Whenever I think of book clubs, I remember a New Yorker cartoon that has a bereft reader complaining that she was asked to leave the discussion because she had read the book. Most book club participants come for a discussion (whether or not it’s about the book), but many also come for the food. In The Book Club Cook Book, Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp offer both – lists of books nominated by book clubs across the country with appropriate recipes to inspire discussion.
Although no questions are included, the authors do include a short summary of each book and a book club profile that offers insights into how the club facilitated discussion. The recipes sometimes seemed forced but with good intentions – Swedish Pancakes for Anita Shreve’s The Weight of Water; others obvious – Honey Cake for The Secret Life of Bees. Most seem too complicated for the tea and cookies club crowds.
The best part of this book is the 100 titles in the table of contents. I had a great time checking off the books I’d already read, and found a few I could add to my wish list. The book was published in 2004, but you might still find a few to read. Here’s a sample…
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and CLay
- Angle of Repose
- Bee Season
- Daughter of Fortune
- Devil in the White City
- The Emperor of Ocean Park
- The Hours
- The Kite Runner
- Motherless Brooklyn
- Pope Joan
Both books are primarily cookbooks, with some recipes worth a try, and the added ingredient of some good book referrals.
Related Post: The Book Club with Just One Member