April 29, 2015

5 Delicious Reads Secrets . . .


Hey you...

Yes, you. 

Lean in close! Today we're dishing book club secrets! You may or may not be a Delicious Reads member. Maybe you have your own book club or want to start one. Perhaps you stumbled on our site and were drawn in by the sheer magnitude of awesomeness that occurs each month. Maybe you're a foodie and some of our Delicious Dishes caught your eye. Or you could be a DIYer who's crushing on some of our fun projects. Whatever your reason for being here . . . 
you're in the right place. 

Delicious Reads has something for everyone. 

SECRET 1: Even Book Clubs Have Stereotypes.
If you participate in any book club, click on the link below to see which one of these you are... Don't worry, we won't make you admit anything!


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SECRET 2: Sometimes We Do a Little... Sometimes We Do a Lot! 
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At Delicious Reads there's a whole spectrum of involvement. Barely finished the book? Still have 30 pages left? It's okay! Or maybe you signed up to be the blogger for the month and you're also going to make a yummy dish. Maybe you whipped up an incredible power point presentation because its your turn to moderate. Great! We embrace all levels of participation. One thing that makes our group work so effectively is the contribution of our amazing members. Some months are busier than others and it just seems like everyone gives when they can and it all works out every month!

SECRET 3: We're gonna tell you 
what we really think. 

Before we dig in to the discussion of the book selection for the month, everyone weighs in for our group star rating. We give our personal rating from 1-5 stars. You are eligible for the vote if you've read over half of the book. Then we do a group average, which is what you see posted each month with our Book Review Post.

Here's our star rating cheat-sheet!


Secret 4: Sometimes We Disagree!
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Sometimes we have different opinions on books. Sometimes we have to duke it out. No, I'm totally kidding. Just seeing if you were still paying close attention. I really love it when people see things differently than I do. It gives me a chance to broaden my horizons and try to see things from another perspective. It's interesting because sometimes I go into book club with my opinions, but by the end of the night I come away appreciating the book in ways I hadn't thought about previously. This is something I love about discussing books. I don't think I'd enjoy it nearly as much if we all liked the same things. 

Secret 5: DELICIOUS SECRETS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BOOK CLUB

1) Have a set schedule. We meet on the first Tuesday of each month. This allows everyone to get in a  habit of knowing when it's coming up to schedule plans around it.

2) Involve your members! Our amazing creator, Kelly, has said time and time again that things went way more smoothly when she encouraged members to participate in the planning and overseeing of our meetings. People love to be involved! Give them a chance and you'll be surprised what people will bring to the table.

3) FOOD! Feed your peeps! Everyone loves to chat over yummy appetizers, drinks, dishes and desserts. Even if you don't do a whole meal, include snacky foods and drinks. 

4) Make sure there's time for chit-chat! You'll never get through a book discussion if your members haven't had time to talk!

5) Someone needs to be in charge! For us, that's KELLY! Someone needs to have the final say in any large group to make things run smoothly.

6) Let your members have a say in the book line-up! We do a retreat every fall to choose our books for the upcoming year. We make a huge master-list on Goodreads and anyone can contribute. Then we get together to hash it out. We try to make sure we're including a variety of genres and we also think about what holidays etc. are in the selected months. 
Everyone wants to feel like their voice is heard!

Well guys, those are all the secrets for today! Now remember, DON'T TELL! Just kidding. Tell all your friends. Because if there's one thing we love at Delicious Reads . . . it's a good secret!

Your Writerly Ranter,


April 27, 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd {Book to Movie}




This movie is from the classic book Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and comes to theaters on May 1st, 2015. 
It is a drama and is 119 minutes and is rated PG-13.

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Movie Synopsis

In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.






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Book Synopsis

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.




Cast

Carey Mulligan {Bathsheba Everdene}
It looks like all the main actors are from Europe with Carey being from London, England. Her first major appearance was playing Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005) alongside Keira Knightley, Carey also played orphan "Ada Clare" in the B.B.C. television series, Bleak House (2005). She was also in Drive and An Education and one of our favorite Book to Movies The Great Gatsby. She has another upcoming film this year called Suffragette. She is married to Marcus Mumford.

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You might recognize her more with her short blonde hair.

I bet this wardrobe is going to be a favorite of Jens from our Book Club. She loves the late 1800's style of clothing.

