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October Meeting -Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

  • Oct 19, 2013 · 6:30 PM
  • Tim's House

Hi all!

Our October book is Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It has a spooky theme for October.  Here is what one review said about it:

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that 'The Devil in the White City' is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.

Happy reading and bon apetit!

Diane

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    had a nice time as always.

    October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks you all for your kind words and for visiting my new place. You are all very welcome; I really enjoyed it, and isn't garrulous a great word. ;-)

    Diane, I wrote up the quiche recipe yesterday and then lost it because it is over the limit of 1,000 characters. I'll write it up later and email it to you.

    October 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Diane/ti

      October 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey! I'd like recipe, too!!! ;)

      October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Tim, thanks hosting this = especially on rather short notice. As always I enjoyed the food and the efforts everyone put forth. I regret however about not thinking about warming the calzone, I took a piece home and it definitely better hot. Sorry ladies and Sir, obviously I was unplugged. I really enjoyed the book and thought was well written.

    October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you, Tim, for hosting. Conversation, company and food met the usual interesting/frolicking norm and no one tried to killed Deb though she did come within a few feet and a leap of jumping off the balcony! Hope to see you all again next month. :)

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fantastic food. Very creative and delicious. Good conversation both about the book and other topics.

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • Erika

    And thank you Tim for the THREE tasty quiches.

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • Erika

    Kudos to our intrepid host. Not many men would be so brave as to invite an unknown gaggle of garrulous women to their home just two weeks after moving in. And thank you, Tim, for introducing us to one of the hippest new up and coming neighborhoods in Denver! The conversation was particularly lively last night and the food freakishly festive. As per our conversation, I am researching ghost story nights now. Reese, let me know what you come up with and we can post the best thing we find.

    2 · October 20, 2013

  • Diane

    I would love it if the recipes were posted in discussions for the salmon-asparagus quiche and the black bean hummus.

    October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ha, you assume there is a recipe! I'll post what I know though.

      1 · October 20, 2013

  • Diane

    Such fun talking and eating! Thanks for having us as your first guests in your trendy new loft, Tim!

    October 20, 2013

  • Deb W.

    Tim, thank you for the hospitality. It was a very nice evening. Meg, I made it out to the highway without getting lost. There is hope for me after all! See you all next month.

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, I am not feeling very good.

    October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here are some details. I've got seven chairs, plates and glasses, silverware, and yep, quiche. My address is 3457 Ringsby Court, Denver, 80216. Visitor parking is on the far left of the lot as you drive in. (South side.) I am in unit 331. Go up to the third floor using either the elevator or stairs and then north'ish down the corridor. I am pretty sure the lobby door will be locked. If it is call me at (719)[masked] and I'll come down and let you in. Looking forward to this!

    1 · October 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi. Do you need an 8th chair? I can bring one if needed.

      October 18, 2013

  • Diane

    Menu update:
    Tim - vegetarian quiche
    Diane - pretzels
    Deb - spicy black bean hummus
    Reese - cupcakes
    Erika cupcakes
    Meg - Creepy calzone
    Shirley - cocoa chili

    October 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Vegetables: red cabbage, broccoli or quinoa or combo or variation thereof :)

      October 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ah! How'd we end up with two cupcakes? I can make something else? Erika, what flavor are yours? I don't want to duplicate.

    October 17, 2013

  • Diane

    The avocado thing is a no-go, so I am going to try my hand at homemade pretzels.

    October 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Do we sign up for food by just posting? I'm going to make Devil's Food cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting.

    1 · October 16, 2013

    • Diane

      Hi Reese! Yes, just post what you're bringing so that we can all plan around each dish. Thanks!

      October 17, 2013

    • Diane

      And that's an excellent thing to bring!

      October 17, 2013

  • Deb W.

    After much waffling (food pun intended) this month, I am making spicy black bean hummus.

    1 · October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry I have a real bad cold. Enjoy and see you soon.

    October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am making quiche in honor of the French participation in the fair. ;-)

    (Meat free quiche as after reading about Holmes, well...my conversion to vegetarianism is a step closer.)

