Great Winter Reads

The Shack by William Paul Young, $8,

The story turns sinister, however, when Missy gets abducted during an otherwise routine family vacation. Evidence surfaces that she may have been brutally murdered in an abandoned shack, located in the remote Oregon wilderness country.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, $11.16,

The Hobbit is an adventure story involving Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit; Gandalf, a wizard; and several other creatures including dwarves, elves and a dragon. A short summary is that Gandalf, the wizard, proposes an adventure to Bilbo. Bilbo is a “stay-at-home” hobbit and refuses to have anything to do with adventures.

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers, $19.49,

New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.


“Healthy” Mint Hot Cocoa

1 can coconut milk

1/3 cup water

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon mint or peppermint extract

SmashMallow Mint Chocolate Chip Marshmallows (optional)


1. Spoon the coconut milk, including cream into a small saucepan. Warm on medium heat, and whisk occasionally until the cream is melted. Add the water, maple syrup, cacao and mint extract.

2. Whisk well, heating until steaming but not boiling.

3. Optional: blend in a nonglass blender to completely remove any lumps.