Here are my current picks with some menu suggestions for your Book Club!

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin 

OH my goodness, I’m totally in love with this story and movie.  I read the book first and just recently watched the movie (which was nominated for a Best picture Oscar this year.)  This is one of those stories that translated perfectly to film and was completely true to the book.  Everything, including how the characters looked, was exactly what I pictured when reading the book.  Weird when that happens!  This is a beautiful story of a young Irish woman who comes to America searching for new opportunities.  Her successes and heartaches are portrayed through some really beautiful writing – the author’s style is simple yet heart wrenching.  A very REAL story, free of any major antagonists – I highly recommend both the book and movie!!!  For a Book Club menu, I suggest an Italian theme, Brooklyn style.

Easy Lasagna Skilleta tossed salad, and for dessert these Skinny Tiramisu Parfaits


Twains End by Lynn Cullen

I came across this book after reading Mrs. Poe,  a fictional account of the secret romantic life of author Edgar Allen Poe by the same author.  Much like the theme of the author’s first book, Twains End portrays a little known side of the famous author Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens.)  The story follows Isabel Lyon, Mark Twain’s personal secretary and supposed love interest.  I don’t know how much of this is fiction and how much is based on fact, but I found it fascinating.  The book paints a not so pretty picture of Mark Twain as an egotistical narcissist and details his relationships with the women close to him.  If you are a fan of historical fiction, you will love these books.  I can’t wait to see who this author chooses as her next subject!  For food, I recommend a simple, southern style meal.

Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Southern style biscuits, and a Mississippi Mud Cake for dessert


Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

This was last month’s 3Gees selection and got very positive reviews by the group.  I haven’t checked it out yet, but there is a PBS series (viewable on Netflix) based on this memoir.  I hear it’s totally binge worthy.  This is my favorite kind of book – each chapter is devoted to a story or character, in this case all based on the real life experiences of a midwife in post war London’s East End in the 1950’s.  Wow is all I can say…this book has it all…crazy characters, some gory details, and entertaining stories.  I learned a lot about the unglamorous life of a midwife during these times and certainly have a new appreciation!  Here’s a sample menu: 

Shepherd’s Pot Pie, a fresh fruit salad, and this Honey Cake


Here’s what’s on my shelf for next month!

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Amazon Description: For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.
As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.


Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Amazon Description: “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.


The Twelve Tribes Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Amazon Description: In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd, swept up by the tides of the Great Migration, flees Georgia and heads north. Full of hope, she settles in Philadelphia to build a better life. Instead she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment, and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins are lost to an illness that a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children, whom she raises with grit, mettle, and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them to meet a world that will not be kind. Their lives, captured here in twelve luminous threads, tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage—and a nation’s tumultuous journey.

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