Americans Turn To Book Clubs For A Sweet Break From Life
(NAPSA) - Looking for a way to escape the hectic pace of life? More than five million book-loving Americans take a sweet break from life by joining a book club.
Book clubs offer a way to socialize with friends and enjoy stimulating conversation.
"There is no better way to bond than over a good book," says Alice Hoffman, author of two New York Times bestsellers, whose most recent book is The Probable Future.
Starting a book club is easy. Just follow these four steps:
You can start with three or four members, but try to limit club membership to 10. Choose members with similar tastes in books but encourage diversity to help inspire conversation.
Have each member of the club take turns recommending a book. Nestle Signatures, makers of Nestle Treasures and Turtles chocolates, worked with publishers to develop a list of Ten Great Books for Book Groups to help you get started.
The list includes Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh, The Mammoth Cheese by Sheri Holman, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do by Pearl Cleage, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarity, Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros, The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman, Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
Ask each member to bring a question for discussion on a 3 x 5 index card. Perhaps each meeting location rotates to a different member's house, and the host acts as the discussion moderator. Assume that all in attendance have read and understand the book, so there is no reason to summarize content. Ask open-ended questions about the book's theme, character, and narrative style. For example, you might wonder what larger argument the book presents, or how you might have changed the story if you were the author.
No club meeting is complete without snacks, whether the group meets at a member's house, a local library or bookstore. There is no need to cook a feast, but a sweet snack, such as a candy dish filled with Nestle Signatures Treasures and Turtles is easy to pass around. If you really want to impress your book club friends, serve them a slice of Strawberries & Creme Cheesecake.
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg. (12 oz.) Strawberries & Creme
Nestlé Signatures Treasures
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in medium bowl. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.
Set aside 12 Nestlé Treasures to use for garnish. Unwrap and cut remaining Nestlé Treasures in quarters. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sprinkle cut Nestlé Treasures over bottom of crust to 1/2-inch from edge. Pour filling into crust. Bake for 50 minutes or until center is set and edges begin to crack. Cool on wire rack for 2 minutes before adding sour cream topping.
Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract in medium bowl; mix well. Spread over surface of warm cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan. Garnish each slice with one unwrapped whole Nestlé Treasure.