Immersing ourselves in a good book is one of our favorite ways of checking out of our daily happenings. Whether its fiction, a biography, a book on how to better ourselves, our business or our cooking; reading is one of our favorite past times. It is a wonderful way to relax and turn off the stress of the day, in between, work, kiddos and life.
Below are our current favorite books of all time, why we love them so much and the wine we enjoyed while reading them. We are always looking for something new to read. Let us know your favorite book of all time in the comments section below, so we can add it to our must-read lists. We love hearing from you.
--- Brenda’s Picks ---
The Husband’s Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Quick Overview: A group of middle aged, middle class women are dealing with secrets that could turn their outwardly “perfect” lives upside down. The main story is centered around a letter that the main character stumbles upon from her husband, addressed to her with instructions to be read only after his death. What’s inside the letter are secrets that will change the lives of many.
General Thoughts: If you are looking for a quick read that is hard to put down, pick up anything and everything by Liane Moriarty. I’ve read all but two of her books and the remaining two are on my list to complete this year. Her books are usually based around middle aged women whose lives involve a secret or turmoil. Usually all the characters’ lives are intertwined in a way that won’t make sense until the end. The characters are flawed making them feel real and like you are living among them. "The Husbands Secret", was the first Moriarty book I read and because I loved it so much, it may also be the fastest book I have ever read. I could not put this book down. Once I finished I immediately went on to devour four more of Moriarty’s books; "What Alice Forgot", "Three Wishes", "Truly Madly Guilty", and "Big Little Lies" . All great reads.
Moriarty’s popularity is picking up as she earned # 1 New York Best Seller titles for both “The Husband’s Secret” and “Big Little Lies.” You can also now watch the HBO mini-series of “Big Little Lies” which is very true to Moriarty’s book. I loved it. Talks of a movie version of “What Alice Forgot” has been rumored and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed it gets the green light. If you love a light read with mystery and suspense, Moriarty’s books are a sure thing.
What to drink: A bold Cab. Give Oak Ridge Cabernet Lodi a try.
Author: Stephen King
Quick Overview: A flu like plague takes over the world leaving few survivors. Those left, are haunted with dreams of a woman who resonates all things “good” and nightmares of a man who depicts pure evil. The characters are asked to make a choice between the two and travel across the graveyard of the country to engage in an apocalyptic battle of good vs. evil.
General Thoughts: "The Stand" is last book I read and the fourth Stephen King book I’ve read. With his books usually having a darkness to them, King’s style of writing isn’t my usual “go-to” read. “The Stand” however, is my husband, mom and sister’s favorite book. When I was looking for a new book to pick up, they all chimed in, “READ THE STAND”, commenting how crazy I am that I haven’t read it yet. Finally, I decided to pick it up and I’m so happy I did. This book is a beast on many levels. It’s a beast in size being 1,152 pages long and it’s a beast because of the depth King takes the characters. Having not read a Stephen King novel for about 20 years, I had forgotten how brilliant and flawless his writing is. The buildup and the details he writes in are so vivid you feel like you can see and feel the characters. The scenes where the characters travel through the country that is now a wasteland of corpses and the descriptions of those characters representing “evil” were so life like that I had to stop reading this book before bed. King’s is such an amazing story teller that you question if what you’re reading is a prediction of what is to come. I will forever think about the characters in this book and because of that, I cannot recommend this book enough.
Even though I might switch to something lighter for my next read, I have purchased "Needful Things" (my mom’s 2nd favorite King novel), and plan to read it soon. My sister and husband are however wanting me to pick up the "Dark Tower" series. We’ll see.
What to drink: Go with a full bodied red like this Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Lodi.
--- Lauren’s Picks ---
What I Know for Sure
Author: Oprah Winfrey
Quick Overview: A memoir of events in Oprah’s life starting from when she was a small child through today. Each chapter is organized into a section with a lesson about what she’s learned from each situation or life challenge.
General Thoughts: I’ll start by saying that I love Oprah. What’s not to love about this entirely self-made, amazing journalist and TV personality? She’s introspective and shows compassion and excitement for everything she touches in life, love and business. She isn’t afraid to admit when she made a mistake, is open to sharing her experience and what she learned from it. Oprah is “life goals” embodied in one woman. "What I Know for Sure" touches on topics like; possibility, gratitude, clarity, connections, power, resilience, joy and awe. She uses her life experiences to sum up “What She Knows for Sure” based on these experiences. Her stories are an interesting peek into her life and feelings that leave you feeling inspired to be the best version of yourself.
What to drink: Drink something that inspires you. This full bodied Verada Pinot Noir Tri County 2014 inspires me every time.
The Things They Carried
Author: Tim O'Brien
Genre: War Story/Semi-Autobiography
Quick Overview: "The Things They Carried" is a critically acclaimed semi-autobiography made of short stories about his tour during the Vietnam War and the men who fought alongside him in Alpha Company.
General Thoughts: I first read “The Things They Carried” in a high school literature class. It was one of those books I picked up and finished in three sittings. That doesn’t happen often to me. It started my fascination with war history and autobiography. I read it again in my 20s and loved it even more. Through story-telling, O’Brien describes the psychological side of warfare and the lasting impact it has on the soldiers who serve. Each story is so well written you feel like you are there in the jungle with O’Brien and his company. It can be dark and hard to swallow at times, but gives great perspective on what these men went through and dealt with when they returned. I’ve given this book as a gift multiple times and it has always been a hit. O’Brien has 9 critically acclaimed pieces and "In The Lake of The Woods" is next up on my list.
What to drink: You’ll need something heavy for this one. I loved this full bodied and intense Mascota Vineyards Unanime- Cabernet Sauvignon. It received 94 points from James Suckling, a wine critic and Senior Editor for Wine Spectator. Enjoy!