Friday, June 28, 2013

An Evening with My Book Club

From time to time, I've mentioned that I'm in a book club. Yesterday as I was getting ready to host the girls at my house, I thought I'd snap a few pictures and share a little bit about our group and our evening together.  


Book club gatherings are not a fancy affair, but it's fun to make it a little extra special.


 I started in the morning by going outside to pick some flowers from the garden - daisies, oak leaf hydrangeas, astilbe, yarrow and ferns - in white pitchers and blue mason jars.



I already had seashells out for summer and just added some vintage book bundles because, well, we're a book club!

And since my flowers were yellow and white, I added some fresh lemons to the table.


For beverages, I mixed up a big batch of peach sangria, made fresh lemonade and of course had a pitcher of water.


I didn't follow an exact recipe for the sangria, but it's basically a mix of 2 bottles of dry white wine, some peach nectar, lemon-lime soda and lots of fresh fruit. The day before, I cut up three peaches, an apple and a pear and put them in a big pitcher with the wine and the peach nectar. Just before serving, I added the soda. I really don't think you can mess up sangria. And oh my, the fruit is so yummy! Fruit is good for you, right?



 Have you ever had the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad from Panera? Well I make that at home all the time. Just chop up your favorite greens and top with strawberries, blueberries, fresh pineapple and mandarin oranges. Serve with Sugared Pecans (my recipe here) and Poppyseed Dressing - homemade or store bought, depending on time. This is so delicious and refreshing!


I served the salad with a Tomato and Fresh Corn Quiche - it was totally awesome! It's chock full of garden fresh onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. And that pile of cheese on the top doesn't hurt either. I found the recipe at A Touch of Honey. I'll definitely be making this again!


I made two, leftovers are a good thing!

Easy, delicious and oh so pretty!

We gathered in the sunroom for dinner and discussion.


A little nautical d├ęcor.

We collect sand, seashells and rocks on every family vacation. You'll find them all over my house in the summertime. They just make in smile!


The sailboat was a recent thrift store find. I have wanted one for the longest time!


More Sugared Pecans and Tag Sale Chocolate Cookies - wait till Karla finds out I'm now adding mini-chocolate chips to this recipe!


More flowers, seashells and a yummy vanilla candle.


I love having a garden!


Our book this month was The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore. The story follows the friendship of three women known as the Supremes, as they weather the ups and downs of life in a small mid-western town over the course of their lives. Earl's All-You-Can-Eat is their gathering spot and holds the heart of the entire community. We all thoroughly enjoyed the book and it made for a great discussion. We are always amazed by male writers who can totally capture the voice of the female characters with such humor, wit and honestly. Definitely a great addition to your summer reading list!


And you didn't think I was going to send you home without dessert, did you? How about a slice of Lime Mousse Cheesecake? This one is a definite keeper - creamy and delicious! I forgot to buy a lime for garnish, but the lemon goes with my theme. Let's just say I planned it that way! The recipe is from Barns and Noodles. I love trying out new recipes on the girls. As you can see, I was making good use of my Pinterest boards!


Now for a little bit about our group. .....We've been together for over 11 years and we've read 128 books together.  We celebrated our 100th book with a weekend getaway! There are 11 of us and we all live in the same neighborhood. The core group has remained the same, with a few people moving away and a few new additions. I think proximity is one of the secrets to our longevity. Even on a busy evening, you can usually at least put in a quick appearance for hugs and a glass of wine. Although I tend to think of us as being the same age, we actually have about a 20 year age range. We have members who are married, divorced and widowed. And our children range from elementary school age to 30-somethings.  I think our bit of diversity makes us more interesting as a group!


Some of us have close friendships outside of book club, others come together just once a month. We read a really diverse selection of books. Don't you love the thought of becoming completely lost in a book. If the characters stay with me long after the last page, then that's a great book! And then I just can't wait to talk about it. But I really think we could read just about any book and still turn it into a great discussion. We don't always see a book in the same way, but that's the beauty of it! Sometimes the discussion can actually change your mind about the way you feel about the book. Even if you are just a casual reader, I highly recommend starting a book club of your very own!

My friend Amanda from Mommy is CooCoo recently shared a post at our Tuesday party with 10 Tips to Start a Book Club. You should definitely check it out!


And if you need any book recommendations, I have 128 of them for you!



Thanks for joining us for book club this month!

I'm sharing with...

28 comments:

NanaDiana said...

It looks like a wonderful, wonderful evening, Sharon. I bet everyone LOVES coming to your house when it is your turn. Everything looks gorgeous AND delicious! I wish I were part of your group!

I have never had that salad from Panera but I am going to try it next time I am there. Have a great weekend- xo Diana

Danylle McLain said...

What a darling table scape! I love the nautical theme. Thanks for the inspiration for starting a book club. How fun!

Art and Sand said...

I have long thought about joining a book club, but it seemed overwhelming when I was teaching and coaching. Now that I am retired, it is a possibility. Presently, I tend to read what my sister recommends or the same thing as my husband so we can have discussions.


How fun that you have read that many books together.

priscilla said...

Love all your decorating and recipes .. Your home looks beautiful ! What a nice night you prepared for your book club !

cindy the cottage chick said...

