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Food for thought: Tasty Reads book club explores culinary literature – Charleston Gazette

HUNTINGTON If there’s any truth to the idea that you are what you eat, then maybe the members of Cicada Books and Coffee’s popular Tasty Reads Book Club should adopt a new slogan: you are what you read.

The club started in January of 2019 when two Dawns — Cicada owner Dawn Hylbert and social media manager/part-time barista Dawn Nolan — were brainstorming ideas for free events that would help build an engaged community for the new bookstore in the heart of Huntington’s antique district.

“We were trying to come up with a unique twist on a book club, whether we were going to do best sellers, we were going to do a certain genre, a certain demographic, or what,” said Nolan.

Hylbert is a self-described “foodie” who reportedly knows how to cook, and Nolan, who’s also a foodwriter, had read several biographies of chefs.

“There are an amazing amount of people who want to read cookbooks,” said Hylbert.

But wait. There’s a lot more here than “a quarter teaspoon of this” and “a half a cup of that.” Before your eyes glaze over and you feel the beginnings of a yawn coming on, consider the rich histories of food from all walks of life, from other cultures, other countries, other periods in time.

Consider, too, the lengthy list of well-known names, titles and tales: “Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook,” a New York Times bestselling memoir by Alice Waters; “Like Water for Chocolate,” a novel by Laura Esquivel; “Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder,” part of a series of food-themed mysteries by Joanne Fluke; and “Garlic and Sapphires,” one of several hits by New York Times undercover food critic Ruth Reichl.

Nolan made a list of possible titles. It was long. And just like that, they had all the ingredients they needed for

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