Monday, March 21, 2016

100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising/Irish Rebellion

This weekend, Easter Sunday to be exact, marks the centennial anniversary of the Irish Rebellion, or as it also known, the Easter Rising. This was the start of Ireland's modern struggle for independence from the British Empire.  All the while the British, with the conscription of many Irish soldiers, were fighting in World War I. My maternal great-grandparents left Ireland soon after the Rising.

To recognize the anniversary of the Rebellion, I am reading Charles Townshend's Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion. I bought this book back in 2007, yet I never got around to reading it until the anniversary approached.

There is also W.B. Yeats poem "Easter 1916". The poem shows both the emotional turmoil of the feelings of the Irish towards both the British and the rebels.

Music also invokes the event, most notably in the Irish rock band The Cranberries' song "Zombie".

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Weekend Plans: TBR Read-A-Thon

This weekend I am participating in a 24 Hour Take Control TBR Pile Read-A-Thon, hosted by the blog Caffeinated Book Reviewer. Since the beginning of the year, I have dubbed my TBR pile The Great and Powerful TBR Pile and dedicated myself to getting this book pile read and dealt with (keeper shelf, delete, give away). This is harder than it sounds, as I am constantly distracted by new releases and trying to keep up with different series by my favorite authors (yes, I am talking about you ...In Death by J.D. Robb and your 40+ books).

Since I start my day five hours before the East Coast, I don't know if I will participate in those challenges due to time limits. I am aiming for five books completed by the end of the read-a-thon, all coming from my March reading list. I got distracted this month and am currently running behind schedule on some of my personal reading goals for the year, so I may focus more on fiction to bring me back on track. Hopefully, by the end of the read-a-thon I will have Courtney Milan's Carhart Series complete (two books left) and perhaps a jump start on Milan's Brothers Sinister series underway.

To sign yourself up, just click on the blog highlighted and fill out the form. Follow the reading fun and see my progress on Twitter using the hashtag #TakeControlThon (my handle is @tea_rain_book). See you on Saturday!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Building A Real Life Book Club (Part I)

It can be isolating to be a military spouse - moving every few years, far from family, and having to create your friend network from the ground up in each new town. One way to reach out and make friends is through Facebook pages and groups geared toward your new base/camp/naval station/coast guard station/fort. And it is through those groups that you can broach the subject of meeting up with people with similar interests.

It is through a spouses' page for my husband's base that I met other moms and formed a playgroup, which turned into my strong friend network here in England. It is also through this spouses' page that I brought up the subject of a book club - the response was immediate and enthusiastic! Two of my friends from my network and I decided to form the book club, but three people didn't seem like enough to get a good book discussion going. So I wrote a FB group post asking for seven more people (most book club experts agree that clubs should consist of 8-12 people for best discussion) and two hours later, had a full membership. Step one: find members completed.

But where would we get copies (cheaply) of the same title for all of us? Price was a factor but also accessibility and on-time delivery were also important when living overseas.

Luckily, we have access to not one, but two great libraries - one on each of two bases in our tri-base area. USAFE libraries has a program ("Book Club in a Box") with 106 different book club kits; 10 copies are included in each kit. One person requests a specific kit and wait for the kit to be delivered to their preferred library. The kit also comes with talking points about the book, the author, and, most importantly, discussion questions! My two friends and I decided on the first book amongst ourselves (A Reliable Wife: A Novel by Robert Goolrick). Step two: chose book accomplished.

So that is where we are at as of today; awaiting the kit so that we can distribute the book and set up a time and date for our first book discussion.

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Friday, March 4, 2016

New Year, Updated Blog

So I made some changes to the blog, mostly cosmetic. The biggest change is that I am dedicating two days a week to blogging, so the most important change is that the blog will be filled with book discussions soon. I will also be participating in some blogging events and challenges.