Monday, December 29, 2014

Best Books of 2014

Well, I read 79 books this year. It’s down from last year’s 99 but I’m not complaining. As busy as I have been with relief society, I’m kind of surprised I got the 79 in. My average over the last 5 years is 80.5 so I’m right in line with that.  Anyway, this year I was supposed to read a classic, a non-fiction, and a Shakespeare play. I got the classic in by way of Maud Hart Lovelace’s “Emily of Green Valley”. I got some Mary Stewart, Daphne Du Maurier, and Agatha Christie in there also, all of which could probably be considered classics. I didn’t read any Shakespeare or non-fiction this year.  My reading time became precious and I was not in the mood to branch out all that much.  

My favorites this year (in no particular order) are:
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black: I just really loved this take on vampires. I also love the cover and title.
Fangirl –  Rainbow Rowell: Without a doubt the biggest book hangover and the biggest book-boy crush. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read this book this year. I loved it!
Fortune’s Pawn – Rachel Bach: I read the entire trilogy this year. I think the first book was probably my favorite but I just really enjoyed this whole “romp in space” series.
Night Broken – Patricia Briggs: This series has just been consistently good and from one of my very favorite authors who never seems to disappoint.
The Road Home – Ellen Emerson White: This is the final book in a series set during the Vietnam War. I loved it. Talk about being transported to another place and time.  It’s my second biggest book hangover and I’ve read it multiple times also.
Silence for the Dead – Simone St James: I’ve really enjoyed her books and I think this was my favorite yet. I’m not big into ghost or supernatural stories but I do like the way she does them.
Every Breath/Every Word – Ellie Marney: I’m counting both books here. I adored them. Fans of Sherlock Holmes should read them.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Steifvater: The third book in an amazing series and I’m going to be sad when it’s over.
Honorable mention goes to:
The Shape of Desire – Sharon Shinn
Murder of Crows – Anne Bishop
Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor
Dreamer’s Pool – Juliet Marillier
A Grave Matter – Anna Lee Huber
There are a bunch of other books that I really liked. I have noticed I’m stingy with my 5 star ratings but I have quite a lot of 4 star books on my list. 
Most Anticipated books for 2015:
Vision in Silver – Anne Bishop
Dead Heat – Patricia Briggs
The Shadow Revolution – Susan and Clay Griffith
Every Move – Ellie Marney
The Tower of Bann- Juliet Marillier
A Study in Death – Anna Lee Huber
The Other Side of Midnight – Simone St James
My only reading goal for next year is to just keep digging away at my TBR pile. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it will never go away and that I add books to it faster than I can read them.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Popcorn Cake

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is popcorn cake. My mom makes it every year. She gives a lot of small ones away to neighbors and friends and always makes me one to share with the people at work. Then the final one is for us to eat during Christmas when we're all together as a family. I love it. It's got popcorn, and nuts, and spiced gumdrops in it and it's held together with marshmallows (like a rice krispy treat). Yummy!


I had a great Christmas, spending time with the family and celebrating the birth of Christ. It finally snowed for us during the night on Christmas Eve so we got to really wake up to a white Christmas. My 2 year old niece and I went outside and tried to make a snowman. We did make a small one, but the snow was so fine and powdery, it just wouldn't stick together.

Now I'm ready to spend the evening curled up with some cocoa and a good book.

Merry Christmas! (a day late)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cheesecake

This year I decided to get sick for Thanksgiving. I got a cold the day before and it stayed with me for over a week. It didn't help that the week after Thanksgiving I had to go to Kentucky for work. I'm finally feeling a lot better and wanted to post a picture of the cheesecake I made for Thanksgiving.


I got the recipe from this website. It was pretty easy to make and was very rich and tasty. My sister did the actual piping of the snowflake with the pattern provided on the website. I have to say it was a thumbs up all the way around. My mom had to take it to the dialysis center on Saturday to give away. We just don't have the people to eat it up and nobody could handle more than a small piece at a time anyway.