"Not Book Club Material is a memoir packed with wry humor, mouth-watering revelations, and insights that are candid, thought-provoking, and fun all in one. The introduction to this collection captures all these facets in a few succinct lines: "Before my first collection came out, I toyed with the notion of adding a recipe section in the middle of the book because many of the stories were about the Egyptian Jewish food I was raised on. Books, especially self-published story collections by completely unknown former powder paint salesmen are, as it turns out, surprisingly hard to market and I thought the recipes might be a compelling hook. One July morning, over a breakfast of scrambled eggs at the cottage, I made the mistake of casually suggesting it might be of interest for book clubs. I actually thought it was a pretty good idea. This led my sister-in-law to utter the sentence which became the family’s favorite line in the summer of 2020. “Your book,” she said in her completely honest and unfiltered style, “is not book club material.”
Thus, the title was born...and a rollicking ride through a life that introduces (and quickly answers) the question of what makes a good book club read and that book clubs…
Above all, enjoy vivid, thought-provoking material. Ironically, Not Book Club Material's stories represent these very things, and it would be a shame if book clubs judged the title by the size of its tales. Here lies bright, sparkling jewels of insight and experience in fun mix of reality and fantasy that features a host of characters and dilemmas and more than light references to food.
The delightful family stories usually conclude with ironic twists. Each stand-alone piece adds to the strength of the collection as a whole, providing enticing tidbits of facts and whimsy to delight the heart and mind like sugar on the tongue.
Perhaps now, more than ever, there is an exceptional need for the laughter, fun, and family reflections of the stories in Not Book Club Material. And these facets make for, ironically, perfect book club material indeed as readers navigate the Jewish culture, Egyptian heritage, and observations of food, love, and learning that permeate this collection.
Jewish, literary, and general-interest humor and memoir readers who delight stories of in food and family will all find Not Book Club Material a major attraction. And, yes, book clubs interested in any of these subjects should put it high on their reading lists."