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Category Archives for "Recipes"

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

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Book Club Questions and Recipe

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is the first bestseller of Kim Michele Richardson, but it isn’t her first book. She has written three other novels and one non-fiction book. And, her writing reflects that experience.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek tackles two unique subjects in history that you may not be familiar with–the Pack Horse Librarians and the Blue People of Kentucky. The Pack Horse Library was part of Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration in 1930s. The blue-skinned people of Kentucky were a real group of people born with blue skin who lived in the mountains of Appalachia.

Richardson’s main character, Cussy Mary, is both a Pack Horse Librarian and a Blue. The novel follows her as she struggles through the restraints placed on her as a woman at the time and the discrimination she faces as a Blue person, which was considered colored.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The novel, which I would consider literary in style, unapologetically describes both the poverty and the pride of the residents of Appalachia. I originally delayed reading this novel because I knew the subject would be somewhat dark, and it is. But, it is something that I think needed to be written.

In addition to tackling poverty and starvation, Richardson addresses discrimination in a way that will have the reader examining her own heart. Cussy Mary is a Blue, a skin color most of us are unfamiliar with, but as a Blue she faces intense discrimination throughout the story (it is the primary obstacle). Through Cussy’s story, Richardson takes us on a journey of empathy with Cussy’s plight, confusion and anger when others refuse to see her as equal, and, finally, examination of our own lingering prejudices. It is a timely book for readers right now.

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Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions and Recipe
Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions and Recipe
Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions and Recipe
Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions and Recipe
Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions and Recipe
Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions and Recipe

If you haven’t heard of Where the Crawdads Sing yet, I’d be surprised. The book, released in 2018, has already sold 7 million copies as of this writing. Still, it’s a pretty new release, especially for some book clubs who require that a book is readily available through a library before they select it to read. Before now, securing the book via any other means than buying the hard copy would have been difficult.

The book is Delia Owen’s debut novel, although the author has written other non-fiction works. It’s a novel rich with natural history and scientific details of the ocean marsh where its main character, Kya, lives. Delia Owens’ background in zoology adds a significant depth to Kya’s love for the marsh and its creatures, taking the novel beyond a normal love-triangle and murder mystery plot.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
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The Giver of Stars Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

The Giver of Stars Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Giver of Stars Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Giver of Stars Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Giver of Stars Book Club Questions and Recipe

The Giver of Stars is the latest novel by bestselling author, Jojo Moyes. If you don’t recall, Jojo Moyes wrote the smash hit Me Before You, among other bestsellers.

The Giver of Stars follows a group of Pack Horse Librarians in Kentucky in the 1930s. Pack Horse Librarians were part of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration and a special project of Eleanor Roosevelt. They carried books via horseback to some of the most rural and remote areas of Kentucky.

The novel is permeated with friendship, primarily centered around five librarians and the events that happen to them. If you don’t know, Jojo Moyes is English, but if you do, you might be wondering how she pulled off writing a novel about rural Kentucky. The main character, Alice, is an English-born and bred lady who marries a native Kentuckian and we follow her as she moves to Kentucky and ultimately joins the Pack Horse Librarians.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Since Moyes started out as a romance author, you won’t be surprised to find a good deal of romance in the novel as well. The romance is clean and you won’t find any on-page sex. But romance isn’t the primary driving force of the novel, there are high stakes and some life-threatening situations for almost all of the characters that will keep you turning pages.

I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and expect it to be another hit by Moyes on the scale of Me Before You. That said, I cannot continue without addressing the fact that there has been some controversy regarding the similarity to another book about Kentucky Pack Horse Librarians, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, which I am also featuring. However, I do not think you should form an opinion before reading both books.

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A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions and Recipe
A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions and Recipe
A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions and Persian Cookies
A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions and Persian Cookies

Have you read A Man Called Ove? It’s a book that book clubs love. Fredrik Backman is a master of the human experience and A Man Called Ove captures his talent, sending the reader through the array of human emotions (which is why book clubs love the book).

