Book Club

BookclubThe Slow Food Sacramento Book Club is a book club for readers who enjoy food-related literature, both non-fiction and fiction. The club meets at 6:30 pm on the second Thursday of every other month at one of our member’s homes. Everyone who attends brings an appetizer to share, and we enjoy an evening of lively literary discussion. At the close of each meeting we choose our next book based on recommendations from our members. New members are always welcome!

If you are interested in participating or if you would like more information, please contact Kathleen Albiani at

Upcoming Meetings and Books:

September 14, 2017

Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food: A Grocer's Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food

By Sam Mogannam & Dabney Gough

This cookbook and market guide, from the nation’s premier neighborhood grocery store, features expert advice on how to identify the top ingredients in any supermarket as well as 90 vibrant recipes to make optimal use of the goods.

No matter where you live or shop, Sam provides new insight on ingredients familiar as well unique, including:

  • Why spinach from open bins is better than prepackaged greens
  • What the material used to wrap cheese can tell you about the quality of the cheese itself
  • How to tell where an olive oil is really from—and why it matters
  • What “never ever” programs are, and why you should look for them when buying meat

More engaging than a field guide and more informative than a standard cookbook, and with primers on cooking techniques and anecdotes that will entertain, enlighten, and inspire, Eat Good Food will revolutionize the way home cooks shop and eat.


November 9, 2017

The Last Days of Café Leila

By Donia Bijan

This novel -- and immigrant saga and coming-of-age story -- provides  a look at Iran pre- and post-revolution. It begins with a present-day reunion: Noor, sent to America to study when the Islamists took over in the 1970s, has returned to Tehran to visit her beloved father, Zod. She is accompanied by her teenage daughter, Lily. The ailing Zod runs a diminished version of Café Leila, once a celebrated restaurant with an adjoining hotel and lush garden where Noor and her brother grew up.


January 11, 2018

Chow Chop Suey: Food and the Chinese American Journey

By Anne Mendelson

Chinese food first became popular in America under the shadow of violence against Chinese aliens, a despised racial minority ineligible for United States citizenship. The founding of late-nineteenth-century “chop suey” restaurants that pitched an altered version of Cantonese

cuisine to white patrons despite a virulently anti-Chinese climate is one of several pivotal events in Anne Mendelson’s thoughtful history of American Chinese food. Chow Chop Suey uses cooking to trace different stages of the Chinese community’s footing in the larger white society.


March 8, 2018

Out of Line: A Life of Playing With Fire

By Barbara Lynch

Celebrated chef Barbara Lynch credits the defiant spirit of her upbringing in tough, poor “Southie,” a neighborhood ruled by the notorious Whitey Bulger gang, with helping her bluff her way into her first professional cooking jobs; develop a distinct culinary style through instinct and sheer moxie; then dare to found an empire of restaurants ranging from a casual but elegant “clamshack” to Boston’s epitome of modern haute cuisine.

One of seven children born to an overworked single mother, Lynch was raised in a housing project. She earned a daredevil reputation for boosting vehicles (even a city bus), petty theft, drinking and doing drugs, and narrowly escaping arrest—haunted all the while by a painful buried trauma. Out of Line describes Lynch’s remarkable process of self-invention, including her encounters with colorful characters of the food world, and vividly evokes the magic of creation in the kitchen. It is also a love letter to South Boston and its vanishing culture, governed by Irish Catholic mothers and its own code of honor. Through her story, Lynch explores how the past—both what we strive to escape from and what we remain true to—can strengthen and expand who we are.


May 10, 2018

Jambusters: The Remarkable Story Which Has Inspired the ITV Drama Home Fires

By Julie Summers

The Second World War was Britain’s finest hour. The whole of its previous history - two decades of educating, entertaining and supporting women and campaigning on women's issues - culminated in the enormous collective responsibility felt by the members to “do their bit” for Britain. With all the vigor, energy and enthusiasm at their disposal, a third of a million country women set out to make their lives and the lives of those around them more bearable in what they described as “a period of insanity.” Jambusters tells the story of the minute and idiosyncratic details of everyday life during WWII. Making jam, making do and mending, gathering rosehips, keeping pigs and rabbits, housing evacuees, setting up canteens for the troops, knitting, singing and campaigning for a better Britain after the war – all these activities played a crucial role in war time.


July 12, 2018

Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America

By Linda Furiya

While growing up in Versailles, an Indiana farm community, Linda Furiya tried to balance the outside world of Midwestern America with the Japanese traditions of her home life. As the only Asian family in a tiny township, Furiya's life revolved around Japanese food and the extraordinary lengths her parents went to in order to gather the ingredients needed to prepare it.

As immigrants, her parents approached the challenges of living in America, and maintaining their Japanese diets, with optimism and gusto. Furiva, meanwhile, was acutely aware of how food set her apart from her peers: She spent her first day of school hiding in the girls' restroom, examining her rice balls and chopsticks, and longing for a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.

Bento Box in the Heartland is an insightful and reflective coming-of-age tale. Beautifully written, each chapter is accompanied by a family recipe of mouth-watering Japanese comfort food.