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The Book Club Cookbook
Courtesy of Nina Gallant

Scenario: You're hosting book club and have been charged with making an Angela's Ashes-themed dish. What to do? Boiled potatoes? Frank-furters McCourt?

Here to save you from bad puns and gross food is the The Book Club Cookbook, a new compilation of recipes inspired by reading-group-ready books.

Authors Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp culled the 100-plus recipes from a variety of sources. Some, like Jennifer Egan's oatmeal-fudge refrigerator cookies, come from writers themselves. Others, like Anna Karenina's wild mushrooms on toast, are Gelman and Krupp's personal adaptations of classic fare. And still others, like the Angela's-appropriate Irish brown soda bread, were submitted by book-group members from around the country.

Most of the dishes are quick and easy--good for making in the hour between finishing Love in the Time of Cholera (mango-jicama salad) and starting up discussion on the effects of magical realism. Plus, we love the diversity of books, which range from contemporary (Freedom, Sarah's Key) to classic (The Age of Innocence, The Grapes of Wrath) and from heady to light.

After all, it's always fun to consider cuisine--say, a recipe for Jane Eyre's tea sandwiches--when choosing your club's next pick.

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