Book Club Blowout – Wild by Cheryl Strayed
March 1, 2015
Welcome to Book Club Blowout – my monthly feature where I select a book for your book club along with food, drinks, costumes, games, decorations, music, or whatever I can think of to create a perfect themed event to make your book club just a little extra special. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a book I read awhile ago, but it has always stuck with me. Since Reese Witherspoon was just nominated for Best Actress for her role as Strayed in the movie, what better time to feature the book!
The book is all about hiking so get your hiking gear on! Find some good boots, dress in layers, and see if you can borrow a backpack full of gear to try out (we did this at my book club, and it is crazy to imagine Strayed hiking with as much as she did).
Wild is all about roughing it so the food is not quite as glamorous this month, but it can still be fun! You could do a trail mix buffet (everyone brings a different kind of trail mix to try out). However, I would take this opportunity to try out “astronaut” food – food that is freeze-dried that you might take with you on a camping trip. Will it be the best food of your life….of course not, but who isn’t mildly curious about what all of this tastes like? I’ve always wanted to try some of these out. rei.com even has gems like three cheese chicken pasta, enchiladas, honey lime chicken, and a wide variety of soups and chilis.
Again, not as exciting this month. If you are hiking, then of course water will be your main beverage (but that’s really not so fun for book club). Cheryl is a fan of Snapple lemonade so you can choose to serve that, or she does partake in a little beer while on her journey (but if you are not a beer fan as I’m not, then you might just choose to have some fun beverages for your guests that aren’t tied to the book).
When Oprah featured Wild as part of her book club, she developed these reader questions that make a great jumping off point for any discussion. The Random House website also has many resources for readers that can supplement your experience, including author information, discussion questions, and more books that you may enjoy if you were a fan of Wild.
If you really want to do your book club Wild-style then here are some options to really up the ante:
** hike to a predetermined location and hold your book club somewhere scenic where you can experience a little of what Strayed did
** even better – plan a camping trip! You can experience the camping, hiking, eating, and even reading that occurred in Wild. Maybe you will also meet some interesting people and animals!
** if the outdoors isn’t your scene, you could do a movie and book pairing! Watch the movie and then compare and contrast the book and movie. You can also determine who you would have cast in the different roles if you had been in charge.
What would you do if you were hosting a Wild book club?