Skip to main content

Archives - Reading Group Guides Newsletter

When my Long Hill Book Club met this week, we discussed Ruth Reichl’s SAVE ME THE PLUMS. There are five recipes in the book, and we had four members who took on the cooking --- German Apple Pancakes, Spicy Chinese Noodles, Gina Marie’s Cheddar Scallion Biscuits, Thanksgiving Turkey Chili and Jeweled Chocolate Cake. You can find some of the recipes here.

I confess that we chatted more about the food than we did about the actual text of the book, though we did talk about the complexity of the recipes, as well as the role of an editor at a magazine. A few of us talked about how emotional we were when Ruth described 9/11. And we all loved the way she emptied the wine cellar at the magazine and gathered her staff at her home for a mourning party when Gourmet’s closing was announced. I appreciated that bold move. A number of us listened to the book on audio and loved Ruth’s narration.

My neighborhood book group met last night, and we discussed AMERICAN DIRT by Jeanine Cummins. Everyone loved it, and we had a great dialogue about it. They thought it was a page-turner that was well-written and enlightening about the migrant crisis. They would highly recommend it to others.

They all were aware of the backlash that had been going on --- they knew there was controversy. They heard the cries about cultural appropriation, but felt they were unfounded since this is fiction and the storytelling was so good. They all wish they could see Jeanine talk about the book, and are sorry she has been deprived of the opportunity to tour. They want to read more on the subject; in fact, two members said that they thought about the people crossing in a more humanitarian way and believed this was a strong entry into looking at the issue.