What I’ve Been Reading Lately

One of the downsides of not having bookshelves in the new house (partially because we can’t afford to buy any right now and partially because even if we could buy some I don’t know where we’d put them) is that all of my books are now stuffed in random boxes in our downstairs storage closet. And not only are they in boxes but they are in unmarked boxes, so I have no idea what I’m going to find when I go down there looking for a book. The upside of this predicament is that I have no idea what I’m going to find when I go down there looking for a book. Yeah, it’s a catch-22. Oh, and the other thing? I’ll go down to the basement for just one book and return to the living room with six. Heh. Only another devout book-lover will understand that one! The point is though that I’ve been on a real reading kick lately, and it’s been a while since I’ve shared a book post so I thought, “why not?” Some of these I’ve read before and just love them so much I wanted to read them again; others I picked up for the first time this past week. So without further ado, here’s what been gracing my nightstand recently:

 

book review evanovich full house | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Janet Evanovich – Full House

I haven’t read anything else by Janet Evanovich although my family adores her Stephanie Plum series and tells me I need to read them. I purchased this particular book in an airport and then it sat in my house for months before I finally picked it up and ended up reading it in a day. It’s a fun, cutesy read about a recently divorced mother of two who decides to take polo lessons (not that she’s ridden a horse before) and the incredibly wealthy polo instructor, who also happens to own the entire horse farm and probably half of Loudoun County, Virginia. While I found the romance to be a bit unbelievable, it keep me entertained and while I wouldn’t read it a second time, I did enjoy this one. Consider it an easy beach read this summer!

book review mitchell moon over tokyo | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Siri L. Mitchell – Moon over Tokyo

Allie O’Connor lives in Japan and is a reporter for the military magazine Stars and Stripes. When she prays for a friend who speaks English and lives nearby, it never occurs to her to specify female. When God drops her former high school nemesis Eric Larsen into her lap, she is not amused. Allie struggles with this new friendship until finally she realizes that God really did answer her prayer – maybe not the way she expected, but we all know God is in control! This book was another easy read, and one I’ve read before. Aside from the plot, which is good, the descriptions of Japan are incredibly well done – every time I read this book I get wanderlust to see Japan. Someday, maybe! Another great summer read.

book review henderson before i wake | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Dee Henderson – Before I Wake

I am a huge Dee Henderson fan – I’ve read the O’Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series countless times, so when she returned from her hiatus with a new book (Full Disclosure – not the one I’m reviewing here), I was thrilled. Sadly, I was also disappointed. I couldn’t believe the book was written by my beloved Dee – the plot was so poor and the characters were so flat that I didn’t even finish the book, and I never do that. So when I came across this book in the basement I decided I’d give it a try – I actually assumed I had read it previously, since it was a Dee Henderson book and I owned it. Once I got to the last page I realized that I most definitely had not read it before; because if I had there would have been absolutely NO WAY I’d have picked it up again. This book had no ending to speak of. **SPOILER ALERT** The book revolves around the small town of Justice, Illinois – where a string of murders has the usually quiet town in an uproar. As it turns out the deaths are a result of a new designer drug – the cook and a few cronies are secretly testing it out on unsuspecting tourists who pass through the town. To make a long story short – you never find out who the bad guy is. One accomplice is brought to light and then killed in a car accident – but the criminal mastermind? Yeah, for all the reader knows he moved to another small town and started all over again. INFURIATING. Not to mention the budding romance the reader starts to feel between the three main characters is NEVER pursued – we don’t know what happens, if anything. Who does that?! If there was a sequel in the works I would understand, but this book was published in 2006 – so I don’t see a sequel coming anytime.

Bottom line: If you want a great Dee Henderson novel, read any of The O’Malley series or the Uncommon Heroes series, but don’t waste your time or money on Before I Wake.

book review wick pretense | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Lori Wick – Pretense

After my disappointing experience with Before I Wake I immediately turned to what is probably my favorite book of all time – Pretense, by Lori Wick. This book spans approximately twenty years in the lives of two sisters – Mackenzie “Micki” Bishop and Delancey Joy “DJ” Bishop…which sounds like it could be boring, but it’s not. Wick does an incredible job of creating characters that you just cannot help but fall in love with, and the sister’s struggles with Christianity and their way to Christ are excellently portrayed. This is a definite win and one of my top recommendations for anybody. Read it!

book review henderson unspoken | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Dee Henderson – Unspoken

Clearly I am a glutton for punishment as I picked up yet another recent Dee Henderson novel. I guess after her early books I can’t help but continue to hope that her books will return to the page turners I once knew them to be. I only just started this book, but 100 pages in I’m skeptical that it will get any better. Charlotte Graham was kidnapped at age 16 and held for four years – after she was found she changed her identity and started a new life. Bryce Bishop owns a rare coin business and comes across Charlotte when she approaches him about selling some rare coins she inherited through her late grandfather’s estate. I’d like to start off by saying that I’m not sure how she can change her identity and then publicly become known as this apparently ridiculously wealthy man’s granddaughter, but whatever. So far we know next to nothing about what happened to Charlotte while she was kidnapped and I’ve heard more about rare coins that I care to hear about in a lifetime, but I’m hoping the book will pick up and surprise me in the end. Stay tuned…

 

Anybody else have any good book recommendations out there, or have you read any of the books mentioned above? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Homemade Bone Broth

I roast a chicken for dinner every few weeks in an effort to get the most bang for our buck – Kevin and I can usually get at least 5 or 6 meals out of just one chicken – but the one thing I haven’t done until now?

