Book Club Suggestions from BookBar’s Cookbook Club: Double Awesome Chinese Food Edition

by Becky LeJeune

If you’ve followed the club, then you know that this month we’ve been cooking from Andrew, Irene, and Margaret Li’s excellent Double Awesome Chinese Food: Irresistible and Totally Achievable Recipes From Our Chinese-American Kitchen

And now it’s time for some themed book club recs perfect for your next book club meeting!

Girl in TranslationFirst up is Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation. Kimberly Chang splits her time between school and, unbeknownst to her classmates, a sweatshop. Newly emigrated to the US, she and her mother struggle to make ends meet. Kimberly battles daily with decisions that affect her duty to her family and her own hopes and dreams. And deciding which is more important weighs on her. 

Discussion topics include immigration, issues around poverty, and family dynamics. 

Kowk’s latest release, Searching for Sylvie Lee, is out now in hardcover. 

Next is Roselle Lim’s debut, Natalie Tan’s Book of Love and Fortune. Natalie Natalie TanTan’s  mother never supported her choice to become a chef. As a result, the two hadn’t spoken for years. Now her mother has died and Natalie is forced to return to Chinatown where she finds she’s inherited her grandmother’s restaurant. But this Chinatown isn’t the one Natalie remembers and she has a choice to make: Does she help the people she feels failed her as a child or does she abandon them the way she’s sure they abandoned her.

Discussion topics include cultural heritage, family dynamics, and grief.  

Outrun the MoonAnd finally Stacey Lee’s Outrun the Moon is a historical YA is set around San Francisco’s devastating 1906 earthquake. In the book, a fifteen year old determined to better her life through education finds her plans thrown into upheaval when her school is destroyed in the earthquake. But how will she, and the others around her, pick up the pieces and move on?

Lee is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Discussion topics include women’s issues in turn-of-the-century America and 

Stacey Lee’s The Downstairs Girl is also out now in hardcover.

Suggested menu:

Sweet Potato, Feta, and Brown Butter Dumplings
Red Curry Frito Pie
Kung Pao Chicken Dip
Haymaker’s Punch
Miso Sesame Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy reading (and eating)! And remember to post your pictures to social media using the hashtag: #BookBarCookClub