A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

About the Book

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

Euphoria Punch

Susie's own recipe created for our our book discussion of Euphoria by Lily King. A good thirst quencher for traveling down a steamy river in New Guinea.


16 ounces honey
10 ounces water
30 ounces rum
30 ounces (3 cups ish) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon Angostura bitters
40 ounces (5 cups) ginger ale
1 large ice block or several smaller blocks
Lemon slices
Mint leaves


Heat the honey and water and make a thin syrup. Let it cool. Add rum, lemon juice, and bitters. Combine with ginger ale and ice in glasses. Garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves.

Perfect Popcorn

Every year we gather for a movie night based on a book we’ve read. This year we are watching the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film, Rebecca, adapted from the book of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. So what’s the perfect snack for movie night? Popcorn, of course! Our member Lisa creates the best popcorn. She even teaches students how to make it—which I guess makes her the professor of popcorn!

Yields 9 - 12 cups, 1 serving of popcorn is 3 cups

½ cup popcorn kernels
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Add the popcorn, salt, and oil to a 4 quart or larger pan. Cover with a not-too-tight lid so steam can escape.

Place the pan over a medium heat. When the corn begins to pop, move the pan back and forth. You can hold the pot with both hands using a pot holder. Continue shaking the pan until the popcorn almost stops popping. 

Turn off the heat and carefully stir in any salt that has accumulated on the side.

Eat as is or top with one of these favorite toppings.

Bombay Bhel Popcorn

9 - 12 cups popped popcorn
3 Tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
2 pinches cayenne pepper
½ teaspoons onion powder
¼ cup minced cilantro
Juice of ½ a lime or lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
Zest of half a lemon or lime

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan over a low flame. Drizzle over warm popcorn. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over popcorn; toss to mix.

Cajun Popcorn

9 - 12 cups popped popcorn
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 t lemon zest

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Melt butter in the microwave on low for 20 seconds or in a saucepan over a low flame. Drizzle over warm popcorn. Combine remaining seasonings and sprinkle over popcorn; toss to mix.

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

9 - 12 cups popped popcorn
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toss mixture of sugar and cinnamon into popcorn.