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Cover Image of Imagining Argentina by Lawrence Thornton published by Bantam Books
Cover Image of My Life in France by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme published by Knopf
Cover Image of The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz, Celina Wieniewski published by Viking Press
 
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Friday, January 01, 2016

Wine & Book Group Pick for Jan-Feb 2016 (Wine & Book Club)

It's winter - let's revel in that. Who better to read this January and February than Sheila Watts-Cloutier, the Inuit writer whose book The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet is a manifesto on climate change and its effect on the indigenous peoples of Canada's north. Cloutier is a compelling speaker. I've listened to her in the media and on several radio programs. This book will change the way you view the plight of peoples of the North. Sheila is a member of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the non-governmental body representing the interests of Inuit people living in four Arctic nations. This led to her becoming a powerful advocate for Inuit rights at United Nations climate-change negotiations that garnered her nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

But the details of her upbringing and the stark contrast between the experience of living at home in the North compared with living at a lower latitude with a non-indigenous family during her formative years, highlights the importance of cultural identity and traditions.

As Naomi Klein writes in the Mar 13th issue of The Globe and Mail:

As the title of the book suggests, a major theme of The Right to Be Cold is how climate change poses an existential threat to cultures that are embedded in ice and snow. If the ice disappears, or if it behaves radically differently, then cultural knowledge that has been passed on from one generation to the next loses its meaning. Young people are deprived of the lived experience on the ice that they need to become knowledge carriers, while the animals around which so many cultural practices revolve disappear. As Watt-Cloutier has been arguing for well over a decade now, that means that the failure of the world to act to reduce its emissions to prevent that outcome constitutes a grave human-rights violation.

While some may snicker and say more NK hyperbole, we all know that the arctic at both poles are the puffin/penguin in the tunnel, and haunting images of polar bears clinging to a slab of ice condemn us all. Awareness is the forerunner to action, and the time for rhetoric has passed. We each need to become part of the solution to solving our planet's climate change issues.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Wine and Book Club: Sept - Oct (Wine & Book Club)

Ken Follet's new novel, the third volume in his Century trilogy is titled, Edge of Eternity, which is a bit of a cheesy sounding title but with his reputation and success as a writer and screenwriter, who are we to complain?

Though I have only read this last book in the series, it is a compelling stand-alone volume that does not require, but perhaps inspire, you to read the first two books in the series. Here is how KF's website describes the trilogy:

Throughout the "Century" trilogy, Ken has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now in Edge of Eternity they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all, the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll.

Growing up in the atomic era I can say that ETERNITY brought back vivid memories of my childhood and the fear we all lived under - which is something I have tried to explain to my children. The "duck and cover" bomb drills in school, the television interruptions posting the Indian head test pattern with a loud alarm tone and the announcer's words, "This is a test." etc. Every city and town block had a siren alarm box attached to the telephone poll. Living in the era of nuclear fear kept you awake at night, even as a child you had a pit of anxiety in your stomach and a sense of impending doom. The Kubric film "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/">Dr. Strangelove was an apt cautionary parody of geo-politics of the day. Now I can point my children who are each in varying degrees students of history, to this book as it captures the era pungently.

That is the benefit of historical fiction, and why KF made the

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wine & Book Pick for July-Aug (Wine & Book Club)

Summer is the time for light wines and heavy reads. It's when women put a chunk of ice and a sprig of mint in our tumblers of Pinot Gris, while men swirl great bowls of frosted Rose to go with their finely barbecued skirt steak. What books go best with these delights? While it's not a heavy read, it comes from a heavy-hitting writer. J.K. Rowling's new detective genre mystery, The Silkworm (A Cormoran Strike Novel) is getting rave reviews. It's under a pseudo name John Galbraith, and will satisfy your desire for a killer plot that's set in the publishing world involving a novelist Owen Quine, his wife Leonora Quine and an investigator named Strike who she hires to find said missing husband. Turns out of course he's been brutally murdered and everyone becomes a suspect: the editor, the agent, the publisher, jealous writer friends — you get the picture.

For the wines we suggest La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Ventoux Rosé 2011, Rhone Valley, France
Price: $14 | Score: 86/100
UPC: 00631470000124

Wine writer Anthony Gismondi writes, "You will love the pale salmon, copper colour, and its bright floral, strawberry jam, licorice, spicy fruity aromas. The attack is food friendly, dry and fresh with a slightly austere palate. Flavours are a mix of strawberry, cherry jam, licorice and toasted floral flavours. Always a fresh bet for summer with plenty of citrusy fruit. Try it with veal kebabs."

For the Pinot Gris we suggest Okanagan Wine Fest winner Hester Creek Estate Winery's Pinot Blanc 2012.
Price: $16.95 | Score: 80-90's/100 for estate wines UPC: UPC: 626990050032;

The LCB lists this wine as, "Like icewine, this late harvest wine has a refreshing acidity that balances the tastes of peach, apple and honey with a hint of tangerine. It pairs well with any dessert featuring vanilla, cheese and a hint of sweetness." Perfect for summer sipping.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wine & Book Group Pick for Feb-Mar 2012 (Wine & Book Club)

Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan won Canada's highest honor, The Scotiabank Giller Prize for 2011. Esi was also longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and the Ethel WIlson Fiction Prize. That is a lot of final lists! Take a peek as Esi is awarded her prize at the Giller Prize ceremony followed by her interview on Canada AM.

