Book It: the perfect excuse to read for hours on end, then gather with friends to discuss the current literary masterpiece.
Davis local, and a good friend of mine, Kelli Sholer, and I had talked about starting a book club for quite a while but as you might expect, life got in the way. Last May, Kelli made the executive decision that it was time to start, and Book It was born. Her reasoning: “I have always loved spending time curled up on the couch reading a good book, but I realized that a good book is always made better when experienced with other people.” She recruited her fellow book nerds and I recruited mine – and like magic, we formed our club. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that our first selection wasn’t a prizewinner, it didn’t alter how I viewed poverty or the way that politics have shaped our society. No, it was chick-lit. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin is “chick-lit with substance,” as a friend dubbed it, but an easy read nonetheless.
Stick with me though, because over the past eight months we read everything from childhood classics to contemporary marvels to Davis community book projects. Our most recent Book It get together, and the topic of my blog, was our meeting for Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. The tale of a New York Times food critic, the writing is full of adjectives as savory as the food the book revolves around.
As we gathered at Selland’s Market-Cafe, a Sacramento favorite, the seven of us quickly fell into a deep discussion of aromatic herbs, savory pastas, exquisite side-dishes and drool-worthy desserts that Reichl experienced at some of the top restaurants in Manhattan. Selland’s welcomed us with wonderful treatment and did not rush us despite our long discussion. Thankfully, we were surrounded by fabulous food; otherwise I fear that the mood might have turned animalistic.
Selland’s Market-Café is owned and operated by the same successful culinary artisans that manage two of Sacramento’s finest restaurants: The Kitchen and Ella. The difference with this gem is their weekly 2 for $25 special, which is inclusive of a bottle of wine or a pitcher of beer expertly paired with the dish of the week. One other eye-catching option is their daily “Blue Plate Specials.” I assure you that these meals are a long stretch from the typical meals of the “Kiss My Grits” post-Depression era. The dishes range from home-style favorites to savory seafood and fusion masterpieces. It’s definitely worth experiencing!
This may not be a typical style of entertaining, but every once in a while the perpetual host might need a chance to unwind. Rally your friends, coworkers, neighbors and fellow book addicts to join you in a monthly chance to wine, dine, and flex your mind in your own Book It (unless you have a more clever name) opportunity.
5340 H Street
Sacramento, CA 95819