A Classic Romance

Apologies fellow bloggers for my delay in this next installment of the 2015 Reading Challenge. Time seemed to get away from me this month, which makes sense since it’s the shortest month of the year. But fear not as I’ve finally completed another book on my long list of categories. If you’ve been following my challenge, you’ll remember my latest “Jurassic Park” post with A Book That Came Out the Year You Were Born. However, this next theme takes a complete 180 in its subject matter: the classic romance. I meant to post this closer to Valentine’s Day but at least it’s still within the month of February. When I first started thinking of classic romance novels, several came to mind instantly: “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë, “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë. But above all the other classic romances, one author outweighs them all: Jane Austin. It was with this conviction in mind that I decided to read “Pride and Prejudice” for the first time.

I’ve had a copy of this novel in my bookcase for what feels like a decade now, and I’ve never read the entire thing. I’ve seen the movie version with Keira Knightly of course, but never read the novel itself. When I was younger, I had a difficult time understanding the old-fashioned language and felt myself constantly needing to look up terms and phrases to get through it. Let’s just say it wasn’t fun at all. Fast-forward years later, and I finally felt it was time to overcome my past difficulties. While the language was still tricky at times, I just kept reading  and found myself having quite a hard time putting it down. There were even times that  couldn’t stop talking with a British accent in my mind. So as I go forward with this review, the biggest lesson I want to pass along  is this: when you open your mind to trying new things, you can accomplish anything.

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Everything Chocolate: Chocolate Mousse with Puff Pastry Hearts

Attention fellow chocolate connoisseurs! As promised I’m bringing you yet another delicious recipe from the land of sweets. For those of you who are out of the loop, last month I decided to embark on a year of chocolate challenge, courtesy of the Food Network Magazine. You remember January’s Blackout Cake we made a few weeks back? Well, this month’s is even better, tying right into the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert: Chocolate Mousse with Puff Pastry Hearts. When it comes to this lovey, dovey holiday, Jacob and I aren’t ones to really care about boxes of chocolate or flowers. Instead, I made a nice steak dinner (more on that recipe to come), we ate around the dinner table for once and we indulged in a fabulous, chocolate delicacy. The creaminess of this dish pairs perfectly with the flakiness of the puff pastry. And the sweetness — the mouthwatering, delicious, comforting taste of pure sweetness. Can you tell I’m in love with this dish? Despite it’s somewhat complicated and time consuming labor, I guarantee the end result is well worth the patience. Bon appétit!

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A Book That Came Out the Year You Were Born

Last week, I celebrated a somewhat significant milestone in my life — my 25th birthday. Now, as my Dad put it, I’m a quarter of a century old. If I put a little too much thought into it, it’s crazy how much time has passed since good ‘ole 1990. And as it turns out, another book challenge presented itself that fit perfectly with my birthday: “A book that came out the year you were born” (see my latest post: A Book with a Number in the Title). When I began researching books published in my birth year, I unfortunately couldn’t find much of anything that I’d be interested in reading. While I’m trying not to be too picky with this challenge, I couldn’t help but feel I needed to read something special for my birthday. And that’s what led me to choose “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton. Despite already having read this in the past, it’s one of my favorite books that just gets better and better with each read. When I was little, I was absolutely terrified of the movie (and rightly so) but after getting over my fear of being eaten alive by dinosaurs, it’s become one of my favorite movies. And while the book and film have many similarities and differences, there are merits to each of them that make it a timeless classic. Either way, the message remains the same in both: the ethical impacts of scientific discovery.

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A Book with a Number in the Title

Presenting the second edition to my 2015 Reading Challenge: “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. I’m proud to say it’s been a pretty quick turnaround from my last but first book challenge post covering A Book with More Than 500 Pages. I can only say I hope this momentum continues as I try to tackle 48 more books within this year. There are many similarities between this book and the one from my previous post “The Book Thief.” Both take place in foreign countries, both center around leading female character(s) and both are slightly depressing. However, for “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” the word “depressing” is putting it lightly. Without giving too much away, I can only say that as the title implies, there is a light of hope and happiness for the ending of this tale. While it takes a little time before the real gut of the book is reached, I did read though a good chunk by staying up until 3 a.m. one night simply because I desperately wanted to know how this story was going to conclude. As a “#1 New York Times Bestseller” I can say this one book your sure to let lost in. So without further ado, here’s my take on “A Thousand Splendid Suns.”

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