My Top 10 Book Recommendations

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I have always loved reading and writing. Once I grew up, got out of school, and began college, reading got put on the back burner. I often question why I put something that I am so passionate about below everything else. I couldn’t find an answer. So, I am on a journey to start reading again in my adulthood– the problem: I am not really into “adult” books. (You know the self help books that everyone seems to be reading and writing lately) So, I am about to recommend my favorite books that I have read in the past couple of years (Because, I am still working on reading 2 books in a year). Most of them, are probably going to make you judge me because I know Jr. High and even elementary age kids reading the same things, but these are the books that actually make me want to read.

1.Because of Winn Dixie

This one HAD to be at the top for me. As a kid, it was one of my favorite movies and books. I re-read the book a couple of years ago and it was still just as captivating. As an adult, this one is very do-able if you have limited reading time. I was reading it for a class one semester and read the whole thing in two days.

If you are unfamiliar with the book, it is about a young girl that just moved to a different city with her dad. She finds a dog at the beginning of the book, which leads her to meet many different people. It is a heart warming novel that even a fourth grader could read if they wanted to. (Disclosure: There are some tear jerker parts of the story, but it is mostly pure joy).

2.The Lipstick Gospel

This is a great book for Christian girls that are college age. (Though it could be read by anyone and any age) It is also a quick read if you are trying to get in a habbit of reading again, this could be a great start.

Its an autobiography about a sorority girl that just went through a hard breakup. She ends up flying across the world to Europe where she meets Jesus. It is by Stephanie Mae Wilson and it is her true testimony. I could read this book over and over again and the best part is that you can get it for free on her website. Visit stephaniemaewilson.com to get the free digital download of the book.

3. The Who Was…? Book Series

Here is one of those books I said that you would judge me for recommending. I love a good biography (especially if it is about a historic figure or someone I look up to) . This series has such a great selection of biographies including Dr. Seuss, Jesus, Harriet Tubman, and Mark Twain. They were written for elementary aged students, so they are very easy to read and include all the important information, some funny facts, and illustrations. These books are right up my alley !

4.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Disclosure: I have not read Tom Sawyer yet. I am sorry. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are some of my husbands favorite books from his childhood. Last year, I wanted to get into some of the classics that I had (for some reason) never read. I figured that I’d start with these since they were so important to Cody. I started with Huck Finn because I had heard more about it, but (half way through) was teased by my husband for reading them out of order. Tom Sawyer is now on my list of must reads this year, but Huck Finn made it into my top 10.

If you are like me and never really got familiar with these books, but I’ll give you a quick summary of Huck Finn. Its about a boy that’s pretty much an orphan (his dads a drunk and only comes around when he needs money ) and his mom died. Huck gets sick of being abused by his dad and decides to run away and fake his death. He later runs into a local slave that he knows, Jim. Jim also ran away to be free. Huck decides to help Jim and they both raft down the river, where they run into lots of exciting adventures. I don’t want to ruin it too much for you, but it really is a great read!

It took me a few months to read. Although it is good, it is a bigger book and because of the way that it was written, it may take some extra time to get through the pages. If you are looking for a great book to invest some time into this one is perfect. (But maybe read Tom Sawyer first since it references it a lot.)

5.The Giver

If you have ever seen the movie, it does not do the book justice. This book is set in the future, which makes every aspect tug at my heart in someway (like, “What if this really happened?” and ” Oh my gosh! That’s pretty similar to this!!”) If you think like that too, then you will love this book. It’s more of a junior high level book, so it may take a little longer to read.

It’s about a future where you really have no choices or differences. (Skin color is not a thing, divorce is not a thing, miscarriage and infertility is not a thing, and poverty is not a thing. ) The government has found systematic ways to get rid of all of these things. (It goes into more detail in the book as to how this started and why the world is this way)

In the book, everyone is assigned their jobs. Some people are nurses, some are teachers, ect.The main character is a boy named Jonah. It takes place around his 12th birthday, which is the age that everyone receives their assignments. Jonah gets a strange assignment that he has never heard of which allows him to begin training under The Giver. While training, he gets to see glimpses of how the world used to be. You’ll have to read the book to find out how he reacted and how he kept this new information a secret.

