, may or may not assign or recommend
** = Less than average, left something to be desired
* = Disappointing, don't bother!

I then started tracking the books I read throughout the year with short entries. I included all chapter books including read alouds, read alongs, and book club books. Each entry includes the title, author, date completed, a starred rating, and a brief description. This description includes things like whether or not I read it with a group versus independently or aloud, and where the book was recommended, like was it an Ambleside Online suggestion or did I hear about it in a podcast, etc. I also made notes if I read it along with my children and they commented on it for better or worse. Here's a couple sample pages....

Overall, this was an effective tracking system that worked for me. I will continue it throughout 2019. With that said, here is the list of books I read and entered in my Bob throughout 2018, along with my ratings based on the system above that I created....

Robin Hood by J. Walker McSpadden *****
Adam of the Road by Janet Elizabeth Gray ****
Vol. 1, Home Education by Charlotte Mason *****
The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean ****
The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer ***
Grammar-Land by M.L, Nesbitt ****
Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin ****
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey *
Watership Down by Richard Adams *** (My kids would give this 5 starts)
By the Book by Pamela Paul ***
My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul ***
Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thomson ***
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by AVI ***
The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin D. Wiker ****
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly ****
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain ***
Macbeth by Shakespeare *
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott ****
The Liberal Arts Tradition by Kevin Clark and Ravi Scott Jain *****
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo *****
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin ****
Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving ****
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving ****
A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare ***
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder ****
Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass ***
In His Steps by Charles Sheldon ***

I left a blank page at the end of the year, reserved for overall comments, books read totals, and any other year end notes I decide to make. I may also go back and color code with a highlighter books I've read for various reasons. This would make it easier at a glance if I want to go back and find a particular title. I also left a few blank pages at the beginning of the notebook in case I want to create a Table of Contents for ease of search.

Do you track the books you read? If so, I'd love to hear about your system of keeping.


  1. No I don't track my book reading, but sounds like something maybe I should do. I do however track what I've sewn and keep notes in a spiral notebook. My journal dates back to 2008ish if my memory is correct (not jumping up to go peek). I list the date, pattern number, size I made, who it was for, what fabric I used, and any alterations I made. It has been super helpful to me many times and I also find it neat to look back on the progress I've made. Happy 2019!

    1. I love that you track your sewing Melissa! I never thought of tracking other habits or hobbies. That's a great idea! I think any sort of tracking or journaling is so fun to look back at. I used to do so much more of it. Journaling of all kinds is a habit I'm hoping to get back into and cultivate. Thanks for sharing!