OR, eat chocolate, drink red wine and sit curled up with a GREAT book!
It has been a great Friday night here at our home. It started as every other Friday night does around here. Dad takes 3 little girls to the local drug store to let them pick out a sweet treat, and then brings home take-out so I don’t have to cook! We eat while watching recorded TV, tonight it was ‘Survivor.’
I didn’t want to miss out on a sweet treat, so I made my favorite Oatmeal Peanut Butter No Bake Chocolate bars, one of my most popular recipes here at New Nostalgia. The ingredients are very healthful, but you would never know it by tasting these. They are luxurious! This time I put dried cherries in them instead of dried cranberries, and THAT my friends, was an awesome decision!
I also poured myself a glass of red wine. My favorite wine guy from Trader Joes pointed me to this particular kind. I told him I wanted the sweetest red wine he had and he pointed me toward Joseph Handler Sweet Red. It like it very much, it is mellow with hints of cherry and plum. It is a nice change from my usually bubbly Moscato. I only indulge in a glass wine every few weeks, as I am too cheap and health conscience to do it more often!
To top the awesome night off, I sat with my Nook reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. It is an amazing story, one that is very hard to put down. But, as I was sitting there finishing up my Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar and sipping on my glass of wine, I thought “this is the perfect night and I must go share with my readers.” So yes, I tore myself away from my Nook book just to come tell you about it! Here is more about the book about the author:
The Story of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
“Eight years ago, an old man told me a story that took my breath away. His name was Louie Zamperini, and from the day I first spoke to him, his almost incomprehensibly dramatic life was my obsession.
It was a horse–the subject of my first book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend–who led me to Louie. As I researched the Depression-era racehorse, I kept coming across stories about Louie, a 1930s track star who endured an amazing odyssey in World War II. I knew only a little about him then, but I couldn’t shake him from my mind. After I finished Seabiscuit, I tracked Louie down, called him and asked about his life. For the next hour, he had me transfixed.
Growing up in California in the 1920s, Louie was a hellraiser, stealing everything edible that he could carry, staging elaborate pranks, getting in fistfights, and bedeviling the local police. But as a teenager, he emerged as one of the greatest runners America had ever seen, competing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he put on a sensational performance, crossed paths with Hitler, and stole a German flag right off the Reich Chancellery. He was preparing for the 1940 Olympics, and closing in on the fabled four-minute mile, when World War II began. Louie joined the Army Air Corps, becoming a bombardier. Stationed on Oahu, he survived harrowing combat, including an epic air battle that ended when his plane crash-landed, some six hundred holes in its fuselage and half the crew seriously wounded.
On a May afternoon in 1943, Louie took off on a search mission for a lost plane. Somewhere over the Pacific, the engines on his bomber failed. The plane plummeted into the sea, leaving Louie and two other men stranded on a tiny raft. Drifting for weeks and thousands of miles, they endured starvation and desperate thirst, sharks that leapt aboard the raft, trying to drag them off, a machine-gun attack from a Japanese bomber, and a typhoon with waves some forty feet high. At last, they spotted an island. As they rowed toward it, unbeknownst to them, a Japanese military boat was lurking nearby. Louie’s journey had only just begun.
That first conversation with Louie was a pivot point in my life. Fascinated by his experiences, and the mystery of how a man could overcome so much, I began a seven-year journey through his story. I found it in diaries, letters and unpublished memoirs; in the memories of his family and friends, fellow Olympians, former American airmen and Japanese veterans; in forgotten papers in archives as far-flung as Oslo and Canberra. Along the way, there were staggering surprises, and Louie’s unlikely, inspiring story came alive for me. It is a tale of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken.
The culmination of my journey is my new book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I hope you are as spellbound by Louie’s life as I am.”