Friday, August 26, 2016

Summer Reading Recap

Fall is approaching fast, so it's time to recap some summer reads! Here are a few of my favorite books I read this summer, and my thoughts on each. Many of my summer reads this year were re-reads -- I guess I was in the mood to revisit old favorites all summer long. Now I can't wait to cozy up with hot chocolate and some fall reading.

Me Before You (Jojo Moyes) I re-read this novel early in the summer because I was dying to see the movie and wanted to have the book fresh in my mind. I remember enjoying this book when I read it shortly after its release, but definitely enjoyed it more after a second read.

I listened to the audio this time, which was really well done. But I still haven't seen the movie! If you've seen it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Rainy Day Sisters (Kate Hewitt) This novel has a light, fun, chick lit feel to it, even though it does hit on some bigger issues. When Lucy's life in NYC hits crisis level, she accepts an invite from the half-sister she barely knows to come stay with her in a remote seaside village in England.

I loved this quick, fun read, and I totally fell for the sweet love stories in this novel (even though I am often a little reluctant to fall hard for romances). The town and its inhabitants are quirky and lovable, and it's easy to get sucked into this one and wish you could pop in for a visit.

The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield) I'm still sad that I missed our book club discussing this book last fall, but I wanted to read it on my own anyway (many months late!). I listened to the audio and absolutely loved it!

The mystery was engaging, the story was so hard to step away from, and it had the perfect amount of spooky creepiness. I always love dual timeline stories, especially when the modern day characters are researching mysteries in the past, so this was right up my alley. It was a re-read for me, and I loved it just as much or more the second time around! See our book club review post for this book HERE.

The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls) This has been on my to-read list for many years! I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it, because I absolutely loved this memoir of Walls's unconventional childhood and the struggles she overcame as she grew.

I actually read Half Broke Horses a few years ago and loved it as well, so check that out if you've already read The Glass Castle and want more.

Hyperbole and a Half (Allie Brosh) I love Brosh's self-deprecating sense of humor, and the hilarious comics that accompany each story. This book is a quick and funny read that does hit some serious points: readers who have dealt with depression (whether their own or in a loved one) will recognize a lot of truth in the chapter chronicling the author's depression, and might even learn how to relate better and offer support to someone struggling with depression.

Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling) In preparation for our big book club Harry Potter extravaganza, I've been re-reading the Harry Potter series this year. This summer, I listened to the audiobooks for books 4, 5, and 6, and I'm starting book 7 today! No matter how many times I reread Harry Potter, I always fall in love with them all over again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Let's Dish! Six New Products You HAVE to Try (Book Club Gossip)

I know, we should be talking books at book club. And most of the time we do. Really. But you can't get a group of gals together without dishing about the latest show, what 's going on in Whitney's life, where Kellie got those fabulous shoes, and what lipstick Jen is wearing. Which brings me to the point of this post - NEW stuff you can't live without. Shhh. Only tell these to your favorite people. We wouldn't want everyone to look and feel this fab.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Book Review for "Ready Player One" (by Ernest Cline)

TITLE OF THE BOOK: Ready Player One 

AUTHOR: Ernest Cline

PUBLISHER: Broadway Books



READING LEVEL: appropriate for teens and adults

GENRE: Science Fiction / Dystopian / Thriller & Suspense

BOOK SUMMARY: (From GoodreadsIn the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the po
p culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

4.4 stars


Almost everyone in our group loved reading Ready Player One, and especially loved remembering and reconnecting with so many cultural references from our childhoods. Almost all of us were born in the 80s or were kids in the 80s, so the huge variety of references to 80s music, games, movies, and trends was so fun for us to relive. Even those on the younger end of the group who can't remember much (or anything!) from the 80s still found it easy to connect with, and could find something to relate to, even if they didn't understand every single reference.

One of our members mentioned that part of what made this book such a successful read was the blending of past and future. It managed to capture everyone's interest, whether people typically read more historical fiction set in the past, or speculative fiction set in the future. Whatever someone's reading interests are, they are covered at some point in Ready Player One.

