two books this week

Most weeks, I average reading one or two books a week. I know to some that may seem rather extreme, but honestly….I read whenever I can! I read at stoplights, I read while eating lunch, I read while working behind the desk at the studio, I read before bed, I read when Adam works late and if I’m lucky, I read for an hour right when I wake up in the morning (my favorite time read while sipping my tea in bed)!

So yeah…I read a lot.

This past week, I read two AMAZING books, the first being Drowning Ruth. Again, why did it take me so long to read this?! It pretty much has my name written all over it. I especially loved that the book was set in Milwaukee in the early 1900’s! My mom’s whole side of the family is from there and I recognized some of places written about. The descriptions were so juicy and well-written that it really made me feel like I was there. If you love epic novels about dark family secrets, you will love Drowning Ruth.

The only time I put it down was when my kindle fell into the lake.

But then I ran right to the library to get another copy so I could finish it! And then I bought a new kindle. Sigh.

I saw the movie when it came out in the late ’90s but didn’t even think of reading the book until it popped up on Goodreads last week as something I would like. Aaaaand….I loved it! It drew me in from the first page and reminded me of a Jodi Picoult novel. Once I started, I seriously had issues putting it down and finally finished it only an hour ago while eating lunch.

Even if you saw the movie, READ THIS! Books are always so much better than movies, anyway. Duh. Plus, it’s the book that made Oprah decide to start her infamous Book Club! I know some people have issues with Oprah’s Book Club but really? I love it. The only novel I didn’t really like that she picked was Middlesex. Couldn’t get into it. Other than that, I’ve always loved OBC picks.

Are you on Goodreads yet? It’s sorta addicting!

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  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    July 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for the book recommendations! I may have to go get these from the library or borrow my fiance’s kindle.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg
    July 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I’m looking into Goodreads now! I too love to read — usually an hour or so before bed for me!

  • jenna
    July 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    i always want to read drowing ruth but for some reason never picked it up…..

    I want to thank you so much for your suggestion of Gap Creek last week! πŸ™‚ I finally decided to read past chapter 2 and I love it now. can’t stop reading it.

  • Kara
    July 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    most of the time you post a review, i immediately open goodreads to add it to my to-read shelf! though we have sort of different taste, i think i’ll be adding these two!

  • Cait's Plate
    July 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve never even heard of Goodreads but I love the sound of it πŸ™‚

    You DO read a lot – I’m impressed. If I did this I think I’d have a book a month. Haha. But keep ’em coming, I’m writing them all down!

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness
    July 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you so much for your reading suggestions – I’m amazed (and in awe) of how fast you are able to devour your books! I take such a long time to read a book – when reading during the day I feel like I should be working/doing something else, and when I read at night I doze off really fast! πŸ˜› But i do love seeing your book recommendations…will have to look these up! xyx

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness
    July 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    PS: I loved the movie The Deep End of the Ocean – loved it! It was so moving and such an amazing story. So I shall HAVE to read this one…how interesting about it inspiring and bringing about Oprah’s Book Club! Nice little tit bit of information, that! πŸ™‚ xyx

  • Barbara
    July 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Just finished the American Heiress…. best book I have read in a long time!

  • Mollie
    July 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I was so glad to see you joined Goodreads! Your suggestions are always so great. (I just started The Murderer’s Daughters and I’m already sucked in!) Have you read Mudbound? I just finished it and it was phenomenal. Something about it reminded me of The Kitchen House, only 100 or so years later. It’s a must-read!

  • Maria
    July 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Drowing Ruth is one on my favorite books!!!!!! And I also love that it was set in Milwaukee, as I am from there πŸ™‚

  • Jeni @ stepping out
    July 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    You’re not odd for reading 1-2 books a week. That’s been my average for most of my life although there have been particularly busy periods and times when I’m reading a book a day. (most of those were YA books)
    I love goodreads! I just got an iPhone and downloaded the goodreads app. It has a barcode scanner and I’ve been going a little crazy scanning in all my books. πŸ˜€

  • Robyn @ New Every Morning
    July 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I read “The Deep End of the Ocean” years ago. It truly does suck you in and make you feel the pain and wavering numbness and then hope and so many emotions!

    Your poor Kindle… πŸ™

  • Jennifer @ Jane Deere
    July 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you for the two suggestions! I’m a late bloomer when it comes to reading. I never really “got into” reading for fun {I’m a little embarrassed to say} until a couple of years ago. Reading has become one of my new loves, and like you, I love reading before bed, or really whenever I can sneak in the chance.