    1 · October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well Deb, how about ribs! Just kidding. Used to love them took Diane;s leftovers last month. Now, I am not so sure...

    October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just started the book, so I don't know if anything will jump out at me, but deviled eggs came to mind. Also, white foods like "white pizza" or something with cauliflower or white chocolate? If you went with classic World's Fair food...waffles, fried ravioli. Or Chicago is famous for deep dish pizza and chicago style hot dogs.

    October 13, 2013

  • Deb W.

    OK guys. I am completely uninspired on what to cook this time. Any suggestions?

    October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here's a list of questions from literature lovers:
    http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/258-devil-in-the-white-city-larson?start=3
    Not sure I always like the questions, but it's a time saver!
    Also, some other groups ask each person to bring a question to ask - I think that's great. :)

    October 12, 2013

    • Diane

      Yes, thank you, I got it. What' are you making?

      October 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am bring cocoa chili--it sounds really good!

    1 · October 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Diane, if you want help with idea questions, I'm sure I can come up with a couple in a week. Might not be brilliant, but I'm sure something will come

    October 12, 2013

    • Diane

      Got some, thanks!

      October 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good to meet you. We are a fun group! The food is always excellent and of course, we get around to talking about the book! And other things as well! Meg

    2 · October 10, 2013

    • Deb W.

      We kind of talk about the book.

      1 · October 10, 2013

    • Diane

      This is a lot of pressure on me to bring good discussion questions about the book.

      October 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Tim,if you think that you will be unpacked and ready for company let's go with your place. If you find that you are behind let me know by about Wednesday and I'll jump in. Looking forward to meeting you and seeing your new digs.

    October 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Margaret. I am going for it. It will be a great way to break in my new place. I look forward to meeting you.

      October 10, 2013

  • Sonja H.

    HELP ! ! ! ! ! CALLING ALL BOOKWORMS ! ! ! ! ! I am SOOOOO very sorry for this but I just found out that I will be moving out of my place. Yes, I said just found out! Is anyone willing to pick up this month and I will take November or December, once I am settled in??????

    October 8, 2013

    • Sonja H.

      Yes, I am able to make the meet up but will not have my home set up until next month.

      October 9, 2013

    • Diane

      I'm glad we will still see you!

      October 9, 2013

  • Diane

    Margaret and Tim, thank you both for being such great team players. Would whoever of you would most like to host please email me and give me a better idea of where to choose? This is difficult on such short notice!

    October 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Diane, I will roll with which ever you choose. Thanks Tim for the offer

    October 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am also willing to host. I am just moving into Taxi II near Brighton Blvd. and 31st Street. Easy to get to and lots of parking and you will be my first official guests!

    Margaret already offered of course so I am just offering another option. Where ever we meet I am looking forward to this discussion!
    Tim

    1 · October 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    hi diane. I was kidding about the apt. It is an older fouplex which hasn't been renovated. However if there is someone else who wants to host that won't offend me.

    1 · October 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well, if no one is able to I will host this get together. I do live in a good central denver area which is easy to find and parking is easy. I hope that no one is offended by "1950's vintage Bohemiam' My apartment is a hoot -but...hands down the cheapest apt in this desireable neighborhood. Don't worry I have a bathroom and running water! Meg

    1 · October 8, 2013

  • Diane

    Whoops, I was a week early with the requests for posting your dish. Sorry!

    October 7, 2013

  • Diane

    Hi all, Let's start posting what we are bringing! Shall we have an October theme like fall or Hallowe'en, or maybe a Chicago theme? Hmmm, now I'm hungry for a hot dog.

    October 4, 2013

    • Erika

      Mmmm hot dogs, they're what keeps me healthy and youthful!

      1 · October 4, 2013

    • Diane

      Have you ever watched the show, "Chopped"? Contestants get a basket with some oddball ingredients and they have to make a delicious dish out of them. I am going to try to see if I can incorporate Shredded Wheat. I will make avocado quiche (from the Post cereal website recipe). If it's yucky, I'll substitute with a similar dish.

      October 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was thinking of bringing a creepy calzone - enough for everyone. And, no garlic!

    1 · October 5, 2013

  • Erika

    I'll bring spider cupcakes or should I bring flayed blond cupcakes (vanilla with red frosting?)?
    I'll bring the spider ones if I can find black frosting.

    And wine.

    1 · October 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    1 · October 4, 2013

    • Erika

      Great images. Thanks, Nancy!

      October 4, 2013

  • Diane

    Check it out, this book is being made into a movie next year! http://starseeker.com/2013-movies/the-devil-in-the-white-city-2012/

    October 4, 2013

  • Diane

    I don't like this book. :-(

    October 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Have you read all?

      October 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I like the book but wish there were more pictures of the fair and in one place at the book. Don't relish discussion of Holme's alternative reality especially with consumption of food! Really difficult to understand people who deliberately engineer nightmares for others to experience and then either enjoy watching the show or are indifferent.

      October 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I forgot that when Dr. Holmes purchased the property for the hotel in conjunction with the Worlds Fair, after meeting with builders and designers, he left for London (for almost a year) and then returned. The show was speculative, but the time frame for his prescence in London coinsidied exactly with the murders by Jack the Ripper and he had the precision of a good surgeon to have done it. Humj

    October 3, 2013

    • Deb W.

      I haven't seen that show. Very cool speculation.

      October 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Last night I saw something on the history channel that surprised me--a 2 hour documentary on Dr. Holmes from the booking. That was one creepy dude!

    October 3, 2013

  • Diane

    Look what I found! It is a recipe for a cocktail called, "Devil in the White City"

    Yield: Makes 1 drink
    Ingredients
    • 1 ½ oz gin
    • ½ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
    • ½ oz Simple Syrup
    • 1 oz Lemon Juice
    • 5-6 thin slices English cucumber
    Instructions
    Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well.
    Strain into a highball glass with ice, top with soda water and serve garnished with a cucumber slice.

    1 · September 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Former bartender (and now an experimental mixologist) checking in. This sounds a lot like an amazing martini I had at J. Alexander's. I could make this as my dish. Let me know.

      October 1, 2013

    • Diane

      Hi Reese! You may make whatever you like!

      October 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sweet. I have the date free and a copy of the book. Looking forward to meeting you all!

    October 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am liking the book, however not seeing the food connection, at least not yet.

    September 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent! I am gad to join the group and look forward to this. Shall I bring something? Tim

    September 22, 2013

    • Deb W.

      Hi Tim. We do a potluck dinner and everyone brings something. We'll start to post what we want to bring a couple of weeks in advance so we don't duplicate too much. We usually bring things inspired by the book, but this month is more of a Halloween inspired read. Anything is fair game.

      September 22, 2013

    • Diane

      Hi Tim, welcome aboard! Each month we choose a book to read and we will each contribute a dish to share that was inspired by the book. Your culinary contribution can represent anything at all about the book - the only stipulation is that the dish must be homemade (except wine, of course!) We will discuss the book, the food, and whatever else the company likes.

      September 25, 2013

  • Sonja H.

    Just a quick Public Service Announcement - 1) I can comfortably accommodate 10 folks . . . after that it is more close than cozy . . . 2) My home is a No Shoe home so please plan on checking your shoes at the door

    3) My home is pet and smoke free as well (for any with allergies) 4) If you will need the use of kitchen facilities, please let me know in advance.

    September 9, 2013

  • Sonja H.

    I would like to recomend: Silver Phoenix (Kingdom of Xia #1) by Cindy Pon (the book is fiction with food as a subplot). Just thought it would be nice to switch things up a bit.

    August 11, 2013

    • Sonja H.

      Synopsis:
      No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters. But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined. Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help. It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.

      August 11, 2013

  • Diane

    Hi everyone! Please RSVP only if you are going to attend! Please do not RSVP because you might attend, or hope to attend. It's getting out of hand with people signing up and then canceling at the last minute. Please be mindful. Thank you!

    August 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The Devil in the White City

    July 8, 2013

7 went

  • Diane
    Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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