Friday, December 11, 2009

December 2009 Book Club Meeting

Summary: Julia Child single handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn't know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.

Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia's unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years. -- Anchor

A few nights ago, The Preschool Moms Book Club met to discuss MY LIFE IN FRANCE by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. I absolutely loved the book, and I was very anxious to hear what my friends thought. Everyone seemed to enjoy the story (although a few were surprised that they liked it.) We actually found a great deal to talk about, and I think our meeting was a wonderful way to end the year!

What would a book club meeting be without food? And since we read a book about one of the most famous chefs of our time, our hostess decided to make a Julia Child recipe for chocolate mousse. It was absolutely delicious, and she swears that it wasn't difficult to make! We haven't had many "themed" meetings in our seven year existence, so I definitely appreciated the book and food tie-in! I think we should try to do more of that in the future.

For the past few holiday seasons, our book club has done a "Yankee Swap" -- I guess it's becoming a tradition. Each of us takes a new or used book that we want to share, wraps it and brings it to our last meeting of the year. At the end of our meeting, we take turns picking out presents to open. We can either pick a wrapped gift or steal from another member if we really want a book that has already been opened. It is always a lot of fun! I ended up with two books this year (bonus!) -- THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE and THE GIRL FROM JUNCHOW by Kate Furnivall.

In January, we will be reading THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson. I have been wanting to read this book for so long, and I'm really excited that I now have the perfect excuse! Of course it is on the long side of what we normally read for book club, so I'm going to have to give myself some extra time.

I'm pretty sure that I'm going to enjoy THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, but I'm not sure if the book will lend itself to a good book club discussion. Sometimes the books that we like the most aren't the best discussion books -- you know what I mean? I did breathe a little sigh of relief when I found this reading guide.

Summary: An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption. -- Vintage


Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh I so love My Life in France! I put that book on my top 10 of all time! *sigh* And your January read is amazing. I think there will be plenty to talk about. The heroine (sort of) is truly the most complex personality I've ever seen in fiction. (FYI, the audio absolutely ROCKS)

I just had my book club last night, discussing The Hunger Games, which is the first time we haven't read trash. Still a little frustrated with the group, and I'm shopping for a new one. One of these days, I'm going to write about all this and give it to you for your feature...

bermudaonion said...

Your meeting sounds like a lot of fun. I haven't read Dragon Tattoo, but from what I've heard, you'll have plenty to discuss.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Dragon Tattoo will be great for book club. One can spend hours discussing the character of Lisbeth Salander (the Girl herself)!

Serena said...

Sounds like an excellent meeting. My office does a yankee swap every holiday season. I can't wait. I'm usually the one buying the books though.

I wish I was in your book club. I need an excuse to read the larsson book that has been sitting on my shelf forever!

Heather J. said...

I'm so glad your meeting went well! I just posted my book club's recap of our MY LIFE IN FRANCE meeting ( - you have to check it out b/c one of the gals made her Mousse but it wasn't quite right ... I know you'll laugh!

Beth F said...

I loved My Life in France and I also loved Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. I love the idea of the book swap.

carolsnotebook said...

I loved the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I bet you find a lot to talk about.

Debbie Rodgers said...

My Life in France is a wonderful book - much richer than the movie (which was wonderful) could show.

I loved it too!