    These two novels sound really good…I’m going to get them both!

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)
    July 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Eeek, your reading habit is fueling MY reading habit even further, and therefore my list of “books to read” is growing far too long! I wish i could read at my work haha.

  • Erin (Travel Eat Repeat)
    July 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Once I ditched cable TV, I found myself reading so much more. Why watch mindless television when I can read a good book?

  • Julie - StressStories
    July 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    This may be weird but it’s actually really inspiring to me that you read so much! I love reading but have had a tendency to just turn on the computer and forget about the books. Which is no good as I really relax much more when I read. So back to the books it is πŸ™‚

    And thanks for the recommendations – have to try the first one at least.

    Have a great day Jenna!

  • Michelle
    July 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I am so glad to hear you couldn’t get into Middlesex either! I thought I was the only one. And since I don’t like moving on to new books until I finish the one I’ve started, it’s been keeping me from an ever growing stack that I’d much rather tackle.

    I had heard of Goodreads in the past but never checked it out. I think I will now!

  • Kate A.
    July 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I love your blog – I have never commented before – but I felt compelled today to leave a book recommendation. I also love reading (I am a librarians daughter haha) and read a ton. A book I read recently that seems right up your alley is “American Wife” by Curtis Sittenfeld. It is about a woman who becomes first lady but it begins when she is just a girl. Honestly it is a fascinating fictionalization into the life of someone so famous not by choice. It wasn’t until after I finished that I realized it was loosely based on the life of Laura Bush. You should DEFINITELY read it – I can tell that you would love it based on the other books on your blog.

  • Tina
    July 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I read Drowning Ruth years ago & loved it! I think its one of the books that started me reading again after my twins were born. I just finished Every Last One & promised I would start a happier book after an afternoon of crying! But then I started One Summer last night & I’m hoping it gets happier quickly!

  • Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories
    July 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Do you ever read in the bath? I used to do that all the time as a kid. For hours. Gotta get that reading in! πŸ˜‰

    • Marie
      July 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      Haha I did that a few nights ago and dropped my book in the water. Oops! I guess I should be glad it wasn’t a Kindle πŸ˜‰

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    July 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Funny you say that about Middlesex because it was one of the books I read recently on a reading binge. I expected to LOVE it based on the feedback I got from everyone else but it took me a long time to finish it b/c I just wasn’t that captivated. I also thought the middle/end of the book just sucked compared to the amount of attention/detail he put into the beginning. These are two OBC classics that I read a long time ago and remember loving. good choices πŸ™‚

  • Em
    July 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Ugh – since starting my Nutrition course most books I read are Nutrition style textbooks – which, nerdily enough, I love… but fiction they aren’t! Im going to get back on it this weekend!!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    July 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I was just talking about this movie with my friends! I liked the movie, so I will definitely check out the book!

  • Alex
    July 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I LOVED Middlesex!

  • Karen
    July 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I just knew you’d love Goodreads, Jenna! I’m so particular re. my taste in books that the reviews really help me vet contenders before investing in a bomb.

    I am so jealous of your speed reading skills and ability to just pick up a book at random moments. I tend to only read when I have a stretch of time, which is pretty much before I go to sleep in the evening.

    I literally just walked in the door with a copy of The Murder’s Daughters, which I plan to start tonight. Excited!!

  • Sharon
    July 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Middlesex was an amazing book. I need to read more Geoffrey Eugenides.

  • alex
    July 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I totally read at stoplights also! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one! πŸ™‚
    I loved The Deep end of the Ocean, the book much more than the movie.
    Goodreads is great!

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    July 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I just put them on hold at the library! soo many books to get through now πŸ™‚ haha
    PS- I love reading with my tea in bed! its soo soothing,….when I dont spill it all over me ( which happens alot).

  • Katie @ peacebeme
    July 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I read both of these books years ago.I really liked the second one. I’m like you, I read at least one book a week. I never go ANYWHERE without my book in my purse!

  • Alison @ Hospitality Haven
    July 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I didn’t realize that “The Deep End of the Ocean” was a book! I LOVED that movie. I’ll have to grab the book sometime!

  • Cara
    July 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Wow! You do read a lot! Maybe you should change your blog name to ..
    Eat, Live,Read! ha ha ha

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    July 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I love Oprah.

    I am not ashamed to admit that!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    July 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Yay for the new kindle! And thanks for the new “must-reads”!

  • Karis' Kitchen
    July 13, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Just signed up for Goodreads, thanks for the heads up!

