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The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's FavoriteBooks and Authors Paperback – Mar 1 2012

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 2 Rev Upd edition (March 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585429244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585429240
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 3.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #787,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The Book Club Cookbook excels at offering book groups new title ideas and a culinary way to spice up their discussions." --Library Journal

"If you're in a book club, you'll savor the stories of the many culturally and ethnically diverse book groups the authors interviewed as much as the recipes." --USA Today

“Part cookbook, part celebration of the written word, [The Book Club Cookbook] illustrates how books and ideas can bring people together.” — Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp are cooks, book enthusiasts, and friends. Seeking to combine their passion for books, food, and book clubs, they met over stacks of books and endless cups of coffee at a local sandwich shop, where The Book Club Cookbook ( was born. They were motivated to write their second book, The Kids’ Book Club Book (, after librarians, parents, and teachers who attended their talks asked for a similar book for the growing number of youth book clubs across the country.

They created and, websites that provide inspiration for book clubs, featuring book recommendations from book groups around the country, author recipes, book giveaways, author blogs, and newsletters.

Their latest book, Table of Contents ( Table of Contents), features book-related recipes from fifty of today’s most popular authors.

Judy and Vicki enjoy speaking about book clubs, and appreciate their ongoing conversations, both in person and via their websites, with book and food enthusiasts across the country. They live with their families in the Boston area.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I love cookbooks and obviously I love to read, so when the offer came to review The Book Club Cookbook, I jumped at it. What could be more fun than to have available some of the recipes from the most popular book club books? And if it's your turn to host your book club, well, this book will make choosing a dish so much easier.

This book covers some of my favourite novels: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (Lisa See), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows), and The Help (Kathryn Stockett) as well as some I have yet to read but are on the top of my towering TBR list: Cutting for Stone (Abraham Verghese) and Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen). Actually, the list of books on my own TBR list overlaps quite a bit with the books featured in this cookbook. Each novel's recipe is preceded by a description of the source book and some are followed by an explanation of the food, thoughts from the author and/or a book club's take on the book itself and why they chose a particular food for their club.

So far I've made two recipes (I'm planning another this weekend). Both are cookies ' Chewy Oatmeal from the book Plainsong by Kent Haruf and Chocolate Chip Shortbread from Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. Both turned out great and were gobbled up by my family in no time. It doesn't just have cookies or sweets ' there are savory dishes as well. There is Zaytoon's Chicken Shwarma from Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, Britta's Crab Casserole from The Hours by Michael Cunningham, Greek Rice Pudding and Tzatziki from Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. There are drinks in here too: Glögg from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as well as soups and salads.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa80d063c) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa83eff54) out of 5 stars Book Lovers and Book Club Members alike must have this book! March 1 2012
By Sheila A. Dechantal - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What if there was a book that not only recommended GREAT book club reads with synopsis, but also recipes to go with the books from well-known authors and book clubs? For a book club gal, and a book lover - this is a GREAT FIND! Books such as Cutting For Stone, The Book Thief,The Help, ROOM, Reading Lolita, Bel Canto, Water For Elephants, Snow Flower And The Secret Fan, Jane Eyre, Freedom, Devil In The White City, etc...

The book is filled with many wonderful book selections that would make for great discussion. The book choices are new as well as older titles... a few like Water For Elephants, Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, Ahab's Wife, Anna Karenina, Life Of Pi, House Of Sand and Fog, Jane Eyre - and so many more. Each title follows a synopsis of the book, occasionally author thoughts, review suggestions, and book club recipes that go along with the theme. A true treasure!

Many years ago I discovered the first edition of this book. I loved the concept and used it religiously when planning out books to read for our group as well as food to go with the book. In fact, as I write this now, I think the first edition of this book was the beginning of our book club, The Bookies, introduction to food made to go with our reviews.

To this day, this very book sits in my front sitting room, in an honor spot on a stand next to the rocking chair.

Book Club members, book lovers, and food lovers will all appreciate this book! Not only does it list a wonderful group of books that make for wonderful discussion, but the food and the ideas to go along with the books will put that little extra into your discussion and have people waiting to get into your book group!

