Among cooking and eating, reading is a huge passion of mine. With Read Chic you can check out what I am currently reading as well as books I have read and reviewed in the past! Join in on the fun, read along with me and leave comments about what you think or recommend books for my next selection – I am always looking for a new great read!
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Eat Chic’s Recommended Reading List:
- The Last Lecture: Randy Pausch
The Last Lecture
is the inspiring story of Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and his fight against pancreatic cancer. While he eventually lost his battle with cancer, Randy lived a fulfilling life and shared his personal life lessons with his students during his last lecture. Randy had an incredibly positive outlook on the world and taught others how to live in the moment and take nothing for granted. His book The Last Lecture
is an extension of the actual lecture given at Carnegie Mellon, which can be viewed here
. This book has a tremendous amount of valuable advice that readers of any age can benefit from. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend the book, as well as checking out the last lecture video
, to anyone and everyone looking to read an enlightening and truly inspiring story about embracing the important things in life.
- The Pilot’s Wife: Anita Shreve
The Pilot’s Wife
is about a family whose life is changed forever when Kathryn, a high school teacher, receives news that her husband, an international pilot, has been killed in a plane explosion. Police officials suspect the incident was suicide, but Kathryn believes otherwise and sets out to investigate the situation further. Despite her devastation, Kathryn’s determination leads her to discover the secret life that her husband had been living prior to his death. The story unfolds as Kathryn tries to understand who her husband really was. The Pilot’s Wife
is a well written story leaving the reader wondering how well we really know the people we love.
- The Jane Austen Book Club: Karen Joy Fowler
The Jane Austen Book Club
consists of five women and one man from the central valley in California. They meet every month to discuss one of Jane Austen’s 18th century romantic fiction novels. Lives are changed during the six months that they are together: marriages are questioned and love affairs ensue. The characters in the book relate themselves to the multi-dimensional characters of Jane Austen’s novels and find that they themselves actually have more in common with one another then they ever imagined. The Jane Austen Book Club
tells a story about hardship, family, and love. While dedicated Jane Austen fans will surely find this book a delight, even those not familiar with Austen can enjoy this story, and may even be inspired to pick up some of Austen’s work in the future!
- Don’t Eat This Book: Morgan Spurlock
Winner of the Sundance Best Director Award for his film Super Size Me
, Morgan Spurlock takes a closer look at the fast food industry and the health crisis it is causing in America. In his book Don’t Eat This Book
, Spurlock touches on a variety of topics including school lunch programs, the decline of physical education in this country, and the marketing of fast food that allow it to be so tasty and cheap. Spurlock does a marvelous job presenting shocking statistics and unbelievable information in a humorous and entertaining way that keeps you coming back for more.
- The Locavore Way: Amy Cotler
Recently, more and more Americans are rediscovering the pleasures of locally grown food. The beauty of fresh fruits and vegetables picked at the peak of ripeness, the multi-dimensional flavors of grass-fed, humanely raised meats, and the pungent tastes of locally handcrafted cheese are gaining popularity as farmers markets become more common across the country. The Locavore Way
provides readers with all of the information needed for buying, cooking, and eating locally. Whether you are new to buying from local farmers markets, interested in experimenting with new fruits and vegetables, or just have a love for food and cooking, then The Locavore Way
is for you! I originally borrowed this book from the public library, but am thinking about buying a copy of my own to keep on hand since it is such a great guide full of tips and recipes that I can see myself referencing in the future!
- In Defense of Food: Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food
is about how the Western diet of fast food and “food-like substances” has led to the rise in obesity and diet related illnesses in America. Michael Pollan offers inspiring advice on how to move away from this new-age trend back to eating the way our ancestors did. He emphasizes how food is more than the sum of all of its parts and how science has tried in recent years to pick apart our food to try and link specific elemental components to different diseases. Pollan doesn’t discredit food science, he simply believes that food is more complex than science can decipher. In Defense of Food
stresses that it is therefore important to eat a well-balanced healthy diet to fuel our bodies to ensure that we are reaping the maximum nutritional benefits from our food. In Pollan’s words “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Overall an awesome and informative book!
- Julie & Julia: Julie Powell
Julie & Julia
, recently a major motion picture, is about Julie, a secretary for a government agency looking for a way to spice up her monotonous life. She decides that she is going to cook all 524 recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
in one year and blog about her journey. The book is about the successes and failures that Julie encounters while trying to complete her assignment. I found Julie & Julia
to be the perfect fit for a food blogger like myself! I truly admire Julie’s determination to take on the challenge of the seemingly impossible recipes of Julia Child. I definitely encourage anyone interested in cooking, blogging, or both to pick up this book or check out the movie!
