Down on the Gulf Coast, where I grew up, we had a phrase–lagniappe–which meant “a little something extra.” The extra could refer to anything, so long as it was good, preferably tasty, and given out of friendliness and good will. (Lagniappe also happens to be the name of a great rag out of my hometown of Mobile.) According to Wikipedia, “It was also once in common usage by antiquarian booksellers, without regional limitation, and is still used by more old-fashioned members of that tribe.”
This is my lagniappe page for book clubs. In the spirit of something extra, here you’ll find reading group guides, playlists (heard any Walty lately?), stories about what inspired each of my books, and more.
MYSTERY BOOK CLUBS Check out the Mystery Month blog for May, 2014, by Nieburh over at Booklist. Nieburh talks about why No One You Know is a great fit for mystery book clubs.
READING GROUP GUIDES/Discussion questions
A story for the San Francisco Chronicle, about how a girl on the beach inspired The Year of Fog.
A few months solo in China inspired Dream of the Blue Room, out later this year in a new paperback edition.
Check out my Q&A over at Random House, get in on the conversation on my Goodreads discussion page (I personally answer every question), or visit my interview page for answers to more questions than anyone could possibly be interested in hearing, with the possible exception of my mother.
EAT, DRINK, & BE LITERARY
Book clubs, I need your help! If you had a dish or cocktail that was a hit at your book club mixer for one of my books, please send it on! I’ll publish it here with your book club’s name and location. I’d also love to see photos from your meeting.
Expresso martini, anyone?
Into a shaker two thirds filled with ice add a large (60ml) shot of vodka, a small (30ml) shot and a half of fresh espresso coffee (or very strong filter coffee), 2 dashes of sugar syrup and a dash of coffee liqueur (Toussant or Kahlua). Shake and strain into a Martini glass, then decorate with three coffee beans. (Thanks to Dawn in San Francisco for introducing me to this delicious caffeine infusion at her book club in San Francisco).
Glenda Shaw mixed up the Deja Blue cocktail for her book club discussion of DREAM OF THE BLUE ROOM. Get the recipe here.
Warm up with some San Francisco style clam chowder.
I’m not sure why they call it the “San Francisco treat,” but here’s a great recipe for, you guessed it, Rice-A-Roni.
If you’re in the area, try one of these great book club meeting spots: