Really Cool Women\'s Book Club

And the nominations are… July 24, 2007

Filed under: Nominated Books — Susan @ 8:39 pm

A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen Carter

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Linberg

I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman

Jamestown by Mathhew Sharpe

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon

Odd Girl Out-The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons

Polio an American Story by David Oshinsky

Pope Joan by Donna Cross

Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher

Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky

Summer Reading by Hilma Wolitzer

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

The Devil Made Him Do It?- Daniel Myers

The girls who went away by Ann Fessler

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Witch of Cologne by Tobsha Learner

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Water Music by T.C. Boyle 


Garlic and Sapphires at Carolyn’s on Aug 22nd, 2007 July 12, 2007

Filed under: Books — Susan @ 8:54 pm

Garlic &
Fans of Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples know that Ruth Reichl is a wonderful memoirist–a funny, poignant, and candid storyteller whose books contain a happy mix of memories, recipes, and personal revelations.
What they might not fully appreciate is that Reichl is an absolute marvel when it comes to writing about food–she can describe a dish in such satisfying detail that it becomes unnecessary for readers to eat. In her third memoir, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, Reichl focuses on her life as a food critic, dishing up a feast of fabulous meals enjoyed during her tenure at The New York Times. As a critic, Reichl was determined to review the “true” nature of each restaurant she visited, so she often dined incognito–each chapter of her book highlights a new disguise, a different restaurant (including the original reviews from the Times), and a fresh culinary adventure. Garlic and Sapphires is another delicious and delightful book, sure to satisfy Reichl’s foodie fans and leave admirerers looking forward to her next book, hopefully about her life with Gourmet. –Daphne Durham


July 11th, 2007-Devil in the White City by Eric Lawson

Filed under: Past Meetings — Susan @ 8:45 pm

Cool Women in Attendance:

Heidi, Marci, Danda, Susan E



Blueberry Soup (Yummy!)

Pasta with black olives, cherry tomatoes and brie (Fabulous!)

Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding (Splendid!)


Memorable moments:

  • We all loved the book and talked about it for a long time.  Danda brought a book showing some of the photos from the actual fair
  • We all felt the making of the fair was much more interesting than the murders. 
  • The weather was beautiful and Heidi’s backyard was the perfect setting for our book club discussion
  • Heidi’s puppy is adorable.  He was quite “fond” of us and Fridays surgery is well planned


Gazpacho from Susan E July 10, 2007

Filed under: Recipes — Susan @ 10:50 pm

Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens
Show:  How To Boil Water
Episode:  Blender Soups

1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, preferably heirloom varieties, roughly chopped
1/2 pound cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
2 scallions (white and green), roughly chopped
1/4 jalapeno, stemmed and chopped with seeds, if you like the heat
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (1/2 small bunch)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups chilled tomato juice
4 ice cubes
On a cutting board, lightly sprinkle the garlic with a pinch of the salt and smash it into a paste with the side of a cook’s knife. Mix the garlic, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, scallion, jalapeno, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. Season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the olive oil and sherry and toss well. Add half of the vegetable mixture to the blender and pulse. Add half of the tomato juice and 2 ice cubes. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour for the flavors to come together.

The Devil in the White City July 8, 2007

Filed under: Books — Susan @ 4:16 pm

WhiteCityAuthor Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book’s categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham’s challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous “White City” around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair’s incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World’s Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson’s skillful writing. –John Moe


The Perfect Vodka Martini

Filed under: Recipes — Susan @ 4:12 pm

MartiniThe Perfect Vodka Martini is easy to make, and ultimitely refreshing. Try it!

1 Martini Glass, Chilled

2-3 Ounces of your favorite Vodka. I recommend Ketel One!

A miniscule amount of vermouth, if absolutely necessary.

2-3 olives, skewered.

Put the vodka and vermouth (if necessary) in a martini shaker full of ice, and shake. Pour that into the martini glass, add olive, and guzzle!