And of course I loved it! Each book gives a full page synopsis as well as publishing information, followed by food that would go well with the book, sometimes by the author, and always ideas from a book club as well. If anything, this book is dangerous as I drank in all the books I have yet to read and delicious food to go with them. The ideas were already forming in my mind....

I want to do a Bel Canto party... dress up the whole works.... maybe I can talk the Bookies into doing this one for our October classic read..... and I would love to do a Chocolat by Joanne Harris review as well with melt in your mouth chocolates.... maybe we could follow-up with the movie..... AND....

See what did I tell you? The book is dangerous!

This is a book I will keep close and refer to time and again, not only do I get a good taste of wonderful book club reads... but ideas to go along with the reviews!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c85da4) out of 5 stars Fun cookbook for book lovers March 1 2012
By bookreader "Melanie" - Published on
Format: Paperback
Many times readers, especially in book club discussions, are interested in learning why authors incorporate certain foods into their books. This Book Club Cookbook features 100 book titles and at least one or two recipes that come from the pages of those books.
Even if you are not in a book club and just enjoy reading, this will be a great cookbook to have in your collection.
It includes classic and older, popular books like Anna Karenina, Chocolat, Life of Pi, The Grapes of Wrath, A Fine Balance, Memoirs of a Geisha.... It also has newer books such as Water for Elephants, A Visit from the Goon Squad, Room, The Help, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, etc.
I look forward to trying recipes such as Griet's Vegetable soup from the Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Honey Cake from the Secret Life of Bees.
Their is a few paragraphs before every recipe explaining some background about it's origins in the novel. Some of the recipes are also followed by novel thoughts.
This cookbook is worth owning.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c85d44) out of 5 stars Food, books, and fun served up under one cover? What a novel idea! March 13 2012
By Lisarenee Seduced by a Book - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the revised and updated edition of 'The Book Club Cookbook'. I managed to snag a copy of the old version, so I'll let you know how it differs from the original. The cookbook offers a wide range of both books and recipes. Recipes include drinks, desserts, entrées, soups and salads. Books range from classics like 'Jane Eyre' and 'The Grapes of Wrath', to some of the more recent book club hits like 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' and 'The Help', to books which have won awards, such as 'The Life of Pi', to memoirs like "Angela's Ashes'. There are many books I've heard of and others I probably should have. The authors also included in this edition a smattering of pictures, which was lacking in the first book. The book is not only a cookbook, but a virtual smorgasbord for the literature loving individual or book club.

I've never done a review on a cookbook before so this was a fun experience for me. The recipes included in the book sometimes have a direct link to the stories they are in, such as Glogg is a drink that Mikael Blomkvist drinks in the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' by Stieg Larsson:
"Berger and Malm were taking care of the annual Christmas arrangements while Blomkvist sat in Erika's chair, drinking glogg and looking on."(page 633 of the paperback)

And Kipferl cookies were mentioned in Markus Zusak's book 'The Book Thief':
"They were Kipferl left over from Christmas, and they'd been sitting on the desk for at least two weeks. Like miniature horseshoes with a layer of icing sugar, the ones on the bottom were bolted to the plate." (page 459)

Other recipes truly had no direct link to the book, such as both the recipes listed under 'The Da Vinci Code', Rosemary Spaghetti and John Hornburg's Death by Chocolate. The cookbook authors, however, cleverly attempted to link them to the books by other means. The Rosemary Spaghetti was linked by "extending the story's symbolism to the palate. Rosemary is one ingredient that evokes the symbols in The Da Vinci Code. Rosemary symbolically weds icons of the rose and of Mary, an incarnation of the divine feminine, both of which are integral to The Da Vinci Code." Well, I don't know about that, but John Hornburg's Death by Chocolate definitely had me thinking of heavenly thoughts after eating a slice of his dessert. *smirk* For your information, John Hornburg's recipe was served at a the Milwaukee School of Engineering's Great Books Dinner and Discussion Series. John is a noted chef. Heck, after sampling this dessert, I'd buy this cookbook just so I could have this recipe. It's soooooo good. Yum! lol So, if you hadn't already surmised, some of the recipes included in the cookbook are those which were used by book clubs who meet in real life (as opposed to online) and were served at their meetings.

