After quite the reading slump earlier in the year, I have finally rediscovered my reading mojo – it appeared to be lurking at the bottom of my hefty crochet pile.

I had read a run of books which just didn’t grip me, inspire me, or provide me much impetus to pick the book up rather than the hook and wool. The slump arrived and I found myself only really reading a couple of pages at night in bed.

Then in October I had an inevitable delay in an airport and found myself wandering in WHSmith, and purchasing two books. I had devoured one before I got to my destination and the second in the next couple of days.

I was back on it.

I was enjoying reading, in fact I couldn’t put them down.

I am at a point where I could almost be grateful for my insomnia as I am so absorbed in books, at least I can spend hours reading through the night. In peace.

This won’t last long. But at least the year has ended on something of a high, despite the last book I have finished being a bit pish (damn you Agatha Christie).

Select the image to be taken to the Goodreads summary that provided some of this breakdown and more information


Goal setting, memory loss and inspiration

For 6 years now I have tracked my reading on Goodreads by setting myself an annual challenge – ranging anywhere from 25 to 90 books. (Spot the point where I took up crochet and left my job as a literacy coordinator so reading went a little by the wayside). Admittedly I cheated a few times along the way if I set myself a target I wasn’t going to reach, and tweaked it by September.

It also helps me to check back as to whether I have read already read a book as I often forget, or if I cannot remember why I particularly liked or disliked a book.

This week I read posts by both fellow #write52 blogger Susanne Wakefield (aka @WriteCloud) and prolific Medium writer Shaunta Grimes either reflecting on their 2019 reading and/or planning for the new year. I was inspired to put a bit more thought into my reading for 2020 and actually consider what I am reading, rather than just going with the flow. Or at least, that’s the plan. Following Shaunta’s tips, I am going to set myself a plan, with themes to help me achieve different aims.

The aims are not rigidly set in stone but reflect my current intentions as we head into a new year, and where I am right now in my business and my headspace. No doubt some will change over time depending on projects I work on and hobbies I waylay myself with, but at least I have some form of direction.

I am a bugger for just picking up books at random when I intended to read something else, and am quite the book hoarder. I have so many that I am dying to read, sat there waiting, to no avail. Both fiction and non-fiction. Of many genres and styles. So here we go, I will finally pick up some of those books that have been patiently waiting for me and have some purpose in my reading.


My reading plan, in themes, for 2020

I aim to read 35 books​ in 2020, a mixture of books from the following 5 themes.

Becoming a better writer and instructional designer:

  • Dark Angels On Writing (thanks Susanne for this recommendation)
  • Copywriting Made Simple – Tom Albrington
  • Play to Learn – Sharon Boller & Karl Kap

Developing my business:

  • Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur – Kate Toon
  • The Art of the Click – Glenn Fisher

Developing myself:

  • F**k No – Sarah Knight (already in progress)
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F**k – Mark Manson
  • The Chimp Paradox – Steve Peters
  • Unlimited Memory – Kevin Horsley

Fiction, that have been waiting for a while (my chap says I only read depressing books…can’t think why):

  • Suite Francaise – Irène-Némirovsky
  • Normal People – Sally Rooney
  • Uncommon Type – Tom Hanks (I started this last year and DNF, may need to restart from the beginning as it’s been that long)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Winter Soldier – Daniel Mason
  • A Tale for Time Being – Ruth Oseki
  • Eiger Dreams – Jon Krakaeur
  • Norwegian Wood – Murakami
  • All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
  • The Kashmir Shawl – Rosie Thomas
  • One more book (at least) by each of Kristin Hannah, Jojo Moyes, Kerry Wilkinson, John Boyne

Non-fiction, just because I’m interested:

  • Blowfish’s Oceanopeadia – Tom Hird (already in progress)
  • The Almost Nearly Perfect People – Michael Booth
  • Never Mind The Balkans, Here’s Romania – Mike Ormsby
  • Never Mind the Vampires, Here’s Transylvania – Mike Ormsby

(can you guess where were going on holiday?)

So that gives me 26 books as a start!

Novels will always be a key focus of my reading as I often use it in order to switch off from work. But I really do want to develop my skills this year and get cracking on the non-fiction pile I have sat here waiting for me. ​I have also built up a list of other resources such as podcasts, websites, communities and apps that I intend to make more use of to expand my knowledge and skills.I will be sharing my learnings and recommendations from all my activity, and am always happy to receive any more that are sent my way. I am sure there will be many more additions to this list and my bookshelves over the next 12 months, and many opportunities for my mind to wander.Hopefully this list will give me some focus, and if I manage 50% of it I think I will be happy.

So over to you – do you plan your reading? Have you a list somewhere you are working through? And as always, if you have any recommendations, sling them my way so I can distract myself with them.


Well I asked for suggestions, and also remembered some that should be on this list. So here are the additions.

  • On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  • Things that fall from the sky – Selja Ahava
  • Mismatch – How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Holmes
  • Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson (to reread)


Write 52: Week 27
Theme: A few of my favourite things