Monday, February 12, 2024

Announcement: Our Next Four Selections

It's that time of our virtual book club's cycle when we unveil the next four books selected by the co-hosts. We hope the reading will delight and inspire you. Ready? Let's go!

Deb (Kahakai Kitchen) opens the series with Mastering the Art of French Murder (An American in Paris Mystery #1) by Colleen Cambridge (April 2023) for the April / May 2024 edition

Some of my favorite genres are mystery, cozy mystery & historical fiction and Mastering the Art of French Murder (An American in Paris Mystery #1) by Colleen Cambridge seems like it combines them. 

From the Publisher:
Fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Marie Benedict, Nita Prose, and of course, Julia Child, will adore this magnifique new mystery set in Paris and starring Julia Child’s (fictional) best friend, confidante, and fellow American. From the acclaimed author of Murder at Mallowan Hall, this delightful new book provides a fresh perspective on the iconic chef’s years in post-WWII Paris. 
As Paris rediscovers its joie de vivre, Tabitha Knight, recently arrived from Detroit for an extended stay with her French grandfather, is on her own journey of discovery. Paris isn’t just the City of Light; it’s the city of history, romance, stunning architecture . . . and food. Thanks to her neighbor and friend Julia Child, another ex-pat who’s fallen head over heels for Paris, Tabitha is learning how to cook for her Grandp√®re and Oncle Rafe. 
Between tutoring Americans in French, visiting the market, and eagerly sampling the results of Julia’s studies at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, Tabitha’s sojourn is proving thoroughly delightful. That is, until the cold December day they return to Julia’s building and learn that a body has been found in the cellar. Tabitha recognizes the victim as a woman she’d met only the night before, at a party given by Julia’s sister, Dort. The murder weapon found nearby is recognizable too—a knife from Julia’s kitchen. 
Tabitha is eager to help the investigation, but is shocked when Inspector Merveille reveals that a note, in Tabitha’s handwriting, was found in the dead woman’s pocket. Is this murder a case of international intrigue, or something far more personal? From the shadows of the Tour Eiffel at midnight, to the tiny third-floor Child kitchen, to the grungy streets of Montmartre, Tabitha navigates through the city hoping to find the real killer before she or one of her friends ends up in prison . . . or worse.
I’m sure our group will have fun solving the mystery and find some great inspiration in the kitchen with this one! 

Deb in Hawaii, Kahakai Kitchen

Deadline for contributing your post is Friday, May 31, 2024

For the June / july 2024 edition, Claudia (Honey from Rock) chose the novel Family Tree by Susan Wiggs (August 2016)

I read this book a few years ago and noted it then in my book diary as a good Cook the Books Club selection candidate for us. Sadly, the plot, characters and story were forgotten in the interval. 
So, I'm referring here to the Booklist Review: 
Don't mess with success. That is what Annie Rush tells herself. The Key Ingredient, the cooking show she created, which stars her husband, Martin Harlow, is wildly successful. So does it really matter if Martin occasionally strays from the show's original vision? Although Annie would like to have been in front of the camera, she must admit that viewers love Martin's perky cohost, Melissa Barrett. Then Annie arrives on the set of the show with wonderful news to share with Martin and discovers him in a private meeting with Melissa. Annie walks away, then suffers a tragic accident. Now, one year later, she is back home in Switchback, Vermont, wondering if she can reassemble the pieces of her life. 
Best-selling Wiggs (Starlight on Willow Lake, 2015) writes with a seemingly effortless sense of grace about what breaks families apart as well as what brings them back together. Add this to her gift for crafting exquisitely nuanced characters as well as her flair for perfectly capturing the rhythm of life in a small town, and you have a soul-satisfying story.

I am absolutely looking forward to re-reading this delightful novel with you all. 

Claudia, Honey From Rock

Deadline for contributing your post is Wednesday, July 31, 2024

For the August / September 2024 edition, Debra (Eliot's Eats) has chosen the novel The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (November 2001)

I read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd soon after it was published (2001) but I reread it recently to see if it would be appropriate for Cook the Books and a possible movie tie-in event with Movies & Munchies. I decided I still loved the book and the movie tie-in would work! Kidd is a master at broken characters and tying in a bit of Southern Gothic without being dramatic (or absurd). Lily, a precocious 14-year-old, tries daily to survive her life with T. Ray (her father). Lily's mother died years earlier in a tragic accident and Lily's life was forever changed. Rosaleen, housekeeper/cook and surrogate mother, and Lily find themselves on a necessary road trip. They land on the doorstep of the "calendar sisters." That's when the real story starts. There's lots of honey and peaches mentioned in the novel but there's also a lot of good comfort food, too.
Debra, Eliot's Eats

Deadline for contributing your post is Monday, September 30, 2024

Please, consider joining the Movies & Munchies group to participate in the tie-in movie event. Comment below if interested and I can contact you with more information or email me at eliotseats AT gmail DOT com.

To round up the list of selections, for the October / November 2024 edition Simona (briciole) chose the memoir Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (April 2021)

In August 2018, the author had an essay published on The New Yorker with the same title. It starts thus:
Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart. For those of you who don’t know, H Mart is a supermarket chain that specializes in Asian food. The “H” stands for han ah reum, a Korean phrase that roughly translates to “one arm full of groceries.” H Mart is where parachute kids go to get the exact brand of instant noodles that reminds them of home. It’s where Korean families buy rice cakes to make tteokguk, a beef soup that brings in the new year. It’s the only place where you can find a giant vat of peeled garlic, because it’s the only place that truly understands how much garlic you’ll need for the kind of food your people eat. H Mart is freedom from the single-aisle “ethnic” section in regular grocery stores.
I'm looking forward to learning more about Korean cuisine. 

Simona, briciole

Deadline for contributing your post: Saturday, November 30, 2024.

Note: I reserved this book at the library. Both the ebook and the audio version have long waiting lists. If you also plan to borrow the book from your local library, I suggest checking the wait time.

Remember that membership in our book club is open to anyone and we hope you will join us by reading these selections and creating inspired recipes. For more information about participating, click here.  

As always, specific announcement posts can be found at Cook the Books at the beginning of each two-month period and the current selection is always shown on the right side of the homepage.

To recap:
April / May 2024: Mastering the Art of French Murder 
by Colleen Cambridge (hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen)
June / July 2024
Family Tree by Susan Wiggs 
hosted by Claudia at Honey from Rock)

August / September 2024
 The Secret Life of Bees 
by sue Monk Kidd (hosted by Debra at Eliot's Eats)

October / November 2024
 Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (hosted by Simona at briciole)

Happy reading and cooking!



Lori said...

I have read the last three. They are all great books. I look forward to seeing what others think.

Marg said...

Good selection!!

I bought Secret Life of Bees when it came out but I have never read it!

Simona Carini said...

Thank you, Lori. I'm glad you agree with our choices :)

Thank you, Marg. I'm glad we're providing a reason for reading that book :)

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Looking forward to this year and rereading Secret Life on Bees.