|COMING UP IN|
BOOK CLUB BUZZ
TOMORROW THERE WILL BE APRICOTS
by Jessica Soffer
|COMING UP IN |
BUZZING ABOUT BOOKS
by JoeAnn Hart
Spring Reading Ideas
Chapters and Tea of Orem, Utah, recommends:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday, 2011), Fiction, 392 pages
"This atmospheric story about a fierce competition between two young magicians, is a book about the senses. It is beautifully written, bittersweet, wonderful and cruel all at the same time. Each of us felt as if we had smelled the scents and heard the sounds of the Circus.
"We tried to interpret the actions of Poppet and Widget - twins born on opening night of the Circus, who eventually had their own act. One had the ability to read the past and the other the future. The creation of each circus tent and the meaning behind it was very interesting to discuss and it was fun to learn each group member's favorite. There appeared to be a level of cruelty as well as beauty involved in each relationship, whether it was Celia and Marco's, the lovers who are kept apart, or Celia and her father's. Did her father love her at all? Or too much? The relationship that each character had with the Circus seemed as complex as any, and we all agreed that the Circus itself was the main character."
Paired With: Baked Salted Caramel Popcorn, which was offered at the concessions. The Circus goers seemed to always be munching on it.
More New Book Recommendations
The Baker's Wife by Sarah McCoy
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Following Ezra by Tom Fields-Meyer
BOOK CLUB PROFILE
A Family Book Club Enjoys Connecting through Books and Food -- Virtually
Staci Thomas craved connection with family members, scattered throughout Utah, Montana, Texas, and Nebraska. After exchanging book recommendations with relatives, Thomas conceived the idea for Chapters and Tea
-- a book club conducted primarily through email, a blog, and Instagram, that allowed her to connect with far-flung relatives through their
shared love of books.
Thomas selects a title based on members' suggestions, and they all share images on Instagram related to the book's theme, and discuss the book via email and phone calls. For example, for The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, Thomas mailed an invitation to the group designed with burnt edges and a page torn from Jane Eyre -- important motifs in the story. Members snapped photos of their invitations as they arrived and Thomas posted a collage of their photos on the blog -- a way to unite members as a group. When the group read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Thomas shared a recipe for Bean Soup (Pea Soup is mentioned throughout the book) from her grandmother's recipe collection on the group's blog and her relatives who made the soup at home snapped photos to share on Instagram.
Memories of Thomas's beloved grandmother, "Grandma J," inspired the original eight members of the group -- Thomas's sisters, nieces, cousins, and mother. Over time, the group expanded as daughters, daughters-in-law, and more nieces joined. After finding Grandma J's recipe book, Thomas began sharing her grandmother's recipes online with her relatives, and the "original eight" chimed in with memories of these dishes. "I love showing the younger generation my grandmother's recipes," says Thomas, "and always include a picture of the recipe card in her handwriting." (See Grandma J's recipe for Baked Salted Caramel Popcorn that Chaptes and Tea paired with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.)
Thomas has not met in person all the group members, but says the online book club has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. "It worked wonders for a family that is separated by distance," adds Thomas.
THE COSTCO CONNECTION
Recipes Paired with A Good American
Costco asked us to develop recipes to pair with Alex George's A Good American, a novel that quickly sparked our culinary and historical imaginations. A Pennie's Pick choice, A Good American is the story of young German immigrants in turn-of-the-century Missouri who open a Creole-inspired restaurant. George's lyrical writing and evocative food scenes inspired us to adapt historic recipes from sources such as The Picayune's Creole Cookbook, originally published in 1901. You can find the recipes we contributed for Shrimp Jambalaya, Frog Lemonade, and Lebkuchen, along with thoughts about book and food pairings, in the February issue of The Costco Connection.