Appetizers

Find appetizers recipes for your favorite fiction books and so much more, including memorable quotes and discussion guides! Thanks for stopping by!

Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For this post, I provide you with a delicious recipe for Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce!

Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce
Arancini with Pancetta and Garlic Sauce

If you’ve never had arancini, I am glad you are here!

Arancini is a traditional Italian dish consisting of fried rice balls. Made with risotto, sometimes the arancini have peas or mozzarella inside. For this recipe, I included the mozzarella, but omitted the peas.

Crispy on the outside and soft and rich on the inside, arancini is a filling and delicious dish that is best served with tomato sauce.

If you’re stopping by here while searching for recipes, you may not know that the recipes here are all inspired by books! This particular recipe was created after reading The Four Winds.

The Four Winds is Kristin Hannah’s novel about a woman struggling to keep her family farm afloat during the Dust Bowl and her ultimate decision to move to California in hopes of a better future. Reminiscent of the Grapes of Wrath, The Four Winds is an epic tale of survivorship against great odds. If you love reading, check out more about this great book HERE!

This recipe for Arancini combines rich risotto, melty mozzarella, crispy panko, and a delicious garlic and pancetta sauce.

The flavors combine to create a warm and comforting dish that’s absolutely delectable.

The Book of Lost Friends Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Book of Lost Friends, I provide your book club with food ideas, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

The Book of Lost Friends Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Book of Lost Friends Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Book of Lost Friends Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Book of Lost Friends Book Club Questions and Recipe

In The Book of Lost Friends, Lisa Wingate conquers another fascinating, yet obscure, piece of American history. Not to be confused with The Book of Lost Names, which came out around the same time and centers on a WWII story (and is also fascinating), The Book of Lost Friends is a post-Civil War era novel.

This is another dual-timeline novel by Wingate. It follows Hannie, a freed slave, as she travels through post-war Texas in search of her people and attempts to return home to Louisiana, and Benny, a modern-day teacher, struggling to inspire her students until she unearths a history that links them to Hannie and much more.

I have to say that as much as I enjoyed Before We Were Yours, Wingate’s last book, I almost enjoyed The Book of Lost Friends more.

I really loved the post-Civil War timeline (Civil War era is one of my personal favorites), coupled with the struggling teacher timeline. If you are or have ever been a teacher, I think you will love Benny’s story. It echoes the teacher-trying-to-inspire-underpriveleged-kids theme that we’ve seen in many movies, but I thought the tie-in to the Civil War timeline made it fresh. Plus, I’m a sucker for those movies anyway.

This novel wasn’t as dark as Before We Were Yours was (due to its subject). And, while there was still adventure and drama and not every character got a complete happily-ever-after, it was overall an upbeat novel. So, if you’re looking for something inspiring and positive to read as a group, I think you will enjoy this novel.

Pride and Prejudice Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

Pride and Prejudice Book Club Questions and Recipe
Pride and Prejudice Book Club Questions and Recipe
Pride and Prejudice Book Club Questions and Recipe
Pride and Prejudice Book Club Questions and Recipe
Jane Austen's Favorite
Jane Austen’s Favorite

What is there not to love about Pride and Prejudice? It is a book about nothing and everything at the same time. I love how it’s mundane and extraordinary. That it’s about relationships, which are the most important things in life.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen was only 21 when she first drafted the book we would later know as Pride and Prejudice. And, even at that young age, she was able to capture the nuances of love and friendship and family so beautifully. It took 17 years before it was finally published, but, thankfully for all of us, it was. It’s popularity has only grown in the last few decades with well-done television and film adaptions.

I have read Pride and Prejudice at least four times. As many people have said, each reread of a Jane Austen work brings something new to the surface, some intricacy you missed before. Even now, two hundred years after its publication, Pride and Prejudice remains a timeless masterpiece that can speak through the changes of history right to the heart of the reader.

The Alchemist Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

The Alchemist Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Alchemist Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Alchemist Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Alchemist Book Club Questions and Recipe

The Alchemist is a novel that reads like a centuries-old tale, although it was first published in 1988. It is the masterpiece of Paulo Coelho who has written many other great novels. A short book at around 200 pages, it contains a depth of wisdom that has catapulted it to the top of many book clubs’ lists.

The main character, primarily referred to as “the boy,” has a good life at the beginning of the book, but he yearns for more. He longs to travel, to break free of his barriers, and to be more than a shepherd. When he learns of a treasure near the Egyptian pyramids, he takes the chance and begins a long journey towards achieving his dreams.

It sounds like your normal adventure quest story, but Paulo Coelho injects what would be a face-the-obstacles-to-find-the-treasure set of events with timeless wisdom about fate, dreams, God, and personal fulfillment. Riddled with terms such as Personal Legend, Language of the World, Soul of the World and more, Coehlo challenges the reader to examine his own life and consider what comforts he has exchanged for fulfillment.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is a thought-provoking novel that makes a great book club discussion and is definitely worth a read (or two). If your book club hasn’t read it or if it’s been a few years since you have, it might be time to pick up this novel by the brilliant Coehlo. If you have read The Alchemist and aren’t looking to revisit it, consider these other novels where Coehlo tackles equally deep subjects.

To Kill a Mockingbird Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

To Kill a Mockingbird Book Club Questions and Recipe
To Kill a Mockingbird Book Club Questions and Recipe
To Kill a Mockingbird Book Club Questions and Recipe
To Kill a Mockingbird Book Club Questions and Recipe

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the most beloved stories in American history, perhaps the most. It centers around the spirited and spunky Scout Finch as she struggles with a world-view shift and comes of age in a small Southern town rife with prejudice.

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

While To Kill a Mockingbird is a story many people read during school, maybe you didn’t. Somewhere between changing high schools three times, I missed the required To Kill a Mockingbird reading. It wasn’t until after college that I decided to read it and see what all the fuss was about. So, if you haven’t read it yet, there’s no shame!

I’m going to guess that even those in your book club who have read it will be delighted to read it again. It’s one of those books you can read multiple times and still turn the last page with a smile and that nostalgic feeling that comes after you’ve enjoyed a good visit with old friends.

To Kill a Mockingbird Book Club Questions and Recipe
To Kill a Mockingbird Book Club Questions and Recipe

To Kill a Mockingbird is written in the Southern Gothic style, which means that there is a dark feel to elements of the story. It is also told in first person from the view of Scout, who is almost 6 years old when the story begins. This is a coming-of-age story, and while usually characters emerge from such tales with jaded outlooks, Scout manages to emerge from her ordeal hopeful for the future and fighting the prejudices that rage around her.

“You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.”

-Scout Finch, Chapter 31, To Kill a Mockingbird

With all that’s going on in the world right now, it seems all of us could use a little dose of Scout Finch and her moxie anyhow. Maybe a little wisdom from the ever poignant Atticus Finch, too. So, if members of your book club haven’t read (or re-read) To Kill a Mockingbird, there’s no better time than right now.

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