Welcome to book club week. I hope you'll find a wealth of new books, authors, and recipes to devour.
I've moved so many times around the country that it's been hard to find a book club where I fit in. I started a book club in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were all agreed that we would read mysteries each week, but quickly that changed, the group grew, and we were reading mainly literary fiction. A very interesting transition (away from mystery). But fun! Since moving back to Los Angeles, I've found myself enjoying talking to book clubs via Skype. I love when the entire group has read either a Cheese Shop mystery or a Cookbook Nook mystery and they hammer me with challenging questions!! [I write two series, one under my real name, Daryl Wood Gerber, and another under my pseudonym, Avery Aames.]
No matter what, book clubs are good for stimulating the little brain cells.
If you're not familiar with the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook mysteries, the series features Jenna Hart, an avid reader, a foodie, and an ex-advertising executive, who returns home to Crystal Cove, California to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and café. The shop doesn't just sell cookbooks. It also sells culinary mysteries (like the ones by Mystery Lovers Kitchen authors) as well as literary fiction, like Chocolat or Like Water from Chocolate. There are a number of bookclubs that browse the shop. One club, featured in the third in the series (which is not yet out; neither is the second - that's coming in March) is a club dedicated to all things Wizard of Oz. How cool is that! Until now, I had no idea that there were book clubs dedicated to themes. Here's a link to an excerpt from FINAL SENTENCE.
Is your book club dedicated to one genre, or do you mix it up? What's your preferred food for the club? Do you like books about food?
Here are a couple of questions to get you going if you decide to read FINAL SENTENCE at a book club event.
- Family is the most important thing in the world to Jenna. How did it affect you to find out about Jenna’s husband and mother passing away in the same month?
- A theme of the book could be how one moment can change your life forever. How has this twist of fate affected you personally? How did it affect Jenna?
Here's the link to a full array of questions.
At the book club I ran in Charlotte, we made sure we had cookies and coffee. Sometimes we served a range of appetizers and wine.
Here is one of the easiest recipes around for a savory cookie, featured in FINAL SENTENCE. They've got a zing!! and they'll last a long time - IF you can keep yourself from eating them. I serve them with a little jam. It's like a cheese appetizer. They taste great with a crisp pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
Also, note, if anyone wants to make these gluten-free, just substitute the flour with your favorite GF flour and add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to the recipe.
By the way, have you heard of the Book Club Cookbook? It's filled with all sorts of good recipes from books you've probably read in your book clubs, recipes directly from the books. Yummy! Check it out. [I've got another cookie recipe on their website.]
Here are a few other links to previous appetizer and/or cookie recipes that I've posted on Mystery Lovers Kitchen, all of which are easy to prepare. Many of these are featured in the Cheese Shop and Cookbook Nook mysteries.
Mango chutney and Brie
Mascarpone and Stilton Torte
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Coconut Chocolate Cloud Cookies
Maple Leaf Rag Cookies