During our trips this year, I managed to squeeze in some reading time on the long flights. I love reading and have always been an avid reader since I was a child. Diving into a good book is one way I stay sane, especially during chaos, and gives me some me time away (self care) from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I challenged myself this year to read books outside of my comfort zone, I’m a big fan of fiction books, and also choose books based on other factors such as cover art, published the year I was born, title that began with specific letter or contain certain phrases, author ethnicity, etc. By doing this, I found myself reading steampunk/fantasy, memoirs, historical fiction and some self help books. Below is a list of my 5 favorites books from this year, some you have heard of and others you may not. Although these are my 5 favorite books, I did have some notable mentions that are definitely worth picking up on your next trip to the bookstore. Happy reading!!!
“The Clockwork Dynasty” by Daniel H. Wilson
The Clockwork Dynasty interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning. As June plunges deeper into their world, her choices will ultimately determine their survival or extermination. This a great mix of science fiction, fantasy, fiction and steampunk all wrapped into one that will keep you entertained till the very end.
“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
“The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware
On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it. A mystery-thriller full of suspense, this book kept me guessing all to the surprise ending.
“The Moors Account” by Laila Lalami
The Moor’s Account (2014) is a fictionalized memoir of the first African explorer in the new world. Very little is known about him beyond the fact that he was one of only four survivors of the ill-fated Narváez expedition. In this historical novel, which cleverly employs flashbacks and first-person narration, author Laila Lalami imagines Mustafa telling his own story of endurance and survival. A historical fiction based in Morocco and Africa, this book provides a new perspective and view point on concepts and stories I have heard before. This book definitely made rethink the past. And the book cover…..is beautiful!
“Work Party: How to Create and Cultivate the Career of your Dreams” by Jaclyn Johnson
Jaclyn Johnson—the founder and CEO behind Create & Cultivate, the fastest growing online platform and conference for millennial women in business— offers a rallying cry for a new generation of women who are redefining the meaning of work on their own terms: WorkParty. Women who want it all and more, and guess what? They can have it. Funny, entertaining and light-hearted this non-fiction business book is for any woman looking to accelerate her career.
- Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
- Artemis by Andy Weir
- The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
- Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler life, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
Brown Sugar and Garlic chicken thighs are one of the easiest recipes I make in my slow cooker. With only 5 ingredients, it is easy to prep, budget friendly and a family favorite. As with all my recipes, you can customize it by adding a little spice with crushed red pepper or by using a different cut of chicken. Enjoy!!
- 5 chicken thighs (or substitute with chicken breast or chicken wings)
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar packed
- For deeper caramel flavor, use dark brown sugar
- Add chicken, salt, pepper and garlic to Crock-pot (slow cooker).
- Do not add any liquids. Chicken thighs naturally release liquids when cooked.
- Mix it up then flip chicken to skin side up
- Sprinkle on brown sugar
- Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours