Tag Archives: gifts

Plan Ahead for a Fun and Festive Year End Book Club Meeting

decemberDecember will be here before we know it.  It’s a very busy time of year for most of us and some groups do not even meet in December as it difficult to read when there are so many demands for our time.  However, with a little planning ahead, your group might prepare for one of your very best meetings ever!

Not Reading a Book for December? Even if your book club chooses not to read a book for December you can still involve reading for this meeting.  Members can simply reminisce and share their own good reading experiences of the past year.  Picking just one short story for all to read is another idea.  Or everyone can pick a poem to read to the others in the group.

awardsHave an Awards Ceremony Create a list of categories for your group to vote on: Best/Worst book discussion, Favorite/Least favorite character, Best Book/Food Pairing, Best Food Prepared for a Meeting – or other categories specific to your group. Vote prior to your year end meeting and prepare to give out award ribbons or small loving cups.  Members can even wear formal evening attire.

gift boxesGift Giving  Many people give gifts at this time of year; your group can have a “Bookish” grab bag.  All can agree to give a book that they think the other members might like.  Just wrap them up and leave the giver anonymous.  Or the gifts can be other book related items: bookmarks, book lights, items with books quotes on them, etc.

Rue du Petit-Champlain in Christmas timeTake it Outside Go out to a restaurant for your holiday meeting.  Or if your book club members live close to each other, have a “Dessert Crawl” : go from house to house to sample a dessert and beverage in each, with  each serving connected in some way to the books you have read in the past. Whether or not you use any of my ideas, I hope your book club has a very fun and very festive year end meeting!

(This article appeared in The Book Club Insider, September 2013)

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

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Holiday Gifts: Books for TV Fans

walking dead rise of the governorThe Walking Dead : Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury. The world will finally understand what drove Philip Blake to become….The Governor.

american againAmerica Again : Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t  by Stephen Colbert et al.

Covering subjects ranging from healthcare to the economy to food, Stephen gives America the dose of truth it needs to get back on track.

most talkativeMost Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen

The man behind the “Real Housewives” writes about his lifelong love affair with pop culture that brought him from the suburbs of St. Louis to his own television show.

talking with my mouth fullTalking With My Mouth Full : My Life as a Professional Eater by Gail Simmons

A judge on Top Chef and the host of Top Chef: Just Desserts details her remarkable career, from her days as a cook and food writer, to her meteoric rise to fame as a permanent judge on the number one food show on cable television.

skinny rulesThe Skinny Rules : The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles For Getting to Thin by Bob Harper with Greg Critser

The superstar trainer and co-host of NBC’s reality show “The Biggest Loser,” distills his knowledge of nutrition, weight-loss strategy, and human nature down to twenty simple, nonnegotiable principles and offers a month’s worth of menu plans and more than 90 rule-abiding recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to keep you cooking and eating skinny.

yes chefYes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

The “Top Chef: Masters” winner and proprietor of Harlem’s Red Rooster traces his Ethiopian birth, upbringing by an adoptive family in Sweden, and rise to a fame as a New York chef, sharing personal insights into his challenges as a black man in a deeply prejudiced industry.

– posted by Sharon, Reference Services

Holiday Gifts: Books for Movie Buffs

Monty Python’s Flying Circus, All the Bits, Complete and Annotated  Annotations by Luke Dempsey

Monty Python's Flying Circus, Complete and AnnotatedA fan’s treasury of every script and episode from the influential British comedy series is complemented by profiles of the famous troupe members, insider interviews, anecdotes, photographs, sketches and reproductions of Terry Gilliam’s iconic artwork.

The Age of Movies : Selected Writings of Pauline Kael  Edited by Sanford Schwartz

Age of Movies A compendium of top-selected, signature writings by the influential former critic of The New Yorker offers insight into her capacity for capturing cinematic details and includes her appraisals of such works as Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather and Last Tango in Paris.

My Mother Was Nuts : A Memoir by Penny Marshall

My Mother Was NutsFrom her humble roots in the Bronx to “Laverne and Shirley” and her unlikely ascent in Hollywood, the beloved actor and director tells the story of her incredible life.

The Guttenberg Bible : A Memoir by Steve Guttenberg

Guttenberg BibleThe star of such blockbuster 1980s films as “Police Academy” and “Three Men and a Baby” describes his early encounters with celebrities and casting agents before rising to fame and learning how to stay grounded through the support of his family.

– posted by Sharon, Reference Services

Holiday Gifts: Books For Cooks

barefoot contessa foolproofBarefoot Contessa: Foolproof by Ina Garten

Ina Garten, Food Network star, takes easy a step further, sharing her secrets for pulling off deeply satisfying meals that will appeal to almost anyone. Recipes include: Dukes Cosmopolitans, hot smoked salmon, lobster & potato salad, elegant slow-roasted filet of beef with basil parmesan mayonnaise and show-stopping seared scallops & potato celery root puree, sticky toffee date cake with bourbon glaze and salted caramel brownies.

Seamus Mullen's Hero FoodSeamus Mullen’s Hero Food: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better with photographs by Colin Clark

A noted chef examines eighteen foods which he considers “heroes” because of their positive effects on health, from olive oil to high quality meat, and shares healthy seasonal recipes–many from Spanish cuisine–and cooking techniques.

Gordon Ramsay's Fast FoodGordon Ramsay’s Fast Food: More Than 100 Delicious, Super-fast and Easy Recipes with Mark Sargeant and Emily Quah ; photographs by Jill Mead

Presents more than one hundred accessible recipes that are organized in accordance with everyday needs and special occasions, in a volume that places an emphasis on fast preparation and features tips on stocking a pantry.

Bouchon BakeryBouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel; with Susie Heller, et al and photographs by Deborah Jones

Collects recipes from the famed Bouchon Bakery, including chocolate eclairs, cherry-whipped cream doughnuts, poached pears, and sourdough boule.

Pioneer Woman CooksThe Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

A mouthwatering collection of the simple-but-scrumptious recipes that rotate through Ree’s kitchen on a regular basis, from perfect pancakes to honey-plum-soy chicken, from cowgirl quiche to blackberry chip ice cream.

Secrets of the Best ChefsSecrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America’s Greatest Cooks by Adam Roberts

Some people say you can only learn to cook by doing. So Adam Roberts, creator of the award-winning blog The Amateur Gourmet, set out to cook in 50 of America’s best kitchens to figure out how any average Joe or Jane can cook like a seasoned pro.

– posted by Sharon, Reference Services