Book club: winter

I’ll start here: I’m in a book group. In addition to enjoying books, we all also enjoy cooking. So when we gather each month, the food we prepare and enjoy makes our group as much a dinner group as it is a book group.

We’re a bit of an odd group, partly because we’re co-ed (and wouldn’t have it any other way), but our routine is just like any other book group rotating from house to house each month. With the exception of Hillbilly Elegy, we read only fiction, and mostly new fiction. In December we read a short story instead of a full-length book (because, holidays…).

Because we’re an odd group, what works for us, food-wise, on our book group nights might not work for anyone else. But if you are in a book group (or club), co-ed or not, and your group is as dedicated to food as to reading, then maybe this will help if you’re on the schedule to host in the next few weeks. Even if you’re not in a book group, one of these ideas might be just the thing to get you motivated to have a few friends over one winter night.

And, for the record, “The Stew” really is good, particularly when made with some strong, fresh ginger (if ginger is appealing to you). Whether you make it exactly as the recipe specifies or modify here and there to make it your own (I added lime and doubled the stock), it’s a hearty comfort on a cold night..

Curious about the books my book group has enjoyed recently? Here are a few we really liked:

  • Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson
  • Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
  • Mrs. Caliban, Rachel Ingalls
  • An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  • Leaving Atocha Station, Ben Lerner

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