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I have always liked themed events. When my children were young, I would go all out with birthday themed foods, room mother stuff at school and holiday events. Now I am transferring that energy into food to go with my book choices for book club. I started doing it with my last book, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, so I decided to continue the tradition this time for Where'd you go, Bernadette.

I will say I didn't quite like Where'd you go, Bernadette as much as Eleanor Oliphant, but I had great food.

The Bernadette book got plenty of hype, and while parts were amusing, it got a bit too mean-spirited for me. I also felt like the 8th grade daughter Bee was more the parent than either of her parents. How she turned out so well in spite of her parents, is beyond me. Another down-side for me is that the story was not linear, it was written through a series of emails, letters and notes from various characters. The book bounced all over the place with bits and pieces mixed in everywhere. It also got a bit far-fetched at times. What professional gardener would not know that a mudslide would occur during torrential rains when you remove the only plant in a steeply sloped yard holding the yard together? Two of our members also watched the movie --one before reading the book and the other after reading the book, and both liked the movie better than the book. It also has a different ending. I probably liked the book the least of our group, while most enjoyed it, but no one's favorite so far this year.

Since the characters in the book went to Antarctica and saw penguins and one character drank Pink Penguin drinks, we had Pink Penguin cocktails,

penquin appetizers in two ways--one was olives stuffed with boursin cheese

and the other were "penguins in a blanket".

I forgot to take a picture after they were cooked!

Since blackberry plants featured heavily in the book, we had fresh blackberries and a blackberry balsamic glaze over cream cheese. And I made a mud slide dessert, for the mud slide in the book.

I also made seasoned pecans because most of the characters were nuts!

We had a great time visiting, discussing the book and events happening in the world. We had 5 out of 6 present--one had family obligations. I got a lovely hostess bouquet in a most appropriate vase!

On to our next book: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

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