Tuesday, February 9, 2016

24 Clean Romance Novels

{Books that will melt your heart with their heartwarming love stories}

I have it all planned out for Valentine's Day this year: a moonlit night, a single candle, maybe some soft music in the background. We'll sit next to each other and my heart will warm for this companion at my side. Yep, you guessed it. I'm going to have the most romantic night of my life . . . with a book! Don't get me wrong, I love my real-life hunk of a man and we'll probably have a night out on the town, but there's nothing wrong with cozying up this another companion, the literary kind, that is! Now I'm not talking about a steamy imagined romance with a shirtless man on the cover of a book filled with explicit content. No, I want a romance that will pull at my heart and make remember what falling in love feels like. There's something heartwarming about a good clean romance.

After such a success with our 40 Clean Reads for Teens, I decided that is was time to pull together all of our favorite adult romance novels, but with one caveat: they had to be PG or cleaner (most of these are PG). That means no bedroom scenes and no explicit content. Does that mean these books won't get your heart racing. NO! In fact, we picked these books because they have romance - just the good, clean kind (**See disclaimer at the end of this post).

No Sex Books, PG Rated Romance Reads


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies {Book to Movie}


So with all the Zombie craze they made the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies into a movie. I saw the trailer and I think this movie will be entertaining. I actually have  not read the book but a friend of mine has and she didn't really like it. I wonder if you are a true Jane Austen fan if that makes the difference wether you would like this movie or not. I think I will go see it just because it looks entertaining. I am not going to put high expectations on this movie and let it be what it is, "A Zombie Movie". 
This movie comes out February 5th. It is PG-13 and 108 minutes.

Monday, February 1, 2016

FREE Printable Bookish Valentine's Day Cards


Love is in the air . . . and the Valentine's are beginning to circulate. If you're like me, you want to do something simple and easy, but wouldn't it be nice to give away something unique? What about something that is related to something you love - BOOKS! And that you can print for free from the comfort of your home! Bring on the LOVE. (Just follow the links or right click and save each image to print your own).

Friday, January 29, 2016

16 Winter Novels you'll want to stay in and read


Are you feeling the cold of winter? 
Doesn't it make you just want to curl up in front of a fire and read a good book?
I was thinking of just this the other day and wanted to put together a list of books that our book club members like to read in the winter. So if it's cold and blizzardy outside pick one of these books and I guarantee you will be blissfully taken away to another life and another time and forget about the cold outside.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

10 things I've learned running a book club


This year marks the 10 year anniversary of my book club and to celebrate I'll be writing a post every month about our 10 favorite books, 10 favorite recipes, 10 favorite book characters etc. I can't wait to spend the year reminiscing about our book club journey!
And with that, let's begin by hearing about the 10 things that I've learned running a book club.

Monday, January 25, 2016

10 TIPS TO AVOID A READING SLUMP




Have you ever fallen into a reading slump?? It's okay if you have . . .  we're in a safe place here! Maybe you usually really love to read but for some reason the books you're trying just aren't clicking. Or maybe you don't read as much as you'd like and you're not sure where to start. Or maybe you can't figure out how to work reading into your busy schedule. Maybe you're just feeling bored with the books you have around your house and you're not sure what to read next. You might not even be sure what kind of books you like! Well don't you worry your pretty little head . . . we're here to solve all your bookish dilemmas!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Edenbrooke Book Club Ideas {Part 2}

This is a fun era to read about and dress up as. This book is considered a Proper Romance genre. If you like Georgette Heyer books or Jane Austen then you will love this book. But I think it is even better because she writes so I understand it better. Some parts in a book like Pride and Prejudice, I was lost when certain terms or language was used. Julianne gives you the same feel as those books but easier to understand.

Keep reading if you would like some more ideas on throwing your own
Edenbrooke Book Club.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Edenbrooke Book Club Ideas {Part 1}


We read the super awesome Proper Romance book Edenbrooke this last month and I think that every single one of us loved it. Some loved it so much they kept reading more of her books like Heir to Edenbrooke (a short kindle only novella) and Blackmoore (which has nothing to do with Edenbrooke but some said was even better). So if you are looking to read Edenbrooke for your book club check out our yummy food ideas.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Last Artichoke Dip Recipe You'll Ever Need



THIS dip.  You guys. This has been one of my favorite recipes since high school.  I cannot control myself around it and it's even more addicting than Lipton's French Onion Soup dip paired with Ruffles, if you can believe that.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Review for "Edenbrooke" {by Julianne Donaldson}

TITLE OF THE BOOKEdenbrooke
AUTHOR: Julianne Donaldson
PUBLISHER: Shadow Mountain
NUMBER OF PAGES: 264
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2012
READING LEVEL: Adult
GENRE: Romance (Regency)


BOOK SUMMARY:
Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

OUR GROUP STAR RATING....

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

War & Peace, a BBC TV Miniseries, Coming January 18!


I'm not sure when Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace or Anna Karenina he could have ever imagined the legacy he would leave - or the film and TV adaptions of his stories. The newest adaption by BBC is set to be released this next Monday. After watching the trailer, I am already hooked!



Monday, January 11, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

Spring Cleaning: 5 Tips to Feng Shui Your Home


It's that time of year again! SPRING has arrived. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and outside it smells like fresh-cut grass. It's also the time of year that everyone's thinking about Spring Cleaning. But at Delicious Reads, we like to put a fun spin on everything. Why just Spring Clean when you can bring a little Feng Shui into your home?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Calling All Shadowhunter Lovers

(Source)
If you are a big fan of Cassandra Clare then you probably have read all of her books and if you haven't then you need to get reading, you have a lot to catch up on. This is her first series she wrote, The Mortal Instruments.
  Shadowhunters premiers January 12th on ABC Family.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Favorite 2016 Reading Challenges

As a former kid who always crushed summer reading challenges, I still get excited about participating as an adult! I love having the extra motivation to get some reading in (because who doesn't love checking off a category box?), and the push to explores titles, authors, and topics that I might not otherwise pick up.

If you're game for a 2016 reading challenge, here are a few great ones to browse through and participate in!

Our book club member Cami blogs at Worthington Ave., and came up with this fantastic reading challenge for 2016. My favorite categories are a book based on a fairy tale, a book with an ugly cover, and a book from Rory Gilmore's reading list. Find more details on the challenge HERE!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Club Book Recap for 2015

Whew! The year is almost up and we made it. I wasn't able to finish my 52 books in 52 weeks goal (unless I can read 10 more books in 2 days), but I did finish all of the Delicious Reads book club picks for the year. We had some great finds this year, some surprises, and a few books with very mixed reviews. We've put together a little recap of all the books we read in 2015. I included our overall star rating and what made it a good or bad book for book club.


In 2015 we read:
-2 Young Adult books (Remembrandt, Remake)
-1 Biography (My Life in France)
-1 Historical Fiction (The Devil in the White City)
-2 Middle Grader books (Wonder & The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe)

All together as a book club we read a grand total of 3885 pages.
Not too shabby!

Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Read
January
Author: Robin King
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: We think this book was a perfect pick as one of our young adult books of the year. It was a quick read with lots of fun ideas that could be used as themes (spying, Russia, college life). There are also discussion questions at the back of the book made specifically for book clubs. This would be a good choice for a easy read or great teen book club pick. 
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on Remembrandt, including games, decor and recipes!



Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
February
Author: Julia Child
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: While the book was ornately informative and quite a romantic portrayal of France in the early 50s, the book is largely written about Julia's passion/obsession for writing her cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" which some loved and other felt tedious. Our fabulous sit down dinner featuring French food and talk of Julia made the read worth it, either way.
*See our full review here of My Life in France
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on My Life in France


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
March
Author: Erik Larson
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: Overall, we as a group thoroughly enjoyed this book although MANY of our members would say that it is not for the faint of heart! There is enough detail about Holmes's murders to give you bad dreams if you pick up this read before bedtime. We felt that it was very informative for a non-fiction book but also very entertaining which is not always the case in this genre and makes for a PERFECT book club book!
*See our full review here of The Devil in the White City
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on The Devil in the White City


