Book Club = Food + Drink, and oh yeah, Discussion!

Book Club = Food + Drink, and oh yeah, Discussion!

My book club group reconvened this past weekend and I couldn’t be happier. We’d been on hiatus since the summer and I sincerely missed our regular get-togethers.

bookclub review_www.pamelahartvines.comWe always start with a great meal. I think each rotating hostess does her best to outdo the previous one. At least that’s what I try to do. I’m already thinking about what gourmet meal I’ll make when it’s my turn to host. For our 2015 kick-off, our host prepared individual stone pots of homemade lasagna and Caesar salad with key lime pie for dessert. To drink, we had assorted teas, flavored sparking waters. I volunteered to bring the sangria (recipe below)!

After our meal, we traditionally ease into our book discussion. Ours is never a structured discussion. We just sit around and throw out opinions about the book. Unless it’s especially terrible or offensive, the comments pretty much go like this: “I thought it was good.” “I liked it.” “I thought it was kind of slow.” “I didn’t finish it.” “I didn’t get to read it at all.”

I don’t make any of those comments. Ever since I discovered Audible, I’m always “well-read” and ready to talk about our book.

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This book is “shelf-worthy.”

This time, we read (or, most of us read), The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. I downloaded the audiobook version, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Audio is perfect for me because of the non-committal convenience. I can listen while I drive; load the dishwasher; or doing anything! I don’t read words in a book unless I know the story will be worth my time.

I absolutely enjoyed this book. It was captivating, entertaining, and informative. I was  immediately taken because I adore historical fiction. In this book Ms. Kidd dramatizes the real-life abolitionist and women’s suffrage pioneer Sarah Grimke. The story parallels Sarah’s life with one of her family’s slaves called Heddy. The book spans the two women’s 35-year journey toward self-discovery through their varying degrees of suffering.

Ms. Kidd is a comprehensive researcher and a master at giving voice to her distinct characters. I especially admired how much respect and dignity she gave to the slave characters.  I’m almost ashamed to say I hadn’t read this author’s work before. Most of you probably know this already but Kidd’s writing skill is phenomenal! I’m a new fan.  The narration on the audiobook version could not have been more perfect. Overall, it was a tremendous story, well-researched, tremendously informative and enlightening, and expertly weaved together with skillful pacing.

The Invention of Wings is “shelf-worthy!” It merits premium, coveted space on my personal bookshelf. I highly recommend this book. Extraordinary. Masterful. Pure D. Wonderful!

Oh, and here’s how I made the sangria we had at our gathering. There are many recipes out there but this was simple and delicious. The only ingredients I used were:

  • Frozen and fresh cut fruit
  • Brandy
  • Inexpensive red wine.

I prepped the wine 16 hours ahead make sure it chilled overnight, and to ensure the fruit juices infused into the wine.  I put the fruit in a large pitcher, added two shots of brandy, and then poured the wine atop the fruit and brandy. I covered the pitcher (mostly to signal to my husband not to drink it) and 16 hours later, we enjoyed a tasty beverage. 🙂

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Are you in a book club?  How is yours set up?  Write on!

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