Book Barn Book Haul and Books I want to read!

So a couple weeks ago, before we went on vacation we went to the Book Barn and I came home with a couple books I was excited about. I didn’t get to browse as well as I normally do because you know I now have kids tagging along too lol. Yes this was their first time at the book barn and we had a great time. If you have never been to the book barn and live in CT you should go check it out, it is certainly a GEM!

I came home with:

Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer. I have heard many great things about this book and I am anxious to read it.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. I love Sarah Dessen and this is one I have not read yet and was happy to find here!

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio. This is her most recent book and I was shocked to find it here, but don’t get me wrong, super happy since she is my favorite author!

I believe I got one other too, but I don’t remember what it was and it was nothing that was initially on my TBR list. I also got some cute kid books, like Squeak Squeak, and Mr. Brown can Moo can You

Here are a couple books that are at the top of my TBR list, that I really want to get my hands on and read (you know in my free time ;-) )! ( no particular order)

So what are some good books I should add to this list?!?! I read anything ;-)

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Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

Good Morning :-)

I made these fantastic cookies for my Nieces 3rd Birthday Party about a month ago and they were a HUGE hit! Perfect for summer. Super Easy and Super Good!

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Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

Ingredients

1
(15.25 ounce) Betty Crocker Super Moist lemon cake mix
1
(15.25 ounce) Betty Crocker Super Moist strawberry cake mix
4
eggs
2/3
cup vegetable oil (divided)
2
teaspoons lemon juice
2
cups powdered sugar (divided)
1
tablespoons milk

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Begin by making the two cake mixes. Pour the lemon cake mix into a large bowl and the strawberry cake mix in another bowl. To each cake mix, add 2 eggs, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice; mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate each bowl for 20 minutes to firm slightly.
  • Remove batters from fridge, and take 1 rounded teaspoon of lemon batter and roll into a ball. Repeat with the strawberry batter. Gently roll the lemon and strawberry dough together to make one large ball.
  • Transfer the dough ball into a bowl with 1 cup of powdered sugar, and roll to lightly coat in sugar. Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake each batch for 10 minutes, until they turn slightly golden and are cooked through. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Enjoy these light refreshing cookies…we sure did!

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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Wow Wow Wow!!! Readers this book took me by surprise! I read it as a group swap sort of thing and I did not know how i was going to like this and man am I glad I ended up with this book!

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

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Goodreads: 4.44 stars

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

My Review: 5 stars!!!

Louie was an extraordinary man, his struggles and the obstacles he overcame are so inspiring, if you haven’t read it PLEASE DO! How a man can live through and survive things he went through, no one will ever know. The lessons he learned and the things he did with them make him such a remarkable man!

I started out reading this book thinking what a horrible, devil child hahahaha but seeing what he became was quite shocking and amazing and will hopefully give some hope :-)

Absolutely amazing and I highly suggest EVERYONE read it weather you like History or not! Let me tell you a little secret… I do not like History! This story was so touching and so much more!!! Run before the movie comes out!! :-)

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A whole lot of picnicking foods…

Here is a bunch of stuff I have previously posted that I thought might come in handy as we celebrate this Holiday this weekend. Click on the links below and it will bring you to the post ;-)

Apps:

Cucumber Salsa

Drink:

Raspberry Punch

Snacks:

Striped Cookie S’mores

Chocolate Dipped S’more Pretzels

Desserts: (because we all know how much I like dessert ;-) )

Pineapple Orange Cake

Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Apple Salad

Avalanche Bars

Strawberry Lemonade Bars (which I made this time last year for a party ;-) )

Frozen Strawberry Pie

Butterfinger Pie

Well I hope you find something here that you can whip up quick for your up coming party! Enjoy your day :-)

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Carrot & Apple ‘Slaw’ Salad

I absolutely LOVE this salad, it is more like a slaw because everything is grated and it gets somewhat liquidy, but I love it nonetheless! This also has a different almost sweetness to it, that makes for a different refreshing side, as opposed to those heavy macaroni and potato salads. A doesn’t care much for it and some say it is “weird” (yes Scott P I am refering you ;-) ) but don’t let it discourage you! Give it a shot, you can make as little or as much as you want.

Apple & Carrot ‘Slaw’ Salad

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Ingredients
4 carrots, shredded
1 apple – peeled, cored and shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
Directions
In a bowl, combine the carrots, apple, lemon juice, & honey. Toss and chill before serving.

Yep it is that simple ;-)

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June Book Club – Stolen

After an amazing May book club, we decided to GET BACK ON TRACK ;-) That meaning that we stop trying to find the cheapest and shortest book and just look for books that we might enjoy, without limiting ourselves. For a good couple months (prob close to a year) we went on a lull mainly because of pregnancy and birth of our children (Jess P. and mine). Lets just say those book choices STUNK, some were cute and most very “foo foo” and fluffy, which, don’t get me wrong I enjoy that, but we NEEDED more!

That being said, this was our first month since our kids have been born, without any restrictions. We chose Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

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Goodreads: 3.94 stars

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

 

Book Club:  3 out of 5 stars and the beautiful POSSIBLE SPOILERS review written by our very own Jess P. (thanks Jess!)

3 out of 5 stars

Some authors have a way of taking an incredible plot concept and turning it into a masterpiece. As an example, a previous book club choice- Everlost by Neal Shusterman- certainly proved master storytellers do exist.
For Lucy Christopher, this wasn’t quite the case. Stolen: A Letter to my Captor takes us into 16-year-old Gemma’s head as she reflects on her time as a hostage of mysterious yet dangerous, Ty who whisks her into the Australian outback without a trace. In this letter, we learn of the moments leading up to the kidnapping and all the little episodes that peppered her month living in a makeshift home out in the middle of nowhere.
Curious, no? I certainly felt so- I was driven to find out why Gemma was writing Ty in the first place especially since that suggested she escaped him somehow. And so, we read her twisted tale of connecting with the land and struggling to escape her captor. Slowly, the author pulls back layer upon layer of disarming Ty and the more human he becomes in Gemma’s eyes, the more confusing the situation is.
The real unfortunate bit of this story was the almost-convenient ending of the story. A sudden yet potentially fatal twist of fate has Ty bringing Gemma back into civilization and facing the consequences of his choices. Overall, we felt the author cut the story too soon and would have been intrigued to see how Gemma and Ty’s relationship would have transformed, the longer they were isolated. With that said, we agreed it was 3 stars and were satisfied that book club returned to its more lively literary discussions.

Well now you have heard it…will you read this, have you already?!?! Let us know what you think :-)

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Tomato Corn Basil Salad

Since there is a big picnicking day coming up soon this Friday I figured I should share a couple salads with you that I had made for Memorial Day.

I made this salad and thought it was delicious, definitely something different that I have never adventured in making or trying! So if you are looking for something refreshing this weekend, go ahead and give it a shot. It is a little sweeter then other salads but is really easy and really good!

I found this recipe on my Food Network App on my Kindle but you can find it here.

Below is my slightly altered version :-)

Tomato Corn Basil Salad

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 ears fresh corn, husked

1-1 1/2 pints of red grape tomatoes, halved

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (rolled and sliced)

Directions

Whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth dressing.Shear off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl (or with your handy dandy kernel cutter). Toss in the tomatoes, basil and onion. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let set for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Before serving stir, then enjoy :-)

Hopefully Thursday I will post a Carrot Apple Salad which I absolutely adore! Have a great day everyone!
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