As we noted in an earlier post, this month we are doing an online version of blind date with a book where you literally won’t be able to judge any of the books by their covers.
First, we compiled a list of 6 books using suggestions from club members, Mia, & me. Then, we spent countless hours choosing the best 6 words & short phrases to describe each book. It sounds deceptively easy, but it was one of the most difficult things we’ve ever had to do for the book club! It stretched our capabilities to select descriptors that evoke a book without choosing items that in combination would allow the book to be easily found via a Google search. This was even more complex for the books we hadn’t read where we had to sift through hundreds & hundreds of reviews to ensure we chose equivalent terms on which the majority of reviewers agreed. But we’re happy with the results & think you will be as well.
Our greatest hope is that you’ll end up discovering a book you adore that you might not have otherwise given a chance under normal circumstances.
A Short Interlude to showcase a 4.5 star RUssian-american book
I was thrilled to find a really interesting book written by an author born in Russia, but then saddened to realize it wouldn’t work for our book club. (The author moved to the US at age 10 & therefore, hadn’t spent a good portion of her life in Russia.) However, I figured I could still showcase it here to share it with others who might be just as excited about it as I am. After all, this read is rated 4.5 stars by 459 Amazon reviewers!
“A James Beard Award-winning writer captures life under the Red socialist banner in this wildly inventive, tragicomic memoir of feasts, famines, and three generations
Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where 18 families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, naively joyous, and melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was 10, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.
Now, Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR.
Wildly inventive and slyly witty, this is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.”
I’d love to know if this memoir piqued your interest as much as mine. But now onto the voting for our blind date with a book!
You can vote from now until XXXXXX. EDIT: By member request & due to the recent influx of new members, we’re extending the timeline to vote to Fri., Mar 1 8PM ET (That's NYC time. See this converted to your local time below.)
Once the survey is complete, we'll publish the anonymous results as well as the individual books & their associated 6 descriptors.