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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the night circus, book club, and chocolate covered strawberries

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into
love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

I am proud to say that I am part of a fantastic book club.  My former coworkers and I used to meet from time to time to discuss books during lunch breaks, and after some of us moved on to other organizations, we decided to revamp the old book club so we could hang out more.  We chose The Night Circus for our first read and met last week for a black and white themed book club party. 

The feast - just as important as the book discussion.  As another friend's book club likes to say: "half read, well fed." 

We even dressed in black and white (with splatches of red!) drawing our inspiration from le reveurs in the story.  

The general concessus from our discussion was that The Night Circus was like a really pretty movie.  The story was really enjoyable, the descriptions of the circus were so fun, and the turn of the century setting left me feeling very nostalgic.  But when it was all over, I thought "wait, what did I just read?  I don't think that made a lot of sense."  If you like the books you read to make sense and have some meaning, my recommendation is to do exactly what I do with pretty movies: enjoy it for what it is and don't ask a lot of questions.  For this reason, I think The Night Circus would make for great summer reading.  And speaking of movies, I think this story would translate better as a movie than as a book; you could get carried away with the magic and imagery of the circus without worrying so much about character development and plot consistency. 

My contribution to the black and white feast were these chocolate covered strawberries.  I had never made them before, and I was surprised by how little effort they required.  I rinsed and dried the strawberries, melted a few squares of baking chocolate (found in the baking aisle at the grocery store), and dipped the strawberries in the chocolate.  I let them dry on parchment paper and stuck the white chocolate strawberries in the fridge for a bit because they weren't setting quite right.  Et voila!  A delicious, simple treat for all of us reveurs

Do you have any ideas for fun themed parties?

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