The Year I Finally Hit My Reading Goal

After failing to read 20 books the previous two years, I achieved my goal in 2019.

Aaron Charles


Becoming by Michelle Obama

This book was very nearly the 20th book I read in 2018. But I finished it at 12:19 am on January 1, so it just snuck into the first spot on this year’s post.

One general reading goal of mine is to read more biographies and memoirs. It’s so fascinating to learn about the decisions and moments that helped shape the great figures in history and modern society. Michelle Obama certainly falls into that category, and her memoir was a fantastic read.

I found it especially illuminating to have a window into her decision-making process. As you might imagine with this being the memoir of a former First Lady, decisions like the ones that came with the lead up to Barack Obama’s history-making presidential run in 2008 are incredibly fascinating. But then there are other decisions — like when to make a job or career change — that I found just as fascinating. She is a powerful, ambitious woman who has achieved so much in her life. All of us can learn from the decisions she has made.

I love how her family history is so informative on her story. And, if you really think about it, can’t we all affirm that? Our family and our upbringing have so much impact on the type of people we become. It’s fascinating to see the threads of the Michelle Obama we all came to know in the public arena begin to form even at an early age.

More than anything, this book reaffirmed for me the importance of my personal story. As the title suggests, this book is very much about how we are all constantly “becoming.” Our stories are constantly being written, and our stories matter.

This was a fascinating way to begin my year of reading in 2019.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

This is a story about a specific kind of grief and the process that follows it. I can’t say that I fully empathize with the experience, because I’ve never had someone that close to me die unexpectedly.



Aaron Charles

Christ-follower. Husband to @SarahLCharles. Simple moments hold great power. Connect with me at my website: