New books for meal, cocktail pairings at Truckee Library
Special to the Sun
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Book club culture is alive and well in Truckee. Not only can book clubbers use the library to select new books to read from the library’s collection, now they can also plan menus and even cocktails to match with two new titles — “Well Read, Well Fed: A Year of Great Reads and Simple Dishes for Book Groups” by Marcia Brown and “Cocktails for Book Lovers” by Tessa Smith McGovern.
The premise of “Well Read, Well Fed” will resonate with book clubbers. While almost all book groups start out as serious literary endeavors, they inevitably become gatherings that are as much about sharing food, wine, and catching up.
The book includes a year of themed lists, short essays on books, reading, and food, along with easy recipes with make-ahead flexibility for the host. The book is divided into chapters for each month, showcasing a specific genre of book, along with a recipe to match the season.
For April, the subject is comedy, with suggestions including works by Bill Bryson, Carl Hiaasen, and David Sedaris. The featured recipe is Strata with Asparagus and Spring Greens.
Looking ahead toward summer, the month of August’s theme is cloud drifting and opens with this delicious quote: “I have always loved August. I love everything about the month-the sound of the word, the elegant look of its letters, its full 31 days of summer, its leggy wildflowers, and its long afternoons and warm nights on the porch with a good book August slows to a lovely pace. You can watch the sky.”
Warm nights and porches might be in short supply here in Truckee, but the rest certainly applies.
Brown recommends that book groups continue to meet during the summer, without assigning a specific book. Clubbers can instead “free read” and make recommendations to each other. August’s al fresco recipe is Greek Shrimp and Rice Salad, with a toast to “lost hours and private vacations of the mind.”
“Cocktails for Book Lovers” features 50 original and classic cocktail recipes based on works by famous authors and the popular drinks of their eras. Each entry includes a short biographical sketch of the author, along with a primary recommended reading and quotation and a secondary reading recommendation.
For Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights is the obvious primary recommendation, along with a recipe for Heathcliff’s Crush, which combines Madeira wine, vodka, elderflower, orange juice and berries for garnish. You soon find out just how popular fortified wine was in the 19th century.
The 20th century authors yield more recognizable libations, including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gin Rickey, taken from “The Great Gatsby,” William Faulkner’s Mint Julep and Ernest Hemingway’s Mojito.
There are even some contemporary writers to balance things out, including British author Jane Green and her Pimm’s No. 1 Classic and Junot Diaz and Papi’s Rum Punch from his bestselling novel, “This is How You Lose Her.”
If you need to infuse new life into your book club, or just want some fresh ideas, drop by the Truckee Library and check these books out.
Teri Andrews Rinne is the children’s services librarian at the Truckee Library, 10031 Levon Ave. Call 530-582-7846 or visit mynevadacounty.com/library.