Book Bytes - News from the Book Club Cookbook
Summer,  2011


Book Clubs Recommend

Author Cookbook

Scribbles to Novels Fundraiser


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Author Recipes

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August 1
by Ellen Feldman

Beyond All Measure



Summer is a great time to catch up on reading and explore new titles for your book club.  Thanks to those who have sent your book club's favorite titles! We've culled these recommendations and share some favorites in this issue.  While some book clubs are reading newer releases, many groups are savoring classics. We start with two classics below, but be sure to see our full list. 


You'll also find many new menu ideas for your book club on our Novel Noshes page. And check out these sensational summer reading ideas in our Buzzing About Books newsletter.     FaithsweetnessAstral  


 Enjoy the summer, 

Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 


Reading Suggestio
ns from Book Clubs

murder The Reading Moms of Antioch, California, recommend:


Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (originally published 1934, Harper, 2011), Mystery, 288 pages

"We paired Murder on the Orient Express with Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers. The books were chosen because we learned that the two authors were contemporaries and there was a gentle rivalry between them.  Most of us felt this was a good pairing but favored Murder on the Orient Express.


"We discussed Agatha Christie's use of newsworthy topics of the time period, such as Lindbergh's baby kidnapping being the


model for the book's kidnapping. We were turned off by the put down of women and the derogatory comments in Strong Poison, such as 'he's Italian so he is hot tempered' (not PC for today's readers!) We preferred the outcome of the story Murder on the Orient Express over that of Strong Poison: not just one person was responsible - it was a group effort and each person had his or her own reason for wanting the victim dead. We played the 1974 movie version of Murder on the Orient Express directed by Sidney Lumet during the meeting."


Paired with: "Our hostess treated the group to an amazing tour of EuroLescopean cuisine. For appetizers: From England, tea sandwiches, including English cucumber with mint cream cheese on sourdough and Scottish smoked salmon with chive cream cheese on pumpernickel. From Paris, pâté de campagne with water crackers and cornichons. From Milan, an antipasto platter with sweet and hot sopressata salami, marinated mozzarella balls on a bed of fresh basil leaves, marinated artichoke hearts and giardeniera. From Vincovci in Croatia, potato pancakes with Lesco (Hungarian relish).  From Lausanne (Switzerland), Swiss cheese and white wine fondue with baguette cubes. From Stamboul (Turkey), dolmas (rice and herbs in grape leaves) with raita (yogurt dip). For dinner, a poulet en casserole (chicken thighs browned in bacon and stewed with potatoes, turnips and carrots), mushy peas and Yorkshire puddings. For dessert, traditional British trifle, Belgian chocolates and Turkish Delight."



ATreeGrowsButtery Books Book Club of D'Hanis, Texas, recommends:


 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (Originally published in 1943; Harper Perennial, 1998), Fiction, 496 pages


"We include several classics throughout the year in our book club discussion and we all loved this American classic.  Everyone needs to read this novel at some point!


"Like the Tree of Heaven described in the book -- a tree that managed to grow out of rubbish heaps and cement in the tenement districts, Francie Nolan is a young girl growing up poor in Brooklyn in the early 1900s determined to thrive and make a better life for herself. We discussed the significance of the little can nailed to the floor in the Nolans' closet. We compared Francie's self-sacrificing mother to her incompetent, but heart in the right place father. We especially loved the fishing story.


"We explored what made Francie so different from so many of the other children in her circumstances and the struggle of immigrants to integrate into American society. We were inspired by Francie's love of reading and writing and her wonderful imagination that helped her through her tough childhood.


"We played Cheap Charlie's 'pick for your penny' game (ipennycandyn the story, the candy store owner lets boy picks a prize bag for a penny).  The majority of us ended up with a bag of candy, but one lucky winner received a copy of The Brooklyn Cookbook." 


Paired with: "The novel-inspired menu was a hit.  Early in the novel, the Nolans had a nice dinner, a holiday pot roast. Instead of doing a traditional roast we opted for a beef stew recipe because it was easier to prepare and serve for a large group and was essentially the same idea as a roast. The pot roast was served with egg noodles which we also served.


"We served smashed berry pie because the Nolans would purchase the cheaper smashed pies from the baker, and bread pudding, which was also served in the novel.  Jewimilk punchsh rye bread was served with the stew because Francie's mother would specify buying this bread. For appetizers, a rustic American themed meat/cheese tray. For drinks, two Irish beers, and the infamous milk punch which the Nolans drank on New Year's Eve! You can read more about our book club party here."  


More New Book Recommendations     


Away by Amy Bloom

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

From Breakfast with Anita Diamant to Dinner with James Patterson -- A Generous Helping of Recipes, Writings, and Insights from Today's Bestselling Authors
by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

We've enjoyed speaking about Table of Contents at libraries and book festivals. Our cookbook panel at the South Cscarolina Book Festival included Southern cooking authors and experts Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart.

You can get the inside scoop on some of the recipes and authors featured in Table of Contents on our blog.     

Table of Contents features over one hundred recipes from fifty popular contemporary writers -- favorites among book club members and avid readers -- who explain the connection between their recipes and their work and share exclusive insights about writing and the creative process.


The delectable recipes featured in this bibliophile's cookbook



  • Abraham Verghese's Doro Wot (Chicken Curry) from Cutting for Stone 
  • Lisa See's Won Tons from Peony in Love
  • Tom Perrotta's Minstrone Soup from Little Children
  • Lisa Genova's White Chocolate Challah Pudding with Raspberry Sauce from Still Alice 
  • Chris Cleave's Post-Colonial Pie from Little Bee
  • Elinor Lipman's Veal Marengo from The Ladies' Man 
  • Janice Y.K. Lee's Indonesian Ginger Chicken from The Piano Teacher
  • Sara Gruen's Salmon en Croûte with Hollandaise Sauce from Ape House
  • Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus's Plum Torte from The Nanny Diaries series
You can visit our website and blog for more details.

Bon Appetit!

Scribbles to Novels Fundraiser

We were honored to assist in announcing Jumpstart's 2011 Read for the Record campaign book at Jumpstart's "Scribbles to Novels" fundraiser at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.


Through "Read for the Record," a one day reading celebration, over 2 million children read the same book on the same day. This year's Read for the Record book is Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. We  worked with Anna to produce the first-ever recipe paired with a Jumpstart book: Llama Llama's Nutmeggy Cookies.

Nutmeggy Cookies
Llama Llama's Nutmeggy Cookies


Jumpstart is a national early education organization that trains college students and community volunteers to help pre-school children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be successful in school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.


The Renaissance Hotel served Death By Chocolate (paired with The DaVinci Code) for dessert fromThe Book Club Cookbook, along with several appetizers from our book. Thank you to the hotel chefs for creating these recipes for hundreds who attended!


Signing BooksThe event featured a literacy panel discussion with authors Jonathan Kozol, R. Dwayne Betts, Amanda Boyden, Joseph Boyden and Andre Dubus III.  All of us signed books for guests before and after the event.


Thank you, Jumpstart!

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