Book Club

Writers are readers.

I have been a voracious reader since I was seven and discovered the Cat in the Hat. I still love to read, and it is undoubtedly easier than writing. But I’ve always wanted to write, too. Maybe not since I was seven, but certainly since I was in junior high.

About 15 years ago, when Oprah started her Book Club, a few of my friends (including yours truly) started one as well. We call ourselves the Night Readers. Since then members have come and gone for various reasons, including one death. But the Night Readers have stuck together and flourished through the ups and downs of our lives.

Truth be told, sometimes the books we pick just aren’t very interesting, and we end up chatting about personal stuff. I guess you could say we aren’t just literary afficiendos, we are good friends.

The way our Book Club works is that each member has a turn choosing the book and hosting at her house. Usually, the upcoming hostess offers a short list of possible books at the end of the prior meeting and the group picks one. I hosted the meeting this past Sunday and the book was The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst. It was short-listed for a Booker Prize so I thought it would be good, but no one liked it much. Leave it to the Brits.

The Club thought it was difficult to follow (agreed) and not much happens (on the fence with that one). But the good news is we had lots of time to talk.

Some of the meetings are on Sunday and some on weeknights. Lunch is served for the Sunday meetings and dinner for the weeknight ones. As my meeting was on Sunday, I served a luncheon for my friends. It was a pesto chicken salad, which everyone enjoyed.

Here’s the recipe:

2 lbs. of cooked, cubed chicken breast (of course, you can use any chicken you have on hand)

1 cups chopped walnuts

1 cup red grapes, halved

1 cup mayonaise

1/4 cup jarred pesto

Mix first three ingredients together; mix dressing (mayo and pesto) and stir into other ingredients. Add a little extra mayo or pesto if needed. Serve chilled on lettuce leaves.

I offered the salad with a fruit salad and rolls.

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