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
April
Author: Jules Verne
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: Most of the Delicious Readers relished in the underwater imagination garden that flourished and bloomed in our minds, but there were a few that found the details Verne used overshadowed the characters and plot of the story (those that listened to the audio version found that the characters came to life more). We all agreed that Jules Verne as an author was a genius in his time and this book's level of technology described in scientific detail was mind blowing. There was so much to discuss and we thoroughly enjoyed the under the sea themed book club night.
*See our full review here of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
May
Book: Remake
Author: Ilima Todd
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: This book raised many interesting questions that we could have discussed it all night - the themes raised in the book of gender and family made for great discussion (there are discussion questions at the back of the book). This YA book also had adventure and romance which added to the fun of the read. We'd recommend this as an easy summer read or a perfect teen book club choice.
*See our full review here of Remake
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on Remake


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
June
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: We had very mixed feelings about this book, but one thing we could agree on was that it was written beautifully. This post-apocalyptic themed book made for some interesting discussion about humanity, survival, and what matters most. It took many of us some time to get used to the switching back and forth between characters and time periods, but we found it interesting how it was all tied together at the end.Though we did have differing opinions, all of us agreed that the book stayed with us after reading it.
*See our full review here of Station Eleven
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on Station Eleven


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
July
Book: Wonder 
Author: R.J. Palacio
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: Out of all the books we read this year, this one received our highest rating, which is almost surprising because it is considered a middle grade book. Not only did we love the book and the character of Auggie, we loved the writing style of the author and how he captured the likeness of a child. Our discussion focused on outward appearance, bullying, and teaching kindness. We would all definitely recommend this book for any book club. 
*See our full review here of Wonder
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on Wonder


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
August
BookShutter
Author: Courtney Alemeda
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: We don't often read horror books, but we were lucky to have this author come to our book club of this book. We would definitely recommend this YA book to anyone who wants a taste of horror (including monsters, ghosts, goblins, vampires, and more). There is some fun romance and we all felt like the book had a "Ghost Buster"-like vibe to it. This would make for a fun October/Halloween book club book.  
*See our full review here of Shutter
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on Shutter


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
September
Author: Agatha Christie
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: We all love Agatha Christie's writing style. After reading And Then There Were None last year, we had to read another one this year.  Her writing is refreshing in the sense that it isn't fast paced so it gives you time to think, for suspense to build, for suspicions to arouse which is perfect for a mystery novel. We also liked how she never gives anything away with her murder mystery clues. I don't think any of us knew how the ending was going to play out. There were also some good things to discuss, including justice verses revenge, when is murder justified, and the time period. We turned our book club night into a murder mystery dinner that was to die for! Every book club needs to read at least one Agatha Christie novel!
 *See our full review here of Murder on the Orient Express
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on Murder on the Orient Express

Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
October
Author: Diane Setterfield
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: Wow. we loved the twists and turns this book took us through! The suspenseful mystery was a perfect read. We collectively agreed that the writing was magical. Setterfield had a beautful way with words and really drew us into the "ghost story" and kept us guessing until the very end. 
 *See our full review here of The Thirteenth Tale
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on The Thirteenth Tale


Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
November
Author:  C.S. Lewis
Our Star Rating:
Our Book Club Recap: We like to choose a short book for November because we meet the first week of December and combine book club with our Christmas party. This book was perfect because it was short and had a wintry/Christmas feel to it. It is one you need to discuss at book club because there are so many layers to it - the surface story, and the underlying themes C.S. Lewis drew from religion. C.S. Lewis is an author every book club needs to read! 
*See our full review here of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on 

Delicious Reads 2015 Book Club Books
December
Book: Edenbrooke
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Our Star Rating: We are currently reading this book and will add our rating soon
Our Book Club Recap: This Regency romance is sure to please any book club, especially those that have enjoyed anything by Jane Austen. 
*See our full review here of Edenbrooke (Coming Soon!)
*Check out our ideas on how to throw your own Book Club on Edenbrooke (Coming Soon!) 


As you can tell, most of the books this year that we read we would recommend to read for your book club, but all for different reasons. Some of the books weren't necessarily the best books we've read, but they made for great discussion or great parties! Make sure to check out our full reviews and book club ideas before you host your own book club.

