5 of my Favorite Fictional Books


I love reading and I am always in the middle of at least 1 book (usually 3 or 4) and I have a forever long list of books that I am waiting to read.  I just can’t seem to get through them fast enough.  Lately a few people have asked me for some recommendations, so I thought I would I share just a few of my favorites.  Of course all 7 Harry Potter’s and Pride and Prejudice are always at the top of this list, but who hasn’t read them.

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – Ok the title is a mouthful, but this book is seriously great.  I read it for a book club a few years ago and we all loved it.  Set just after World War II and comprised of letters written back and forth between a London novelist and the resident’s of the tiny island of Guernsey.  It was absolutely delightful!  Just kidding, that didn’t really sound like me.  But really, it was fun to fall in love with these “Islanders” along with Juliet and learn more about them and their island and how they were affected by the German occupation.
  2. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – I seriously love all Kate Morton books, but this one is my favorite (followed closely by The Secret Keeper).  It pulled me in right away, and I loved how each chapter switched around to different times and places as the story unfolded.  I loved the characters, I cared about them and felt for them.  I loved unraveling the mystery.  I just really loved this book.  I also can’t wait for her next book to come out in October.
  3. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson – I could not put this book down from the moment I started it.  This is similar to Jane Austen, in that is a Regency England love story, but kind of simpler and more modern.  There are of course a few cheesy parts, as I have found is very common for this genre, and it wasn’t the most realistic, but still very enjoyable.  Definitely one of my favorites for this genre.
  4. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy –  Takes place in England and Paris during the French Revolution about a man who risks his life to save those destined for the guillotine.  But also light hearted and endearing, as London and Paris try and figure out just who the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel is.  I also really love the movie version, even though it combines the plot from 3 different Pimpernel books. “Sink me”
  5. Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer – Sort of a combination of Jane Austen and Harry Potter.  In that it takes place in Regency England and has magic.  So how could I not love it.   I think the first time I read it I was a little bit confused over a few of the magic parts of it, not being familiar with the world she created.  Also another one with letters, because I do tend to enjoy books written in letter format.  And it’s a YA, so a bit lighter.

After making this list I want to go and reread all of these books right now.  And after writing this post I realized that I obviously love English historical chick lit.  And I know that I am pretty much the only person on the planet who feels this way… that is why it is such a very small market with very few options to choose from…

North Carolina Part 2: Biltmore

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On Saturday morning, September 5th, we got up and saw the last sunrise before loading up the car and heading out of the Outer Banks.  The waves were really big still from the wind.

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We headed west and stopped in Raleigh for some lunch and then went to the Raleigh LDS temple.  Here is another “list” Rachel and I are working on, to go to every temple.  It was my 25th.  We drove the rest of the way to Asheville that night and stayed in a hotel there.

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North Carolina Part 1: Outer Banks

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During Christmas of 2008 I was with my family and we were talking about past vacations and realized that we had been to most of the states in the US.  We each counted them up and I had been to 43 of 50.  I decided I wanted to try and get to all 50 before my 31st birthday in August of 2012.  I went to South Carolina in April of 2009, (used my vacation time in 2010 to go to China, Australia and New Zealand instead…) Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in March of 2011, and Vermont in May of 2011, putting me at 48.  I only had North Carolina and Hawaii left (yes it is very sad that Hawaii is 1 of the last 2).  I went to Peru and got married in 2012, which both ended up pushing back my goal.  Both of which I felt were very good reasons :).  Vu and I had airplane tickets to go to North Carolina the first year we were married, but we ended up having to cancel that trip and after that we bought the house and then Vu started grad school, so vacation plans got put on hold.

At the end of August, the day after my 34th birthday, I flew to my parents home in Atlanta, Georgia, along with my twin sister Rachel, and the 4 of us spent the week in North Carolina, finally checking off number 49!  Yay!!!

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I flew in a day earlier than Rachel and went to a Brave’s baseball game with my dad.  Because if you can’t tell… I like lists… especially travel lists… and goals… so Rachel and I also happen to have a goal to attend a baseball game at every stadium.  However, we aren’t doing very good at this goal. This was just my 4th one (there are 30 in case you don’t know).

We packed up and drove to the Outer Banks on Saturday, August 29th.  We were able to stop in Charlotte and visit an old friend, MelBelle, and her family.  It was so good to see them, it has been a long time.  We rented a house in Kill Devil Kills that was right across the street from the beach, with a deck and chairs overlooking the beach.  It was really nice.  And of course we played games every night, which was fun.  Vu doesn’t really like games so we hardly ever play, but my family loves them.

Day 1

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12 Month’s of Holiday Décor: September

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For September I decided I wanted the theme to be apples/orchard.  It is a beginning of fall-ish theme, and in Washington school always starts in September so if I decide I want to do a school theme when we have kids, then apples go along great with that.

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The first thing I decided to make was what I like to call a puzzle tree.  I had the idea for the master bedroom and wanted to make a tiny one for the shadowbox over the bookcases, but I still haven’t gotten around to it.  I wanted to take multiple pieces of wood and cut just a couple of big branches out of each one, so when you put them all together they make the whole tree with a little bit of 3D added in.

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