Foodie and bookish

illustration by mark stivers

These days, I find that it’s almost impossible to find any time to do some pleasure reading. And when I do finish a book, I rarely ever have anyone to discuss it with. Sitting with my own thoughts about a story is fine, sure, but outside insight and thorough discussion can give a book new life and dimension.

Luckily, I recently became part of a food book club. It functions the same as any other book club: We choose a book each month and, four weeks later, meet up to discuss it. The focus, though, is always food literature. The best part is that as food literature is often ripe with recipes, we sometimes decide to each make one from that month’s text. Book club and potluck all in one.

I know, of course, some people who forego the literature part all together and simply do cookbook clubs. The idea is identical, but there is more focus on the food than symbolism. Members bring a few dishes to the meeting so that the group can discuss the reliability, history and quality of the recipes to better understand the cookbook as a whole.