Julie’s NYC Book Group Travels the World with Food

Friendship and food are in fierce competition for the best part of this book group. What's your take?

The best part about our book group is the food. Okay, truly it’s the friendship. We were all friends before the group – I don’t remember who suggested we start meeting every month to discuss a new book. But I always look forward to getting together with the girls, sharing our thoughts, and enjoying good food and wine.

When we first moved to the city, it was the constant get-togethers, weekend late-night parties, and mid-week lunches and dinners. But as we’ve gotten a little older, attached, headed to grad school, or started new jobs, we can’t always meet up like we used to, which makes our scheduled book club meetings all the more special.

This month we met at my apartment to discuss EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert, admittedly a little behind the curve! But we wanted to make sure we all had read before we saw it on the big screen. And I am really glad we did. Just like my favorite part about our book club is getting together with the girls, some of my favorite parts throughout Gilbert’s book are the friendships she makes along the way.

We all agreed that one of the most touching moments is when Gilbert describes her Thanksgiving dinner in Italy, sharing with new friends from all over the world to experience the American turkey tradition. Ally, one of my good friends remarked, “We did that too when I was living in Croatia after college.” Though I’ve heard many Croatia stories, this was my time hearing about her Croatian Turkey Day!

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Thanks to my book club, I’ve traveled the world with food. We always meet at each other’s apartments or Central Park (in the summer months) and each member is tasked with bringing a food from a place or theme in the book. This time, with EAT PRAY LOVE spanning Italy, India, and Indonesia, we had some pretty interesting eating combinations! Italy dominated with pastas, cheeses, homemade pizza, and some Cabernet Sauvignon, but there were also some interesting Thai noodles that entered the scene. We’ll plan to have Indian after watching the movie.

I’ll end on this. When I got a few emails prior to our meeting this month that a couple members had not finished the book, and one hadn’t even started, I was not so pleased. But when I received an email after our meeting from the “not-yet-started” member saying she’d started the book and was already loving it, I smiled. If I love a good book, I want others to enjoy it too, and especially my book club members and dear friends!

Julie’s book group will receive a Book Group in a Box full of great reads for her group. Your book group can, too!

Post a comment below or on Read It Forward on Facebook, or Read It Forward on Twitter sharing your book group story, and you could be featured as our Book Group of the Month!

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.