What fun! I'm a terrible hostess...I hate to cook, so not good at it. I would love to do a book club though. Went to one once, but never got invited back :( Not sure what happened there...

Your sun room is just lovely!

Hetty said...

Sharon, you have an eye for detail! it all looks lovely, the perfect setting for a get-together!

Susan said...

Love it!!! I've always, always wanted to be a member of a Book Club, but I live so far out in the country that it wouldn't be possible for people to come to me and after I get home in the evening it's just too far to turn around and go back into town. I know, excuses, but it is what it is. A blogging friend is starting an online Book Club that I'm going to join. YEA!!
Your home is lovely and thank you for sharing it with us.

Home and Lifestyle Design said...

I just found your blog and I am now following you on bloglovin. Looking at the pictures of you hosting book club bring back very fond memories for me. I moved to Dallas TX 3 years ago, but for 10 years in Birmingham AL I attended a neighborhood book club with the most amazing women, and I miss those smart & funny women and the books we discussed. Thanks for sharing - would love for you to stop by my blog sometime.
Thanks, Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

Ali Richardson said...

You sure know how to host a gathering. Everything looks beautiful and yummy :) I would love to start something like this with my friends. The fact that you all have been together for so long is wonderful :)

Leslie Harris said...

Sharon thank you for this post. I really loved it. I never realized you were in a book club and it sounds like such a special group too. I am definitely going to make your quiche and the sugared pecan recipe. Although everything looked so good and I'm curious to check out the ten tips to starting a book club. Maybe some day...
Leslie

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

I think I'm pinning just about every single thing in this post. The recipes and the decorations are just beautiful -- what a lucky group to be hosted by you! That book sounds like just the kind I'd like to read. Reserving that one for my vacation read!

ASHLEE said...

That's the book I'm reading right now! My MIL passed it on to me. Halfway through. I'm enjoying it. Always enjoy reading your blog and looking at the pictures.

Angela Ryder said...

What a wonderful gathering of ladies!! I've never belonged to a book club but it seems like it would be quite rewarding!! Your dinner looks fabulous as well and your home is lovely! Thank you for sharing!!~~Angela

Katy @ Lolly Linens said...

Wow, this looks fabulous! I love your home, mine is all nautical throughout. I love your Pyrex too, I had never seen the creamer before - now I'm gonna go on ebay and see if I can find one :) Thank you for sharing such lovely photos and recipes. I am signing up to follow you!

Karla said...

Mini Chocolate Chips!!??

Laurel Stephens said...

What a fabulous post, Sharon! I loved reading all about your book club. It sounds as heart warming as a good book. Your neighborhood is wonderful. Any homes for sale near you? :) Your house looks so great, too. All the food and seasonal decor is just beautiful. Lucky ladies!

Stacey said...

Your delicious food, your beautiful home, and books...it sounds wonderful to me! We've had a little talk in my neighborhood of a book club. You make me really want to get it going. It's shameful to admit but since I've been blogging for the last few years, I don't read nearly as many books. That's just wrong!

Laurie said...

I think it would be so fun to belong to a book club,I know there is one in this area, you've made me want to look into joining. Enjoy your ladies Sharon, thank-you!

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

THIS is the book club to belong to!! Wow! What great recipes, and great setting. Love all the shells, sand, boats, but mostly, the books on the table--perfect for the occasion! ~Zuni

Our Pinteresting Family said...

Sounds like such a fun club. Your home looks beautiful, Sharon. :) Thanks for sharing the recipes too.

Leslie said...

Your home looks so pretty and I like the nautical touches. Looks like a wonderful spread of food and I'm sure a good time was had by all. Great hostess you are!

Gail Wilson said...

oh my gosh, how fun! longevity for sure! wow! 128 books. That is so awesome.
It looks like a pretty fancy shindig to me. I'm soooo plain (booorrring)

Everything looks fabulous Sharon!

gail

Good Time Charlie said...

I want to come to your book club!!! Wow, the food all looked amazing. What a fun book! I am a big reader, I had a book club for almost 15 years. We had to disband for a bit. You have inspired me to get it running again!

Robin Buster said...

What a wonderful way to share your passion of food and books. Thank you so much for coming by and giving us a peek into your book club at Fluster Buster's Creative Muster Party. Now that you found us I hope that you will continue to stop by and share your posts.

Robin @ Fluster Buster

Debbie T said...

You have a gorgeous home. Very inviting. I would love to start a book club, thanks for the inspiration. (coming by from A Glimpse Inside).

Kim M said...

I just took a break from reading my book club book and I found your post! Our club is very similar, we are in the same neighborhood and have been together for a long time. It's wonderful. Your spread is gorgeous, but I think if I told everyone they had to start decorating for their turn at hosting, I would be shot! There is, however, always lots and lots of good food and friendship! Maybe I'll just decorate for my turn!

Tammy N said...

Thanks for sharing. It was fun to read about another book group. The book group I'm in has been together for 11 years. We're always looking for new ideas.

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

Well, you know my love for books! This is just too wonderful - love all your decor and the food looks amazing - will surely try these! I do appreciate you shairng with Home and Garden Thursday,
Kathy