Members and guests of Potpourri Book Club gathered recently for their October meeting and book review. The meeting was held in the home of Sue Nawas who had decorated her home beautifully for the Halloween season. Pumpkins, fall leaves, shed antlers, skulls — all were in evidence throughout the lovely home. Co-hosting with Nawas were Martha Woods, Carole Kilpatrick, and Lillian Gentry.

Potpourri president Kathy Patrick called the meeting to order and then deferred the business meeting so that Dianne Cage, the reviewer, could complete her review and then leave the meeting early for travel.

As always, Cage gave an interesting review. The book that she had chosen was “The Fish that Ate The Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King” by Rich Cohen. Cage carefully summarized what can be at times a difficult book, and did it well. The connections between the subject of the biography, Samuel Zemurray, and New Orleans (with emphasis on the French Quarter and Tulane University) made for a fascinating review. A Russian emigrant, Zemurray, was a colorful character, to be sure, and Cage showed how this biography showcases that.

He took too-ripe bananas, a good sense for business, mafia tactics, and an admirable intelligence to morph from poverty to untold riches.

Several members had read the book, and contributed to the lively discussion about the book.

Following the review, the business portion of the meeting was resumed. Georgiann Potts called the roll and read the minutes from the previous meeting. Carol Ransom gave the treasurer’s report.

Patrick then presented the book selected to honor the late Kaydell Jackson. She and Allison Mead had discussed options with Kaydell’s daughter and together had selected “Hooks, Lies, and Alibis: Louisiana’s Authoritative Collection of Game Fish & Seafood Cookery” by Chef John Folse and Michaela York.

There followed a brief discussion about the club’s upcoming Christmas party that will be hosted by Alpha Spence.

Following the close of the business meeting, the ladies retired to the home’s dining room to enjoy refreshments that had been provided by the hostesses.

The Nawas dining table was overflowing with delicious treats. Seen among the delights were tea sandwiches of black olive and cucumber, assorted crudités with dipping sauce, three-layer spice cake, and as a special tip of the hat to the “banana king” Zemurray — chocolate banana pudding.

Assorted sweets completed the menu.

Members enjoying the afternoon together were Stephanie Abell, Pat Blanchard, LaVerne Bodron, Dianne Cage, Allison Cattar, Barbara Cattar, Jane Conrad, Lillian Gentry, Kathy Hart, Lynn Hodge, Nancy Inabnett, Carole Kilpatrick, Janice Landry, Allison Mead, Sue Nawas, Lisa Nelson, Kelley Oakley, Kathy Patrick, Georgiann Potts, Carol Ransom, Linda Reeves, Denise Smith, Alpha Spence, Nancy Staab, Martha Woods, and Judy Worthen.

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