So, here is some heads up for those of you who like to do some research into the books before we choose. The books in italics are additional suggestions NOT from "Read it and Eat." If you have another suggestions, please share the author/title and a brief description of the book so that I can add it to the list. Thanks!
* Open Heart, Open Home by Karen Mains keeps coming up in discussion... even by people (Sherrie!) who haven't even read it yet! I'll be honest, this isn't an award winning novel.. And it even has a chapter or two that was confusing as all get out - but it was very thought-provoking and there will be LOTS to talk about. I'll be happy to come up with discussion questions and a menu if we want to slot this in somewhere. (available new at Chapters.ca for less than $14, or Amazon for less than $12)
Check out these reviews:
April: How does your Garden Grow?
- One Man's Garden by Henry Mitchell... a collection of newspaper columns about gardening that reveal practical tips as well as Mitchell's love of gardening. Menu: salads.
- A Patch of Eden by H. Patricia Hynes... a look at inner city gardens and the healing that gardening can bring (published in 1996). Menu: veggie pizzas.
- A Country Year by Sue Hubbell... a series of columns examining one woman's solitary life on a hundred acre farm, living off the land and bee-keeping, following a painful divorce. Menu: vegetable stew and homemade bread.
May: Forgotten Favorites
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame... Toad, Mole, Badger and Rat... fun for kids, but complex enough for adults. Menu: riverside picnic.
- Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery... re-read a Canadain classic about our beloved Anne-with-an-e. Menu: cooking with raspberries.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis... a fanciful tale filled with deeper significance. Menu: sweet delights
Any of these books with be good for "read with your kids" book club meeting too, where you read the book with one (or more) of your kids and bring them along to join in the discussion. Anyone interested in doing that?
June: The Mane Event
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell... an 1877 lesson about treating animals with kindness. Menu: scones and tea.
- The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans... the book on which Robert Redford's lovely film is based. A captivating and romatic tale. Menu: chili and salad at the ranch.
- Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand... an inspirational story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable hurdles, set in the Great Depression. Menu: stew, seabiscuits and pie.
- Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley...spend two years on the racetrack learning about the characters (human and equine) that inhabit the horse racing world. Menu: drinks, sandwhiches and pie.
We could replace this with "Short and Sweet" and check out some short story collections by Canadian authors. Like Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam; The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro; Morley Callahan's Now That April's Here; The Roseate Spoonbill of Happiness by Marilyn Gear Pilling. This might be especially good for the busy month of June as you can read only a selection of the stories and still participate in the discussion!
July: Travels to Remember... or Forget
- The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.. a travel tale gone awry. Luis endures 10 days alone at sea. Menu: welcome home dinner of paella and cake
- Ciao America by Beppe Severgnini... written by a visiting Italian journalist. A humorous look at (north) America through the eyes of an outsider. Menu: community picnic
- Walking the Bible by Bruce Fieler... an unforgettable 10 000 mile journey through the Holy Land, retracing the path of the first five books of the Bible. Menu?
- The Life of Pi by Yann Martel... an extraordinary tale of survival at sea. Pi Patel finds himself sharing a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra and a tiger- comic and tragic and simply unbelievable. Menu: "eating the dream"
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert... a travel journal of self discovery, taking you to Italy, India and Indonesia. Menu: one dish from each country.
August: Not so Lazy Summer Reads
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee... who studied this in high school? Pick me! Pick me! Ever read it since? Ever wonder how different this would read now? Deals with racial injustice in the south. Sweets menu.
- Founding Brothers by Joseph J Ellis... 2001 Pulitzer prize winner about the historical events during the revolutionary generation. Picnic menu.
- The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle... a satirical novel about the intersections between the lives of illegal Mexican immigrants and white suburbanites. Menu: mexican chicken dish.
- The Book of Negros by Laurence Hill... many of us have already read this, but it may still be enjoyable to get together and really discuss it. I have discussion questions and a menu (authentic Sierra Leone cuisine) ready to go.
September: Celebrate Banned Books Week
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain... appetizers and dessert menu
- The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Another fun theme we could do here is "Thinking Outside the Box" and do some alternative genres like graphic novels, poetry, drama, photo essays, etc.