It’s That Time of Year Again

Going over what is in my To Be Read pile

I usually start the new year with a pile of books that I can’t wait to read, but 2022 is a little bit different. I’m starting out the year with a pile of books that are to be read – that have been there for quite some time.

At the end of 2021 I hit a reading rut. I had created a decent habit of reading a little bit every night at bedtime. It would calm me and settle me down. And then I stopped. I’d read here and there. I’ve been working on the same book since September, maybe August.

It’s very sad.

I tend to go in reading phases. I’ll knock 60 books out in a year. Or, before 2017 when I started tracking my reading, I’d gone YEARS without picking up a book. I don’t want to get back to that – not reading at all – so a goal of mine for 2022 is to make it a good habit once again.

The books I have in that dusty pile from 2021 are:

Essence by Mandi Lynn

This is the first of Mandi Lynn’s books I’ve read and I truly do love it. I feel bad that my “reading rut” hit while I was in the midst of this one. The book tells the story of Amelia (Emma) who dies and becomes and Essence and her journey of learning that that means.

Mandi is a self published author that I look up to and admire. I found her on YouTube and grabbed this book off her website. I hope I can dig out of this rut so I can finish this and move on to more of her books. Her writing grips you in the moment and her book cover design is epic!

Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine

This is the last book in the Stillhouse Lake Series by Rachel Caine. I’ve had this book in this pile since it released in March 2021. The author passed away before this was released, so it’ll be the last book in the series. I hate goodbyes and endings, so knowing there will be no more is going to be a hard pill to swallow. The series follows Gina Royal and her fight to seperate herself and her children from the horrendous acts of her ex-husband and his psychotic followers. It’s a fantastic read and an absolute page turner. Once I’ve read the entire series, It’s one I see myself reading over again to relive the suspense. It’s that good.

Breakthrough by Joyce Smith (also released as The Impossible)

This one is based on a true story and has been made into a movie, which I’ve seen already. I’m a sucker for a good true story. This one is heart wrenching. Joyce Smith tells the story of her son who fell through the ice of a pond and essentially died and was resurrected. It’s a faith based read as well, so if that’s not your thing, skip it, but otherwise, I’m really looking forward to this one. The movie was great but I feel like the book on which the true stories are based have just a little bit more information and meat in them.

Craven Manor by Darcy Coates

I have lists of books everywhere that I want to read, and this one has been on that list for a while. It’s been in this dang to be read pile nearly all of 2021. As I’m typing this, I can’t even remember the premise of the book, but it’s got to do with a rotting, old, probably haunted mansion and that’s right up my alley. Creepy, huge old houses falling apart with some kind of marred history. Yes, Please. I can’t wait for this one!

Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray

This was a Christmas gift so it’s on the top of that 2021 pile. I felt like I’ve read a Sarah Wray novel before, but I can’t find it in all my lists, so I guess not. The author just seems so familiar. I’m not positive what this one is about either since it was a gift, but it sounds great by the tag line. Would I do anything to save my Best Friend? I’d like to think so … or would I?

There they are, the first five books for 2022 (or the 2021 leftovers, however you want to look at it). The thought of reading is starting to feel exciting again so I’m praying these don’t end up on a 2023 list.


Early 2021 TO READ List

Now that we are almost two months into 2021, I thought I’d share my to read list, as of right now.

At the end of 2020, I began reading the Harry Potter series. I’ve seen the movies countless times and even started reading the series once, but never got all the way through. Now, I’m determined.

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

Right now I’ve made it through the first five books of the series and I’m currently reading Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. Next up is The Deathly Hallows and I’ll have finished this entire series! The books track the movies pretty closely, but do have various differences, which is fun and unexpected. I love the series – I really love the movies. I’m not sure if the book series is something I’d read again, but you never know. I won’t lie; it’s kind of nice knowing what happens. Sometimes the anticipation of “what’s going to happen” in a book sets my anxious nerves on edge.

I got quite a few books for Christmas that are stacked up and waiting to be read. Most were off of my Amazon wish list. I don’t know a lot about them yet, but I’m excited to get into them.

I read Kathryn Croft’s Silent Lies last year and found it pretty interesting. It had been sitting my wish list for a while and I finally grabbed it. Totally loved it. I added her book The Warning afterward and got it as a gift. Once I find an author I really enjoy, I like to grab a couple of their works and see what I think. This book sounds like it may follow a similar style as to the first book of hers that I read, so I’m intrigued to see how it goes.

Another book on my Amazon Wish List that sat that for quite some time was Lucy Dawson’s The Memory. I think it’s been on my list for a couple of years. I don’t think I ‘ve read anything of hers before, so I’m looking forward to see what kind of style writer she is and if I enjoy the story. Anything that I can get dropped into is fun for me. I’ve looked up her other works and they seem like good reads as well. I’ll see how this first one goes and then decide. But I know me. I’ll probably love it. I have a habit of pain stakingly picking an author and then loving everything they’ve ever done (with a few exceptions).

I grabbed Broken Girls by Simone St. James off of It had been on my Amazon Wish List as well, but I could never decide if I wanted to pull the trigger and read it. I’ve never read anything by this author so I just wasn’t sure. I added it onto a TB order on a whim and it’s sitting waiting to be read. I get anxious reading authors for the first time, so I hope I enjoy it. Like I’ve mentioned before, I do tend to fall in love with whatever I read, but sometimes I get disappointed in the story. Or worse, I can’t finish the dang book at all. Thankfully, that has only happened once or twice.

Now, onto two nonfiction books. I gravitate to fiction, but I honestly love true crime books and true stories as well. If it’s got some adversity, I want to feel that pain with you. These two books, His Bright Light and Almost Perfect were on my wish list as well. I don’t remember how I stumbled across these book. I’ve always been drawn to true crime and true life stories – how did this awful thing happen and why? I just have to know! I’m a sucker for these types of shows on television as well. I’ve watched reruns of Unsolved Mysteries and Disappeared more times than I can count. These two books fall into these categories and I think I’m most excited to read them.

The last book on my list is a bit sentimental. It’s the last book in Shirly Murphy’s Joe Grey series, Cat Chase the Moon. The series is about Joe Grey – he’s a talking cat who helps solve crimes with other talking cats and their human counterparts. My friend Jeanne got me started with this series many years ago and I fell in love with it. This book is sentimental for a few reasons. Jeanne passed away in 2019 so we never got the chance to read this one together. It’s also the last in the series because Mrs. Murphy has been unable to continue writing. It’s rather heart breaking that there won’t be any more Joe Grey adventures. This is a series I’ll read again and again. It’s fun and adventurous and holds a special place in my heart.

My Goodreads goal is to read 30 books this year, so at some point I’ll post additional books, but this will get 2021 started. Good reading, everyone!