- The Art of Racing in the Rain: Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain
is written from the perspective of Enzo, a loveable family dog with a human-like spirit. It is the story of a family experiencing love, happiness, frustration, and tragedy. The Art of Racing in the Rain
demonstrates how the loving bond between family members and pets can endure all odds. This heartwarming story is about never giving up. The determination that the main character, Denny, has to follow his dreams as a race car driver is truly inspiring. I found this book to be a highly enjoyable quick read. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a creative and uplifting novel!
- Animal Vegetable Miracle: Barbara Kingsolver
In Animal Vegetable Miracle
, Barbara and her family move from their home in Arizona to a plot of farmland they own in rural Virginia. The family challenges themselves to live on local food for an entire year. This book is about the journey of beginning a farm, the struggles encountered, and successes experienced. Animal Vegetable Miracle
is an uplifting story about the beauty of nature that will inspire every reader to eat seasonally and locally. Like me, you may even be inspired to plant a garden of your own! Seasonal recipes are included throughout the book to help get you started! This book is my favorite read this year so far!
- The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho
is about an Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago, who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian pyramids in search of a treasure that appeared in his dreams. Along the way, Santiago meets a Gypsy woman, a king, and an alchemist who all help him in his quest to obtain the unknown treasure. While the book begins as a search to find material goods, Santiago’s journey soon becomes a discovery of the treasures found within. The Alchemist is a story about following your dreams and listening to your heart. While this book is a quick read with an uplifting message, it really didn’t interest me.
- Left to Tell: Immaculée Ilibagiza
Left to Tell
is the true story of Immaculée Ilibagiza’s struggle to survive the Rwandan Holocaust. After spending 3 months in hiding in a small bathroom with several other women, Immaculée tells her story as if it were yesterday. Every page of this heart-breaking story is filled with the unbelievable details of the horrifying tragedy in Rwanda. Immaculée’s amazing relationship with God helped her to survive this nightmare and to continue telling her story in memory of the loved ones she lost. Left to Tell
is a story of strength, hope, and love that will surely be enjoyed by any reader.
- A Lion Called Christian: Anthony Bourke & John Rendall
Christian the lion gained his fame most recently from the YouTube sensation
showing the reunion between a lion introduced into the wild and his previous owners. A Lion Called Christian
is the story of how Anthony Bourke (“Ace”) and John Rendall came to own a lion purchased from Harrod’s in London during the 1960’s. After raising Christian for almost a year in the city, Ace and John began their journey to help re-introduce Christian into the wild. The remarkable bond between these men and their lion is incredible. A Lion Called Christian
is a love story about a friendship that is never forgotten. If you have not seen the memorable YouTube video about this amazing story, click here
- Push: Sapphire
tells the story of Precious Jones, a 16-year-old girl with one child and another on the way; both as a result of an incestuous relationship with her father. She has been abused by her father and mother for as long as she can remember and it is all that she knows. Her only hope lies in school where she is determined to succeed. Push
, written in first person by Precious herself, is the story of the struggles and emotional battles Precious encounters as she tries to educate herself and better her own life. After seeing the preview
to the movie Precious
, I had to pick up this book. Push
is an emotional rollercoaster that is both heartbreaking and uplifting. I enjoyed every page of this book and can’t wait to see the film!
- Twilight: Stephenie Meyer
If you ever thought that a vampire high-school romance novel wasn’t for you, you’re wrong. Expecting not to really like Twilight
, I picked up the book anyways to see what it was all about. I was hooked after the first chapter and found myself completely immersed in the story. Twilight
is the story of a forbidden love between human and vampire. The creative character development and action-packed story line are captivating and leave you wanting to read more. After reading this book I went out and saw the movie, which I did not enjoy nearly as much as the book. Twilight
is really creatively written and it is definitely a guilty pleasure! I can’t wait to start reading New Moon
, the next book of the Twilight
- The Christmas Cookie Club: Ann Pearlman
The Christmas Cookie Club is the story of 12 women who come together the first Monday of every December for a cookie exchange. Life circumstances have brought them all together in different ways. Each chapter of this novel starts off with a cookie recipe that represents each woman and continues with their personal story of how they got to where they are today. This uplifting and inspiring story will put you in a loving holiday spirit. I enjoyed The Christmas Cookie Club, but would argue that having 12 characters referred to throughout the book tends to get a little confusing and I found myself frequently returning to other chapters trying to remember who someone was. Overall it was an enjoyable easy read and a festive choice for the holidays!
- The Omnivores Dilemma: Michael Pollan
Winner of the James Beard Award and New York Times
bestseller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
traces four meals from source to table. Michael Pollan addresses what shapes our food choices and discovers the industrial and organic processes involved in manufacturing our meals. I slowly made my way through this book throughout the semester and enjoyed every page of it! I even had the opportunity to see the movie Food Inc
. which features Michael Pollan and a lot of the issues addressed in this book. I would definitely recommend both The Omnivore’s Dilemma
and Food Inc
. for any foodie!
- Wesley the Owl: Stacey O’Brien
Biologist and owl expert, Stacy O’Brien, rescues of an adorable, abandoned baby barn owl and raises him as her own. Each chapter depicts a new stage of Wesley’s life and the changes he goes through as he grows into an adult. Their 19 years of life spent together are full of fun, emotional, and life-changing moments. Wesley the Owl
is a heartwarming love story between an owl and his girl is extremely charming and astonishing!
- Dewey: Vicki Myron
is a charming story of a small town library cat in Spencer, Iowa. Each chapter illustrates how Dewey changed the lives of those in the community and brought unity to the town. If you adore cats, this book is definitely for you! Many people view this book as a Marley and Me
for cat lovers. This uplifting story demonstrates how animals can truly touch our hearts make a difference in our daily lives!
- Love the One You’re With: Emily Giffin
Love the One You’re With
is truly a guilty pleasure. It is a love story about a New York married, working woman who comes across an old love of her past. She begins to question what could have been which threatens both her marriage and friendships. This story is a real page turner and a quick, fun read!
- My Sister’s Keeper: Jodi Picoult
My Sister’s Keeper
is an unpredictable emotional rollercoaster that keeps you wanting to read more. It is a controversial story of a child with leukemia and her sister who, born into the world as her genetic match, is the only one who can save her. I thought that the book started out slow but I couldn’t put it down during the last half. The hard times and impossible decisions faced by the characters of this novel are very real and the shocking, emotional ending completes the story perfectly. I can’t wait to get out and see the movie which is currently out in theaters!
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society: Mary Ann Shaffer
This charming novel takes place post-WWII between London and the English Channel island of Guernsey. It is a heart-warming story about a growing connection between people of different backgrounds and lifestyles. A writer from London discovers a profound friendship with the people of Guernsey after the island has suffered through the German Occupation. The characters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society are so real that one forgets that it is fiction. As an uplifting story about the the survival of love and friendship this book is a wonderful read! With only a 14-day loan from the public library (and 16 days later…oops) I could not bare to part with this one until I reached the end!
- The Time Traveler’s Wife: Audrey Niffenegger
The story of a great love; this book truly deserves its title as National Bestseller. It is a story of a lonely and misguided time traveler and the finding of his true love. This clever and beautifully written book will make you smile and cry all at the same time. The Time Traveler’s Wife will make you believe in soul mates and that nothing can stand in the way of true love. This is one of my absolute all-time favorites and recommend it to everyone as a MUST READ!
- Skinny Bitch: Rory Freedman
The hilarious crude language used in this book grabs the reader’s attention immediately. Claiming to be "a no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous" this book is not to be mistaken as a diet or weight-loss book. It is simply health advice given from a former model agent and a Holistic Nutritionist who support the vegan lifestyle. They share their thoughts on how to treat your body well and how to be more aware of what you are eating; it is a funny and well-documented read. If you are juggling with the idea of becoming a vegan or even going vegetarian this is a great book to help you get started. This book is full of fun and innovative insights that make it entertaining and easy to read. It even includes meal ideas and product reviews — even if you aren’t planning to go vegan, they are fun to experiment with! For additional vegan recipes and more Skinny Bitch bluntness, check out Skinny Bitch in the Kitch! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Skinny Bitch and would recommend it to light-hearted health-nuts looking for something truly unique!
- The Glass Castle: Jeannette Walle
As a memoir of her own life, Jeannette Walls tells the story of her tragic childhood and how she got to where she is today. It is a page-turning journey of a brave and hopeful child who develops into an independent and successful woman. The Glass Castle
is amazingly written and catches your attention from page one with its humor and wit. As a New York Times Bestseller and popular book club choice, this one is a certainly a favorite!
- The Road: Cormac McCarthy
This book deserves more than a Pulitzer Prize! It is absolutely outstanding! Taking place in post-apocalyptic America, this is a story about a father and son’s struggle to survive. Their love for one another and never-ending hope keeps you turning pages until the very end. The Road
is so simply written in a style unlike traditional novels, yet it is extremely powerful. This is without a doubt one of the best books I have read all year! Pick this one up asap!