Book Clubs Rejoice: The 2017 One Book has a Kit!

J. Ryan Stradal presents at the 2016 South Dakota Festival of Books. Stradal was named the 2017 One Book South Dakota author. 

Attention book club captains, teachers, discussion leaders: J. Ryan Stradal has made your life easier.

The 2017 One Book South Dakota author created a "Kitchens of the Great Midwest" kit for book clubs or anyone else who wants to get in the Midwestern cooking spirit as they read Stradal's bestselling book.

Book Club Kit: Recipes, Music, Wine and More

The book club kit includes discussion questions, sample recipes -- even a Spotify playlist. So, if you were worried about preparing for that upcoming book club meeting, worry no more.

"We are excited about the unique and technologically progressive approach J. Ryan took to assemble this assortment of reader goodies," said Jennifer Widman, director of the South Dakota Festival of Books. "This is like a 'to go' box filled with everything on the book club menu just in case you need it."

The book club kit includes: 

  • Discussion questions
  • Reviews of the book
  • Book party snack recipes
  • Wine pairings
  • Author Q&A
  • A Spotify music playlist hand-picked by Stradal

So, choose a glass of wine, queue up a special Spotify playlist and cook some "Kitchens of the Great Midwest" fare for your fellow bibliophiles to enjoy during your book discussion. Whether you choose the included discussion questions or select your own, your book club or reading group will have plenty to talk about with this year's selection.

The 2017 One Book South Dakota is

About "Kitchens of the Great Midwest"

From Lutheran church bake-offs to chili-pepper eating contests, the 2017 One Book captures the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of "foodie" culture, and the ways food creates community and influences identity.

"Kitchens of the Great Midwest" centers on Eva Thorvald, born into a food-obsessed family and blessed with a uniquely sensitive palate. By turns quirky, hilarious and vividly sensory, this book tells an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life – its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises.

Stradal's 2017 Schedule

A popular presenter at the 2016 South Dakota Festival of Books, Stradal will appear at four special dinner events this year – three during the week of July 17-21 and one immediately prior to the 2017 Festival of Books in Deadwood (Sept. 21-24), where he will deliver a keynote address.

Watch for schedule details!

A native of Hastings, Minn., Stradal edits the fiction section of The Nervous Breakdown and works as an editor-at-large at Unnamed Press. His shorter writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review of Books and McSweeney's: The Goods, among other places.

He lives in Los Angeles and has worked as a TV producer, notably for the History Channel's Ice Road Truckers and Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch.

Host a Discussion and Supply Your Club With Books

Apply to host an SDHC-sponsored reading group at

Your $50 application fee will get you up to 30 copies of "Kitchens of the Great Midwest" from our Lending Library and a scholar to lead your discussion.

Click the link below and enter your email address to get a free copy of the book kit as well as 2017 South Dakota Festival of Books updates.

How Can You Get a Copy of the Kit? 

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