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This book was released in 2012, so there’s no doubt you’ve probably heard of it if you haven’t already read it. I actually watched the movie before I read the book. Good news if you want an activity for the group–the movie follows the book very closely!

If you have read A Man Called Ove and loved it, perhaps now is the time for the entire group to read it. Or, if you have already done so, check out another book by Fredrik Backman like Beartown or My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. He’s also got a brand new release coming this fall called Anxious People.

After watching the movie a few years ago, I decided to pick up the book. It’s an amazing story of wrong perceptions, loneliness, and kindness. If you are looking for books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you’ll love A Man Called Ove. If you haven’t checked it out, see my post on Eleanor Oliphant is Completey Fine, which is one of my favorites featured on the blog!

Beyond a good story that kept me intrigued, Backman has a gift for language. I often paused to consider phrases he used to describe sorrow or love which resonated deeply with me. That said, he isn’t verbose and the book was a quick, enjoyable read.

I also enjoyed reading about the Swedish community where Ove lives and his lifestyle there. It was refreshing and interesting to read about modern day Sweden. Even through the eyes of a grumpy old man named Ove!

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

Maybe before now you had not heard of News of the World or its author, Paulette Jiles. News of the World was 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?).

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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Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and book club questions in that order!

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe Book Club Questions and Recipe
Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe Book Club Questions and Recipe
Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas Book Club Questions and Recipe
Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas Book Club Questions and Recipe
Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas Book Club Questions and Recipe
Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas Book Club Questions and Recipe
French Toast Sandwich
French Toast Sandwich

Do you love small town romances? If so, then you’ll love Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas. The novel is the first in a new series by Jodi Thomas, who, if you don’t know, is the queen of Texas romance.

Her books, set in Texas, range from historical to contemporary, from series to stand alone books. While she primarily writes romance, several of her books also lean towards women’s fiction like The Widows of Wichita County and The Little Teashop on Main. She’s won three RITAs for her romance books, which led to her induction into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame (with only 17 other romance writers!).

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas
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Before We Were Yours Book Club Questions and Recipe

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

Before We Were Yours Book Club Questions and Recipe
Before We Were Yours Book Club Questions and Recipe
Before We Were Yours Book Club Questions and Recipe
Before We Were Yours Book Club Questions and Recipe
Before We Were Yours Book Club Questions and Recipe
Before We Were Yours Book Club Questions and Recipe

Do you love novels based on true life events? If so, you should check out Lisa Wingate’s novel, Before We Were Yours. The novel centers around the true life events that occurred in the early half of the 20th Century at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Georgia Tann, who took over the Society in the 1920s, began trafficking children through the organization. She often took children away from their poor mother’s and placed them for adoption with wealthy parents, to her profit. The novel follows a fictional girl as she and her siblings fall into the hands of Georgia Tann.

Before We Were Yours is a dual timeline novel, meaning that half of the book follows the children and the other half follows a young attorney, home on leave, who discovers a hidden secret in her grandmother’s past and works to uncover the truth.

I actually began reading this book about a year ago and set it aside. While this book does deal with a heavy topic, I wish I would have pursued and read it earlier because it is a wonderful story about the question of the meaning of family and the way both main characters’ understanding of family evolves.

Before We Were Yours
by Lisa Wingate

If your book club hasn’t read Before We Were Yours, I recommend you consider it for an upcoming pick. Beyond learning about a part of American history that was brushed under the rug for many decades, the novel delves deep into the culture of the people who live on shantyboats along the Mississippi River, which was fascinating to read about.

If you loved books like Where the Crawdads Sing and To Kill a Mockingbird, you will love this story about another fiery young girl fighting the odds in the American South.

If your book club picks Before We Were Yours to read, I’ve provided book club questions and a delicious recipe for your meeting below! So if you are looking for food ideas and more, keep reading!

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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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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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