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Category Archives for "Literary and Upmarket"

Find book discussion guides for your favorite literary and upmarket fiction. And, much more, including memorable quotes and recipes! Thanks for stopping by!

The Invention of Wings Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Invention of Wings, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

The Invention of Wings Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Invention of Wings Book Club Questions and Recipe

One of my favorite books is The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. If you haven’t read it, it is chock full of friendship, mother-daughter relationships, and Southern flair. And, of course bees. The narrator is also a spit-fire girl who comes of age during the story. It’s one of those feel-good books that you think back on and sigh with happiness.

I knew the Sue Monk Kidd wrote The Mermaid Chair shortly after. For some reason, it didn’t appeal to me personally. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your thoughts.

However, when researching books to feature here. I stumbled upon The Invention of Wings. It was released in 2015, but I had yet to read it. The premise was intriguing. In fact, I’m a sucker for Civil War fiction in the same way some people love WWII fiction.

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Little Women Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Little Women, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

Little Women Book Club Questions and Recipe
Little Women Book Club Questions and Recipe

This post is the beginning of a new series of posts I have decided to create for Book Club Bites featuring The Classics. I’ve had Little Women on my re-read list for a while and with the new movie coming out this winter, I decided it was the perfect start for this series.

If you don’t know much about Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, I suggest you take some time and read a little about her (even if it’s just her wikipedia page).

Louisa May Alcott led a fascinating life. She was raised by her parents among transcendentalists, including many famous thinkers of the time such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

She grew up to be an abolitionist and a feminist. In fact, her family helped Frederick Douglass and others during their work in the underground railroad. Despite all of this adventure, Little Women is based on what Louisa held closest to her heart–her own sisters and her mother. Her three sisters inspired the characters Meg, Amy, and Beth, and Jo was based loosely upon her own life and character.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Book Club Questions and Recipe Cheese Scones
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Book Club Questions and Recipe Cheese Scones

Wow. This book. Gail Honeyman, you are amazing. This book dealt with so many HEAVY topics with humor and grace. That’s probably why this was featured for Reese’s Book Club.

In the beginning, I think it’s safe to say that Eleanor Oliphant is not a very likeable character, but, by the end, I was cheering loudly for her. What a triumphant character and novel. If your book club hasn’t read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I highly recommend it. It will surprise you and leave you smiling.

I was actually able to listen to it on audiobook, which was fantastic. I loved listening to Cathleen McCarron’s Scottish accent. She also nailed Eleanor’s sarcasm and the bone-chilling Mummy voice. If you’re able to, I recommend listening to it.

If your book club is reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I’ve created some book club questions and a recipe to facilitate your group meeting!

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The Light We Lost Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Light We Lost, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

The Light We Lost Book Club Questions and Recipe Waffles
The Light We Lost Book Club Questions and Recipe Waffles

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo was a book that kept surfacing in various places on the internet for me, so I decided to read it. It’s been a featured book for Reese’s Book Club and received rave reviews many places. I, personally, have decided not to “review” books here and offer a star rating and I think this book is a perfect example of why.

Jill Santopolo’s writing in The Light We Lost was superb. There were several lines that really made me stop and think. Often, I had to set the book down and walk away for a while to process the reactions it stirred in me. To me, this is a sign of great writing.

All of that said, this book seems to be very polarizing. You either love it or hate it. You can read the wide range of reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. Again, this is what I think makes a great book club book–one that gets you thinking and talking whether you love or hate the characters. It is a great example, though, of how people can experience books so differently based on their own life experiences, opinions, and values. The very reason I steer clear of rating books.

I hope your book club will consider featuring The Light We Lost if it hasn’t yet. It will definitely spur a good discussion. Below, I’ve provided your group with several book club questions and a recipe for The Light We Lost.

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The Goldfinch Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Goldfinch, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

The Goldfinch Book Club Questions and Cocktail Recipe
The Goldfinch Book Club Questions and Cocktail Recipe

The Goldfinch has been on my reading list for quite a while. Generally, I like to read or at least be informed about Pulitzer Prize winners and usually they are good picks for book club discussions. Although, I will say the last few I’ve read have been hard to read and I’ve taken a step back from the list in recent years. However, when I saw that The Goldfinch was being made into a major motion picture, I decided it was time to read it.

Here’s the deal about Hollywood that doesn’t always apply to acclaimed literary fiction–they (usually) produce movies with a good plot. Literary fiction doesn’t have to have much of a plot to still win awards. The writing and character development are more important.

So, I figured that The Goldfinch would be a good merger of quality writing, character development, and plot.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

Where'd You Go Bernadette Book Club Questions and Recipe
Where’d You Go Bernadette Book Club Questions and Recipe

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? This book ranks alongside other fantastic works like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (featuring soon!) that deal with mental health with humor and grace. If your book club hasn’t read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I highly recommend it as a read that is quirky, humorous, and still carries enough weight to facilitate a great discussion.

The great news is that Where’d You Go, Bernadette was released in 2012, but is still timely and relevant. A lot of book clubs prefer to read books easily found at the library, and, by now, your library should have plenty of copies. You can also buy it in mass market paperback for fairly cheap.

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The Rosie Project Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Rosie Project, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

The Rosie Project Book Club Questions and Recipe Sage and Pineapple Margaritas
The Rosie Project Book Club Questions and Recipe Sage and Pineapple Margaritas

If your book club needs a good laugh or a feel good book, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is the book for you. From page one, I loved the narrator’s voice and couldn’t stop smiling. As someone who works in a business office during the day, I have met so many Don’s that I can’t count them. Too bad they weren’t as funny or redeemable.

This book really was a breath of fresh air to me. I’ll be interested to know if you felt the same. Even though it is a rom-com essentially, I had no trouble finding more than enough book club questions and a recipe (ummm, margaritas anyone?) to compliment the book.

If you loved The Rosie Project, you’ll be glad to know that there are two other books in the series–The Rosie Effect and, just recently released, The Rosie Result. Both promise hilarity. Sometimes reading a good-feel book is just what the doctor ordered.

The Rosie Project is also being made into a movie soon and I can’t wait to see it!

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Peace Like a River Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Peace Like a River, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

Peace Like a River Book Club Questions and Recipe Cinnamon Rolls
Peace Like a River Book Club Questions and Recipe Cinnamon Rolls

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger is a great choice for your book club. It was released in 2001, so it’s an older title, but one that you may have missed. The nostalgia is dripping from it and it has a wonderful narrator…11-year-old Reuben Land. Sprinkle in some magical realism and you’ve got a winner.

I really loved everything about this book the first time I read it. When I revisited it this year, I knew I wanted to share it here. Leif Enger’s lyrical prose is captivating. If your book club hasn’t read it, I encourage you to do so! If you have, you might check out another fantastic title from Leif Enger titled So Brave, So Young, So Handsome.

For Peace Like a River, I’ve provided your book club with discussion questions and a recipe for cinnamon rolls, which I borrowed from The Pioneer Woman.

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