Mrs. Twist Reads This — September Book

When I started my book club it was supposed to be a summer fling to help me read more and spend less time using technology (blogging doesn’t count) — technology meaning Facebook, Pinterest and watching television.  I read a record of five books this summer, which I haven’t done since I was in elementary school when you’d check out the Seen Jane Run weekly readers!

Last month was supposed to be our last meeting until next summer, but it was unanimous that out monthly reads helped all of us to be accountable to reading and we actually look forward to sitting down with a good book. So, I am delighted to share that we will now meet monthly, mostly on the last Thursday of the month.  Our book club is for everyone even if you can’t attend our monthly meetings.  Reading is about creating a community.  Here the invitation link for Mrs. Twist Reads This book club through BookMovement.  It’s is free to sign up and ensures that you will receive email reminders of meetings and be the first to know which book is coming up next.  You can also create your own queue of books you’d like to read on your own outside of book club.

For September we will be reading The Heirs:  A Novel.  Listed eighth on the New York Times “Best Summer Reads” list, released in May 2017 this is Rieger’s second book.

“Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him.  The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him.  In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.  
 
Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together — Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm — and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all.
 
A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century.”

We will meet on Thursday, September 28 at 7 p.m. for lite bites, sips (we usually try to have a cocktail relevant to the book and coffee, too) and discussion.  We’d love to have you join us!  If you have an iPhone you can load the free BookMovement app on your phone so you can stay up to date on club news.

I hope you’ll join us to have fun reading again!

The Saturday Breeze: Week of July 26

Recapping this week — the highlight was book club on Thursday night which you can read about here.  Kathy Hepinstall was a delight!  I wanted to make a special cocktail to celebrate the book’s main character, Polly, and I found the perfect sip from The Cocktail Club by Maureen Petrosky. It’s a “year of recipes and tips for spirited tasting parties.”  It just so happened that during the month of June, margaritas are the featured drink.  Strawberry-Basil Margaritas sounded perfect.

I bought huge containers of basil and strawberries from Trader Joe’s (I plan to make pesto with the leftover basil).

Recipe:

One cup of sugar

zest of one lime

10-12 strawberries, hulled and sliced

8 fresh basil leaves

2-2 1/2 cups of silver tequila

1- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice (about 10 limes)

Ice cubes

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and zest with 1 cup of water. Simmer over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and strain the syrup into a clean container.  Let it cool completely.

Add the strawberries to a large pitcher.  Bruise or gently squeeze the basil leaves and add them to the pitcher.

Add the tequila, lime-flavored simple syrup, and 1 cup of the lime juice and stir.

I only used 2 cups of tequila and one cup of lime juice, but taste it to adjust to your preference.  I also took a potato masher and crushed the strawberries more.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Serve in glasses filled with ice.

It was refreshing and a perfect twist on the traditional margarita.

For next week’s breeze, I will have fun details to share from our neighborhood fish fry — including a fried shrimp recipe from my hero — Helen Corbitt!

Have a splendid Saturday!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Camino Island by John Grisham

We wrapped up The Book of Polly last night with an engaging phone call into our meeting by the author, Kathy Hepinstall.  She was lovely and funny and insightful.  We learned so much about the book publishing industry, and that The Book of Polly has already been optioned as a movie! We gave her all sorts of ideas on who should star in the movie and that our book club should be invited to walk the red carpet with her!  We already have our stylist Holley putting together our outfits for the big day. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to Kathy that she accepted our invitation to talk with us last night.  The last thing she asked for in our call was a group photo holding Polly’s favorite drink — Margaritas!

So, moving on to July.  We will be reading Camino Island by John Grisham.

“A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
     Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
     Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
     But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.”

According to this review from the NY Times — “Grisham has said that he and his wife dreamed up “Camino Island” during a long car ride to Florida, and the book provides the pleasure of a leisurely jaunt periodically jolted into high gear, just for the fun and speed of it.”

If you haven’t been able to read along with us the past few months, jump in any time.  Here is the link to Book Movement where you can sign up for free to be in Mrs. Twist Reads This book club.  You can see what’s in our queue, write reviews, read and share group discussion questions and be on the list to review emails from me about meetings and happenings in our club.  Our next gathering will be Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m. to discuss Camino Island.

Have a fab Friday!