  • Baking 'n' Books
    July 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Is there a lot of down-time at the studio? Do you work in exchange for free classes? They offer that at a few places around here …but you have to put in the time!

  • meghan
    July 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Dude, same here. I read every chance I get. The amount I’ve spent on books since I’ve gotten my Kindle is insane, haha. You need to check out the book, These Is My Words. It’s a total Jenna book, it reads like a diary and it’s set back in the pioneer days. You’ll love it!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    July 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for the Goodreads tip. I hadn’t even heard of it! And sorry about your Kindle. A friend of mine just suffered a similar tragedy with her Kindle…They need to make a bomber-proof version for sure!

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life
    July 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I LOVE goodreads! It is totally addicting. I swear, they lace the website with crack somehow.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    July 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Are you on Goodreads yet? It’s sorta addicting! = No, but….

    I am on Instagram and it’s HIGHLY addicting and fun. WAy more fun to me than Twitter ever has been πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the book rec’s, Jenna.

  • Jaime
    July 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I just added myself to GoodReads. This could be a very bad thing. I currently have 10 books out of the library. At any one time, I will be reading two or three books unless its something I love and then I gobble it up.

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal
    July 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I am horrible with reading lately! The only time I’ve been reading is right before bed. Too much going on between clients + conference calls + whatnot. I guess I could be reading now… πŸ˜‰

  • Kamaile
    July 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve passed these up so many times at Half Price Books, might have to pick them up. Speaking of Oprahs book club, I’ve wanted to read “This Much I Know Is True” another pick from long ago and finally started it this week. Really good!

  • Miranda
    July 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Jenna, I read just as much as you, if not more (I wish I cooked as much and as well as you) each week and so, as a fellow book lover – I will read ANYTHING – please, please read The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. That book, and the others in the series, have literally forever changed the way I read all books, for the better. You won’t regret it, I promise!

  • cathy
    July 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    i COMPLETELY forgot about ever having read “drowning ruth” til i saw the cover at the top of your post, and was like, “oh YES!!!” such a great read.
    and i totally agree that books are better than the movie. i refuse to see the movie of a book i’ve read 99% of the time.
    two books a week? i am inspired to READ MORE! my average is one every month or so!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    July 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I read ALL the time too!! It’s like a little window of peace in the middle of a hectic day!

    • shelley
      July 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      Jessica, I teach kindergarten and I try to share with our learners what a great escape a book truly can be. πŸ˜€ Sounds like you already realize that!

  • DessertForTwo
    July 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I love your book recs!
    I ordered ‘Gap Creek’ because of you and it arrived today! I can’t wait to start it-thanks again πŸ™‚

  • Emily the Lady Pastor
    July 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Jenna, your book posts always inspire me to read more! πŸ™‚ Thanks.

  • Amber
    July 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Have you read any Flannery O’Connor? Southern Gothic stories, a bit darker but truly amazing. Check it out πŸ˜‰

  • Catherine @ jig and jog
    July 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I LOVED Deep End of the Ocean. It’s one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. I have read Drowning Ruth but I don’t really remember it =X
    I just finished Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter which was excellent.

  • Jaime
    July 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Love love LOVED Deep End of the Ocean. Read it YEARS ago. I loved most, if not all of the books off her list. Good stuff. I am gonna have to check out Goodreads! πŸ™‚

  • Liz
    July 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I am so addicted to Goodreads! The second I finish a book I have to go on there & update my page πŸ˜‰ Too bad for your poor Kindle… If I’d done that to my Nook, I’d have to buy a new one immediately!

  • shannon
    July 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    are you serious that you didn’t like middlesex??? one of my favorite books ever!

    • Kamaile
      July 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      Me too! It is hard to get into at first but I didn’t want it to end.

  • megan @ blackberries for jam
    July 14, 2011 at 3:47 am

    I always look forward to your book reviews! I’ve always been an avid reader too, but ever since I got my kindle I am obsessed! Glad you found Goodreads – it is such a great resource!

  • Tina
    July 14, 2011 at 4:14 am

    You should look into getting a wtty for your Kindle through Square Trade. They’re pretty cheap (they start at $29.99) and will replace your Kindle if you have another water related incident. I have one for my nook so I never worry when I drop it or if it gets too close to the water. Plus, there are always coupons out there for 30% off. Totally worth it in my opinion!!!

    • Baking 'n' Books
      July 14, 2011 at 4:34 am

      Is the Nook similar to the Kindle? Which is “better”? The only ones I have seen in Canada sold through book stores are e-Reader “Kobo’s” – nook like things (I think?!).