6. The Harry Potter Series

Here’s another series for ya! I have always loved the Harry Potter series ! I haven’t read it in years, but this series is on my reading list for this year…fingers crossed that I get to it. I feel like this is too popular to have to explain what they’re about. However, I will say that the books are so much better than the movies. The details are better and the characters are more rounded out. Overall, this is a series that I can read over and over again and never get sick of it. The books are super big though, so it will probably take a while to read even one with a busy schedule. (Unless you are a quick reader) .

7.The Life We Bury

We have picked up a new hobby when road tripping: audible. I have a lot of trouble staying focused while listening to books, but I found that a good mystery book will always keep me interested. The next 3 books are all audible mystery books that we could not get enough of.

The life we bury is about a college student (Joe) that visits a nursing home to interview someone for a project. The interviewee turns out to be an ex-convict that got released with months left to live. He was convicted of rape and murder over 30 years ago. As Joe continues the interviews, he comes to believe that the man is innocent and is determined to prove his innocence before the man dies.

8.Safe Houses

Safe houses started my love for audio books. This book switches between 2 main characters. (So it can be difficult to keep up with on audio book) . With this being said, it is a great read that will have you listening to every detail to try and solve the mystery.

One of the stories in the book is based in 1979. The main character overhears a C-I-A conversation that was top secret. It shares her story as she runs from the C-I-A and tries to decipher their code words.

The other story takes place in 2014 . The main character’s parents have recently been mysteriously murdered. She begins to go through her parents things and uncover the reason for their murder.

9.Something In the Water

This book draws you in from the very beginning and has you questioning the entire time. It is so easy to binge read this mystery thriller and I am sure you could re-read it multiple times and find something new every time you read it.

It’s about a couple that finds a lost treasure on their honeymoon and decide to keep it. After this decision, their lives start to get more complicated and the husband eventually goes missing. While continuing to interview criminals for work, the wife begins to take advice from the criminals in an attempt to figure out what happened to her husband and if it has something to do with what they found that day. It is a page turner and you will not regret reading it.

10. Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH

This is another children’s book, but it’s such a good read. I was obsessed with the movies when I was younger, so when I found out that the movies were based off of a book, I had to read the books. Sometimes it’s refreshing to read a lower level book that reminds you of your childhood. Books are supposed to be a great way to escape everyday life and that is exactly what this one did for me.

It is about a small mouse that is widowed. Her son is ill and she heard that her home was going to be destroyed soon. She searches for a way to move her family without exposing her son to the cool air that may kill him. In a panic, she reaches out to the rats of NIMH for help.

This story seems boring or basic, but it spices up when you find out that the rats are geniuses. They have figured out how to create electricity in a hole under a rose bush and have libraries where they all know how to read. You will have to read the book to find out the secret of why the rats are so smart!

Whether you are trying to fit reading into your busy schedule as an adult or you are just looking for a new book to read, I hope this helped you. Lots of these books are easy reads to fit into your everyday life. Thanks for reading along and if you have any recommendations of your own, let me know!

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Easy Green Bean Cassarole

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Time for another pre-Thanksgiving recipe! I can literally shovel this stuff into my mouth at any time of year…Green bean casserole! This is by far my favorite Thanksgiving food of all time.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

. 1 (10.5 OZ.) can of condensed cream of mushroom.

. 1/2 cup of milk

. 1/8 TSP. of ground black pepper

.2 (14.5 OZ.) cans of green beans (I prefer cut green beans, but any type will work)

. 1 1/3 cup of crispy fried onions.

LET’S GET COOKIN!!

1.preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit

2. Mix pepper, milk, and cream of mushroom in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

3. Stir in green beans and 2/3 cup of crispy fried onions.

4.Bake for 30 minutes. Stir.

5. Top with remaining onions. ( I never measure this part. I just cover the top on the casserole completely)

6. Bake for 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

That’s it! Such an easy recipe and a crowd favorite for any holiday (or enjoy it any time of year!) I hope your family enjoys this dish as my as my husband and I do!