Spring, 2006
A Newsletter for Lovers of Books and Food


Spring finds us hard at work on our next book, a guide for youth book clubs. It's been delightful exploring the world of children’s literature with guidance from librarians, teachers, and youth book club members across the country.

We continue to hear from book clubs with new reading ideas and we’re pleased to share them with you. We hope you find time to savor the books recommended in this newsletter, even as the weather beckons you outdoors.

In between your warm-weather activities, please take a moment to tell us what you’re reading – and eating!

Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp


  • BOOKS AND BITES: Reading suggestions from book clubs
  • ENTER A DRAWING...to win books for each member of your book club
  • INVITE AN AUTHOR...to speak to your book club by phone

    Reading suggestions from book clubs
    The Weaver Library "Mostly Fiction" Book Club of East Providence, Rhode Island recommends:
    THE COFFEE TRADER by David Liss

    "David Liss was a new author for us, and most agreed that his work was a delicious find! This is an historical novel of investment intrigue presenting both male and female characters who are lively, complicated, driven, and mysterious in a setting so vivid that members felt they could smell the teeming streets and canals of 17th century Amsterdam. The novel's plot captured us with its multi- layered twists and turns, raising moral and ethical questions applicable to today's financial markets and dealings. It revolved around a community of Portuguese Jews who had escaped from the Inquisition, a subject about which members wanted to learn more. Finally, Liss's use of language excited us with several members reading aloud the elegant sentences they wanted all of us to remember."
    Paired with: Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans (one of the characters in the book chewed them)

    The Thomas Jefferson Book Club of Falls Church, Virginia recommends:
    THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz

    "This wonderful novel with many layers takes place in Barcelona beginning in 1945. Everyone in our women's book group loved the book. We discussed how our perception of Lain Coubert changed as we discovered who he really was, and that re-reading passages we once thought were sinister could actually make his character appear sympathetic. We had an extended book discussion because different people would bring up an aspect that the rest of us missed and we wanted to hear more."
    Paired with: Spanish foods (tapas) - Spanish olives, serrano ham, manchego cheese, chorizo, almonds, dried apricots, magdalenas, Maria cookies and non alcoholic sangria

    The Martha's Vineyard Reading Group of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts recommends:
    SUMMER by Edith Wharton

    "Edith Wharton is well known for her major works that fully describe the New York social strata that she inhabited. The less well-known SUMMER is so amazingly complete, and the characters so well formed because Edith Whatron understood people and human behavior. She did have a way of knowing and understanding the working class, and it occurred to us that when she was building the gardens at her home in Lenox, Massachusetts she knew the workmen and knew what their family lives were like. Thus stories such as ETHAN FROME and SUMMER are not contrived, or 'a stretch', but ring true. Our reading group loved SUMMER,and it gave us an enjoyable and memorable evening's conversation and discussion."

    East Regional Library Travel Book Club, Knightdale, North Carolina recommends:

    "We loved McCarthy's account of his return to West Cork, where his travels around the South and West of Ireland culminate in a pilgrimage to the ancient retreat Lough Derg. We were fascinated by the pilgrimage he did at the end, recreating the fasting and prayers that the knights went through. We enjoyed our discussion of the tourism McCarthy describes versus preserving the natural charm of the area."
    Paired with: Homemade Irish Pudding with Caramel Sauce, Kerry Apple Cake, Irish Breakfast Tea, Irish Soda Bread and Irish Butter

    to win books for each member of your book club
    We'd like to hear from you! If you send us an email by April 30, we'll enter your name in a contest to win free books for your book club! The winning book club will be drawn randomly.

    Each member of the winning book club will receive a copy of THE WHITE ROSE, Jean Hanff Korelitz's acclaimed novel inspired by the Strauss opera, "Der Rosenkavalier", about a woman who falls in love with a much younger man. (Limit: 15 members)

    To enter the drawing, click on the link below, and send us a message saying "ENTER DRAWING." Also include your name, the name of your book club, and the city and state where your book club meets.

    When you give THE BOOK CLUB COOKBOOK
    If you plan to give copies of THE BOOK CLUB COOKBOOK as gifts, we're happy to send personalized bookplates that will adhere to the inside of your books. Simply click the link below and send us the recipients' name(s), your mailing address, and the date by which you need the bookplates. We'll do our best to meet your deadline!

    to join your book club discussion
    Our directory of authors ready to chat with your book club on the phone continues to grow. This month, we're pleased to welcome new authors Cristine Chandler, Fern Schumer Chapman, Anne Dimock and Jaci Rae to the program.

    To browse our complete list of authors and their books, click on the link below. You can also download our INVITE AN AUTHOR flier, which makes it easy to share details of the program with your book club. Once you've decided which author(s) you'd like to invite, contact the author(s) directly through our website and arrange a date to speak with them. We hope you'll give it a try!

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