      • Tina
        July 14, 2011 at 11:27 am

        The nook is the Barnes & Noble version of an e-reader. I went with the nook because I can borrow e-books from my library and download them on my nook. With the Kindle you are only able to purchase books off amazon. For me the nook was a better choice, but everyone is different. πŸ™‚

  • Kenley
    July 14, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Goodreads is great! One of my favorite things is taking it to the library to look up book reviews and i choose books a lot based on other’s reviews on Goodreads. I just added you to my review list, as I think I enjoy your book reviews as much as your creative recipe posts! πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing your creativity and ideas, Jenna! God bless! πŸ™‚

  • jane
    July 14, 2011 at 4:47 am

    i thought drowning ruth was kinda depressing!! but yes, it was very descriptive and well written. Have you read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series? I am on the 3rd and want to skip work today to finish it…..

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count
    July 14, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I love Goodreads! A friend invited me about a year ago and I love it!

    July 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

    You are really inspiring me to start reading voraciously again like I used to. I had read Drowning Ruth and Deep End years ago … Deep End always sticks in my mind as one of my all time faves. SO now you have me thinking of all the great books I have ever read … here’s one for you … I read many many years ago but it was always one that stayed in my mind … “The Riders” bu Tim Winton.
    Also, I am sure you have read “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb … but if not, please run, not walk, to get it.

  • Kristina
    July 14, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Totally on Goodreads – I love it!

  • Kristina
    July 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

    So, I am wondering if you try to vary up your reading? I definitely get in ruts or I have my favorite writers to whose work I turn, but I also will try to tackle a book that is somewhat out of “comfort” zone or that is a really difficult book to chew on, either language or style-wise. Obviously everyone has different reasons as to why they read, and I’m always curious about people’s reading tastes.

  • Ann @ Day By Day
    July 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I’m taking summer school right now and haven’t had much time at all to read which has been really sad. Normally in the summer I read multiple books a week like you. New goal: 1 hour in bed with a book each night! I think to accomplish this I’ll get in bed before I’m actually tired. I always get in bed when I’m so tired and I try to read, but that only lasts about 10 seconds… I always love your book posts!

  • Mellie
    July 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Dropping a Kindle into the lake is totally something I would do. both books look really good!

  • Heather
    July 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    First of all, I would cry and cry and cry if I dropped my Kindle in any sort of water!!!! So sad! I have Drowning Ruth on my Kindle wish list and after your recommendation I think I will have to purchase it. Also, I just love Jodi Picoult, so your comparison of Deep End of the Ocean to her is enough to make me want to read it. Thanks for the recommendations, I am a total book worm and love hearing from others like me!
    I do have to say that Middlesex is one of my very favorite books, pretty much ever. It’s definitely not a story for everyone, though. The two Wally Lamb choices in OBC are my favorite of her picks.

  • Amy
    July 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I usually judge a book on two things: whether it made me cry and whether I took it in the car with me to read at stoplights. I finished Sarah’s Key last night and let’s just say it involved a lot of both. Reading in your car is COOL! Thanks for all the recommendations. Keep ’em coming!

  • Annie-Rose
    July 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I always look forward to your book posts! And yes, I love goodreads…unfortunately I only have 3 friends so far – my other friends don’t read a ton or if they do, they don’t want to post about it. What’s wrong with them?! πŸ™‚

  • Elle
    July 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Have you seen this summer reading list from Deep South Mag?

    Being a Southern girl like myself, I think you’d enjoy a lot of the books! I just added a ton to my Goodreads account and placed some holds at the library!

  • Rebecca Hoover
    July 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I’ve read both of those books and love them. You HAVE to read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I mean you absolutely HAVE to. It was sooooo good. I’m just saying….

  • Where/When do you read? « Baking 'n' Books
    July 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    […] also wrote in that post when she squeezes in reading […]

  • shelley
    July 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Deep End of the Ocean was a good read.

    The book sits on my shelf; I often walk by it and sense that it is shouting out at me…a sublte reminder to be grateful for my daughters.

  • Evi
    July 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Goodreads is fantastic! And I love how you can find out what your friends are reading, so you get a recommendation and ideas for next books.

  • Caitlyn
    August 5, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I’ve never investigated Oprah’s Book Club but for someone like myself who could be considered “addicted to reading” I should probably check it out! I loved Middlesex and did you know the author Jeffrey Eugenides (sp?) also wrote The Virgin Suicides which was also an amazing book (and a pretty good movie??)?