Serve your book group radishes

Erika Mailman, author of THE WITCH’S TRINITY, sent in the following entry, not only about the particular habits of her own book group, but about an unusual and inventive surprise that was presented by the host of a book group that had invited her to speak about her novel.

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This will be my third year at Book Group Expo. It’s an incredible get-together for those who love reading. The panels that welcome Q&A from the audience strike me as today’s version of the intellectual salons that once were popular.

My own book club has been meeting for over five years, supporting each other through deaths, marriages, births, divorces. I’m proud that in the midst of our busy lives, we still make a point of getting together every six weeks to hug each other, drink a glass of wine, eat a great dinner… and talk books.

Our group’s idiosyncrasy is that after dessert, we all close our eyes and like Roman emperors use our thumbs to denote our opinion of the book at hand’s success. However, a simple up or down being too crude for our nuanced feelings, we rotate our thumbs anywhere on the 180 degree scale.

We often tailor our meals to the book we’ve read. For instance, potstickers for Nicole Mones’ A Cup of Light and pierogi for Robert Alexander’s The Kitchen Boy.

Towne Center Books in Pleasanton regularly hosts the Read It and Eat Luncheon, where owner Judy Wheeler creates a lunch inspired by the book. She hosted me for THE WITCH’S TRINITY… and believe it or not, she initially served a plate of raw radishes (since jailers feed my character radishes while she awaits her trial). After we all gulped, she whisked those away with a smile and then served a delicious meal based on food from the earth.

I think it’s safe to say most writers are also readers. We love to talk about books, and we’re always excited to find one that escorts us somewhere else, deep into the lives someone else has imagined. I look forward to meeting you at Book Group Expo, and talking about the books that we find there.

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Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch’s Trinity and will be on the BGE panel “Which Witch is Which,” on Saturday the 25th at 1:45 in Salon C. She is interested in visiting book clubs, either via phone or in person. Email her at Erika@erikamailman.com.


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