XoXo,


Monday, December 28, 2015

DIY Book Tote


We had a book club retreat in November and we wanted to give our wonderful book club members a swag bag full of goodies of all kinds. We were thinking we would put it in a paper sack and then we ran across this cute bag idea on Pinterest. With all projects you try on Pinterest you have to do some trial and error. This is my version of the Book Tote that looks like a piece of lined paper and I think it was fairly easy to do if you know how to sew a straight line on a sewing machine. This tote took me about 30 minutes to make.

 Step 1:

Find a craft store and buy a canvas tote any size you would like. I got mine at Hobby Lobby but I'm sure they are everywhere. You can also find a similar one on Amazon here.(Who doesn't love their Amazon Prime?)

Step 2:

All you need for step 2 is a ruler and a fabric pencil to make the lines. I started the first horizontal line 2 inches from the top. Then I drew a line one inch apart until I got to the bottom where I ended the lines so that they were not on the folding bottom part. That would be really hard to sew there. This is approximately 3 inches from the bottom. The next line you will need to make is the line that runs verticle for the red thread to be hand sewn on. I made this line run parallel to the edge of the tote and about 2 inches from the side. Make sure you draw all these lines on both sides of the tote. Don't worry about the lines. The fabric pencil is meant to stay on temporarily and will rub off or wash off easily.


Step 3:

Now comes the hardest part of the whole operation but really it's not that hard. First I bought the brightest blue thread for the lines. Put the thread on your bobbin and thread it through your machine and you are ready to go. First I started sewing them from the top line down and then I tried from the bottom line up, but really there wasn't that much of a difference so which ever way you prefer. Now don't worry if you sew these and they aren't perfectly straight just try to get them as straight as you can by following the lines you drew. I just started on one side of the tote and sewed all the way around to meet up where I started. Repeat this for all the horizontal lines you drew.




This is what it will look like when you are done with the machine sewing part. As you can see my lines aren't perfectly straight. No Biggie.


 

Step 4:

This is a super simple step but might take a little more time than you think because you have to hand sew it. I bought some bright red embroidery thread and a large needle that would fit the thread. I cut a piece about 18 inches long so that it would go along the 13 1/2 inch length plus some to tie knots. I threaded the needle and  tied a double knot in the end. To hide the knot I went on the inside and up the folded over fabric and pulled it through till I hit the top.



While stitching down the length of the tote I made sure that I made as much of the thread show as possible and took smaller stitches on the underside. Make sure you stitch the red thread on both sides of the tote. At the end tie it off on the underside and wa la.


The finished product!


Optioonal Step 5: Customize

If you would like to do a little personalizing this takes a little more time but it turned out really cute. I didn't do this for every bag because I had to do 18 bags but I wanted to try it out and see how it would look. I hand drew the lettering that I wanted on the tote. Then I bought some blue embroidery thread to do the stitching. I used the same concept of the red thread stitching just followed the lettering that I drew on there.



The Finished Personalized Tote!



    
Library Card Design

 Step 1:

Same as in the first design 

Step 2:

When you draw the lines on use this pattern in the picture. I started the first line 1 inch from the top, did two spaces then a double line close together. The vertical line goes from the double line down to the bottom line and farther in from the edge then the other design (about 3 inches).


Step 3:

Sew it the same way as the first tote but this time you will sew one vertical line as in the picture.

 Step 4:

Using your fabric pencil trace on what you want it to say. Look at the pictures below if you want it like a library card. Also I used more of a block lettering so that it would be easier to stitch.





 Then just stitch over the lettering using a blue embroidery thread and the needle from before. You can go simple like this or add even a person's name or the book they borrowed and the date it is due. Have fun with it and it would depend on the amount of time you want to put into it.
  
 The finished product!

We gifted this bag to author Teri Harman to thank her for coming to speak to us at our BOOK CLUB RETREAT this November.



I hope this tutorial gave you some ideas of your own and was easy to follow. If you have questions just leave them in the comments and I will answer them. Have fun sewing and being creative!

XOXO,
Kellie