Help, my books have taken over the house

…So I need to add on a room!

By Jeff Salter

It’s New Year’s Eve so I really feel I should say at least something about the year that ends tonight and the one which begins after midnight. But that’s not our topic, so if you’re interested in my notions about resolutions – and other aspects of new years – please check out this link to my NY post for start of 2013 (which also flashes back to NY 2012)

But our topic this week is about those TBR (to be read) lists – or, for some of us, actual physical piles of books – which we’ve either bought or want to buy — but somehow have not yet found time to read.

To explain what composes most of my TBR, I need to back up some 15-17 years ago when I joined the History Book Club and the Military Book Club. That was really dangerous, because they made hardcover books so affordable that I could not pass up the titles that interested me. Their regular offerings were tempting enough, but they’d also have frequent sales, like three hardcovers for $33 (with free shipping). And when they really wanted to nail me, they’d offer FOUR hardcovers for $40 (with free shipping). Folks, I developed an entire library of military and history books! [[[ I guess I should stop here and explain that my main hobby – after I had to give up golf – was collecting and displaying military gear. So, in a real sense, these books were part of my research. ]]]


Rick Atkinson

Anyway, over the several years I was enrolled in HBC and MBC, I amassed quite a collection. I’ve read many of them, of course, but have two high stacks of others that I want to read. It would take days to type all the titles, so let me – for the purposes of today’s blog – just mention one particular set – the Liberation Trilogy by Rich Atkinson. I read the first of these – on America’s involvement in the North Africa campaign of WW2 – and was hooked. As soon as the other two titles became available, I snapped them up. They are quite lengthy, so it’s not something I want to read in bits and pieces — I want a long, uninterrupted weekend to tackle each one!


Bill Bryson

Another author – totally unconnected to my military hobby – also specializes in history (at times) but nearly everything he writes is also quite humorous. I stumbled upon his work when my daughter loaned me a book her sister-in-law had loaned her. As I read “A Walk in the Woods” – now a motion picture with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte – I laughed until I cried. That led me to read some five or six other Bryson titles and that’s hardly half of the ones he’s published. So, naturally, I want to carve out the time to read the others. Some are in my Mom’s collection, so I can borrow them whenever I wish.

My colleagues

I have purchased – or, sometimes, won in drawings – numerous books (mostly digital format) from friends, colleagues, or other acquaintances in the very broad (and often misunderstood) array which some folks find easier to label as ROMANCE. Some are possibly similar to what you might expect by that category, but most of these friends, colleagues, and acquaintances have written and published stories that are so much more than conventional wisdom imagines “romance” to include. There is depth of character, richness of plot, freshness of approach, and – in many cases – creative blends of multiple genres.

Of course, I’ve already read many of these, but have hundreds more stacked up to read — when I find time. From those I have already read, I can tell you these authors are VERY talented!


What about you? Got any special title or titles that you’ve been hankering to read?

[JLS # 260]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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14 Responses to Help, my books have taken over the house

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Those book clubs are dangerous, aren’t they? I belonged to one once and soon had more books than I could ever read in my lifetime. I finally had to admit defeat and donate most of them to the library sale. As you mentioned, now that I know so many authors I want to read what they write, so I’ve been focusing on the works by friends and online acquaintances. Maybe we’ll have a few snow days to get caught up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Definitely dangerous. After a few years of both clubs, I dropped the history club. A couple of years later, I dropped the Military club. Money got tighter and I’d already realized they were piling up faster than I could read them.


  2. Helen Pollard says:

    I absolutely love Bill Bryson, Jeff. He is very funny, but as you say, he is also very interested in weird and wonderful facts, so I learn something as I read. Best of both worlds!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      I can’t recall all the Bryson titles I’ve read, but my favorite so far — besides Walk in the Woods — is Thunderbolt Kid. I also enjoyed the one about Shakespeare and the one about him retracing his continental tour of some 20 yrs prior.
      The one I most want to read NEXT is about the Summer of 1927.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Pollard says:

        I loved Walk in the Woods and was in stitches over the Thunderbolt Kid. There was an older one – maybe The Lost Continent – that my husband actually had to take away from me because I was pregnant and he was worried all the laughing would bring on an early birth! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        Between my mom and I we have at least a dozen. I’m eager to catch up with the few I haven’t read yet. I struggle to recall all the titles I’ve read, but I’ll know when I examine the book.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jbrayweber says:

    Nice post, Jeff.
    I, too, have a hearty TBR list. But quite frankly, I expect it to get longer. Too many greats out there and I want to read them all. See, I’m also a freelance editor. Most of my “extra” reading comes from, well, work. But now that I have scaled back some other responsibilities, maybe I can find that extra time to tic off and enjoy the books on my list.

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have so many books,I have been thinning them out by 30-40 at a time and still have only made a dent.Many, many are on my tbr list, and my tablet grows fat with ebooks! Happy New Year!


  5. Bill Bryson sounds like an author I would enjoy. I think I’m going to go in search of his books to see what interests me.
    Happy New Year Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      some of his titles are hilarious, while others are interesting with bits of humor.
      Depending on your mood, you may want to seek one or the other.


  6. Pingback: I Wish I May, I Wish I Might | Four Foxes, One Hound

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