Breaking out of a Reading Slump

Anytime anyone asks me what I like to do in my free time or what my hobbies are my first answer is always reading. I also mention that I really enjoy movies, music, baking and dancing. But really, and truly my favorite way to spend an hour or two on a day off is on my couch, with my cats and a book.

My mother is a big fan of “Little House on the Prairie” and so she used the McGuffey Readers to teach me how to read when I was about 4 years old. For as long as I can remember books have always been my constant companion. I remember falling in love with Charlotte’s Web and A Wrinkle in Time and reading them over and over.

I find a weird joy in telling people who say “I don’t read much” or “I think I only read one book last year” that I read multiple books a week. The decor in my home revolves around my books. I regularly fall asleep reading a book. I keep two books in my car (paperbacks I have read) just in case I run into a situation and I need to pass sometime. Long line in the grocery store, costco, the bank? No problem, I’ve got the kindle app on my phone.

Last fall something terrible happened to me. I hit an absolute reading slump. For about two months I couldn’t get excited about reading. I couldn’t decide what book to read and when I would start a book I wouldn’t finish it. I spent a lot of time on my phone aimlessly surfing the internet or watching a ton of instagram stories.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Last year was the second year I hosted and cooked for my family. That night, after loading the dishwasher, I made up my mind to try and read through some of the Book of the Month books I own but had not yet read. I pulled a couple off the shelf and paged through them, started two, changed my mind, and then started Lies She Told by Cate Holahan.

Once I started it, I could not put it down. At first I thought, let me read about 100 pages. Page 100 came and went and I was still reading. I did not put that book down until I was finished. I loved every word, but most of all, I loved the thrill of reading a good book, a book I did not want to put down, and finishing that book.

Over that weekend, I read three more books. And I’ve been back to my 2-3 books a week pace. I am spending next to no time on my phone, aimlessly surfing the internet. And the only time I spent on instagram is with Books with PIP!

  • THE BOOK: Lies She Told
  • THE AUTHOR: Cate Holahan
  • PIP! SAYS: 4.5 Paws

Imagine you had a month to write the book that would revive your failing career. What would you write about? How much of your life would find its way o the pages?

This is the exact situation Liza Cole finds herself in. Her personal life is crumbling around her. Her husband, consumed with a personal crisis, is less and less interested in Liza and the life she wants for them. Her professional life is in ruins, and she is forced to write a book on a tight deadline, a book that must meet all of her publisher’s requirements and turn her career around. The main character of this book is a woman named Beth.

Lies She Told tells both women’s stories in alternating chapters. Liza and Beth each narrate their own chapters. But Beth’s words are Liza’s. How much of Liza’s story has found its way into Beth’s?

This book is well plotted and well paced. I kept reading, page after page, because I was so invested in each woman’s story. Would Liza and her husband work things out? Would Liza be able to finish the book on time? What would Liza write next?

One of my favorite things about reading thrillers is paying attention to the details and trying to “figure out” what the big twist is. I was able to guess the twist in one part of the story. The other was such a shock I immediately went back into the book to see what I missed.

Both parts of the book are equally compelling and when I was finished I wanted to read more. More of Liza’s story and the rest of the book she is writing.

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