Dear Book Clubs,
Along with the fabulous team at Park Row Books, I've created a downloadable book club kit for clubs who want to chat all things Ben and June! Complete with discussion questions, a "behind the book" feature, themed recipes, and a Spotify playlist, I hope our kit makes your club's meeting one to remember. Please note that the kit does contain major spoilers, so download at your own risk!
Michelle Maxwell’s Potluck-Inspired
Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup balsamic reduction
1 fresh loaf of bread, sliced, or your cracker of choice
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffoned
8 oz. goat cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
In a bowl, toss tomatoes with olive oil and salt.
If using bread, toast the slices.
In another bowl, add garlic powder to goat cheese. Whip with a fork until smooth.
Spread cheese on bread or crackers, top with tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
For a more casual serving style, serve whipped goat cheese in a bowl, topped with tomatoes, basil, and balsamic, and enjoy as a dip.
For a glass
1.5 oz vodka
4 oz unflavored sparkling water
2 ½ tsp lime juice
2 ½ tsp simple syrup
8-10 fresh mint leaves
5 fresh raspberries for garnish
Lime rounds for garnish.
For a 32 oz pitcher
8 oz vodka
18 oz unflavored sparkling water
2 oz lime juice
2 oz simple syrup
1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
6 oz fresh raspberries for garnish
Lime rounds for garnish.
Muddle mints leaves in the bottom of a glass or pitcher.
Drop in ice, add vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup, then mix thoroughly. Finally, pour in the sparkling water, add the raspberries, and stir.
Garnish glasses with lime rounds and enjoy.
To turn the cocktail into a mocktail, replace vodka with the same amount of sparkling water.
As a professional dancer, music is a big part of June’s world, and I’ve created “June’s Favorite Playlist” in hopes that it will transport you into it. Some of the songs are inspired by direct passages in the book, like the one on page 173, which reads: “…June would create choreography for one song—usually Lizzo or Beyoncé, but sometimes something more obscure—and then she’d teach it to her students.” Others are songs I imagine Michelle would have played at her famous potlucks, while the last six I chose to mimic the emotional beats of the book’s final act. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the music behind the novel.