Almost a year ago, I helped start a book club with some of the younger ladies in my church (for high school and older). I’ve always liked the idea of a book club, but I never knew how to run one or how to ask people to join. The ladies from my church started a book club at the beginning of the year, but they usually choose books that aren’t always what I’m interested in reading. So I thought what if I started something from the younger ladies in the church so we could read books relevant to our lives and interests.
Since my apartment is small, I dragged my mom into the book club so we could meet at her house. Of course, this turned the book club into something more.
The first book we read was To Best the Boys by Mary Weber. In the back of the book, Mary included a recipe for Labyrinth Cake, which is a treat the characters eat in the book. I thought it would be cool if we made them to snack on while we talked about the book, and of course, my mom figured out how to make them!
After that, including a fun treat along with our book discussion was a must. We’ve read a total of six books so far, and we’ve eaten a perfectly themed snack to go with each book.
The second book we read was Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren, which is set in Italy so we had biscotti and toasted ravioli. We read Romanov by Nadine Brandes and had Russian tea cakes and chicken biscuits. We also had several flavors of Oreos because the author, Nadine, loves Oreos!
My mom created an elaborate, dragon-shaped taco dip, which was not only delicious but so freaking cool, when we read Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul. I almost didn’t want to eat it. We also had dragon claw cookies for a sweet treat.
We read Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill, which features both Italian and Japanese characters, so we had toasted ravioli again and we made everybody try mochi. We had both regular mochi and ice cream mochi, and we all agree that the ice cream ones are better even if they are super messy to eat!
Most recently, we read The Story Peddler by Linsday A. Franklin. And of course, my mom had to go above and beyond with her “food” ideas. Instead of just eating food, we did a food art craft by painting bread. Yes, bread. In the book, the characters can use magic when they create art, whether that’s through stories, songs, or paintings. So the idea was we were to “paint” our story with the food coloring mixture.
It was a little strange, but it was a lot of fun to see what everybody came up with for their paintings.
But “bread art” isn’t the first craft we’ve done either. Because a book club can’t be complete without a fun activity, right?
We’ve also created Chinese dragons out of Rice Krispie Treats and Fruit Roll-Ups when we read The Warrior Maiden.
Of course, most of us would be completely content to just sit around and talk about books for several hours, but the little things—like my mom giving us red envelopes and bookmarks for the Chinese New Year or sharing our book club pictures with the authors—make the book club that much more meaningful.
We’ve got a good book club group, and it makes me happy and excited to find people who also like to read a good book. Whether we enjoyed the story 100% or not, we enjoy the book club. And that’s what matters the most.