For as long as I can remember, I've loved to read. My first book, Pog Climbs Mount Everest, held my attention for hours on end, so that I'd read the same twenty pages over and over until someone pried the book out of my hands. Once I'd progressed past picture books, I was known to hide whatever I was reading at the time under my covers, hoping to sneak it past my mom's gaze and read into the early hours of the morning.
Fast forward a few years, and somewhere along the way between my adolescence and adulthood, I lost this love of reading. I saw reading as a chore, a pointless endeavor that bored me or sometimes literally put me to sleep. In college, most of the reading I completed was mandatory and academic in nature; but I missed the days of reading for pleasure's sake alone.
Now, at age 23, I'm embarking on a new mission to read at least one book per month.
Starting with August 2016, I'm hoping to read books that fulfill a few different criteria.
First, I want to be very flexible with what I read. I have a lot of books sitting on my bookshelves that I haven't read yet, but rather than decide on specific order in advance, I'll choose each book in the moment. I'll also allow myself to stop reading one book and begin another if the first one doesn't feel right.
Second, I want to constantly be learning something new (and actually retain it). Most of the books I plan on reading relate to urban planning, policy, race and justice issues, housing, or something relevant to that field. Some, however, have nothing to do with these areas (like this biography of Queen Victoria of which I've heard great things, for example).
In an effort to compile a list to start off with, I did a some research. After a few extensive Googling sessions, I've come up with a few dozen books that I think will teach me a lot about the world, about cities, and about how humans interact.
I'll be making changes and additions to this over time, so bear with me while I tweak and edit. And if you have any books to add or suggestions to make -- or if you have a copy that you don't mind lending me -- please let me know!