True Life: I'm Addicted To Books. I am a huge nerd when it comes to them. The majority of my evenings are spent reading, and when I'm not reading I'm thinking about ways I can sneak off to get a few pages in. I don't go anywhere without my Kindle.
So I decided that every few months I'm going to post some of my favorite recently read books. My lists won't always be this long, but since this is the first one I had to cover my recommendations from the past 7 months (my favorite books of all time might come later). There is a variety of genres, as I am always all over the place with what I'm reading.
If you EVER have any recommendations or want to talk books HIT ME UP. And if you have a Goodreads account go ahead and give me a little friend request lovin'. Happy reading!
THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah
If you have not read this book yet, drop everything you're doing and get to it. The story of two very different sisters in France during World War II when their home town is overrun by Germans. I cannot speak highly enough about it. It has been added to my list of all-time favorite books.
A KIM JONG-IL PRODUCTION by Paul Fischer
(True story) This book fascinated me! The true story of Kim Jong-Il's kidnapping of South Korea's most famous actress and her movie producer ex-husband. I have a newfound interest in the strange, corrupt and flat out ridiculous world of North Korea and the Kim family.
THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by Erik Larson
(True story) Another intriguing read. I found this book so very interesting, although a little bit slow at times. I loved learning about the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and getting a look inside the mind of one of the first famous serial killers. An added bonus: a movie is being made starring LEO as this serial killer, H. H. Holmes.
11/22/63 by Stephen King
This was my first Stephen King novel to read, and it did not disappoint. They made this book into a miniseries on Hulu this year and it didn't do the book justice in the slightest. If you didn't watch the miniseries, give this book a try! It is looooong but incredibly worth it. I couldn't put it down! About a man who goes through a time-travel portal to try to stop the assassination of President JFK.
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE by Margaret Leroy
I unintentionally find myself reading a lot of books that take place in France during World War II (All The Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, The Solider's Wife) and falling in love with all of them. I would have thought these kinds of books would bore me, but they have easily become some of my favorites. Although this book is not as high on my list as The Nightingale, I really enjoyed it the whole way through.
FEARLESS by Eric Blehm
(True story) I am mesmerized by Navy SEALs. I can't help it, they fascinate me and I love reading about them. They are complete super-humans and true heroes. Fearless is about Navy SEAL Adam Brown, member of SEAL team SIX, and his sacrifice in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, as well as his faith, family, love, passion and bravery. A beautiful story of an incredible man.
WINTER GARDEN by Kristin Hannah
After reading The Nightingale, I had to read another book by author Kristin Hannah. And wow I get wrapped up in her books. Her storytelling is beautiful. I loved Winter Garden. The book switches between two settings - Washington in the early 2000s and St. Petersburg, Russia in the late 1930s-early 40's during Stalin's rise to power and the German invasion. This was another book that I thought might bore me after reading the plot, but I gave it a try and could not put it down for a second.
REDEEMING LOVE by Francine Rivers
How have I not read this before now? A beautiful, classic story that will be a repeat read for me every few years. About a woman who was sold into prostitution as a child who meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks the Lord's heart in everything and obey's His call to marry this woman and love her unconditionally, to her dismay and heart of hatred.
NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
(True story) An unbelievable story about the author's experience as a 15 year old boy with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944-45, at the height of the Holocaust. This was very difficult to read (lots of tears), but highly recommended.
WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi
(True story) A moving memoir by a young, brilliant neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis at the age of 36.
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME by Ron Hall
(True story) Again, HOW have I not read this before now?? It pains me that this story has not been in my life longer. An absolute must read about a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s who escaped, hopped a train and wandered homeless on the streets of Dallas for 18 years. Meeting a wealthy Dallas couple through the voice of God, this is the emotional story of their unlikely relationship and incredible Godly bond.
JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson
(True story) I loved this book - a powerful story about a young lawyer defending a wrongly-convicted African American man charged for murder and sentenced to death row. An inspiring novel!
FOOL ME ONCE by Harlan Coben
I always love a good, quick thriller. This will satisfy your suspense-itch and you'll breeze through it in no time.
I'm going to apologize for posting two prosciutto-wrapped recipes in a row. But then I'm going to take it back because prosciutto is awesome.
I was watching one of Giada's cooking shows the other day and she was making prosciutto-wrapped scallops that looked scrumptious, which sparked my need to try out some of my own. I love this combination because the crispiness and saltiness of the prosciutto works so well with the tender scallop meat. And the pesto adds a delicious kick. You can serve these with anything, but I plated mine over a bed of arugula topped with lemon-parmesan quinoa. I'll include all of it below. From prep to plate, this meal only took about 30 minutes, and you can pretend you're super fancy (even though it's almost effortless). Enjoy!
For the scallops:
For the quinoa and arugula: