This post is about doing something new creatively and gaining a fresh start. In addition to sharing recipes on this site, I’ve decided to host an online foodie book club. What’s that you say? Well, about once a month, I will share thoughts about a book, as well as a recipe inspired by that book. I invite you to join me. Read and cook if you are so inspired. Let’s chat about the books we read. If you’d like to know more about why this, read on…
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Here is the list of upcoming books I plan to read, review and share a related recipe to. I’ll update this list a few months out at a time so you can plan ahead. Come back here anytime to see the upcoming books or subscribe to my email newsletter for updates. I’m always open to suggestions. Click on the “month” link to comment on the associated blog post. Posts go live last week of every month. The great thing about an online book club is that you can read at your own pace and comment at any time (even after the target month). And you can be from anywhere in the world. Your local library is a great resource to obtain these books.
- March Where’d You Go, Bernadette
- April The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure
- May The Kookaburra Creek Cafe
- June The Alice Network
Where’d you go Michelle?
For several months now, I’ve been on a blogging break. Finding time to create and write recipes to share here has been increasingly difficult for me. It was no longer something I looked forward to doing. When I started Pine Needles In My Salad, it was meant to be a creative platform to share my love of cooking. I enjoyed the creative process in the kitchen. I never really thought of myself as a “blogger.” However, I approached it with vigor, eager to learn everything that was involved in becoming a successful food blogger. I dove in. Somewhere along the way, blogging became less about food and more of a technical job. This combined with working full-time as a mom and managing a part-time business at home was taking it’s toll. Time is a precious commodity. I started to feel like I wasn’t successful at anything because I didn’t have time to focus on any one thing and do it well. I was losing my joy.
I recently read the book Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. While I disappeared online for a while, the character Bernadette disappears completely. This book is witty and funny and about a mom and wife struggling to find her place and joy in life.
During my non-blogging time, I did some soul searching. While I did not take a trip to Antarctica like the characters in this book. I did cook. However, I did so without the pressure of wondering how I was going to make every meal into a “blog opportunity.” I stopped taking pictures of food. I stopped doing what everyone in the blogging community tells you to do to be successful. I started to find my joy again. I did me.
While I wasn’t quite ready to pull the plug completely on the blog, I did have a thought. What if I combined my love of reading with cooking and writing? And that’s where the foodie book club comes in. I would love to hear your thoughts on the stories and recipes I share inspired by them. Have you ever been inspired by a book? Are you already in a book club? Do you bring tasty treats to your book club? Let me know below in the comments. At the end of each book-themed post, I will recommend another book for the following month. If you have any book or related recipe suggestions, feel free to email me.