My favorite non-fiction books from 2016

Earlier this year, I made a goal to read or listen to fifty non-fiction books. I read 47 - not bad, considering I'm in the middle of 3 non-fiction books right now, and I still have 11 days left to go in the year.

My non-fiction books look a lot different from my reading list I created at the end of last year. I managed to get through only 15 of 40 on my list. I can't decide if I need to read harder, or if I need to ease up a bit on my list. I have some very ambitious books on my list while my actual non-fiction reading leaned more towards travel memoirs and cook books. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Here are the non-fiction highlights from 2016. (Note, I'm talking about books I read in 2016, not necessarily books published in 2016.)

Best General Non-fiction from 2016:

Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean - Makes you sad that you didn't pay more attention to the space shuttle program when it was around.

The Road Not Taken by David Orr - An in depth look at the poem everyone quotes without understanding.

When Books Went To War by Molly Guptil Manning - A testamnet to the power of reading.

Best travel memoirs from 2016:

Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery - Read this book if you want to feel weak (but in a good way.)

Walking with Plato by Gary Hayden - An excellent walking book where the walkers don't end up fighting or divorced at the end.

Braving It by Ben Campbell - A father and daughter go to backwoods Alaska. What could go wrong?

Best Biographies from 2016:

Hissing Cousins by Marc Plyser and Timothy Dwyer - A great look at a historical rivalry.

Rosemary by Kate Clifford Larson - So sad, but extremely interesting.

Best Cookbooks from 2016:

100 Recipes by America's Test Kitchen - Everything in this book is amazing. I keep having grand plans of cooking through it.

Home Cooked by Anya Fernald - Another book of delicious food, but also a great book to curl up with on a stormy day.

Everyone is Italian on Sunday by Rachel Ray - No gimmicks in this book, just great food. Try the oatmeal.

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Gift books under my tree

As should be expected in my house Santa leaves a lot of books under our tree. Here are a few I know he's bringing this year for my husband and kids (ages 5 and 8.)

For my son (age 8):

For my daughter (age 5):

For my husband (age unknown):

What's under your tree this year?

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[REVIEW] A New Way To Dinner by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

I recently had the pleasure of curling up and reading A New Way To Dinner by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. This gorgeous cookbook by the brains behind Food52 is a collection of amazing recipes that are also family friendly. Best of all they are organized to knock out a week's worth of cooking in one afternoon!

After an hour or so of reading and drooling over the recipes and color photographs I was inspired to get in the kitchen and cook. Not only did I prep for a week's worth of bag lunches for my family, I made the Thai Steak Salad from this book. We loved it, and I can't wait to do a more organized session of a week's worth of meals.

Buy this book for yourself, and buy a copy as a Christmas present for your best friend. you both will thank me later!

Note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Blogging For Books.

Best books about World War II

Like a lot of people I read a lot of books about World War II. It's an interesting subject, and there's a lot of material. Here are some of my favorites.

Novels

Margot by Jillian Cantor

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Diaries

Mr. Brown's War Ed. by Helen D. Millgate

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

Non-Fiction

No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin

D-Day by Stephen Ambrose

Kids and YA

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wain

World War II Spies (Choose Your Own Adventure)

Cookbooks

Cooking on the Home Front by Hugh and Judy Gowan

Lost Recipes by Marion Cunningham

What am I missing? What are your favorite books about this fascinating time period?

The Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook

I've been hunting around for kid's cook books at my local library, and I really like what I see in this Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook.  The recipes are fun without being too out there -- although I was surprised that their recipe for Roast Beast used chicken instead of beef.

This book would also be great for birthday party food.

Have you tried anything from this book?  Do your kids have a favorite cook book?

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The best cookbooks for freezer cooking

Cooking in summer isn't always fun, but still the people who live here want to eat every day. I tend to rely on freezer cooking or batch cooking to get us through until the humidity falls back below 50%. There are tons of freezer cooking options online, but of course my most trusted resources are books.

Click on any of the book covers below to go to the description on amazon.com.

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