Are you constantly searching for the next good book to read? I am. I read most days on the train to and from work and again before I go to sleep at night, so I tend to move through books pretty quickly. This puts me on a neverending quest to find the next great book. Of course, not every book that I read is a page-turner, but I’ll still plough on through out of some sense of I’ve-already-bought-it-so-I-am-wasting-money-if-I-don’t-read-it, or I’m-learning-about-a-new-subject-so-I-should-read-it-to-be-smarter, or I’m-not-loving-it-but-I-still-need-to-know-what-happens, or occasionally, it’s-just-the-responsible-thing-to-do.
I recently read a book that fell under the latter category – Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I read this book in high school but I had completely forgotten what it was all about. And no groundbreaking analysis here, but Charles Dickens is an unbelievable writer. I think pretty much any one sentence that he writes is more evocative than probably 99% of my experiences in actual real life. Its as if he could see the range of all possible words to use, and with intention, he selects the most precise, most interesting, and most meaningful one. That being said, Great Expectations was a bore for me! Which was a very sad discovery. But I ploughed through it, because I felt that I should know, as a human being, the story of Great Expectations. So… now I know.
Since Great Expectations, I have read four GREAT books in a row!! That’s like seeing a shooting star – so rare! Because they were so great, I wanted to share them with you. If you have any great book suggestions, please share them with me too!
1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. This book is about the incredible true story of the life of Louis Zamperini. It tells of his adventures and challenges as an Olympic athlete, a WWII bombardier, being lost at sea, and as a POW. The theme of the book is Louie’s unbroken will and also his unbroken faith in God. This book is a definite page turner and a must read! I decided to read this book after Louie spoke at our church on his 96th birthday weekend. Both he and his message are so inspiring!
2. Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers. This book is about 5 men who stood behind the scenes to various biblical heroes. For example, Aaron (Moses’ brother) is one of the 5 characters. This book is action-packed and spiritually fulfilling too!
3. A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. This book is about 5 women who were in Jesus’ lineage. Example: Jesus’ mother, Mary, is one of the characters. It’s so interesting to see things as these women might have seen it. You are not only being told riveting stories, but you learn about the customs and culture of people living during biblical times too.
4. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Read this book before the other Francine Rivers books. While they are all good, I gotta say that this one takes the cake. This book is a love story based on the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. It is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Everyone that I have talked to about this book has said the same thing: AMAZING!!
I’ve obviously been on a little Francine Rivers kick lately. My mother-in-law introduced me to her books a few months ago, and I’m so glad she did because they are great reads and are fulfilling on a lot of levels! I am now reading the 3-book Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. I’ll report back to you when I’m finished with them but they’re really good so far. Please share your book suggestions – I’m on the hunt for my next read after this series!
Ok so I can’t let you go without a recipe. This fudge is sweet and salty – my favorite! Don’t skip the sea salt. It makes it. This fudge is much healthier than your standard non-dairy fudge, but it’s definitely a decadent treat. It must be stored in the freezer or it will melt, and I think keeping it in the freezer also helps keep me from just grabbing a hunk or downing the whole lot. Hope you enjoy!
Orange-Chocolate with Sea Salt Freezer Fudge
- 2 cups coconut cream (from 2 cans coconut milk kept in frig)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup agave
- 2 T orange juice
- 1 t orange zest
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 t vanilla
- sea salt to sprinkle on top
1. Scoop out 2 cups of cream from 2 cans of coconut milk.
2. Place a saucepan over low heat.
3. Combine all ingredients except the sea salt in the saucepan.
4. Let coconut milk melt completely and stir all ingredients so they are combined.
5. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. This will allow you to remove the fudge from the pan without it sticking.
6. Pour chocolate mix into the pan.
7. Place fudge in freezer for it to partially cool. Once it is somewhat firm, sprinkle the sea salt over the top.
8. Return to freezer for it to cool until the fudge is completely solid. This may take a few hours.
9. Pull parchment paper up to remove fudge from the pan.
10. Slice into whatever sized fudge pieces you want.
11. Store sliced fudge in freezer.