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New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her peo New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her people. Recently dumped by her self-absorbed husband, who frankly isn’t much of a loss, she has little to show for her marriage but his ‘parting gift’—a dilapidated old farm house—and a collection of well-loved cookbooks Aja Alexander just hopes her new-found friends won’t notice that that every time she looks at food, she gets queasy. It’s hard hiding a pregnancy, especially one she can’t bring herself to share with her wealthy boyfriend and his snooty mother.  Trista Walker left the cutthroat world of the law behind and decided her fate was to open a restaurant…not the most secure choice ever. But there she could she indulge her passion for creating delectable meals and make money at the same time. The women bond immediately, but it’s not all popovers with melted brie and blackberry jam.  Margo’s farm house is about to fall down around her ears; Trista’s restaurant needs a makeover and rat-removal fast; and as for Aja, just how long can you hide a baby bump anyway? In this delightful novel, these women form bonds that go beyond a love grilled garlic and soy sauce shrimp. Because what is more important in life than friendship…and food?


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New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her peo New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her people. Recently dumped by her self-absorbed husband, who frankly isn’t much of a loss, she has little to show for her marriage but his ‘parting gift’—a dilapidated old farm house—and a collection of well-loved cookbooks Aja Alexander just hopes her new-found friends won’t notice that that every time she looks at food, she gets queasy. It’s hard hiding a pregnancy, especially one she can’t bring herself to share with her wealthy boyfriend and his snooty mother.  Trista Walker left the cutthroat world of the law behind and decided her fate was to open a restaurant…not the most secure choice ever. But there she could she indulge her passion for creating delectable meals and make money at the same time. The women bond immediately, but it’s not all popovers with melted brie and blackberry jam.  Margo’s farm house is about to fall down around her ears; Trista’s restaurant needs a makeover and rat-removal fast; and as for Aja, just how long can you hide a baby bump anyway? In this delightful novel, these women form bonds that go beyond a love grilled garlic and soy sauce shrimp. Because what is more important in life than friendship…and food?

30 review for The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    3.5 stars I liked the book but I think a little more could have been done in terms of both plot and character development. Full review coming soon.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Literary Soirée

    This charming book hooked me from the start. I loved the author’s confident writing style and engaging narrative about three women with personal crises who bond over cooking. Trista, a fired attorney, starts a cookbook club to test recipes for the bar she’s bought. Margo, just dumped by her husband, joins the club to indulge her love of cooking and to make friends. Aja discovers she’s pregnant with her rich boyfriend’s baby. His mother is highly judgmental and he’s never talked about commitment. C This charming book hooked me from the start. I loved the author’s confident writing style and engaging narrative about three women with personal crises who bond over cooking. Trista, a fired attorney, starts a cookbook club to test recipes for the bar she’s bought. Margo, just dumped by her husband, joins the club to indulge her love of cooking and to make friends. Aja discovers she’s pregnant with her rich boyfriend’s baby. His mother is highly judgmental and he’s never talked about commitment. Cooking, of course, plays a huge role, with mouthwatering meals devoured throughout and even a recipe section at the end. I saw it as a metaphor for growth, by taking what you know (old recipes) and adding new spices and fresh ingredients for a more sumptuous taste. Renovation plays a role, too, as Trista’s bar and Margo’s old farm get amazing redos. Both reflect the depth of change each woman undergoes. I felt part of the club, rooting for each woman, wanting happy endings for all. Alas, the dénouement seemed too abrupt for me. Only Margo’s new life was explored to any extent, leaving me wanting so much more. Sequel? I sure hope so! 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 20 Oct 2020 Thanks to the author, HarperCollins Publishers, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheCookbookClub #NetGalley

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mom_Loves_Reading

    Q: Do you use cookbooks? Maybe have a collection of them? I do! I absolutely LOVE them & my husband built me a custom bookshelf on the end of my island just for them! Most are gluten-free, sugar-free recipes, some are for InstantPots, or Keto based, or written by celebrities. And I absolutely would LOVE to be a member of 'The Cookbook Club'! I 100% LOVED this book! It makes you feel like you are literally part of the club & getting to know the women there. I would love to see a sequel for this bo Q: Do you use cookbooks? Maybe have a collection of them? I do! I absolutely LOVE them & my husband built me a custom bookshelf on the end of my island just for them! Most are gluten-free, sugar-free recipes, some are for InstantPots, or Keto based, or written by celebrities. And I absolutely would LOVE to be a member of 'The Cookbook Club'! I 100% LOVED this book! It makes you feel like you are literally part of the club & getting to know the women there. I would love to see a sequel for this book, maybe even a film adaptation! With well-developed characters, 'The Cookbook Club' just left me w/ an overall warm-hearted feeling (& maybe a little bit hungry) & it really got me wanting to bake something. Maybe I will try one of the several recipes at the end of the book! Such a great book! Look for it on 10/20.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    I have no idea why I stayed up all night reading this fluffy chick lit, but it was enjoyable. The literary equivalent of comfort food, which is appropriate, given how much food and cooking is in the book. Additionally, it's a sweet story of female friendship, female empowerment, and a hint of romance. While I wouldn't describe this as a comic novel, there was some nice humor. Everything about reading this was just effortless, entertaining, and designed to make you feel good. Final surprise bonus I have no idea why I stayed up all night reading this fluffy chick lit, but it was enjoyable. The literary equivalent of comfort food, which is appropriate, given how much food and cooking is in the book. Additionally, it's a sweet story of female friendship, female empowerment, and a hint of romance. While I wouldn't describe this as a comic novel, there was some nice humor. Everything about reading this was just effortless, entertaining, and designed to make you feel good. Final surprise bonus: It takes place in the part of Maryland that I'm originally from. Lots of local references. All in all, not a bad way to spend a sleepless night.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Konet

    This book was much better than I thought it was going to be even though some parts were realistic and the ending was abrupt, it just ends. Three different women with their own set of issues with jobs and relationships meet and form a cookbook club because of their mutual love for food. You learn a lot about the three main women (Margo, Aja and Trista), they interact with each other a lot but not with other members of their club. I felt that was strange. Overall still an enjoyable, beachy read esp This book was much better than I thought it was going to be even though some parts were realistic and the ending was abrupt, it just ends. Three different women with their own set of issues with jobs and relationships meet and form a cookbook club because of their mutual love for food. You learn a lot about the three main women (Margo, Aja and Trista), they interact with each other a lot but not with other members of their club. I felt that was strange. Overall still an enjoyable, beachy read especially if you love fiction books with food themes. I know I do. Thanks to Netgalley, Beth Harbison, and Harper Collin Publishing William Morrow Paperbacks for ARC in exchange for an honest review. Available: 10/20/20

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Choy

    Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my review and honest opinion. When seeing the title of this book, I knew I wanted to read it immediately! The story of 3 women who are all at crossroads in their lives. Margo, whose husband leaves her unexpectedly and is reeling from a divorce. Aja, a young woman who finds herself accidentally pregnant with a baby and wants nothing to do with the father. Margo, a woman who leaves her career in law and decides to open a bar. The women Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my review and honest opinion. When seeing the title of this book, I knew I wanted to read it immediately! The story of 3 women who are all at crossroads in their lives. Margo, whose husband leaves her unexpectedly and is reeling from a divorce. Aja, a young woman who finds herself accidentally pregnant with a baby and wants nothing to do with the father. Margo, a woman who leaves her career in law and decides to open a bar. The women meet after Margo starts a Cookbook Club and instantly become friends. While the premise of the story had me captivated, the story itself was a little bit flat. The biggest issue I had was that author made such an emphasis on the cooking, that while it did have some to do with the ending, it was really only a vehicle for the women to meet. I also felt like there was a lot in the story that really ended up not being needed. Some characters that made appearances, then weren't really needed for their stories to come full circle. I also really disliked the ending. It seemed like one event happened then boom! The book was done and some of the stories didn't really have a nice "wrap up" to them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This was my first Goodreads Giveaway. I was intrigued by the title because I am the type of person who can read a cookbook just like it's a work of fiction and I enjoy talking about food and new recipes with friends. However, this book was a bit of a let down. It just never really grabbed me. I had no urgency to return it every time I put it down. I enjoy strong characters. I want to know them, care about them, and recognize myself in them. This book just did not have strong character developme This was my first Goodreads Giveaway. I was intrigued by the title because I am the type of person who can read a cookbook just like it's a work of fiction and I enjoy talking about food and new recipes with friends. However, this book was a bit of a let down. It just never really grabbed me. I had no urgency to return it every time I put it down. I enjoy strong characters. I want to know them, care about them, and recognize myself in them. This book just did not have strong character development, which was surprising because the chapters belong to a specific character and you read their individual train of thought. I really like it when an author lets you into the head of all the protagonists. Even though Beth Harbison used this writing style, I still felt disconnected to the characters. As for the cookbooks and cooking, again nothing special. She glossed over this as well. Every cooking genre book that I have read features recipes that are made by the characters, but not this one. There are random recipes in the back that have nothing to do with the book. Perhaps if the author gave more than a cursory description of the characters lives, backgrounds, and cooking connection this might have appealed to me more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    3.5 stars...cute read, just wish it had been a bit "more" in terms of character development because it was a bit fluffy at times in that and the plot. Still, I enjoyed it and Harbison's easygoing writing style.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    This new release has all the things I love in a story—food, friends, and re-invention. Trista is a former lawyer turned restaurant owner who starts a cookbook club to try out her new recipes. Aja and Margo join and the three very different women form a supportive friendship. Each of these characters has their own story of putting their lives back together—Trista and the new restaurant, Aja and a new baby, and Margo with a new divorce and a farmhouse to remodel. I love when I can watch characters This new release has all the things I love in a story—food, friends, and re-invention. Trista is a former lawyer turned restaurant owner who starts a cookbook club to try out her new recipes. Aja and Margo join and the three very different women form a supportive friendship. Each of these characters has their own story of putting their lives back together—Trista and the new restaurant, Aja and a new baby, and Margo with a new divorce and a farmhouse to remodel. I love when I can watch characters make good choices and create a better life. The three protagonists and the other supporting characters were well developed, funny, and shared some great moments. Their struggles felt real and the dialogue was clear and realistic, very easy to read. I left wishing I could eat at Trista’s restaurant, see Aja’s garden project, and visit Margo’s farmhouse. (Thanks NetGalley for the ARC)

  10. 5 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    I received a free ebook of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. When I saw the title of this, and the author, I knew I wanted to read it. I collect cookbooks and I have read and enjoyed other books by Beth Harbison. This one did not disappoint. Three very different women, each finding themselves at a crossroads in their lives for very different reasons, come together at a cookbook club. Margo was just dumped by her husband and is in the throes of a divorce. Aja is unexpectedly I received a free ebook of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. When I saw the title of this, and the author, I knew I wanted to read it. I collect cookbooks and I have read and enjoyed other books by Beth Harbison. This one did not disappoint. Three very different women, each finding themselves at a crossroads in their lives for very different reasons, come together at a cookbook club. Margo was just dumped by her husband and is in the throes of a divorce. Aja is unexpectedly pregnant and not in a relationship with the father at this point. Trista has left behind her law career and done a complete life about face by opening a bar. The novel follows each of the women as they face their personal challenges. I appreciated that this was not ridiculously sweet or sassy; the characters had more of a realistic feel to them. Good women’s fiction read exploring themes of friendship, second chances, and family.

  11. 5 out of 5

    K D

    I obtained this book as a giveaway. I’ve tried to read it three separate times, and I just can’t get interested. I’m a senior citizen, so maybe it’s a generational thing. I enjoy books of this genre, such as those by Diane Mott Davidson, so I was looking forward to reading it. I’m sorry to give such a negative review — if you’re interested, go ahead and read it. Some of the reviews are positive. The first character presented is Margo. I saw her as 2-dimensional, even 1 dimensional woman. I agree I obtained this book as a giveaway. I’ve tried to read it three separate times, and I just can’t get interested. I’m a senior citizen, so maybe it’s a generational thing. I enjoy books of this genre, such as those by Diane Mott Davidson, so I was looking forward to reading it. I’m sorry to give such a negative review — if you’re interested, go ahead and read it. Some of the reviews are positive. The first character presented is Margo. I saw her as 2-dimensional, even 1 dimensional woman. I agree with the reviewer who referred to her as ˋsilly.‘ Really, where has she been? I didn’t realize there were other characters, since I quit trying to read it being so disappointed with such a shallow character . Other criticisms include the endless adjectives and name dropping. One adjective seems never enough, they’re stacked up like chairs, really slowing down the reading. Get to the story, I don’t care that Margo uses and admires Le Creuset cookware, or that she owns a copy of “The Broccoli Forest” cookbook, from when? — the 1970’s. How old is she anyway?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    This was a good book, but it could have been great, and that's disappointing. I feel a little cheated. With 4 different characters' perspectives you never get to fully "bond" with any of them. There were quite a few plot points that were never explained (so frustrating!!) and there was a whole lot of telling instead of showing. They formed a cookbook club but we only got to see them at the bookclub once or twice. After a bit it took a complete backseat to the story and we only got to see the not This was a good book, but it could have been great, and that's disappointing. I feel a little cheated. With 4 different characters' perspectives you never get to fully "bond" with any of them. There were quite a few plot points that were never explained (so frustrating!!) and there was a whole lot of telling instead of showing. They formed a cookbook club but we only got to see them at the bookclub once or twice. After a bit it took a complete backseat to the story and we only got to see the notes about the food from each meeting. I expected the book (based on how the story was flowing) to be a lot longer so the epilogue took me by complete surprise. https://inthecornerofmythoughts.com/

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chloe (Always Booked)

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this eARC! I really enjoyed this book. The first 75% was a 5 star for me. This is about 3 women who come together to form a cookbook club. What does that mean? It means they get together every so often and all bring a dish from a certain cookbook and they share a meal. I love stories about women and I love stories about food-- so the premise is right up my alley. We have Margo who is in the middle of a divorce and a farmhouse r Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this eARC! I really enjoyed this book. The first 75% was a 5 star for me. This is about 3 women who come together to form a cookbook club. What does that mean? It means they get together every so often and all bring a dish from a certain cookbook and they share a meal. I love stories about women and I love stories about food-- so the premise is right up my alley. We have Margo who is in the middle of a divorce and a farmhouse renovation, Aja who is pregnant by a really crappy guy, and Trista who is attempting to reinvent herself, switching her career from law to bar owner. All of their stories were interesting, but I thought Trista's was a little underdeveloped. There are 2 cases of childhood friends coming back into the women's lives and that is one of my all time favorite tropes so I loved seeing that. There are a few times you have to suspend your disbelief, but that didn't bother me in this book. My biggest complaint with this book was the ending. It just stopped. No real conclusion, no satisfaction with the women's stories, and an epilogue that was virtually worthless. I'm assuming this is setting up to be a series, but even if that is the case ( I really hope it is), there needed to be a less abrupt ending to this. I would definitely recommend reading this book, but maybe wait until you see if there are more books in the series that will lead to a more satisfying conclusion. SPOILERS AHEAD: Margo's husband leaves her with his family farm. It's so run down that its virtually uninhabitable, but Margo has always loved it so she puts out an ad on social media asking for someone who is interested in renovating. Conveniently, a mega movie star named Max sees it and responds. Max and Margo were friends when they were young so he still follows her social media accounts and he is desperate to step away from the limelight for awhile, so he responds and takes on the job. The dilapidated home doesn't scare him, so he moves in to start the renovations. A romance starts between the 2 of them, but ends very abruptly. She also has a YouTube channel where she makes healthy recipes and her mom and her nursing home friends are the only ones who watch until max appears on the channel then she gets 2 million subs. Aja finds out she's pregnant and keeps it secret from everyone, including her boyfriend. He finally takes her to meet his mom and she is very rich and snooty and ends up hiring Aja to be her gardener. While doing her job, she finds some jewelry and the mom accuses her of trying to steal it, but then we find out that the boyfriend has a daughter that his mom has visitation with every weekend and the little girl is taking the jewelry outside. Aja never knew about his daughter and so she's surprised, but not really once she finds out the guys true character and she really steps back to look at their relationship. In the end, she has her baby and her and the mom are very close. The mom is going to be in the baby's life even if her son is not. Trista leaves her job as a lawyer to open a bar. A guy from her past comes and applies for the job of bartender and they have a flirty relationship, but it doesn't really go anywhere YET.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Talie

    Thank you NetGalley, William Morrow Books, and Harper Audio for the complimentary digital and audiobook copies of this book. I loved everything about The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison. As a reader my two favorite types of novels are a heavily character driven book and romance. This book combines the best of both worlds into a truly enjoyable book. Add in a lot of delectable food and I was sold. If I had to peg a genre for this one I'd put it under women's literature. The book tells the story of t Thank you NetGalley, William Morrow Books, and Harper Audio for the complimentary digital and audiobook copies of this book. I loved everything about The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison. As a reader my two favorite types of novels are a heavily character driven book and romance. This book combines the best of both worlds into a truly enjoyable book. Add in a lot of delectable food and I was sold. If I had to peg a genre for this one I'd put it under women's literature. The book tells the story of three women, Margot, Aja, and Trista, who are all at a crossroads in their lives and end up meeting as part of an Instagram group meet up pot luck. The story switches between the three women telling each of their stories. Margot is a newly divorced woman still reeling from her husband's abandonment. Aja is the youngest of the three struggling with a difficult boyfriend and other life difficulties (no spoilers). Trista is a lawyer turned bar owner, who also loves to cook. As the story weaves through the three women's lives you get to learn their hopes, fears and troubles and watch all three work through their relationship issues. This book is a slow journey as you get to know the women and along the way are exposed to all kinds of lovely food. I particularly like how the author focuses on particular cookbooks and dishes from those cookbooks. I'd highly recommend this book to people who loved character driven novels with a dash of romance thrown in. If you like faster paced action, this book may not be the best choice. That being said I was hooked from the start as each character leads a very different life with various challenges and life circumstances. Steam wise this was a closed door romance which really revolves more around the three women then the romance. Overall this is the type of book I love and I give it a big thumbs up.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jodie (That Happy Reader)

    The story surrounds three women who initially meet through the cookbook club. Margo is a woman whose husband has recently come home and announced he has been given a promotion on the other side of the country and that he is leaving her. He’s left her a dilapidated farm house and the house she is living in, but the mortgage is now all hers. Trista is the woman who has organized the cookbook club. She’s recently been fired from her position in a law firm and has taken the opportunity to buy and re The story surrounds three women who initially meet through the cookbook club. Margo is a woman whose husband has recently come home and announced he has been given a promotion on the other side of the country and that he is leaving her. He’s left her a dilapidated farm house and the house she is living in, but the mortgage is now all hers. Trista is the woman who has organized the cookbook club. She’s recently been fired from her position in a law firm and has taken the opportunity to buy and redesign the bar/restaurant she worked in years ago. Aja is a young woman who is in an unhealthy relationship who comes to realize that she is pregnant - something she wants to hide for as long as she can. The trio meet monthly to share and a meal, try new recipes and provide support for one another. However, most of the story is about the three women and their independent lives outside of the club. I found the character development to be adequate and appreciated the challenges in life each woman was facing. I didn’t, however, feel as connected as I would have liked to the characters. While the book kept my interest, I felt it could have been much more. The story just seemed to wrap up too quickly for my liking. I was also surprised and a little disappointed to see the lack of engagement between club members, especially given the title of the book. I listened to the audiobook version of the book which was narrated by Orlagh Cassidy. Her performance was believable as each of the women, and I found her voice to be articulate and with the right amount of expression. I listened to the book at my usual 1.25x which was the perfect speed for listening. Thanks to my local library for having a copy of the audiobook. I’d recommend this book for those that enjoy a lighter, relaxing read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A mildly engaging tale about three women, all with lives at crossroads, finding friendship and meaning through a shared love of recipes, cooking and discussing recipes and cooking. THE COOKBOOK CLUB sounded better in description than it actually was to read; author Beth Hardison got bogged down with trying to do too much at once. This should have been a story about women meeting and growing through a shared interest. Instead, too much time was spent with excessive detail on the minutia of their A mildly engaging tale about three women, all with lives at crossroads, finding friendship and meaning through a shared love of recipes, cooking and discussing recipes and cooking. THE COOKBOOK CLUB sounded better in description than it actually was to read; author Beth Hardison got bogged down with trying to do too much at once. This should have been a story about women meeting and growing through a shared interest. Instead, too much time was spent with excessive detail on the minutia of their lives, which they deemed inadequate. I’m not completely sure the recipes at the end make sense, either. I received my copy from the publisher through edelweiss.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    I listened to this book in the car on a road trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the characters and although fairly predictable, there were some interesting twists and turns. It made the time fly by in the car.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen Axnick

    I have been a fan of this author for several years – I enjoy her style of writing for its warmth, wit, and relatable characters. In The Cookbook Club, the lives of three women with very different lifestyles converge in their love of cooking and the desire to connect with new friends. As their bond deepens over eight months, each one gains new insights, strength and courage to expand their possibilities in love and life. Margo is a part-time real estate agent, the full-time devoted wife of an attor I have been a fan of this author for several years – I enjoy her style of writing for its warmth, wit, and relatable characters. In The Cookbook Club, the lives of three women with very different lifestyles converge in their love of cooking and the desire to connect with new friends. As their bond deepens over eight months, each one gains new insights, strength and courage to expand their possibilities in love and life. Margo is a part-time real estate agent, the full-time devoted wife of an attorney, and the creator of YouTube instructional videos on healthy cooking. Her life takes an unexpected turn when her husband, Calvin, returns home one evening and announces that he has received a promotion and is moving to San Francisco…alone. As the shock begins to wear off, Margo realizes how much of herself she has lost by being absorbed in meeting Calvin’s idiosyncratic demands. Trista, aka Boozy Crocker, posted an invitation on Instagram for #TheCookbookClub. Only foodies need respond; the focus of the group will be a different cookbook every two weeks. Trista’s brainchild is a way to develop menu items for her newly-acquired business, an outdated sports bar/restaurant in Georgetown. She, too, is embarking on a major life course adjustment after being fired from her six figure position as a lawyer. And finally, there is Aja (pronounced Asia) who is in a less-than-thrilling relationship with a man who, not only doesn’t appreciate her, but actively undermines her sense of self-esteem. When she discovers that she is unexpectedly pregnant with his child, Aja also has a wake-up call that results in a reorientation of her life, sans the father of her child. The book is a joy to read. I love fiction that incorporates food themes and this one really delivers in what the author refers to as “food porn.” The descriptions of the sumptuous dishes made me want to run to the kitchen and try something inspiring. Fortunately, the author has included references to a plethora of great cookbooks and there is an addendum of recipes to try out. I enjoyed the well-crafted characters and felt I really knew and understood their viewpoints. While many of the relationship issues explored were challenging, there is a light touch of humor woven into the storyline that keeps it fresh and moving along. My only criticism is that I felt the feel-good ending was a bit rushed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    I was fortunate to win a copy from a Goodreads giveaway. Harbison weaves a delightful story of three women connecting through food. Admittedly, it was a slow start at first, but then the narrative became more engaging and I was invested in Margo, Aja, and Trista. I loved Max and Brice. Louis came out of nowhere and threatened to steal scenes by his sheer quirky good hearted nature. One of the best scenes is between Brice and Trista as he samples different sauces. The rapport and innuendoes are m I was fortunate to win a copy from a Goodreads giveaway. Harbison weaves a delightful story of three women connecting through food. Admittedly, it was a slow start at first, but then the narrative became more engaging and I was invested in Margo, Aja, and Trista. I loved Max and Brice. Louis came out of nowhere and threatened to steal scenes by his sheer quirky good hearted nature. One of the best scenes is between Brice and Trista as he samples different sauces. The rapport and innuendoes are marvelous. Lucinda was also a pleasant surprise and I think I liked her the best. It's a great read, replete with lots of food and recipes to try. The best part of the story were the bonds the characters made with each other. Good food is easy to find, but good friends are more difficult to find.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    What a lovely book! I was pulled in from the start and watching (reading) these ladies' friendship evolve was heartwarming, I love books like this, that just leave you feeling GOOD. There's enough drama and sadness going on in the world today. Love all books by Beth Harbison, this won't be my last. Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this e-ARC.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Reeling from her divorce out of the middle of nowhere, Margo decides to join a cookbook club where she makes new friends, and is given the chance of second love. I love reading about food, so, when I saw The Cookbook Club and read it was about three women becoming friends, I jumped on it. Female friendship and food? It’s kind of a match made in heaven for me. I was also really curious to see how long Aja could hide her pregnancy. In some ways, this book was what I expected it might be, but, in ot Reeling from her divorce out of the middle of nowhere, Margo decides to join a cookbook club where she makes new friends, and is given the chance of second love. I love reading about food, so, when I saw The Cookbook Club and read it was about three women becoming friends, I jumped on it. Female friendship and food? It’s kind of a match made in heaven for me. I was also really curious to see how long Aja could hide her pregnancy. In some ways, this book was what I expected it might be, but, in other ways, it was very different and I’m stuck feeling a little indifferent even though my heart really wants to love this book. The Plot: More of a Sweet Romance It’s an ordinary day for housewife Margo, who loves to cook and make YouTube videos of healthy recipes for her parents and their senior citizen community, until her husband walks in and announces he’s moving across the country without her. Stuck with no idea how to support herself, and with her ex-husband’s late grandparents’ dilapidated farm house, she signs up for a new cookbook club, hoping to put her numerous cookbooks to good use. And she had the book. Trista was a lawyer, but now runs a crumbling bar/restaurant. Desperate to turn things around, she starts a cookbook club to try out new recipes. Only Margo and a young woman called Aja show up, but the three become quick friends. They support each other as Trista’s business struggles, Margo deals with an old crush who is now renovating the dilapidated farm house, and Aja wonders how long she can hide her pregnancy from her wealthy boyfriend and his snobby mother. I loved the idea of three women forming a cookbook club and trying out new recipes. Female friendship is the one thing I look for in women’s fiction, so I loved that this book involved three very different women somehow coming together and becoming friends. But it also branches out so each woman’s story is told. I liked that the reader gets to know each woman, her history, and what she’s trying to do with her life. It was fun seeing them interact, but, unfortunately, the story kept them apart most of the time. As much as I wanted to love this story, there were several things that disappointed me. For one, the actually cookbook club was barely seen. There were some meetings, but most them came in the form of snippets at the end of each part. Most of the story was focused on Margo, which makes sense if this goes on to be a series, especially since there are men in Trista’s and Aja’s lives, but only Margo’s love interest gets his own chapters, making the rest of them feel irrelevant. Instead of feeling like women’s fiction, much less a cookbook club, it felt like a romance where the heroine just happens to have a couple of new friends to make the story longer. The story also moved way too fast. The chapters were short, the ending sudden, making me wonder if the whole purpose of the book was to just talk about food, because there’s an awful lot of food in such a fast story. The Characters: Three Women, Plus a Few Men As disappointing as the story was, I did really like the characters. Most of them are in their late twenties to early thirties, so it was a little easier for me to identify with them. They were a lot fun and they each had their moments that made them feel human, but there ended up being some thin threads that wound them together that felt a little weak. Each woman was able to stand on her own, perhaps a little too much, because their reliance on each other felt more like token gestures than a genuine need for female support. I loved all of the women. My favorite, though, was Margo. I identified the most with her, especially since she married in her early twenties just like I did, and sometimes those “what if” thoughts are hard to dispel. I loved her enthusiasm for food and cooking, and can’t help but admire the well-stocked kitchen she has. It’s kind of my dream kitchen. I really liked Aja, too. She’s younger, so came off as more innocent, though she managed to get herself into an interesting pickle as she tried to develop her voice and let her needs and wants be known. I loved that her arc wasn’t so focused on romance, but on a young woman finding her own feet. Then there’s Trista, who was a lot of fun and enthusiastic. She made some rather interesting choices throughout the book, but it made her feel like one of those overly enthusiastic humans who rush headlong into things and hope for the best. And then there’s Lucinda, an older woman Aja comes to know, who was utterly fascinating and had a rich, deep history. I’d like to say I liked the guys in the story, too, but we only really get to know one: Margo’s love interest, Max. He had an interesting story, but so much of his life in the story was taken up with mooning over Margo that it made him feel one dimensional and not as interesting as I would have expected. There are also a couple of guys in Trista’s life. It felt like they were building up to something, and then the book just ended. They seemed nice, but, as a reader, I felt like I was being held at a distance from them. The Setting: Washington, D.C-ish Most of The Cookbook Club is set in the Washington, D. C. area, but, by the end of the book, I’d completely forgotten. There was a strong suburban feel to it, a bit of a rural feel since the old farm house was extremely isolated, and no real big city feel to it. I don’t actually recall any landmarks of D. C. making their way into the story. I got the feeling where the story takes place was irrelevant and had enough of a mix to make the story make sense. Overall: Cute, but Little Substance The Cookbook Club is cute and has a wonderful idea behind it, but there was almost too much food and not enough substance. I liked that Margo, Trista, and Aja each had their own problems and were occasionally dependent on each other, but everything was just too easily solved for them so there was almost no tension in the story. It all felt almost storybook perfect. There were also some inconsistencies, little details that changed that made the story a little jarring. This story sounded so good and extremely delicious, but it disappointed in how easily everything happened, how rushed the ending was, and how it felt like the first in a series without touting itself as such. Thank you to Netgalley and William Morrow Paperbacks for a free e-copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sue Gerth

    Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow Publisher for the ARC--it was a novel that was pure fun. Full of cookbooks, food, and three women all starting over: Margo getting a divorce, Aja pregnant and alone, and Trista, buying a bar and hoping to create a life away from her previous world as a lawyer. This will make you hungry--or want to try out a few recipes. A quick read, but enjoyed it very much. Each of the three women are likable characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leona

    From Goodreads.com: “The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship by Beth Harbison (Goodreads Author) 3.88 · Rating details · 131 ratings · 82 reviews New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and k From Goodreads.com: “The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship by Beth Harbison (Goodreads Author) 3.88 · Rating details · 131 ratings · 82 reviews New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her people. Recently dumped by her self-absorbed husband, who frankly isn’t much of a loss, she has little to show for her marriage but his ‘parting gift’—a dilapidated old farm house—and a collection of well-loved cookbooks Aja Alexander just hopes her new-found friends won’t notice that every time she looks at food, she gets queasy. It’s hard hiding a pregnancy, especially one she can’t bring herself to share with her wealthy boyfriend and his snooty mother. Trista Walker left the cutthroat world of the law behind and decided her fate was to open a restaurant…not the most secure choice ever. But there she could she indulge her passion for creating delectable meals and make money at the same time. The women bond immediately, but it’s not all popovers with melted brie and blackberry jam. Margo’s farm house is about to fall down around her ears; Trista’s restaurant needs a makeover and rat-removal fast; and as for Aja, just how long can you hide a baby bump anyway? In this delightful novel, these women form bonds that go beyond a love grilled garlic and soy sauce shrimp. Because what is more important in life than friendship…and food?” Leona’s review: My first read by Beth Harbison. It was a good read about friendship that began with strangers and a cookbook club. I liked all of the characters and I think Margo was my favorite. Each has their own problems: Margo and her husband, Aja and her boyfriend, Trista and her restaurant. I did not care for some of the language in the book and originally gave it a 3 ½* rating but after re-reading parts, I am going to give it a 4* rating. The book is dedicated to : Lucia Macro, for guiding this project and all of the fun and favor going into it, and to Annelise Robey, for so much support in getting it together and out into the world. I propose wine and fondue to celebrate as soon as possible. There are recipes that are included in the book that sound good and most of us the ingredients already or easy to get at a regular grocery store. There are four recipes for drink recipes for the season. This is the winter one as I am in Minnesota and winter is already here in October. Italian Chocolate Amaro Averna is an Italian digestif, made from a secret infusion of Mediterreanean herbs, spices, and fruits. It has been a traditional drink in Sicily, where it is made, since Salvatore Averna invented it in 1868. So, while this recipe is deceptively simple, the ingredients are doing the heavy lifting, bringing depth and complexity to this warming winter treat, over ice or in a cup of coffee. 2 ounces Amaro Averna 4 ounces Godiva white chocolate liqueur 8 dashes chocolate bitters For each drink, shake ½ ounce of Amaro Averna, two shakes of chocolate bitters, and 1 ounce Godiva liqueur together, then pour over ice and sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder. This would be a good book club read and there is a Reading Group Guide in the back of the book. On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... I received a complimentary copy of The Cookbook Club. The opinions are my own. I give it a 4* rating. Leona Olson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    The Washington D.C. area Margo loves to cook. In order to help her mother prepare healthy meals for her father who had had a heart attack, she started a small YouTube channel making videos of her preparing healthy food for him. It has helped her Mom and several of their friends have subscribed to it as well. Margo isn’t doing this for huge recognition but simply to keep her Dad healthy. In addition, Margo’s husband is a health nut and insists that she cook super healthy food for him. So, she does The Washington D.C. area Margo loves to cook. In order to help her mother prepare healthy meals for her father who had had a heart attack, she started a small YouTube channel making videos of her preparing healthy food for him. It has helped her Mom and several of their friends have subscribed to it as well. Margo isn’t doing this for huge recognition but simply to keep her Dad healthy. In addition, Margo’s husband is a health nut and insists that she cook super healthy food for him. So, she does her best to accommodate his requests until one day he comes home to tell her he is moving to the West Coast and leaving her. Trista was once an attorney, but now she runs a bar that she is working hard to make successful. As she loves to cook, she enjoys experimenting with different dishes that will entice her customers to try. Aja has been dating Michael, a wealthy man. After a few months, she realizes that he is pretty much a jerk. When she asks to meet his mother, the woman comes off as aloof to her. But Aja does not put up with arrogant people. As she ends her relationship with Michael, she realizes that she is pregnant and also manages to get a job as a sort of gardener for Michael’s mother. Aja loves to try her hand at cooking but she loves to eat even more. Via Trista, the three women meet up to form a type a Cookbook Club where they chose a cookbook and then made dishes from it and then they later meet to share the food. There is much more to the story that intertwines the characters with others to make for more things happening in their lives. The author means for the book to be light-hearted with a few serious things thrown in. This works fairly well, but some of the things that happen found me rolling my eyes. I liked all of the characters, Margo especially, and I hope readers will enjoy the book. I do admit that as I also love to cook, I was intrigued by some of the recipes. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Margo, Aja, and Trista are all facing a turbulent time in their lives. Margo's marriage is suddenly over, Aja is unexpectedly pregnant, and Trista is starting life over as a restaurateur after being fired from her law firm. The three women's lives intersect when Margo and Aja attend Trista's cookbook club meeting. As time marches on, these women find fulfillment where they least expect it. There are many things appealing about this book: the food, the recipes, the strength of the women character Margo, Aja, and Trista are all facing a turbulent time in their lives. Margo's marriage is suddenly over, Aja is unexpectedly pregnant, and Trista is starting life over as a restaurateur after being fired from her law firm. The three women's lives intersect when Margo and Aja attend Trista's cookbook club meeting. As time marches on, these women find fulfillment where they least expect it. There are many things appealing about this book: the food, the recipes, the strength of the women characters. I enjoyed most of the characters, especially Aja and Trista. Aja's journey through an unexpected pregnancy was especially interesting. The book fell a bit flat for me. The first half of the book I could not stand Margo. When a chapter about her began, I found myself rolling my eyes. I feel as though the characters were interesting enough that this book could have been three separate books in a series, with each on centering on one of the main characters of the book. Instead, we got three less fleshed out stories in one short book. There are several inconsistencies throughout the book that were major enough that it made the book less satisfying. The book opens with Margo having book club with her husband's co-workers' wives who know all about a promotion to San Francisco for Margo's husband that Margo had no idea about. But later in the book, Margo is informed that her husband was fired from that same firm over a year prior. So, was he actually promoted or was he fired? Also, Michael tells his mother that there are no children at her house, when he knows that there is, in fact, at least one that they both know about. I have no problem suspending belief while reading a book, but when an author contradicts two plot lines within a book, it's hard to reconcile. Overall, it wasn't a bad read. It was light and fluffy and overall engaging. I wouldn't tell anyone to rush out and read it, but I also wouldn't say don't bother. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read the uncorrected proof of this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Denice

    The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison is a fun, light read about 3 women who bond over food and form a friendship. Trista, a former lawyer, buys a bar and decides to form a cookbook club as a way to try out recipes for the bar. She advertises the cookbook club on social media. Margo, whose husband has just left her, and Aja, who is alone and pregnant, answer the ad. The story of how each woman starts over is interspersed with wonderful descriptions of food. (If you get hungry and want to try the re The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison is a fun, light read about 3 women who bond over food and form a friendship. Trista, a former lawyer, buys a bar and decides to form a cookbook club as a way to try out recipes for the bar. She advertises the cookbook club on social media. Margo, whose husband has just left her, and Aja, who is alone and pregnant, answer the ad. The story of how each woman starts over is interspersed with wonderful descriptions of food. (If you get hungry and want to try the recipes, don’t despair! The recipes are included at the end of the book!) I enjoyed the book, however, I expected that there would have been more of a focus on the women’s relationships with each other and how they supported each other with each of their personal issues. Each chapter focused on a character, telling that specific character’s story. Every once in awhile, the characters came together. The reader does not experience their developing bond at all. The characters are likeable. I was interested in each of their stories, however, some of the plot-lines felt unfinished. I’d like to know what happened with some of the relationships with other characters. The book ended abruptly. Perhaps there will be a sequel or this could be a start of a series?? If Beth Harbison did decide to write a series based on these characters, I would definitely read it. I grew to care about these characters and would like to see what happens in their futures. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a light-hearted quick read with relatable characters, a touch of romance, and mouth-watering descriptions of food. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher of The Cookbook Club for providing me with an ARC of this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beppie

