Friday Favorites – Jennifer’s Favorite Books & Authors

woman reaching for books on shelf
Jennifer's Friday Favorites child reading

Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

My mom used to read “Artie and the Princess” to me while I took a bath. Artie is this cute little dragon who befriends Princess Pandy. The pictures are wonderful, and I secretly loved Artie and wanted to be his friend. I think that’s where my love of books began. Today I want to share some of my favorite grown-up books and authors with you!

Woman of God by James Patterson book

Woman of God

James Patterson – almost everyone knows his name. He is a prolific writer, and he’s even in the Guinness Book of World Records. I’ve read all of his Women’s Murder Club books, many of his Alex Cross series, all of his standalones…you get the picture.

The novel that had a real impact on me is quite different than you might expect from JP. Woman of God, published in 2016, touched my Catholic roots deeply. I highly recommend all of Patterson’s books and this one in particular.

Redeeming Love

I used to have a book club that turned into a lunch club, which was fine until everyone either moved or got a job. Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love was one of the first books we read. It’s a love story but not like one you’ve read before. It’s a fictional retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea from the Bible. Believer or not, you will feel this book deeply, I promise.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers book
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin book

The Mountain Between Us

Have you seen the movie, “The Mountain Between Us?” It’s based on the book by Charles Martin. His books have strong characters; many metaphors; plenty of deep meaning. These are not light books! I need some time after reading one of them before I pick up another. Lots to process but very good storytelling.

Cemetery Road

I totally “fan-girled” (is that still a thing?) this year when I got to meet Greg Iles! He is an amazing storyteller and a talented guitarist. Did you know he’s in a band with Stephen King? Yep, I was impressed too!

Back to his books – his main character, Penn Cage, is in a series of books. All are great, but read them in order. His newest standalone, Cemetery Road, is super! I have a signed copy (sorry, I won’t share). When you look him up, read his bio. He’s had an interesting life and it lends authenticity and true depth to his writing.

I read anything he writes. He’s that good.

Jen Dodrill with Greg Iles with book
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult book

Nineteen Minutes

The wonderful Jodi Picoult. Almost all of her books are favorites. I loved “Leaving Time” which is about elephants and the mother/daughter relationship. Very unique.

But her novel “Nineteen Minutes” is what spurred me on to homeschooling. This book is about a school shooting and jumps straight from the headlines. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. What made me decide to homeschool was the bullying that I saw taking place, even to my own kids. For some reason that was my takeaway from the book.


I have multiple authors I always read. Here’s a shortlist: Lisa Jewell, Lisa Scottoline, Ruth Ware, Harlan Coben, David Baldacci, Leigh Perry, Phillip Margolin, Barbara Delinsky, Anita Shreve, Liane Moriarty, John Grisham. I could go on, but I think this gives you a place to start!

Do you love to read? What’s your favorite book, or who is your favorite author? I can’t wait to hear what books you love!


***For more books and reading, check out our MilMB Book Club!***

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Jennifer Dodrill
Jen Dodrill is a Navy brat from a long line of Navy brats. Born in Virginia, she moved to the Florida panhandle in 6th grade. After vowing to never date a Navy guy, she moved to Nashville, TN where she met and fell in love with Eddie who was - you guessed it - in the delayed-entry-program for the Navy. They met in June, married the following February, and over 35 years later are still sweethearts. They moved back to West Tennessee in 2008 after his retirement. Jen stayed home to raise their 5 kids, and she homeschooled the youngest three. The “baby” graduated in 2020, but Jen refuses to bow to empty-nest syndrome! She teaches Oral Communication as an adjunct instructor for Dyersburg State Community College and blogs at Jen Dodrill History at Home. Jen also writes curriculum under History at Home at TeachersPayTeachers and Boom Learning! When she’s not working, she’s spending time with her kids and adorable granddaughters. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and her favorite place – Pinterest! You can also visit her site "History at Home" at