Blog Archives

Valpolicella in Venice: The Talented Mr. Ripley

When I read Social Creature, then perused the reviews on Goodreads, I was surprised by the vitriol from folks calling it a cut-rate/derivative spin/lift of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. I really enjoyed Social Creature, but had no point of Ripley reference since I’ve never read said classic. But then fate intervened. Well, not [More]

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A Spanish White Wine Labyrinth

I got very ambitious as a reader, picking up a copy of a (nearly) 800-page book. No regrets! I gladly sacrificed some/much sleep to stay up and finish Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Let’s take a look at my review on Goodreads, shall we? The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz [More]

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Sex, Lees, and Social Media

I assiduously avoid reading (fiction) reviews on Goodreads prior to cracking open a book so as not to be prejudiced/predisposed to like or loathe it. I’d rather peruse the back cover teaser and a handwritten note from a bookstore employee. Also I find reviews to be spoiler-y. Not in a “The butler did it!” kind [More]

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Champagne, Doritos, and Sand

The best non-fiction books can open up a captivating world existing right under your nose. The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How it Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser falls into this category. I’ll get to the meat of the book but there’s a short passage explaining the title of this post [More]

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Champagne in “The Idiot” by Elif Batuman

Have you ever been reading a book and dreading the ending? Not that you’re worried it’s going to turn out super corny or hackneyed, but because you never want to finish the novel due to its compelling nature. This is the case with The Idiot by Elif Batuman. I’m on page 370 of 423. Our [More]

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Unexpected Wine and Food Match in James Salter’s Novel “Light Years”

Sometimes when you least expect it, expect it. That’s how wine sneaks up on me. Not like a bottle quietly tiptoeing behind me and then, “SURPRISE!” More of a coming across mentions of it while reading and thinking about the author’s experience with wine. Such is the case of the novel Light Years by James [More]

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The Novel “New York 2140” and Wine

I’m in the middle of reading New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, which I bought at the excellent bookstore, WORD, in my neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The plot? As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York [More]

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Where, When, How It’s Made: How Much More Do We Care About Food Than Wine?

Over on Grape Collective I reviewed a book called Wine and Identity: Branding, heritage, terroir. I was struck by this assertion in the introduction: “Unlike milk, flour, fruit or vegetables, consumers seek information about where, when and how wine is made, and this is a major factor in their purchase decisions.” My response? “I see [More]

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