So Many Books, So Little Time

Once upon a time, I was a voracious reader. Maybe not as much as some people, but I did a pretty good job of ripping through anywhere between four to eight books a month. Though come to think of it, that could be a conservative number because I remember reading as many as four or five books in a week. There was even a time when I read an entire book in one day and immediately started on the next book in the series.

It was an addiction and one I’m not sorry for. Did I ignore my family? Yes. Did household chores go undone? Absolutely. Were the people I was responsible for left to fend for themselves at times? Most definitely. Do I apologize for it? Nope. I was enriching my mind, even when it was a “fluffy Regency romance.” Like the tee-shirt says, “I read and I know things.” Sure, they’re probably things no one else cares about. But they come in handy whilst watching Jeopardy sometimes.

But then I got cancer and chemobrain made concentration hard. I would have to read the same paragraph over and over just to retain what it said. So I stopped reading. And when I did start reading again, I had lost the passion for it. I did good to read four to eight books in an entire year. According to Pew Research, the average American reads 12 books a year, which meant I was less than average. [Insert self-deprecating humor here.]

I am overjoyed to report that I seem to be getting my reading mojo back! I made a goal on Good Reads to read 24 books this year. But then some people (aka, Todd) said I was cheating when I counted two books I had started in December, but finished in January, so I changed my goal to 26. So far I’ve read 21 books, which puts me six books ahead of schedule.

I’m not below average anymore!!

Like my music, my book tastes are very eclectic. Frankly, I just like a good story – romance, paranormal, mystery, dark and disturbing or sweet and silly. I like it all.

Here are the books I’ve read so far:

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

A quick and easy read, but I wasn’t a fan of the end.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

Historical non-fiction that was as fascinating as it was long. I learned all kinds of useless, but interesting things.

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

Taking place in the post-Civil War Wild West with real-life characters, it’s kind of a prequel to Jurassic Park.

First Comes Scandal (Rokesbys #4) by Julia Quinn

No, I didn’t just jump on the Julia Quinn train since Bridgerton. I’ve been riding the train for over 15 years and have read everything she’s ever written. This is probably one of my least favorites of her books, however, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Everything she writes is fun.

Below Them the Horizon by Laura Allnutt

This debut novel by a friend of a friend was superbly written and I couldn’t stop reading. I can hardly wait to see what she writes next.

A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3) by Deanna Raybourn

I read Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Gray series years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. A friend suggested I would like her Veronica Speedwell books even more and she wasn’t wrong.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

The thought that this book was based on a true story is heart breaking. It’s hard to believe this kind of thing went on.

A Virtuous Ruby (Migrations of the Heart #1) by Piper Huguley

I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I kind of know Piper. And I’ve read several of her books – all of which are enjoyable and educational at the same time. This series takes place in the South at the beginning of the 20th century. But post abolition didn’t mean equality for sure. I’m looking forward to reading about Ruby’s sisters.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors. She does a great job of bringing the story to life, like you’re watching a movie.

The Three Mrs. Greys (Three Mrs. Greys #1) by Shelly Ellis

When I read this book, I didn’t realize it was the first book in a series. It ends on a major cliffhanger and now I’m wishing I would have waited until the series was done. Guess I’ll just have to read it again.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

“Yikes” is what comes to mind when I think of this book. Just yikes. That’s all I’ve got. Well, that and I’m looking forward to reading more of Colleen Hoover.

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

I read this book on recommendation of Beth Moore because of the Arkansas connection. It’s sweet and sad and funny and angering and I’m glad I read it.

False Security by Angela Ruth Strong

I met Angela years ago through a message board for Deanna Gist, before she was a legit writer. It’s been fun watching her success flourish (one of her books, Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana, is even going to be a movie!). Her books are fun and sassy and she has a series about coffee so you know I’m all about that.

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn

I’m starting to slow down on this series because there are only six books so far. Number seven comes out next year so I need to pace myself.

Strongheart: The Lost Journals of May Dodd and Molly McGill (One Thousand White Women, #3) by Jim Fergus

Years ago I read the first book in this series, One Thousand White Women. It blew my mind because it was based on the historical fact that the US government made a deal with the Cheyenne to trade 1,000 white women for 1,000 horses. It’s true. And it’s as crazy as it sounds. And the series is very, very good.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

How many book clubs last over 30 years? The AHEB book club did and the telling of it is funny and poignant and relatable.

Ursula Spark and the Fourth Frankenstein by Cole Smith

This is a kids’ book, but it was written by my friend and I’m so glad I read it. I highly recommend it for pre-teens and teenagers. (And those of us who sometimes act as such.)

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

One of my favorite types of books are those that have a contemporary and historical element. Two stories of different time periods interacting with each other. The ending left me a little underwhelmed, but overall, I really liked the book.

Sweet Tea by Piper Huguley

After reading a book about women poisoning men, this book was a really nice departure. It made me homesick for the South and thirsting for some honest to goodness Southern sweet tea. Also, there’s a recipe in the back for biscuits and sausage gravy, which, funny enough, Todd made sausage gravy the morning I was finishing the book. I showed him the recipe in Piper’s book and he approved. It’s pretty much exactly how he makes his. And the love story makes you go, “Awwww.”

A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell, #5) by Deanna Raybourn

I don’t know what else to say, other than I adore Veronica and Stoker. They’re perfect for each other.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This book was dark and yet so funny in a very dry humor sort of way. It was interesting to me because it takes place in Laos, Nigeria so I got to see a little bit of life in a country I’ve never read about in a novel. I even learned some Nigerian phrases. I mean, I’ve already forgotten them, but it was kind of cool. And this one left me smacking my head, but not that that’s a bad thing.

I’m not currently reading anything, but hope to figure out what book 22 is going to be by the end of the day.


  1. Donna on August 11, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Have you read any by Ted Dekker? His circle series is my favorite of all time. I think it goes – Black, Red, White and last book Green. I have loved most of his books!
    Definitely writing down some of your titles for my reference 😃😳

    • Jenster on August 11, 2021 at 12:08 am

      I need to add him to my wish list. I read him years ago and really enjoyed his books. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. terrillr on August 14, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I’ll have to check out some of these. I did read Before We Were Yours, and another Lisa Wingate book – Book of Lost Friends. It was good too, I think I liked it better than the other.

    • Jenster on August 14, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      I’ll have to add that book to my list! Thanks!

Leave a Reply