Most of the ingredients are fairly easy to find, but some take a little leg work in order to get them. The Harry Potter series inspired Treacle Tart recipe requires Golden syrup, for which I could find no substitute. Luckily, Amazon carries the product but while the price of the item is fairly reasonable, the shipping will cost you a pretty penny. 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' inspired Glogg requires cardamom pods which I managed to snag for a reasonable price at Williams Sonoma. Thankfully, one resides a half hour from my home. I was caught a off guard as I went to buy the ingredients for the recipe which was inspired by 'A Fine Balace', The Taal Restaurant's Chicken Biryani (Basmati Rice with Chicken), which required red chili powder. Apparently, the spice has a different flavor than regular chili powder found in the US, and I'll have to find a Indian grocer in order to obtain the spice. This recipe will need to go on my 'to make' list.

Books and their associated recipes not included in the new version:

- Douglass' Woman by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Banana Cream Pie)
- The Emperer of Ocean Parks by Stephen L. Carter ( Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade)
- Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith (Lee Smith's Pimento Cheese and Pasty Hopkin's Pimento Cheese)
- Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science and Faith by Dava Sobel (Lemon Ricotta--Goat Cheese Cake)
- Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks (Rhonda's Haney's Greens)
- Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years by Sarah Louise Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany (Pound Cake with Fresh Coconut Frosting)
- A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to Ivy League by Ron Suskind (Mama's Popular Trial-And Error Potato Salad)
- I Capture the Casle by Dodie Smith (Singapore Sling)
- Milk in My Coffee by Eric Jerome Dickey (Lemon Cheesecake)
- My Soul to Keep by Tanaraive Due (Doro Wat (Chicken Stew) with Injera (Flat Bread), Niter Kebbeh (Spiced Butter), & Berbere Paste)
- October Suite by Maxine Claire (Kathy Galligan's Deviled Eggs, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Pink Lady, & Sour Mix)
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Northern Trust Bank's Grilled Portobello Mushrooms)
- Sugar by Beatrice L. McFadden (Great-Grandma Olivia's Sweet Potato Pie & Sweetened Whipped Cream)
- A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (Baked Corn Casserole)
- Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, And Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom (Paul Shipley's Egg Salad)
- Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (Banana Bread)
- Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker (Irina Shved's Borsch (Beef Soup))

Books and their associated Recipes newly added to this edition:

- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Markus Zusak's Vanilla Kipferls)
- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Almaz's Ethiopian Doro Wot & Sister Marie Joseph's Praise's Cari De Dal)
- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (Dorothy's Famous Christmas Toffee)
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Annie Barrow's Potato Peel Pie & Non-Occupied Potato Peel Pie)
- Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeanette Walls (Cowboy Hash & Cornbread Fritters)
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Demetire's Chocolate Pie & Caramel Cake)
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Rebecca Skloot's Chicken Diable & Rebecca Skloot's Ceasar Salad)
- Infidel by Ayaan Hiris Ali (Angellows (Somali Pancakes))
- Little Bee by Chris Cleave (Post Colonial Pie)
- Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (Helen Simonson's Toad-in-the-Hole)
- My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Firehouse Marinara Sauce)
- Olive Kitteridge by Elixabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge's Grandmother's Doughnuts)
- Room by Emma Donoghue (Jack's Sixth-Birthday Cake)
- Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (New York-Style Cheesecake & Kir Royale Cocktail)
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Chorizo and Potat Spanish Toritilla Bites)
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Lisa See's Deep-Fried Sugared Taro)
- South of Broad by Pat Conroy (Benne Wafers & Slightly North of Broad's Black Bottom Pie)
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Jennifer Egan's Oatmeal Fudge "Refrigerator" Cookies)
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Oyster Brie Soup (The Grove Park Inn's Recipe))

Each book associated with a recipe has a brief synopsis included with it, so if you haven't read the book before, you'll have an idea of what it's about. The book includes explanations as to why the authors of the cookbook chose a particular recipe and some of the recipes come directly from the authors who wrote the book they're associated with. This is a very fun and unique cookbook and I feel it would make a wonderful gift for the book lover in your life. I'm giving this one 4 1/2 roses out of 5. All the recipes I've tried were delicious and I'll be adding some to my favorite recipes list. I would have liked more pictures, but I realize to include them would have increased the size of this book by a significant amount. Perhaps it should have been divided between two books? You definitely get your money's worth out of this one. I will definitely be picking up copies of this book to give as gifts to friends.