In one interesting passage in the book, Wade says that he has been lied to. Everything he's been taught to believe in -- from religion, to cultural myths like Santa and the Easter Bunny -- is a fairy tale, and he wishes that he had been told the truth. This led to a really interesting group discussion about the 'lies' we tell our children. How do we pass on our religious beliefs to our kids? How do we talk to our kids about Santa, or other traditions? How do they feel when they discover that something we have taught them about might not actually be true, and how do parents handle their feelings if children feel they  have been lied to? One group member pointed out during our discussion that life is hard enough as it is, and it's a lovely thing to have a fairy tale to believe in.

In the book, real life is so bleak that almost everything chooses to spend all their time in the massive virtual universe called the OASIS. We spent a lot of time discussing the OASIS and the ways we already feel we are 'living' in it. In a way, we are already living in a sort of OASIS through our connection to social media. In the book, characters create avatars and can choose how they look and sound to others online -- much like we use Instagram and Facebook to present a beautiful, happy, mess-free version of our lives to others. Even through games like Pokemon Go and the SIMS, we can escape into a virtual world. Even our group love of books is a way of escaping from the real world!

We agreed that we also felt like we entered the OASIS with Wade as we read the book, and could feel a distinct change as the storyline moved from the real world into the OASIS. One of our group complaints about the book was that we wished there had been a bit more action and threat for Wade in the real world. There are brief moments of real life danger and suspense for Wade, but we wished we had seen a bit more of his life outside the game, and perhaps more tension in the real world to parallel what he experienced in the OASIS.

We also talked about the experience of meeting people in real life who we've only interacted with online, an experience that is getting more and more common with the rise of online dating and friendships made through blogging and social media. We had a wide range of experiences in the group, from members who felt disappointed that someone was completely different from what they had pictured in online chats, to members who met and made great real life friendships with online friends, or even fell in love and married someone they met online.

As a group, we almost always love the romance portions of the books we read and discuss. There wasn't much romance in this book, but we felt happy with the amount we got in this book, as it felt fitting for the plot.

We ended our discussion by asking if we would be interested in the OASIS, if it existed today. We unanimously agreed that the school and education opportunities presented in the OASIS sounded incredible, and we would love to experience that. But in our day-to-day life, most of us didn't think we'd spend much time there. However, if we lived in the book and the reality that existed there, then yes, we would definitely prefer to spend our time in the OASIS rather than the bleak world of the book.

Friday, July 29, 2016

10 of Some of Our Favorite Book Boyfriends

Have you ever read a book and thought "He would be the best boyfriend." We have done that a lot over here at Delicious Reads. And I might add that some of us are obsessed with certain characters. Sometimes I think these fictional boyfriends might be ruining our view on how realistic we should view our real relationships. But it is all fun and a way to get away from stresses in your life. If your relationship isn't living up to your fictional one well at least we can always read our favorite book again and again.

I think quite a few of us might have this condition!

Monday, July 25, 2016

8 Great Picture Books for New Kindergartners

My oldest will be starting kindergarten in a month. He describes himself as "a little nervous but mostly excited" about this upcoming change. I would describe myself as "mostly freaked out" that my baby is old enough for school.

He is full of questions about kindergarten: what will his teacher be like? what will his classroom look like? what will he do all day? will there be food? will there be games? what will he learn? will he make friends?

For those of you who have a new kindergartner who is brimming with questions, excitement, and/or nerves about school, here's a list of books to help prepare for the big day.

In The Pirate of Kindergarten (by George Ella Lyon), Ginny must wear an eye patch to correct double vision and becomes the pirate of her kindergarten class! This fun book could be especially helpful for kids who have any concerns about being different from the other children in their class.

My kids love the Little Critter books. In First Day of School (by Mercer Mayer), Little Critter is nervous about heading to school, and we get to see how he prepares and gets ready for his first day back!

Kids aren't the only ones nervous for their first day of school (as I am experiencing right now). In Dad's First Day (by Mike Wohnoutka), Dad is way more nervous than Oliver for the first day of school. Kids will love seeing that they aren't the only ones with nerves about school.

The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (by Deborah Lee Rose) is a fun twist on a rhyme your kids will probably recognize -- the twelve days of Christmas. In this version, the kindergartners are given a fun new activity in class each day.

For especially anxious kids, Wemberly Worried (by Kevin Henkes) would make a great pre-K read. Wemberly is nervous about everything to do with the start of school. This book is a great way to discuss your little one's worries and learn together how Wemberly fared on her first day!

