Tim Challies is going to attempt to read and review all of the New York Times hardcover, non-fiction bestsellers of 2010. He will be readng close to 10 million words. He writes,
In 2010 I intend to read all of the New York Times bestsellers. I will qualify this by saying that I’ll be reading all of the hardcover, non-fiction bestsellers. Fiction has little appeal to me and does not offer as valuable a snapshot of the culture as does non-fiction; the softcovers have generally already been released as hardcovers. So it made sense for me to focus on just that one list. There are fifteen books on the list and it is updated once weekly. On average there are three or four books added each week. Some weeks there are as few as one new one added or as many as seven. In any case, I am going to attempt to read them all. My intention in all of this is to find in those books lessons on culture and worldview.
Through the rest of 2009 I will be reading as many of the bestsellers as I can and trying to “find my voice.” I will be trying to find the best way to seek out and communicate the lessons about worldview and culture that will be the heart of this project. I may also try to focus some attention on books dealing with reading better, reading faster, increasing retention, and so on.
So I am going to encourage you to visit the new site, 10MillionWords.com. There are already quite a few reviews over there of some books you may enjoy. The site is hosted at Gospel Coalition. I mentioned the site to them and, for various reasons, we felt it would be a good idea to “park” the site for the year. You may like to subscribe via RSS or subscribe via email. You might also like to follow 10MillionWords via Twitter or join the Facebook group. At the very least, visit the site, bookmark it, and drop by a few times. I think (and hope!) you will find it an interesting and valuable stop on your online travels in the months to come.
Tim, I’m cheering for you! I think you can do it. One of my other reading and writing heroes attempted a “52 books in 52 weeks” challenge this year, among all of her zillion other doings as a writer, professor and mom. However, She graciously bailed in the end, (which is nothing at which to scoff, because she still read and reviewed far more than most of us ever will, and I’m sure she is the better for striving hard toward her goal).
Now, what are the rest of us going to do in 2010 to redeem the time? I have at least one strong (and annual) suggestion along with one additional, highly recommended resource and corresponding schedule. Too much? Send all complaints to Tim Challies (firstname.lastname@example.org?). He will find time to read them.