Saturday, March 26, 2016

Review: The Book Club Cook Book: Recipes and Food for Thought from your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Synopsis: This first cookbook created specifically for book clubs shows readers how to add a delightfully delicious angle to their book club gatherings. Featuring recipes and food-related discussion ideas for one hundred popular book club selections, The Book Club Cookbook guides readers in selecting and preparing culinary masterpieces that tie in just right with the literary masterpieces their club is reading. From "Honey Cakes" to go along with The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd to "Eggplant Caponata" to go with Bel Canto by Ann Patchett; from "Lemony Goat Cheese Tart" with Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel to "Shrimp Flautas" for Empire Falls by Richard Russo; The Book Club Cookbook makes adding foods that stem from the books your club reads fun and easy. Vicki Levy Krupp and Judy Gelman polled hundreds of book clubs all over the country to determine what their members are reading and to discover the creative ways that they're integrating food into their meetings. With recipes and colorful background information on the role that food plays in the reading choices-much of which was contributed by the authors of the book club selections themselves-The Book Club Cookbook will add some real flavor to your book club meetings.(from the online description)

Review: As both a book-junky and food-lover, this book held much appeal to me. I was eager to see what recipes and books they choose, and to tag both books and food to try. However, the book didn't match my expectations. The books selected seemed fine - a good mix of classics and modern, fiction and non-fiction, and a variety of ethnicities and genders. But often, the recipe didn't seem to match the book. The food would be from the birthplace of the author and not the setting of the book. Or, a dish would be specifically mentioned in the book, but Gelman and Krupp would choose a completely different recipe to include. The book felt disjointed as well. I didn't always get how the book club synopsis connected to the recipe or the book. The recipes also, seemed a bit lack-luster. There were a few good ones (A Sour Cherry Pie and a Seafood Casserole I can't wait to attempt) but often there were just your normal recipes - or something way to complicated. It was an interesting read, just not as engaging as I'd hoped.

Note: This refers to the original edition. There is a revised edition, published in 2012.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 1-58542-322-X
Year Published: 2004
Date Finished: 3-25-2016
Pages: 509

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