If you don’t know about it, there has been some controversy about the publication of The Giver of Stars soon after the publication of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Personally, I loved them both and think they are both worth a read! And, if you read them both, it will make for a lively book club discussion I can promise you that. You can dedicate one meeting to each book with a bonus meeting to the comparison of the two and you’ll have plenty to talk about.
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.
Did you know that scripture cakes were very popular in Appalachia and the South at the turn of the 20th century? Maybe you’re wondering what exactly a scripture cake is. Women at the time would find verses from the Bible that mention a food ingredient and write out an entire recipe using just verses in an effort to teach their children the Bible and cooking at the same time.
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. 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.
Whether it’s fall, winter, or the middle of summer, nothing beats a slice of spice cake, a warm cup of coffee, and good discussion with your closest friends. That includes your book club!
This spice cake made with apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans is comforting and delicious.
The Giver of Stars is a very plot-driven novel, so there aren’t a lot of instances where the characters are still enough to linger over a meal. There are several meals at the Van Cleve’s, but the food is either not mentioned or the scene is not pleasant. I try to choose food pairings that evoke a pleasant memory of the book.
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).
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?).
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.
Do you love French Toast, but hate the work of making it? Me too.
I don’t know about you, but my one problem with French Toast is that it gets too soggy before you can eat it.
This recipe saves you time and texture. It’s also an easy way to make French Toast for a crowd!
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.
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. If your book club picks To Kill a Mockingbird 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!
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.
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. 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.