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The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship

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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  733 ratings  ·  224 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 peo
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Paperback, 348 pages
Published October 20th 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  733 ratings  ·  224 reviews


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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.
Jessica Haider
The Cookbook Club is a fun light read about 3 women who started out as strangers but became friends when they formed a cookbook club. Each month they meet and cook recipes from a selected cookbook. Over the course of a month, we hear from their alternating perspectives as they deal with what is going on in their lives. Margo is shocked when her husband announces that he is moving to California and wants a divorce. Trista was fired from the law firm she worked at and starts running her own restau ...more
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
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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
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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. ...more
Mom_Loves_Reading
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
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Susan Tunis
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
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Nicole
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it
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
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Barb Martin
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I was disappointed.

Margo's sad excuse for a husband announces he's leaving her, and she retreats to cookbooks and cooking fabulous foods as a sad response. I was elated, thinking I was about to embark upon a story akin to "The School of Essential Ingredients," in which food and feeling intertwine into a deep and satisfying experience.

Nope.

Food shows up regularly, but it isn't given the orgasmic write-up that I desired. Instead, Margo meets two new women, and the three of them have their separate
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Kristy
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
AngryGreyCat
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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K D
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: light, fluffy reading.
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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
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Olivia
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Chloe (Always Booked)
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
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Talie
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, 2020-books
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
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Jodie (That Happy Reader)
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Stefanie
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
The warmth of the oven fills the home as the scents of baked goods and oven roasted chicken permeate the space. Fresh fruits, spices, chopped vegetables, and a plethora of dirty dishes litter the kitchen counter as the aftermath of your cooking binge is on display. Cooking, baking, conjuring up food that you picture in your mouth, either savory or sweet, it’s all such a soothing experience. And the only thing that makes you feel like you’re doing something right in life.

The Cookbook Club is a sw
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Shannon (The Book Club Mom)
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I ate this book up in just a few sittings. Ha! See what I did there? Wink, wink. I was hungry for a good story about female friendship, and The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison satisfied my craving. Okay, okay, I’m done. No more cheesy jokes...I promise! Hahaha! All joking aside, I really did enjoy this wonderful novel that follows three women: Margo, Aja, and Trista. I admired this trio very much. They’re all fun, likable, strong, relatable, and going through some major life changes. Margo is in ...more
Susan Ballard
3.75 / 5 🌟

If you love cooking, and friendship with a sprinkling of romance, don’t miss this book. It even has recipes in the back!

Trista is setting out on a new venture of owning a restaurant after being fired from her position at the law firm. She puts out an ad for the Cookbook Club, a perfect place to try new recipes and meet new people.

Margo has just been left by her jerk of a husband. He’s left her with a house mortgage and a farmhouse that is in disrepair. Seeing the ad for the Cookbook Cl
...more
Cozy Cat Reviews
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a charming read by one of my favorite fiction authors. The Cookbook Club is a delightful women's fiction story of women friends that come together at a cross roads in each of their lives with a love for food and cooking at the heart of their friendships. I loved the writing, the charcters and that each woman is featured as a strong person in charge of her own life. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity.. My review opinion is my own.

Three women come together at
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Lynn
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The story of three different women, who connect through a Cookbook Club, whose point is to make something from that month's cookbook and bring it to the meeting. The story follows Margo, Aja and Trista through a six month period of upheavals and triumphs. Although I enjoyed this book, the four star rating comes from the fact that I felt the ending was rather rushed. It felt to me as if the Epilogue was there to say "OK, I'm done writing, so this is what happened." Oth ...more
Suzanne
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
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 ...more
Kathleen
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Cute read. Romance meets cook book. Good fun book to read over a beach vacation
Angela
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick and easy book to get through. All things considered there was very little drama, events happened and the characters moved on with their lives. My main complaint is that there's no real time to interact and bond with any of them and get to know them properly. The book club could have been a really good place to interact with everyone, but other then 1-2 times that I remember, it doesn't show up again and everyone is off doing their own thing. The story ends suddenly and while som ...more
Vicki
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Angela
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was just okay - I didn't dislike it, but didn't overly like it either. The story was predictable and honestly just boring. Recipes were probably the best part of the book. ...more
Karen Axnick
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Janilyn Kocher
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Ashley
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
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Beth Harbison grew up in Potomac, Maryland, in the shadow of Washington, D.C. Apart from the occasional irritation at being held up in traffic by a presidential motorcade, she has remained fairly uninvolved in the politics that define her home town. Her next novel, tentatively called THE COOK BOOK BOOK CLUB, comes out October 20, 2020.


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“When they got to the table, it was easy to recognize some of the dishes just from their pictures in the book. Skillet Broken Lasagna, which smelled of garlic and bright tomato; Fluffy Popovers with Melted Brie and Blackberry Jam (she started eating that the minute she picked it up and could have cried at the sweet, creamy-cheesy contrast to the crisp browned dough). There were also the two versions of the coconut rice, of course, and Trista had placed them next to the platter of gorgeously browned crispy baked chicken with a glass bowl of hot honey, specked with red pepper flakes, next to it, and in front of the beautifully grilled shrimp with serrano brown sugar sauce.
Every dish was worthy of an Instagram picture. Which made sense, since Trista had, as Aja had pointed out, done quite a lot of food porn postings.
There was also Cool Ranch Taco Salad on the table, which Margo had been tempted to make but, as with the shrimp dish, given that she had been ready to bail on the idea of coming right up to the last second, had thought better of, lest she have taco salad for ten that needed to be eaten in two days.
Not that she couldn't have finished all the Doritos that went on top that quickly. But there hadn't been a Dorito in her house since college, and she kind of thought it ought to be a cause for celebration when she finally brought them back over the threshold of Calvin's ex-house.
The Deviled Eggs were there too, thank goodness, and tons of them. They were creamy and crunchy and savory, sweet and- thanks to an unexpected pocket of jalapeño- hot, all at the same time. Classic party food. Classic church potluck food too. Whoever made those knew that deviled eggs were almost as compulsively delicious as potato chips with French onion dip. And, arguably, more healthful. Depending on which poison you were okay with and which you were trying to avoid.
There was a gorgeous galaxy-colored ceramic plate of balsamic-glazed brussels sprouts, with, from what Margo remembered of the recipe, crispy bacon crumbles, sour cranberries, walnuts, and blue cheese, which was- Margo tasted it with hope and was not disappointed- creamy Gorgonzola Dolce.”
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“Wait, sweetheart, you're not gonna card me?" He looked, bright eyed, at his table mates to join in the joke. "What, do I look old or something?"
She'd dealt with this before. "No, you look honest."
The guy to his left- this time central casting's Joseph (as in Jesus, Mary, and)- slapped his back and crowed at her response. "You thought you had her! She got you good, buddy!”
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