Some kids' biggest concern for school is simply being away from mom. For those with separation anxiety, The Kissing Hand (by Audrey Penn) is a great read. A kiss from mom on Chester the raccoon's hand is the perfect way for him to remember her and feel comforted by her, even while he's at school.

With its fun rhyming sequence and silly ideas, Off to Kindergarten (by Tony Johnston) will have your little one laughing about their first day. Bill's list of items to bring to school on his first day grows longer and sillier as the book goes on!

The 'how do dinosaurs' books are always a hit at our house, so How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? (by Jane Yolen) is perfect for the big day! This funny book with its colorful cast of dinosaurs teaches kids about what is and isn't appropriate behavior in the classroom.

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Still Alice" Book Club Ideas Part 2

Hopefully you have already seen Still Alice Book Club Ideas Part 1, if you haven't you need to go check out the food ideas. 

Still Alice by Lisa Genova is one of those must read books. If you are looking for a book to read in book club then look no more. You will not be disappointed. 

“You're so beautiful," said Alice. "I'm afraid of looking at you and not knowing who you are."
"I think that even if you don't know who I am someday, you'll still know that I love you."
"What if I see you, and I don't know that you're my daughter, and I don't know that you love me?"
"Then, I'll tell you that I do, and you'll believe me.”
-Still Alice

Doesn't this quote bring tears to your eyes! 

One thing that I learned from reading this book is that when we know more about something like in this case Alzheimer's Disease, we are understand more and are more empathetic for the people who are touched by this disease. It's not easy being the one going through it but it is also not easy seeing someone you love lose all their memories of their life and the people in it.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Best Books for Middle Grade Readers (Grades 3-7, Ages 8-12)

Adults are always talking about their favorite books, teens gush about the latest book made into a movie, but what about tweens? What about those kids-that-aren't-really-kids anymore? They aren't really recommending books to each other like adults and teens. Some do, but the majority of middle graders - that is the the term used in the world of literature - are getting their recommendations from the adults in their life.

Whether you are a parent, relative, librarian, or teacher, you probably know a child between the ages 8-12. Wouldn't it be nice to have a handy list ready of old and new books that you could give as gifts or recommend? Did you say, "yes"? Then look no further! We've compiled a list of Delicious Reads Approved books that your tween will love and hopefully will transition them into a lifelong reader. All of these books have an average of close to 4 out of 5 stars or better on GoodReads and Amazon. We tried to stick with books that would be gender neutral (both boys and girls would enjoy) and "clean" (no swear words, sexual content, extreme violence). If you like this list, check out some of our other book lists: 40 Clean Reads for Teens, 24 Clean Romance Novels, and Top 24 Books for Teen Boys.

Delicious Reads

Keep reading for more details on our middle grade book choices, including a Delicious Reads book rating and comments specific to each book.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Favorite Childrens books of 2016 thus far

I was on LitJoy Crates Facebook live yesterday with my business partner Alix and we shared some of our favorite childrens books that we've received as possibilities for our LitJoy book boxes but ultimately couldn't use. 

We've received SO many great childrens books it's been hard to pick just one to include each month so we wanted to share several of our "runner up" choices that we think everyone needs to read!

For Ages: 2 - 5

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s in a single letter? Everything in A B See!
Because hidden in each graphic letter are tiny troves of ABC treasures waiting to be found by sharp-eyed readers. Can you find the apple, arrow, and armor in the letter A? Or the bear, banjo, and bike buried in the letter B? Read along in this unique alphabet board book that asks audiences to A B See beyond the ABCs.

"Still Alice" Book Club Ideas Part 1

What an amazing book! This is one of those books that you will look back on and think about throughout your life. If you are thinking of reading this for your book club I am telling you that it will be an amazing night. 
Cami had the great idea to base the food around Alice's favorite coffee house Jerri's, so she put together a drink bar of Crio Bru drinks and sandwiches, salads, and desserts. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Review for "Still Alice" {by Lisa Genova}

TITLE OF THE BOOK: "Still Alice"

AUTHOR: Lisa Genova

PUBLISHER: Self Published and later acquired by Simon & Schuster



READING LEVEL: appropriate for teens and adults

GENRE: Adult Fiction

BOOK SUMMARY: From Goodreads:
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.

