Spring 2015
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In this issue, we're highlighting recipe pairings from top food and literature bloggers: Food in Literature, Paper Plates, Novel Meals, briciole and the Novel Food Event shared their most creative recipe ideas from favorite titles.

Also, you'll find new reading suggestions from book clubs and a publisher, as well as bestselling author Jenna Blum. And check out our current and upcoming book and cookbook giveaways.

As always, tell us what your book club is reading and eating. Happy Spring!
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Food and Literature Bloggers' Favorite Pairings

Bryton Taylor, Perth, Australia
"I create recipes inspired by novels and children's books with an emphasis on children's literature, which provides more flexibility to be creative."   

Inspiration: "For an Alice in Wonderland Easter brunch, I attempted the Unbirthday Cake... and it was a total flop! It was my first time decorating a cake, so my chances of creating a masterpiece were pretty slim. So I tried again, wrote a step by step post, and Food in Literature began."
Most creative: "Wonka recipes are my most creative but my Kracken Rum Cake inspired by the pirates' love of rum in Treasure Island is popular."

Read more
Amina Elahi, Chicago, Illinois
"Paper/Plates is a blog for readers with good taste. We pair recipes with book recommendations and share other food for thought."

Inspiration: "I'd been writing about books for a while and was growing more interested in food at the same time. I realized these two passions would play well together so I decided to throw in a third favorite activity -- writing  -- and share my ideas with others."


Most creative: "Most of our pairings actually don't feature foods straight from the book. In fact, we try to create dishes inspired by
themes, scenes or even characters.
Saniya, a contributor, created a really fun one for Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth: for a book about lies and deception, she made Disappearing Marshmallow Puffs.
Simona Carini, Northern California

"Briciole ("crumbs" in Italian) reflects my desire to explore: I am inspired by local produce and by the traditions of my home country, Italy, especially handmade pasta. Most of my posts include an audio file where I pronounce Italian words mentioned in the post."

Inspiration: "I have been a bookworm ever since I learned to read and went to get a degree in literature. Books are an important part of my life, so it is not surprising that they inspire me in the kitchen."

Most creative: "I was moved by the story told in
The Boys in the
Boat by Daniel James Brown.
The main character is Joe Rantz, who overcame great odds to attend attend the University of Washington where he rowed on the crew team. Joe was always hungry and the description of Joe's craving for a home to go back to at the end of the day made me want to prepare something flavorful, filling and nutritious, like focaccia.

Tina Culbertson, North Florida
"A combination of book reviews and recipes with the occasional movie review."

Inspiration: "I have been a bookworm ever since I learned to read and went to get a degree in literature. Books are an important part of my life, so it is not surprising that  they inspire me in the kitchen."

Most creative: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith inspired a Gin and Tonic and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain inspired Chicken Chasseur.  

Read more 


Spring Reading Ideas

New recommendations from book clubs, an author, and a publisher.

Wednesday Afternoon Lunch and Dessert Book Club of San Diego, California, recommends:        

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan (Riverhead, 2013), Fiction, 416 pages


"The Painted Girls tells the story of three sisters who danced at the Paris Opera Ballet School, and aspired to dance in the chorus.  One sister, Marie, modeled for the statuette by Degas, 'The Little Dancer.' The characters were historical figures, although their relationships to each other and daily interactions were fictionalized.


"The subject of the story (ballet), its beautiful setting (Paris), the inclusion of such a famous artist (Degas), and the experiences of the characters in the ballet school, made this a truly satisfying read and a favorite book club discussion."

Mussels in Garlic Sauce. Photo: Pam Davis, Savoring the Sweet Life Photography


Paired with: "The inspiration for the menu came from the older sister Antoinette's decadent meal of Mussels in

Garlic Sauce and drinks of Cassis, and the book's Parisian setting. On the menu: Crème de Cassis with Sparkling Water, Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce, Spinach Quiche, and Strawberry Mascarpone Crepes." 


Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us and Grand Central, recommends two novels, one current and the other older, on a similar theme:


Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (Little Brown, 1961), Fiction, 482 pages 


I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum (Touchstone, 2014), Fiction, 352 pages 


"Yates' 1963 classic shows a young glamorous couple, the Wheelers, who relocate from New York City to the suburbs and how the move exposes the fault lines in their marriage and themselves. 


"Maum's hilarious contemporary novel, a debut in 2014,

features a hapless British artist trying to win back his French wife after he was unfaithful.


"Both novels are speculations on marriage--delicious reads in their own right and fun to compare and contrast!"   


More Book Recommendations   

The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio


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