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Old 03-08-2021, 10:25 AM   #1
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Book Club?

So I have toyed with the idea of joining a book club multiple times - but...time has been an issue. Also, I don't want to read something like a torrid bodice-ripper or social-justice solution book, which seems to be what my friends are reading who participate in book clubs. I love learning things. I love cooking. I love online because it is there when I have time.

Would anyone be interested in starting a DC bookclub? My thoughts are that we could select a book that may teach us something new rather than a standard cookbook. Read it over a month, make comments as we read, and then make something using what we learned or even a recipe from the book if it has them.

Books I was looking at include:
Nik Sharma's Flavor Equation
Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat
Josh McFadden's Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
Diva Alter's What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen

Other ideas: Books on techniques including some of the older books like Julia Child's. Maybe gardening books. Honestly, I am open to anything.

I think it would be fun.

Thoughts?

Kathleen
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:49 AM   #2
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I like the idea. I have a few books to suggest when I get home (I'm at the dentist).
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:00 PM   #3
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Sounds intriguing. Maybe look for books that come in an electronic version? I have far too many dead tree books already.
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:54 PM   #4
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Sounds intriguing. Maybe look for books that come in an electronic version? I have far too many dead tree books already.
Ditto. I would be reluctant not to go digital with a newer book. I've got scads of cookbooks...which I love....but....scads.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:31 PM   #5
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In my offline book club, someone volunteers every month to host the club and that person chooses the book. We could start by volunteering in the order people express interest in the club and go from there.

Unless there are low-cost used books available, I would rather not do newer books because they can be really expensive . I've bought used books for my club before and when I'm finished, I often donate them to the Little Free Library in my neighborhood. I keep the ones I really like.

A few books to consider:
- Much Depends on Dinner by Margaret Visser
- The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser
- Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine
- The Bees by Laline Paul (novel)
- The Secret Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams (novel)
- Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach (detailed info about how the digestive system works)
- Cuisine and Empire by Rachel Laudan (the author is a food historian; it's kind of an academic book but very readable). Here's an interesting post from her website: https://www.rachellaudan.com/2020/10...-birthday.html
I've already read all of these, but I love to reread good books and it would be fun to Discuss them with my DC friends
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:33 PM   #6
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One more: Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King (novel about Apicius, believed to be one of the first people to write a cookbook, set in ancient Rome)
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:34 PM   #7
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Oh, and do we want to limit the number of pages in a book, to make it as accessible as possible?
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:26 PM   #8
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GG, how about those books that are also on Kindle. Like Taxy, I have way too many actual books. I'm fine with it being however long. If it is teaching something, we can skim or read in depth. I've never done a book club, so am willing to go along with others. I personally would prefer to avoid fiction just because I want to keep the focus on cooking or techniques....well....food.

So, how to start and what should we start with. We can start a thread in here with Book Club, March 2021, [Name of Book] Thoughts on a first book? The Rituals of Dinner sounds awesome to me! AND it is offered in a Kindle version! Does it have recipes to apply the new learning? Always a bonus!
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:29 PM   #9
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Kathleen, I've read (some of) "Salt, etc,: and all of "Six Seasons". While there is some prose to those books, I remember them being more about the recipes or techniques. I'm not sure how much story line there is to discuss. However, I have read one of Ruth Reichl's books (she was the editor of Gourmet when the publisher unceremoniously shut it down) that is recipes, technique, and what I found to be a very interesting story line: "My Kitchen Year". Another of her books I enjoyed thoroughly was "Delicious! a novel". It focuses a lot on the shut-down of "Gourmet", but has an enchanting sub-plot of finding correspondence between a young girl and James Beard during WWII (fictional correspondence, that is). Two other prose-and-recipe books I've read lately are "Rachael Ray 50: memories and meals from a sweet and savory life" and Stanley Tucci's "The Tucci Cookbook". One last book suggestion is "Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America". While I don't remember if it included any of Jefferson's recipes, I do remember it being a very good read. The one caveat, though, is that I do not know which of these are available as ebooks.

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...A few books to consider:...
- The Secret Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams (novel)...
I'm currently reading her last installment in the "Books by the Bay" mystery series. I'm going to miss those characters. I would think that any Ellery Adams books would work. Hey, she has a series called "Book Retreat Mystery". With this being a book club, that would fit the theme? Then again, these are pretty much cozy mysteries, so I'm not sure how they'll go over with the menfolk. The "Rituals of Dinner" looks interesting. So does "Eight Flavors". Those are the only two I checked from your list, though.
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:39 PM   #10
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...The Rituals of Dinner sounds awesome to me! AND it is offered in a Kindle version! Does it have recipes to apply the new learning? Always a bonus!
Since this was your idea, you should get first picks. And if this book is it, I need to hop on now. I checked all seven members of our available library consortium and not one had an ebook. And the entire library system for central MA has only one paper version - which is available at this moment. I'd have to request it tout suite in order for it to arrive in a timely manner.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:20 PM   #11
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I should phone my city's library and find out if there is a way to renew my library card or get a new one, without going there in person. It's at the Civic Centre. I don't know if the civic centre is open, but even if it is, I don't want to go in, not until this virus is under control.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:26 PM   #12
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I think I would rather discuss techniques over plots. We are a cooking crew! However, I have never actually participated in a live book club, so am not knowledgeable to all of the nuances. I'm leaning heavily on you all for that!

So with that in mind, there is a book that I've seen, but never read. Maybe it would check all of the boxes for everyone? The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story with Intensely Good Flavors by Mandy Lee. It keeps coming up on my recommendations.

GG, can you get it?
Taxy, it does have the kindle version.

And I have not read it.......

Thoughts?
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:33 PM   #13
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I should phone my city's library and find out if there is a way to renew my library card or get a new one, without going there in person. It's at the Civic Centre. I don't know if the civic centre is open, but even if it is, I don't want to go in, not until this virus is under control.
I'm right there with you.
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:13 PM   #14
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...So with that in mind, there is a book that I've seen, but never read. Maybe it would check all of the boxes for everyone? The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story with Intensely Good Flavors by Mandy Lee...
That sounds similar to Ruth Reichl's "My Kitchen Year", writing about how she cooked her way through the shock of demise of Gourmet magazine.

Mandy Lee's book is available only in hard bound through my library, FWIW, although I do go into my library. I would need to request it from a different location, thought.
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:58 PM   #15
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Then let's give it a try. Taxy, what say you?
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:57 AM   #16
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Sounds good to me, but I can't promise I'll get my arse in gear and actually participate.
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Old 03-09-2021, 09:43 AM   #17
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Old 03-09-2021, 11:17 AM   #18
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GG, how about those books that are also on Kindle. Like Taxy, I have way too many actual books. I'm fine with it being however long. If it is teaching something, we can skim or read in depth. I've never done a book club, so am willing to go along with others. I personally would prefer to avoid fiction just because I want to keep the focus on cooking or techniques....well....food.

So, how to start and what should we start with. We can start a thread in here with Book Club, March 2021, [Name of Book] Thoughts on a first book? The Rituals of Dinner sounds awesome to me! AND it is offered in a Kindle version! Does it have recipes to apply the new learning? Always a bonus!
I was just looking at it and it doesn't have any recipes. It's basically a history of how and why rituals around serving and eating food developed. The other one by the same author is subtitled "The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal." I think it's much more interesting. It doesn't have recipes per se, but the book is a deep dive into the individual ingredients of an ordinary dinner (each is a chapter): corn on the cob with salt and butter, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream. Wine optional

I'd like to propose that we ask the mods to create a new forum for the DC Book Club. Then we can have a pinned post for the procedures we decide to follow: how to choose a book (the first book club I belonged to fizzled because of lack of consensus on what to read next - hence why in my current club, having someone volunteer each month and choose the book works better), how to set a deadline, whether to include fiction (some do have recipes and/or techniques either included or mentioned, which we could look up). I like to learn about how cultures other than mine look at food and everything surrounding it; novels that focus on food help with that.

I agree that since this was Kathleen's idea, she should start.
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:33 PM   #19
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Thoughts on the above?
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Old 03-09-2021, 04:33 PM   #20
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Well, I just fell down a rabbit hole for over an hour!

Trouble is.... I'm trying to pack and rid myself of 55 years of collected "treasures" to fit into an apartment. Even once I get there, it will be controlled (hopefully) chaos until settled.

Okay so my input is- "I'm all for it!"

but other than lurking in the background cannot promise any input for now!
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