Bathsheba's Three Suitors

Suitor #1 Gabriel Oak played by Matthias Schoenaerts
He is from Belgium and both his parents were actors, Dominique Wiche and Julien Schoenaerts. He has been in such films as: Rust and Bone, The Drop, and Bullhead. His upcoming projects include: A Bigger Splash, Close Protection, The Danish Girl and a TV Mini Series of Lewis and Clark.
Suitor #2 Frank Troy played by Tom Sturridge
He was born in London, England and has been in such movies as Pirate Radio, Waiting for Forever, and On the Road. He has another film coming out this year called Weightless. He is with Sienna Miller and they have a child together. Apparently they are all the buzz in the UK.

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Suitor #3 William Boldwood played by Michael Sheen
For all you Twilight fans if you think his face looks familiar it is because he played Aro on the Twilight Movies with his first appearance in Twilight Saga: New Moon. But he has also been in several other movies including: Midnight in Paris, Kingdom of Heaven, Alice in Wonderland (voice of the White Rabbit). His upcoming projects are Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass and Oppenheimer Strategies.
Michael used to date Rachel McAdams but is now with Sarah Silverman If you want to see who he has dated check out this from Eonline wow he has dated a lot of actresses.

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Director Thomas Vinterberg
He is from Denmark and has done many films. Some of his most famous are The Hunt (2012), The Celebration (1998) and Submarino (2010). He has another film coming out soon called The Commune.

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Looks like our director doesn't mind helping out with the camera equipment.

Author Thomas Hardy
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He was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his facination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy's poetry, first published in his 50s, has come to be as well regarded as his novels, especially after The Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The term cliffhanger is considered to have originated with Thomas Hardy's serial novel A Pair of Blue Eyes in 1873. In the novel, Hardy chose to leave one of his protagonists, Knight, literally hanging off a cliff staring into the stony eyes of a trilobite embedded in the rock that has been dead for millions of years. This became the archetypal — and literal — cliff-hanger of Victorian prose.

Movie Trailer


Hope you enjoy this classic brought to the big screen!

Check out our other Book to Movie Posts


April 23, 2015

A Tribute to Gilbert Blythe

A Tribute to Gilbert Blythe
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Dear Gilbert,

Before I could even read, I often found my mom lying in her bed late at night reading Anne of Green Gables. I remember the dictionary she kept on her night table because the author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, had an extensive vocabulary. What I didn't know at the time, was that those books would be made into a television film adaption in 1985. What I also didn't know was that you would enter my life and I would never be the same.



A tribute to Gilbert Blythe
First Edition of Anne of Green Gables
The first time I watched Anne of Green Gables, I coveted red hair and I was somehow jealous that those scarlet braids found there way into the hands of a dark-curly-haired-hazel-eyed boy. I didn't care that you were a bully. Those of us who read Montgomery's words, knew that wasn't your intention:

"Gilbert Blythe was trying to make Anne Shirley look at him and failing utterly... Gilbert Blythe wasn't used to putting himself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. She SHOULD look at him, that red-haired Shirley girl with the little pointed chin and big eyes that weren't like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school. Gilbert reached across the aisle and picked up the end of Anne's long red braid, held it out at arm's length, and said in a piercing whisper: 'Carrots! Carrots!'" 


#Ihateyou #I'mgoingtomarrythisgirl

Though it took Anne several movies/books to figure it out for sure, I always liked you. Your intelligence, witty comments, willingness to give up Avonlea school because you thought Anne needed it more after Matthew died, and never stopping to earn Anne's forgiveness and trust  - those qualities basically gave me high standards to look for in a future partner. 
Source
"Gilbert had also sprung from the boat and now laid a detaining hand or her arm. 'Anne,' he said hurriedly, 'look here. Can't we be good friends? I'm awfully sorry I made fun of your hair that time. I didn't mean to vex you and I only meant it for a joke. Besides, it's so long ago. I think your hair is awfully pretty now - honest I do. Let's be friends.'"

Thank you for rescuing Anne from her re-enactment of the Tennyson poem before she drown. Every girl needs a hero.

I will be always grateful for you showing me that movies can be just a good as books. Jonathan Crombie will forever be in my heart as the only actor who could ever be you on screen. The world will never be quite the same without him.

Last of all, Gilbert, thank you for teaching me that the best things in life are worth the wait. You never gave up on Anne and your willingness to fight for her and love her despite her turning you down so many times, is something we all wish we had. You taught Anne that she didn't need to look for her dreams outside of herself. You helped her discover "it's not what the world holds for you, it what you bring to it."
Your Kindred Spirit,



Robin (with an "i")

April 22, 2015

DON'T BREATH! The Devil in the White City Book Club Game


To start off our The Devil in the White City book club night, I thought it would be fun for the members to experience what Burnham and Root went through to build the "White City" under such a short amount of time.