Notable notes:
- I didn't use all the frosting in the Death By Chocolate dessert so I ended up refrigerating it. It turned into a delicious fudge. Who knew?
- The Rosemary Spaghetti tasted even better the second day!
- I was afraid to try the Chicken Diable because it contains curry, a spice I'm not particularly fond of, however, I didn't notice the flavor, so it didn't overpower the taste. This was a super easy recipe to make.
- Don't forget to check out the website it's a great site: [...]

Thank you Penguin for letting me have an advanced copy of this edition. I feel like it was Christmas in February. :)

If you would like to see more of my reviews, please visit my blog at [...] I'd greatly appreciate it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bf7de0) out of 5 stars Book Summaries, Book Club Ideas, AND Recipes?!? Yes! March 8 2012
By Boquinha - Published on
Format: Paperback
Our book club meets monthly -- we discuss the book for that month and then we eat! I can not tell you how perfect "The Book Club Cook Book" is for our group and, I'll bet, many others!

Funny story -- at our very first meeting (many years ago!) to set up our book club and decide how we'd function as a group, I made some light refreshments but said unequivocally, "I am not the kind of person who believes you have to have food at everything! We do NOT have to do food."

Well, I'm not sure what happened after that, but the "no food" idea totally went out the window and our book club is as much a food fest as it is a literary discussion. And we wouldn't have it any other way!

See, not only do we have food, but we get creative with it--our foods always have something to do with the book. We either make something we've read in the book, something from that time period or the location of the book's story, or we pick one little thing and get really creative with it (one of my favorites is when one of our members brought "S'moores" --instead of S'mores-- to represent the moors in Wuthering Heights).

The Book Club Cook Book is the PERFECT reference book for anyone in a book club or anyone thinking about starting one. There are SO many great books to choose from in the Table of Contents, and each one gets a summary and accompanying thematic recipes -- how great is that?!?

This is a great gift to give your book club host or hostess. It's also a great gift for a book club leader to get for his or her book club members. You can't go wrong with this book!

I especially love the short spotlights of various book clubs that are scattered throughout the book. It's so interesting to hear how other groups format their meetings or what kinds of neat things they do as a group.

Our basic book club meeting format is this. We meet and discuss the book for about an hour to an hour and a half or so. Then, we all share what we've made for food and how it relates to the book (this part is really fun!). Then we eat! And while we eat, we all share what other books we're reading, and then we pretty much socialize and visit and enjoy one another while we eat and eat and eat.

And we eat SUCH good food. Mostly it's finger foods and stuff we can eat on a paper plate, you know? But still, it's often fancy, rich food. The fanciest we ever did was when we read Jane Eyre--we did a HUGE sit down British Feast! We had prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, and wonderful sides and desserts (trifle, anyone?) and it was fabulous! But mostly, we sit around the living room in our book club circle and eat and visit and enjoy.

I love this reference book because when I read it, aside from all the ideas and recipes I get, I also feel a connection with hundreds of other book clubs. I am so glad to see so many clubs embracing both books and food. And when they line up thematically? Well, the nerdy girl in me just gets giddy.

GET THIS BOOK. You won't be sorry.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bf7ec4) out of 5 stars Not your average cook book! March 2 2012
By Maryl Gavazzi - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are a multitude of cookbooks out there, but the Book Club Cookbook is like no other. As a participant in The Ladies of Autumnwood Book Club (whose commentary is included after "The Help"), I excitedly anticipated my copy. I hungrily - it is a cook book after all - started skimming the pages checking out each chapter highlighting a single book, then finding a recipe featuring food mentioned in that book. Not only that, commentary at the end of each chapter is from book clubs like ours around the country relating their impression of the entitled book and what they served during their discussion to represent it. I am an avid reader and have read many of the books included, but my interest in those books, and the others, was additionally piqued after seeing the recipes and commentary. This is NOT your average cookbook. It can be enjoyed in so many ways - book synopsis, recipes, and/or the opportunity to learn what others think of each book. This cookbook offers so much more than any other I own. It's not just a cookbook - it's so interesting it could be used as a "coffee table" book. You have to get one!