Ahhh…. a post about one of my favorite subjects. Well, two really….. books and my book club “The AMAZING Bookies”… ok, they are really just called the Bookies but you know… I love them. I would take a punch for them.
A couple of weeks ago we met at a restaurant to discuss the book Delicious by Ruth Reichl. I had read and reviewed this book two years ago and LOVED it then and was so excited to have my book club choose it for our November read. Ruth Reicht used to be a food critic for the New York Times. She writes about this in the highly recommended read, Garlic and Sapphires (another one my book club read and boy did we have fin with that review!)
Delicious is Ruth Reichl’s first dab into fiction. It is about a young girl who takes a job at a magazine called Delicious. When the magazine goes under, she is kept on the payroll for an additional year to handle the guarantee hot line that Delicious offered to its readers. Yet Delicious is so much more than that…. it is about that – it is about taste, and smell, hidden rooms, secret recipes, relationships, friendships, and more.
The Bookies the night of our review. We were only missing one. We had to take a couple of pictures since I asked our waitress several times if she would take a group picture of us and – well… we did it ourselves. 🙂
We rarely go out to restaurants any more. We usually meet in homes due to the size of our group and that we do not want our discussion to be a distraction to other diners (ie… loud voices, laughter, difference of opinions, topics of discussion depending on the book….) however this restaurant had a large private room that we could close the door to. The food was well…. Delicious, which is what we were going for. I had a mushroom pasta that made me want to try to duplicate it at home:
Another sweet thing about this room that we were in is that they hang books from the ceiling. SOOOOO COOL. I thought I had taken a good picture of the ceiling but I guess I did not, however in the below pic you can see some of them hanging.
To take this discussion to the next level we all shared a recipe that was a favorite. We were suppose to make copies for everyone and share why that recipe had special meaning to each of us. I LOVED this part of our discussion. It was a common theme as we went around the room that each of the recipes had connections to family somehow – either a tradition, a wedding or a funeral…. there was something special about each related to the food. I shared my white chicken chili recipe which was one of Justin’s favorites. If he was coming into town and I asked him what he would like for dinner, this one was almost always on his list.
Over all, the Bookies game Delicious a slightly above average rating. Some of us (like me!) loved it. A few found it too spread out – several story lines between the hidden messages, underground railroad, etc… left them feeling there was too much going on, some found it predictable. No matter what we each thought, the book lead to a wonderful discussion.
There is much to discussion in Delicious. If your group enjoys food that goes with the book, this is a winner. The food described in this book is so mouth-watering (the cake discussed will be at our Bookies Christmas party this year).
Between sharing recipes, talking about how the book mirrors Ruth Reichl’s real life (yes some of the things in this book actually did happen to the author!), the underground railroad connection, your group will be able to have a lively discussion.