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Category Archives for "Desserts"

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

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News of the World Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

News of the World Book Club Questions and Recipe
News of the World Book Club Questions and Recipe
News of the World Book Club Questions and Recipe
News of the World Book Club Questions and Recipe
Homemade Divinity
Homemade Divinity

Today’s post features News of the World, a finalist for the National Book Award. It’s also slated to become a movie later this year starring Tom Hanks (who doesn’t love Tom Hanks?). Maybe before now you had not heard of News of the World or its author, Paulette Jiles.

This novel is one of the more literary novels featured on Book Club Bites to date, but like the others (The Goldfinch, Peace Like a River, etc), News of the World has both strong characters and strong plot. Sometimes that is not always true of literary novels, which tend to focus on character development over plot.

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The Great Gatsby Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

The Great Gatsby Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Great Gatsby Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Great Gatsby Book Club Questions and Recipe

This post is the third post in the Classics Series–you can check out the posts on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Emma by Jane Austen for more.

The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most renown work. Maybe you know The Great Gatsby from high school English, where it’s often required reading (gasp!–If you’re in high school English now, hi there! Don’t worry, you’ll survive!). Anyway, maybe that’s been a while…but you have a vague memory of parties and wealth along with Gatsby’s doomed obsession for a past love.

The Great Gatsby

Or, maybe due to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jay Gatsby, you are more recently familiar with the story. Either way, you might not have read the book as an adult. I know I hadn’t.

Let me encourage you if it’s been a while or especially if you’ve crossed into mid-life, the place where we flounder between the tug of the future and the pull of the past, to consider rereading the novel. The Great Gatsby is a timeless book that can be read every few years and mined for new insights. It’s ultimately a warning against the pursuit of wealth unrestrained by morality. But, it’s more than that, too.

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Emma by Jane Austen Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

Emma Book Club Questions and Strawberry Eton Mess
Emma Book Club Questions and Strawberry Eton Mess

This post for Emma by Jane Austen is the second post in my new Classics series. If you missed the first, check out the Little Women Book Club Questions and Recipe post.

Emma is one of Jane Austen’s lesser known masterpieces (often behind Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility in readers’ minds). It is a comedy about romantic mishaps and youthful overconfidence.

Emma by
Jane Austen

Don’t you remember those blissfully ignorant and misguided days of youth when you absolutely knew what everyone else wanted and needed but had no idea what you wanted or needed? No? Just me?

Well Emma, the book’s namesake, is the epitome of this dichotomy. She’s quick to meddle in all of her neighbors’ lives, yet she has is blind to the desires of her own heart. She’s presumptuous, loved by everyone, and stubborn to a fault. Throw in a cast of quirky characters including a loquacious spinster, a gold-digging vicar, and an anti-social father and you’ve got a book full of mayhem and mishaps.

If you’ve read any of her books, you’ll know that Jane Austen is the queen of miscommunication. Her books often revolve around dangers of assumptions. Emma is no different, but I found the heroine to be especially charming in a unique way to other Austen heroines.

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The Alice Network Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

The Alice Network Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Alice Network Book Club Questions and Recipe

Have you read any books featured by Reese’s Book Club? (As in Reese Witherspoon. In case you didn’t know, she has a online book club which is part of her company Hello Sunshine and the books they choose get the Reese seal of approval–much like Oprah’s book selections.) Anyway, for me, the books I’ve read have been hit or miss. Lately, though, it seems Reese is hitting it out of the park with titles like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Little Fires Everywhere, and Where the Crawdads Sing.

The Alice Network
by Kate Quinn

Needless to say, The Alice Network is a Reese’s Book Club pick and I loved it. The novel is a dual timeline story featuring two women as they deal with both WWI and WWII. It is set primarily in France. When the two women meet in the aftermath of WWII, their stories converge and they set out on a journey of discovery and revenge.

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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.

The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd

This is another book by Sue Monk Kidd with a young narrator. Two young narrators actually–Sarah and Handful. They both have unique voices, like Lily from The Secret Life of Bees. You also have the racial discrimination (civil rights vs slavery) and coming-of-age themes. However, that is where the similarity ends.

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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
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.

Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott

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
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Book Club Questions and Recipe

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. Rumor has it that Reese (Witherspoon) is planning on making it into a major motion picture soon!

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.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

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
The Light We Lost Book Club Questions and Recipe

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.

The Light We Lost
by Jill Santopolo

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 Nightingale Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

The Nightingale Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Nightingale Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Nightingale Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Nightingale Book Club Questions and Recipe

If you haven’t read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, I highly recommend it. In fact, it was the book that stirred the passion in my heart again for reading and story telling. I had been reading and studying fiction for a while when I decided to read The Nightingale. And, after reading it, I thought THIS is exactly what a good story should be for a reader.

The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale is an all-encompassing experience that wears you out by taking you through the full range of emotions and leaves you contemplating life. And, a book with a steady plot full of twists and turns.

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The Great Alone Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

The Great Alone Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Great Alone Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Great Alone Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Great Alone Book Club Questions and Recipe

I’ve been interested in the Vietnam War and it’s aftermath for a while now, so when I saw The Great Alone from Kristin Hannah, who is one of my favorite authors, I had to read it. I was actually able to listen to it on audiobook and it was fantastic, if you get that choice.

The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah

If you’ve read The Nightingale and loved it, you’ll love this book, too, although it’s very different. This novel centers on the relationship between a mother and a daughter. There is a love story and triumph in the midst of (alot) of tragedy, just like in The Nightingale, but this is a very different read centered on the mother/daughter struggle.

This book will leave you thinking and by the end of it you’ll be holding your loved ones a little tighter, which makes it a great choice for a book club. If it’s on your list, check out the book club questions and a recipe for The Great Alone below.

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