    Beth Harbison! Beth! Lovely book writing lady...how is it that I had never discovered the joy of a Harbison book until now??? NetGalley, I will forever be grateful that you said "Yes, dear reader you may certainly receive an advanced copy of this delightful, heart-warming new novel!" Thanks to your generosity and Beth's (Yes, her book has definitely put she and I on a first name basis! Well, actually I'm a Beth too so that alone makes us kin! Lol!) Comforted, welcomed, feel-good, delicious, hilar Beth Harbison! Beth! Lovely book writing lady...how is it that I had never discovered the joy of a Harbison book until now??? NetGalley, I will forever be grateful that you said "Yes, dear reader you may certainly receive an advanced copy of this delightful, heart-warming new novel!" Thanks to your generosity and Beth's (Yes, her book has definitely put she and I on a first name basis! Well, actually I'm a Beth too so that alone makes us kin! Lol!) Comforted, welcomed, feel-good, delicious, hilarious, mischievous, hugged, charming and truthful! All words I will use to describe how reading " The Cookbook Club: A Novel" made me feel from first page to last! My only complaint is that it came to an end too soon!! It isn't often that a book does that to me, but Harbison's wonderfully flawed and absolutely perfect trio of friends who bond over food, friendship, and shared joys and sorrows made me wish I could actually meet them! I want to call them friends! This reading experience has convinced me to call my own BFFs and inform them (yes, attendance will not be optional!) that we're going to start having a monthly (at the minimum!) Cookbook Book Club complete with mandatory delicious food offerings and tons of irreplaceable memory making! Here's hoping that the enthusiasm of my retelling will have the same influence on them as this book had on me! If yes...then we're doing it!! Never underestimate the power of a book to connect to real life! Sooooo, if you haven't determined by now that I wholeheartedly encourage you to read this sweet little book, then you have just not been paying attention! Happy reading and Bon appetit! #TheCookbookClub #NetGalley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    The Cookbook Club is a story about 3 women in their 30's who come together with a cookbook book club. Trista, who started the book club, is a former lawyer who buys a bar and is auditioning recipes to use in the bar. Margo's husband abruptly leaves her. She is a real estate agent who does a You tube channel cooking show (mainly for her parents and their friends). Lastly, is Aja, a yoga instructor and is pregnant. The story held my interest and was a quick read. I felt the story ended abruptly and The Cookbook Club is a story about 3 women in their 30's who come together with a cookbook book club. Trista, who started the book club, is a former lawyer who buys a bar and is auditioning recipes to use in the bar. Margo's husband abruptly leaves her. She is a real estate agent who does a You tube channel cooking show (mainly for her parents and their friends). Lastly, is Aja, a yoga instructor and is pregnant. The story held my interest and was a quick read. I felt the story ended abruptly and wrapped-up some story lines, but left others incomplete. Maybe this leaves the opening for another Cookbook Club book. I can see how another book could finish the stories of all the characters. There were a couple of things that I didn't like about the book. The first 2 or 3 chapters talked about Margo cooking. I like details in a book - but the cooking details were just too much. Through out the book name brands of stores and products stood out and it felt like they were being plugged. For example: Rent-a-Center could have been just a rental store. I'm not sure why this bothered me - it just felt like a movie with a lot of product placement in it. I want to thank Harper Collins and Goodreads for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. It is set to be published in October of this year.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shoshanah

    The Cookbook Club was such a delicious read! The premise is of three women who discover eachother on Instagram and form a cookbook club where each month they meet and share recipes from a specific cookbook. This idea reminded me so much of my mom! She was a collector of cookbooks and had a whole wall of shelves built to display her collection. It was so exciting reading this book when I’d recognize books from my mom’s collection. Most exciting was even a specific dish, Chicken Marbella from The S The Cookbook Club was such a delicious read! The premise is of three women who discover eachother on Instagram and form a cookbook club where each month they meet and share recipes from a specific cookbook. This idea reminded me so much of my mom! She was a collector of cookbooks and had a whole wall of shelves built to display her collection. It was so exciting reading this book when I’d recognize books from my mom’s collection. Most exciting was even a specific dish, Chicken Marbella from The Silver Palate Cookbook. This recipe is one my mom sent to me when I asked for a suggestion of a meal to make for my now husband, early on when we were dating. As for the story itself, it was adorable. I’ve read a couple other books by @bethharbisonbooks before (most notably the Shoe Addict books) and this followed a similar formula. I did like following their stories and seeing how each one grew, but at times I was there was more focus on the meetings themselves and the dish each women brought. Still though I adored this one! And of course was delighted to find a couple of recipes in the back. Several sound delicious, but I’m most excited to try the recipe for Curried Deviled Eggs. 4.5/5 I was provided this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kali Cannizzaro

    The Cookbook Club By Beth Harbison Harper Collins Publishers This book gained my attention with, you guessed it, the cover. Isn’t it delightful? I love cooking (and eating) and the story is one that sounded amazing to me. Although it might appear to be similar in content or feel to The Taste of Longing, this work of fiction bears no resemblance. Initially, the protagonist (Margo) and her suddenly estranged husband seemed unrealistic and silly. However, as the story progressed I enjoyed reading abo The Cookbook Club By Beth Harbison Harper Collins Publishers This book gained my attention with, you guessed it, the cover. Isn’t it delightful? I love cooking (and eating) and the story is one that sounded amazing to me. Although it might appear to be similar in content or feel to The Taste of Longing, this work of fiction bears no resemblance. Initially, the protagonist (Margo) and her suddenly estranged husband seemed unrealistic and silly. However, as the story progressed I enjoyed reading about Margo’s developing friendships. As an amateur foodie, I enjoyed reading about familiar celebrity recipes and the character’s experiences with food. On a whim, Margo joins a cookbook club and it is clear from the start that it is the start of an unlikely but bonded circle of women. The host takes notes after each meeting, another example of parts of the book that seem silly and do not add anything to the story. Nevertheless, it was fun to watch these women help one another when they stumble and to bond over their shared love of good food. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the ebook so I could write this unbiased review! #NetGalley #HarperCollinsPublishers #TheCookbookClub #foodiebooks #booksforcooks #foodlove #summerreads #beachreads #bookstagram

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