I spoke with book club member Ashley who mentioned a Ted Talk that she had seen that might be perfect for what I was looking for and she was right!

Each team received this packet with their supplies and instructions,

THE GAME: The Marshmallow Challenge is fun design exercise that allowed our teams of two, to experience collaboration, innovation and creativity as they built their marshmallow towers!

THE RULES: The task is simple: in 15 minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing (not taped down) structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.



The room became quiet and focused as all the members worked to delicately create their unique spaghetti towers. Eyes narrowed, brows furrowed, concentration and luck became necessary as each team prayed their tower wouldn't break or fall over before the time was up.





Hold your breath and hope it holds!



TIMES UP!!
Groans were heard through out the room when I called time because only half of the members were able to complete their tower in the allotted time.

It just proves how hard Burnham and his team of designers and builders had it when they did the impossible of creating the 1893 world's fair in such a short amount of time.


Kellie and Brooke WON the game with their tall tower that beat out all the rest 
(Though, we were all instructed NOT TO BREATH around it lol!)

I gave the winning architects a bag full of old fashioned candies that were either popular or invented in 1893 for their hard work in creating their structure.


This game was the PERFECT way to start our evening and provided a lot of fun to all the members and what's awesome is that this activity will work for any team building activity, not just book clubs so try it for yourself!

BOOK CLUB HELPS:

April 20, 2015

Book Club Ideas for "The Devil in the White City" {by Erik Larson}



{Decorations}

The Devil in the White City has two different but parallel story lines going on throughout the entire book. 
The first plot is that of  H.H. Holmes, serial killer and all around CREEPER. The second plot follows the creation of the Chicago Worlds Fair and all involved. Towards the end of the book the two plots tie together.

For the H.H. Holmes serial killer plot, Kelly got an old suitcase to look like a doctors bag where she displayed old bottles, an old notebook and surgical tools that she found at an antique store. She had posters printed from the actual 1893 fair AND of a newspaper article showing Holmes horrifying "murder castle" that she found online and then framed.


Kelly's husband is a big hunter so she didn't have to look any further than her own garage to find loose animal teeth and a coyote skull to use for decoration representing the animal cruelty Holmes displayed as a child. She even found a picture of  H.H. Holmes himself  to frame for everyone to see and be creeped out by (mission accomplished!)

H.H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes


For the Burnham, worlds fair plot line, we used all things related to the World's Fair to bring the magic of the White City to life!

PS don't forget to check out ALL of our food ideas for this book!

Cupcake Ferris Wheel
Popcorn Machine

Eiffel Tower


I found a super helpful tutorial on The Style Sisters blog that inspired me to create these three beautiful paper lantern hot air balloons which were so fun to make and turned out great! (which is saying something since I am NOT crafty.)

paper lantern hot air balloon tutorial

Paper lantern hot air balloon

paper lantern hot air balloon


The World in the "worlds fair" portion of the book was represented with these country flags found on Mr. Printables blog which were then attached to the hot air balloons and on a garland strung above the food table.


printable county flags


Pin wheels, American Flags, and a festive garland all added a touch of the fair to the mantel.


Kelly printed the actual tickets used on Manhattan Day for the World's Fair and had them placed here and there on the tables. It would even be cute to give each member a ticket to "enter" book club.

DOWNLOAD SINGLE TICKET OR DOWNLOAD 3 TICKETS TO A PAGE

Printable Chicago worlds fair ticket

{Discussion}
Kelly put together some great discussion questions and a ton of pictures that she found online including everything we would ever want to see or know about The Devil in the White City!

DOWNLOAD KELLY'S POWERPOINT FOR YOUR OWN BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION!

Kellie Hall also put together a wonderful CHARACTER LIST that helped our entire group keep the many, many characters straight in our minds as we were reading




{Black and White}
Kelly asked everyone to dress up in Black and White attire because the World's Fair was nicknamed "The White City" since all the buildings were painted a beautiful bright white.
On the flip side was a dirty Chicago thought of as a "Black City" with it's crime, grime and dark alley ways.
So our attire to wear Black and White seemed well suited.


{Murderers and Victims Oh My!}


Check back on Wednesday to see what activity Kelly had us do that had everyone holding their breath!!

BOOK CLUB HELPS:





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