I joined a book club!
It was a happy accident–one of those chain of events where one social engagement leads to another…
And here I am! I had attended one event so far, and I found myself agreeing to host the next one!
First off, let me just say that Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens was spectacular! As a work-from-home mom (with a toddler), it is nearly impossible to find time to read! But with a book club you have a (slight) sense of accountability, and between that and some poetically visual writing, I found a way to finish all 368 pages without skimming.
In this day and age, readers are desensitized and bombarded by literary cliches, but Delia Owens did find a way to surprise me with her craft and storyline! The way she weaves expressive words out of air, as if spinning straw into gold, makes my heart full. The lush, marsh/swamp setting out of North Carolina seemingly sprang to life!
Delia made hosting a Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Party fun!
When it came to hosting my first ever book club event, I made a lot of mistakes, but the best thing my husband said to me (in the midst of a slight freak-out session the night before), was that it “doesn’t have to be perfect.” YOU ARE HUMAN, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES. Let out a deep breath.
Do you judge other people when everything isn’t perfect at their home? Oh wait, you do? you’re kind of a b****. Haha! Well me, personally, I don’t. I’m relieved when I see someone else who is imperfect, like a flicker of empathetic camaraderie. It reminds me that we’re all human and we can try our best, but that’s pretty much it.
If you are ever crazy enough to volunteer To host something–remember–try your best, but don’t expect perfection. Let minor mishaps go with a shrug. That being said, I learned a lot this time around. And although the worst case scenario happened to me at this party (my main course was ruined)… I came out alive & the whole shebang was still considered “a hit.”
I’m a graphic designer & I do this for a living, so don’t expect to be able to design this in fifteen minutes like I did! But I had fun and wanted to share my menu.
What Failed: (1) The Loveless Cafe Biscuits (I didn’t allow enough time to hand-roll biscuits), so I served on-hand Hawaiian rolls instead (2) The Broiled Shrimp (the glass casserole of shrimp exploded on Broil in my oven–do not broil food in a glass or stoneware container–I repeat–DO NOT BROIL FOOD IN A GLASS OR STONEWARE CONTAINER–METAL ONLY). When these two things went wrong, they felt like a disaster to me (the hostess), but no one genuinely cared. The End Game is that your guests have fun. There was alcohol, so we all survived and giggled along the way.
As a hostess, I believe in tantalizing the senses: SIGHT, SMELL, SOUND, TASTE & TOUCH.
I had Creole/Swamp music & swamp sounds playing in addition to a swampy YouTube Playlist, swamp decor & firefly lights twinkling, the aroma of delicious food cooking, and an entire swampy ambience complete with dangling leaves and flickering LED candles.
I didn’t get photos of EVERYTHING (hostess mode distracted me), but here is the gist of the menu I used:
Broiled Cajun Shrimp (BROIL IN METAL, NOT A GLASS OR STONEWARE CASSEROLE DISH)
My Friends Brought Over DELICIOUS Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs, Vegan Fried-Green Tomatoes + Pimento Cheese, and Southern Pies + Ice Cream. Yum!
I must say, my new Book Club Friends are awesome, and living in the South is proving to be… not so bad!