Our Star Rating is...

Friday, July 8, 2016

Celebrating 10 Years!

All Photos were taken by JordanBree Photography

We can't believe it has been TEN Years! 

Some book clubs come and some book clubs go but Delicious Reads is here to STAY.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Delicious Dish: 4th of July Desserts That Will Explode in Your Mouth

Let's be real. If you live in the United States, Independence day is usually hot. But because it is the 4th of July, everyone wants to be outside doing parades, picnics, and parties. You know what all those things have in common? FOOD! Wouldn't it be nice to cool off with a July 4th dessert that will explode in your mouth?

At Delicious Reads, we want to make that happen so that while everyone else is slaving over the main dish and potato salad, we can be lazing about in a hammock with a good book. We've put together a list of 10 to-die-for desserts that will cool you off this July 4th.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"Crooked Kingdom" by Leigh Bardugo SNEAK PEAK

We've got your sneak peak of the very adventurous and highly anticipated second book in the Six of Crows series "Crooked Kingdom" by Leigh Bardugo.

Leigh is one of our favorite authors and friend. We have been reading her books from the beginning of her career and have loved every one.

With the big cliff hanger that left us screaming in frustration with Six of Crows we were ecstatic to get this beautiful ARC of Crooked Kingdom. Since it doesn't come out until September 27th,  I thought you might want to see what I got in the mail.

I present to you....

Monday, June 27, 2016

Quarterly Book to Movie Review {July - September 2016}

Wow can you believe how many movies that are coming out in the next three months that are based on books?
Keep reading all the deets and watch the movie trailers.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The BFG {Book to Movie}

Many of you might have grown up reading Roald Dahl books and probably read this one. Disney has remade the classic tale with all the technology we have now for movies.
I am pretty sure this is going to be amazing.

This magical movie comes out July 1st. It is 115 minutes and is rated PG. This will be a great movie for the whole family.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"POPULAR: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek" Book Club Ideas Part 2

“Popularity is more than looks. It’s not clothes, hair, or even possessions. When we let go of these labels, we see how flimsy and relative they actually are. Real popularity is kindness and acceptance. It is about who you are, and how you treat others.”- Maya Van Wagenen (pg 254)
Interesting enough this book was a great discussion of our childhoods and the differences everybody had. We had some that were brutally bullied to others who had great memories with no bullying. But we are all different and that's what makes us unique. I loved hearing stories from everyone's past and it gave us all a better understanding of each other.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Legend of Tarzan {Book to Movie}

So excited for this movie to come out. I can't wait to see how they put it together and if the digital effects are believable. If it's anything like the job they did on The Jungle Book then I will be happy. The trailer looks amazing and adventurous.

Be sure to hit the theaters July 1st.
It is rated PG-13 and is 109 minutes.

Friday, June 17, 2016

"POPULAR: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek" Book Club Ideas Part 1

I was a little skeptical about reading this book when we picked it and this is a perfect example of a book I would have never read on my own but because of book club I read it. I am so glad I did. I feel my mind has been opened to a new way of looking at Popularity and I wished I had read this when I was in 8th grade.
"If you want to be a human being, and a popular human being, then you need to come out of your shell." - Betty Cornell (Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek pg 174)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Roald Dahl: A GIANT Children's Author {FREE Printable Bookmark}

You know that first book that impacted you? Sometimes it happens when a parent reads you a bedtime story. Other times it's when a book series jumps out at you and finally gets you to read! For me, it happened in Mrs. Deerfield's 5th grade classroom. That year Mrs. Deerfield read aloud many chapter books including Where the Red Fern Grows and Bridge to Terabithia (it was the first time I'd seen a teacher cry in class). I adored those books, but the book that made everyone in our class laugh had to be The BFG by Roald Dahl!

The BFG movie

Monday, June 13, 2016

Book Review for "Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek" {by Maya Van Wagenen}

Book Review for

TITLE: Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek
AUTHOR: Maya Van Wagenen
PUBLISHER: Dutton Books for Young Readers
READING LEVEL: Ages 10 and up
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Autobiography-Memoir, Young Adult


Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here, Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular? 
The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.

Our Star Rating is....