(Book 140) This is the story of a Book Club meeting that went unreported for almost five months. I started a summary — I found it in my email drafts:
First, Thank You Susan for hosting all of us in your lovely home. It was all so festive and cozy and I love that painting of John Lennon. (Thank you for that, too.)
I should explain that part about the John Lennon painting. Susan bought one of my brother Paul Yohnka’s paintings on Etsy in the shop AcesLastArt. You could too, just click here.
Enough shameless hustling. Let’s get back to the email draft.
Next, Thanks to All for the Appetizers and Cookies. I ate cookies for breakfast, I took a huge tray of cookies to the Staff Lounge today and ate some of Mary’s Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese dip for my lunch. I’m going to regret it when I go in for my A1c on the 20th but that’s almost a whole week away.
That’s all there was of the draft. It must have been the sugar. I don’t remember going into a coma, but I’m not sure one does remember such things. Well, next in my searchI found an email exchange in which all the girls were involved. I’ve taken out most of the line spacing to include them here:
Ho ho ho, everybody:
Thanks for everything! Didn’t have a chance to try all the cookies at Susan’s, so unpacking them when I got home felt like Christmas morning. Yum. All the appetizers were delicious. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and wishing all of us a hope-filled new year.
Since I have a few moments before my family event begins, I thought it would be important to let you all know that I’ve been thinking about our annual exchange, and what a privilege it is to be a part of this group. What an assortment of cookie treasures that I hope to enjoy and share with family and friends.Teresa, as always, each year you surpass yourself. Although I can’t seem to decide on my favorite cookie yet. Susan, thank you for the warmth of your home and the bottles of Gruet. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!!! Here’s to good-bye to covid in 2022!!!
So nice to see everyone at Susan’s lovely and festive home! Thank you so much for generously hosting! Loved the evening all the way around. Nothing better than appetizers and wine topped off with dessert! Perfect menu if you ask me! Thank you all for the delicious cookies which will be shared with friends and family! I too am grateful to be a part of this wonderful book club of interesting and intelligent women! Teresa thank you so much for all that you do for us every month and every year! You are extraordinary! Stay healthy everyone. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Look forward to a brighter 2022!
Love and blessings
Our holiday gathering was warm and wonderful and even healthy if you count those darling mini Santas as our salad! What a great time! Thanks, Susan, for your superb hospitality, Teresa for too many yummy cookies, and all of for being such wonderful readers and cooks! Happiest of holidays in this continually crazy time!
There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. I feel very lucky to be included in a book club of wonderful and intelligent women. I certainly did my part to make sure that Teresa would lead this group – I was relentless in my badgering! Happy holidays to all of you. Stay healthy until we meet by again in 2022. All the best!
Could not agree more lovely ladies! I am honored to be a member of THE best book club! Happy Holidays!
Thanks for everything, ladies. It was a really fun evening, and your cookies are delicious and beautiful (not that I’ve tasted every single kind yet, but I’m working on it). I really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s favorites and least favorites in this year’s books. It just reminded me of what an interesting list it was—and a big thank you to Teresa, for putting all that together, in addition to putting together tons of gorgeous cookies and making those wonderful ornaments. Please pass on my thanks to Fran, too. Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year’s, everyone. I hope I finish the Chabon book in time to read the January one!
Ditto to all the compliments to the hostess Susan and to thank our fearless leader for another fun filled year of Book Club 101! Have a Merry Xmas and happy New Year!
Then I show up in the chain admitting that I am losing touch with my responsibilities;
Oh Girls, your fearless leader has failed you! I’ve looked all over and cannot find where I wrote who wanted to host which month! And I haven’t written my meeting summary with all my thanks to Susan for being such a perfect hostess, to her house for being such a cozy setting, to all of you for being such delightful company and to all of your delicious cookies for maybe being the reason I’m going to cancel my appointment for the 20th for my A1c. Yikes!!But let me just say thank you to all of you for being a wonderful group of women, for the variety of response you bring to each meeting, for your culinary creativity and expertise, and for being such great sports about my obsessive need to theme. That said, is it too soon to talk about a choice of books for 2023? If Chris Monley is involved, I’ve got to give him time. Just kidding — I can wait a month or two. Thank you, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyeux Noel, Frolichte Weinachten, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Mele Kalikimaka, Jolly Jolabokaflod and Happy Happy New Year! See you 1/18/22 at my house,
Being quite late with my thanks, I am now able to comment on some of the responses. I laughed out loud at Teresa’s comment about “failing us”. Considering the creativity, many, many hours and love you put into the book club, the notion that you could fail us is ridiculous! The fact that I didn’t bother to write down what month I volunteered to host, indicates just how much I dump on your plate! So many thanks for your leadership and for the addition to my Christmas ornament collection. Ladies, all your cookies are so delicious, I am having a harder time than usual keeping them in the freezer until I have family and friends to share them with. Susan, your home was so cozy and beautifully decorated. Thank you for your hospitality. And I loved seeing your neighborhood decked out for the holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all. I look forward to more fun, laughter, and good reading with all of you in 2022.
All of this still says very little about the book. We know there were delicious appetizers, particularly those cute little Santa tomatoes that Geri made. We know that Susan provided an abundance of good wine and we know there were more cookies than anyone has ever imagined at one time. I’d like to give a shout out to two that I remember fondly: Sharon’s Fruitcake Cookies and Chris’ Rosemary Shortbread were both amazing and I cried when both were gone from my stash. But what about the book? I found my review stored on Goodreads:
I read this book a second time because it is our book club read for December. It completed our year of books about family and though it was chosen as a book about a grandfather, it gave us a beautiful portrait of a grandmother as well. I’m hoping a couple of members will feel it made up for how much they didn’t like My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.
I appreciated this memoir/pack of lies even more during my second read. I particularly loved the moment when Chabon’s mother asks if he thinks her parents were ever happy and his response is a quick enthusiastic yes. Then she enumerates all the troubles they had and asks When did they have opportunity? Chabon’s answer of “in the cracks” just delighted me.
The short review was accompanied by a Goodreads 5 star rating, something that is very seldom given by this reader. I seem to recall that the book was similarly enjoyed by the rest of the group and we would all recommend it to other readers. Maybe the girls will comment below.