Book Club – By the Book

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Our most recent read for book club was By the Book by Jasmine Guillory.  It was a fantastic book and just what I needed to start the year off right!  It is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and it was fun, not too heavy, and entertaining.  Its genre is technically Romance, but compared to other books we’ve read, the “heat” level was mild.

I also enjoyed the story because it takes place in the literary world.  The main character, Izzy, is an editor’s assistant at a publishing company called Tale As Old As Time.  It was fun getting a peak behind the curtain as to what happens in the publishing world.  It was also fun to see how much Izzy loves books. I loved all the little hints at Beauty and the Beast, like the publishing company’s name.

Izzy is assigned to work with first-time author and celebrity, Beau.  He proves beastly to work with at first (see what I did there), but of course things heat up from there.  I also liked reading a story with two leading character that were Black.  She alludes to the struggle of being a professional Black woman and walking the tightrope of speaking up for yourself without being viewed as the “angry Black woman”.  I could certainly relate!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun and easy read.  It’s also a good way to dip your way into the Romance genre without it making you blush.

There is an incredible snack cabinet mentioned often in the book, so I used that as some of my menu inspiration.  A really delicious chocolate cake was also mentioned, so I added that to the menu for dessert.  Here’s what we had:

  • Salami
  • Tomato-flavored potato chips
  • Fig and rosemary crackers
  • Takis
  • Pork rinds
  • Sweet plantain chips
  • pretzels
  • cracker nuts
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (if you’re looking for a reliably tasty chocolate cake recipe, this one is it!)
  • green juice (recipe below)


Have you read this book or any others by Jasmine Guillory?  If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Our next read is going to be The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken, I think it’s going to be a good one!  You can also see what else we read by looking at my Book Club page or checking out my Book Club board on Pinterest.


One of the other things mentioned in the book is a green juice that Beau tried to get Izzy to drink. I made may own version for the book club ladies.  A couple of us added blanco tequila and it was really good!

I found this Evolution Green Devotion green juice blend so I used that, but I’m sure there are other green juices out the by different brands.

Just make sure you’re using one that doesn’t already have pineapple juice, since we’ll be adding some.  I’ll be honest, I came up with the ratios to hide the dirt and vegetal flavor of the green juice.  It you like that flavor, feel free to tweak the ratios with more green juice.

Shake your green juice and pineapple juice really well.  Pour those and the coconut water into a bowl or small pitcher.   Stir it all together really well.

Fill your favorite glass with ice and pour the juice mixture in.  Serve with a straw and enjoy!

Keep in mind the green juice may settle, so give it a little stir occasionally if you’re going to sip on it awhile.



The Green Beast
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  • 3 ounces green juice
  • 2 ounces coconut water
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice


  1. Shake green juice and pineapple juice really well.  
  2. Pour those and coconut water into a bowl or small pitcher.  
  3. Stir together really well.
  4. Fill your favorite glass with ice and pour juice mixture in.  
  5. Serve with a straw and enjoy!
  6. Stir occasionally if you're going to sip on it awhile.

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