Review: The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 2 Rev Upd edition (March 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1585429244
  • Click to Purchase  (regularly $21.95, on sale for $13.98)


Whether it’s Roman Punch for The Age of Innocence, or Sabzi Challow (spinach and rice) with Lamb for The Kite Runner, or Swedish Meatballs and Glögg for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, nothing spices up a book club meeting like great eats. Featuring recipes and discussion ideas from bestselling authors and book clubs across the country, this fully revised and updated edition of the classic book guides readers in selecting and preparing culinary masterpieces that blend perfectly with the literary masterpieces their club is reading. This edition features new contributions from a host of today’s bestselling authors including:

  • Kathryn Stockett, The Help (Demetrie’s Chocolate Pie and Caramel Cake)
  • Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants (Oyster Brie Soup)
  • Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper (Brian Fitzgerald’s Firehouse Marinara Sauce)
  • Abraham Verghese, Cutting for Stone (Almaz’s Ethiopian Doro Wot and Sister Mary Joseph Praise’s Cari de Dal)
  • Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Annie Barrows’s Potato Peel Pie and Non-Occupied Potato Peel Pie)
  • Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (Lisa See’s Deep-Fried Sugared Taro)

The Book Club Cookbook will add real flavor to your book club meetings!

My Review:

It is with great pride and privilege to introduce to you this book: The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.  Bay Area Book Club (the book club I organize) is featured in this book, along with many other book clubs across the United States.  I was absolutely honored that author, Judy Gelman, reached out to my book club and wanted to know about the first book meet I organized.  The first book I ever organized was Little Bee by Chris Cleave, and there was quite a bit of discussion over this story.  Some of the questions we asked ourselves were, “what was the right thing at that moment?  In the end, would we have been an Andrew or a Sarah?” (p. 238).    Aside from the commentary I provided, both authors included a synopsis of Little Bee, a dish that was symbolic to the book (along with directions on how to bake it),  and some additional thoughts from a couple of other book clubs.

What I love about this book:

1.  This book is so easy to use!  Every book club organizer and hostess should own The Book Club Cookbook because of the variety of books and correlating dishes included within this cookbook.  The book not only includes a table of contents with each book title and menu item, but there is also a food index.  However, Judy and Vicki don’t stop there!  They also have included an index that includes the author and book title under subsections based by genre, themes, and winning titles (Nobel Prize, Booker Prize, etc).  This makes the book very user friendly and allows for quick glances, has delicious recipes that are easy to make (and I’m not a cook!), as well as great commentary from book clubs.

2. Great ideas for book club meetings! As a book club organizer, it gives me great ideas for book titles to suggest at book meets, menu items to make and/or themed restaurants we can attend (as I am not creative!), and I love reading what other book clubs are doing to keep their meetings fresh, entertaining, and exciting!

3.  Large variety of book titles:  There are book titles for every book club to enjoy.  It is not limited to those who only like chick-lit and contemporary literature.  There are titles for those classic lovers, non-fiction, memoirs, and the list goes on!  There really is such a large variety of book titles that book readers alone will love having this as a guide for what to read next.

4.  Menu Items:  From appetizers, to drinks, to a full meal, there are menu items for any type of hostess.  Because I don’t like to cook, I tend to go for basic menu items that are easy to make and don’t take too much of time.  Well, there are plenty of those that really help keep me focused on what is most exciting: talking books!  However, don’t fret…there are menu items there for the baker in mind, too.

5.  Practical:  This is a cookbook designed for book clubs!!  I remember when I first joined Bay Area Book Club, it was the only book club in my area.  Now, there are so many book clubs in my area with specific tastes and members.  I love that there are so many people using their free time to READ.  When I first took over as Organizer, I really didn’t know what books to choose, how to choose, what to cook, where to meet, etc.  This book would have been invaluable for those starting a book club, for those wanting to re-energize their group, and for those who simply want to have a list of books that were recommended and read by other book clubs.  I love this book and know you will, too!

Normally, I love to read books on my Nook.  However this is not a book that you will want to download.  It is just too beautiful and is a book that you will want to have an actual copy of.

Click to Purchase  (regularly $21.95, on sale for $13.98)