Bone broth.

homemade bone broth | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Bone broth – essentially stock or broth made by simmering chicken bones, water, apple cider vinegar and vegetables – is HUGE in the paleo/wholefood/natural/etc world. For one thing, it’s incredibly nourishing. Bone broth is high in calcium, magnesium, and amino acids (among others), not to mention all that rich gelatin that supports healthy skin and good digestive health. Another added benefit – particularly for those of us still trying to recover from our polar vortex winter – a nice hot cup of broth is exactly what the doctor ordered to ward off colds and warm up the body.

Bone broth is really easy to make and there are tons of recipes online. Just search “homemade bone broth” and pick the one that works for you! For mine, I followed this recipe from April Swiger of Redemptive Homemaking. I loved her tip about saving the ends of your veggies to cook with the broth…because you’re going to strain the broth from everything else and toss the unused parts, it’s a total money saver! Not to mention I’m a huge fan of making the most out of my grocery bill.

I didn’t get quite as much gelatin in my broth as I would have liked, but I think that’s because I used only one chicken carcass to make my broth – using too much water/not enough bones can be an explanation for that, but the fruits of my “labor” (what’s hard about throwing some bones and a bunch of veggies in a crockpot and leaving it alone for hours, I ask you?!) still resulted in a deliciously filling batch of bone broth that was perfect for sipping while reading my latest cheesy romance novel. #noshame

homemade bone broth | eatwriterunrepeat.com

So what are you waiting for?

 

For some more articles on the benefits of bone broth, check out these sites:

Bone Broth FAQs on Whole9life

5 Reasons why Bone Broth is the Bomb on UndergroundWellness

On My Bookshelf

I love to read. I may have mentioned this once or twice on the blog but I’m not sure if I’ve ever laid out exactly just how much I love to read. I will choose reading over pretty much any other activity in the world, except maybe sleep, and even then it’s a toss up. I love getting whisked away into another world where anything is possible – it’s my way of experiencing a life different than my own. It’s also my way of shutting out my real life when it gets too complicated/stressed/depressing/sad/boring/insert any number of adjectives here.

I realized that I haven’t written a post on what I’ve been reading lately – although that could be partially because up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t reading much for pleasure. Life got in the way and I had too much going on…something I do not want to repeat anytime soon! It’s a sad day when I don’t have time to read.

eatwriterunrepeat.com || books

Anyway, most of my reading time lately has been taken up with the books I’m reading for the class Kevin and I started up a few weeks ago – “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.” It’s a fascinating class, although I have to admit some of the reading is pretty heavy.

eatwriterunrepeat.com || perspectives

In addition to the classroom reading I’ve had some free time lately (usually while the Husband is at work) for some pleasure reading, so let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to!

eatwriterunrepeat.com || randomed dreams

Ransomed Dreams, by Amy Wallace

This was a suspenseful Christian novel by an author I’d never read before. I’ve had the book forever but I’m not sure why I only recently picked it up – although based on the picture of the bookshelves above you may be able to ascertain that I possess a ridiculous amount of reading material. This book focuses on Gracie Lang, a woman who lost her family to a hit and run accident two years prior, and Agent Steven Kessler, head of the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Unit. It’s a book about loss, forgiveness, and learning to trust in God’s plan. It was a pretty quick read and I enjoyed it – I especially liked the fact that the author used to be a police officer and therefore I found the book to be well researched and believable.

eatwriterunrepeat.com || fireproof

Fireproof, written by Eric Wilson based on the movie by Alex and Stephen Kendrick

This is a novelization of the movie starring Kirk Cameron, and although I haven’t actually seen the movie I kept picturing Kirk Cameron as I read the book. It’s a book on love and marriage – specifically, not leaving when things get rough. One quote that particularly struck me (mostly because I think in today’s society we either forget about this fact or we choose to ignore it) is this:

Fireproof doesn’t mean the fire will never come. It means when the fire comes that you will be able to withstand it.

Something I think we would all do well to remember in our own marriages!

king and maxwell 

King and Maxwell and First Family, both by David Baldacci

I clearly went through a mini Baldacci phase as I read both of these books back to back. I really enjoy Baldacci’s books, especially the King and Maxwell series, and I sucked through both of these in about three or four days. No joke.

first family

unlocked

Unlocked, by Karen Kingsbury

Wow. I could have finished this book in one day but I purposely set it aside and read it in two because I wasn’t ready for it to be over. This is a book about a boy with autism, a girl with a heart for others, music, and the miraculous power of God. This book moved me on so many levels – and what made it even better was finding out that Kingsbury’s inspiration for this story is a real experience. If you don’t take anything else with you from reading this blog post, take this: READ THIS BOOK!

Reading is my favorite.

“I cannot live without books.” –Thomas Jefferson