I Just Read Three Books in One Week!

Aphasia sucks! Reading sucks, and then I learned to do it right.


This week I read three books, “Nora Goes Off Script” by Annabel Monaghan, “Book Lovers” by Emily Henry, and “The Last Train to Key West” by Chanel Cleeton. I hadn’t read three books in a week since I had a stroke.


It started this week because my wife, Becky, told me about going to the Cape Cod luncheon hosted by Where the Sidewalk Ends. She had read the book by Natalie Jacobson, “Every Life A Story.” My wife did not read the other two books but told me about Annabel Monaghan and her book. The three authors talked about their books.


My wife said that Annabel Monaghan was funny. Annabel was sick in bed during 2019 and spent all her time watching Hallmark movies. After the first movie, Annabel watched another one and became addicted. Then she realized it was the same story each time – it lasts for two hours, with small towns, independent hardware or baker, and shiny people. “It was cupcakes in Chicago, and then it was about a ballet in Akron.” She became interested in the Hallmark movies, which became the geniuses of the book “Nora Goes Off Script.”


The book is about Nora, a writer who made movies at Christmas, “an eighty-minute TV movies with a well-timed break in the action to make room for the forty minutes of commercials.”


“My superpower is methodically placing a man and woman in the same shiny town, populated by unusually happy people with maddening small problems. They bristle at first and then fall in love. It’s all smiles until one of them leaves, but then comes back immediately after the commercial break. Every. Single. Time.”


Since I had the stroke and with my aphasia, I spent a lot of time watching Hallmark movies, and I loved “Nora Goes Off Script.” Hallmark stories want to hear cheerful stories. Or maybe my brain lost words about crime, suspense, drama, mystery, and thriller. Aphasia seems to work with romance or rom-Coms.


Once I finished this book, I looked for another one to read. I found a romance on Kindle and “Book Lovers” by Emily Henry. It is about a female book agent and a male editor. Of course, you figure out what happens.


These two stories interested me because they discuss people wanting to write books. I want to write a book, but it will be hard for me to write a book about aphasia. I want it to be fiction.


The next book I read was “The Last Train to Key West” by Chanel Cleeton, which was different from the previous two books. “The Last Train to Key West” has romance, but it also has some history that was non-fiction. It was about a 1935 storm in Key West, where many soldiers returned from the war.


After two years since I had read books before my stroke, it finally felt good to read again.


Before I had the stroke, I read a lot of books in May 2020. I read seven books by the author, C. J. Box. The protagonist is Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden. There are twenty-three books, and I have read all of them.


After the stroke, aphasia makes it difficult to read. I started listening to Audible books but could not keep track of all the characters and stories. When I started reading the books, I had trouble reading about all the characters and keeping them in place.


After two years, I realize that reading the book AND hearing the book on Audible is fun.

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