My book club is the bomb. Ten years ago, my cousin Stefanie’s childhood friend Bianca left NY and returned to her native Los Angeles, where she formed a group largely of women she’d gone to high school with years ago at Marlborough School in Hancock Park. I was included in this awesome group of girls because I was new to town and I am lucky enough to be related to Stef, one of my favorite people on Planet Earth. Over the past decade our book club has been through a lot together. But just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes Courtney toting Prison Cheesecake, which we served with the good silver. Let it be said that Courtney does not present as a prison cheesecake kind of girl. But then, neither does Piper Kerman, the Smith grad and author of the book we were reading: Orange is the New Black:My Year in a Woman’s Prison, a memoir about Kerman’s year in a women’s prison. Here’s a link to Kerman’s Prison Cheesecake recipe on NPR’s site. (Warning: it involves Laughing Cow cheese, vanilla pudding and powdered creamer.) Her look at life in prison is brilliantly and poignantly told, but perhaps most important is the underlying message of the book, one that resonated with our book club. Women are pretty incredible and their friendships extraordinary. The proof is in the prison cheesecake.