The author's website describes the novel as: "Berlin, 1939. A young, brilliant trumpet-player, Hieronymus, is arrested in a Paris cafe. The star musician was never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black.

Fifty years later, Sidney Griffiths, the only witness that day, still refuses to speak of what he saw. When Chip Jones, his friend and fellow band member, comes to visit, recounting the discovery of a strange letter, Sid begins a slow journey towards redemption.

From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris, Sid leads the reader through a fascinating, little-known world, and into the heart of his own guilty conscience.

Half-Blood Blues is an electric, heart-breaking story about music, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wine & Book Group Pick for December (Wine & Book Club)

There has been a general trend in western society toward political apathy to the point where both the US and Britain have gone down on the "democracy index" as compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a think tank that examines information collected on countries around the world. Evidence shows poor voter turnout, bounding cynicism, young people like those of the occupy movement disenfranchised with the political system, the candidates running and disgust for the collusion between big money and big government. The US is frustrated by political gridlock and a seemingly backward mandate by fully 50% of the political combatants. The Euro debt crisis further shows government mangling our collective economic future.

As a timely respite, Canada Reads —the countrywide competition to choose the next book that Canadians will read en mass, discuss and possibly become influenced by—was announced yesterday. The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis is a great way for folks on both sides of the 49th parallel to enjoy a political satire addressing all of the above.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wine & Book Group Pick For Aug-Sept 11 (Wine & Book Club)

Fantasy isn't generally speaking "my bag" but this book came so highly recommended by people I admire that I decided to give it a try. Glad I did. Lev Grossman writes in a style that's easy to fall into within the first page. The Magician King (Penguin, 2011) is categorized as psychological fiction. Some call it urban fantasy. It is the sequel to Grossman's first NYT bestseller and "literary phenomenon of 2009". Juno Diaz (author of The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao) calls it "a stirring, complex adventurous coming-of-age fantasy." It's about three brilliant college students who've known each other since childhood owing to the Brookline school system's propensity to "sort out the gifted [students] and shove them together, then separate the ridiculously brilliant ones from the merely gifted ones and shove them together; and as a result they'd been bumping into each other in the same speaking contests and regional Latin exams and tiny, specially convened ultra-advanced math classes since elementary school." pg 4. Everyone loves to read about exceptional people. And fantasy has been reeling them in from Narnia to Harry Potter. We are drawn into contemporary fantasy where the landscape is the imagination.

Quentin is the thin tall hero of the story. Julia and James are his schoolmates. Together they find unexpected power and the dark side of hedonism and disillusionment in a place called Fillory. (Don't worry - like all good fantasies there is a map on the first page.) I can't think of a better way to lose oneself at the close of summer.

And now the wines...

Friday, October 01, 2010

Wine & Book Group Pick for Oct-Nov '10 (Wine & Book Club)

Take October and November to discover these two great finds matched for the pleasure of Wine & Book Club members here at BookBuffet. When a book is named best work of fiction by the Texas Institute of Letters and long-listed for the Orange Prize (alongside Toni Morrison and Marilynne Robinson) and short-listed for the Orange Prize for New Writers, you can safely assume it will be a worthwhile read. I am referring to Ann Weisgarber's debut novel The Personal History of Rachel DuPree. For the feature wine we've selected a wonderful Zinfandel from Quivira Vineyards situated in a wine growing region called the "Dry Creek Valley" in California near the village of Healdsburg. We passed through this picturesque town on a drive up from LA to Vancouver-Whistler and walked the streets, toured the lovely bookstore, stopped for a delicious lunch. From there it's a short drive up to Quivira, a local family owned estate winery where they make a wonderful Zin and some up-and-coming Sauvignon Blancs as well. Add to that their fabulous estate garden, a 130 year old fig tree and estate sold honey, olive oil and preserves and you get a full terroir experience right there at the tasting room. The BookBuffet Wine & Book Club is a great way to discover new wines and touring destinations. So read the book, taste the wine at home or with friends and share your discussion/tasting notes online. You are in for an incredible reading and tasting experience. We believe in feeding the mind and the body!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wine & Book Group Pick For Aug-Sep '10 (Wine & Book Club)

My girlfriend was excoriating me the other day for not having read any novels by Swedish blockbuster crime writer, Karl Stig-Erland Larsson. On and on she went about the gripping plot, the insights into Swedish history, politics and culture. The sordid scandals and speculation over the author's sudden death at age 50. (Was it a heart attack or murder? Had he been offed by a Swedish right extremist group?) Then the fact that the first two books in the trilogy have been made into foreign feature films, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring a cast of people with an impossible number of consonants in their names. I admitted my guilt. I begged off with vague references to... something I refer to as "The Dan Brown Phenomenon"; as soon as I see a blockbuster novel/movie, I run the other way. I do anything I can to avoid exposing myself to mass culture and hysteria. I'm still receiving therapy over Da Vinci Code, truth be told. Then I looked up Larson's book sale statistics: He was the second best-selling author in the world in 2008, behind Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, who admittedly I enjoyed. His Millennium Trilogy Bundle, : The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, has sold 27 million copies in more than 40 countries. And the English language version of the "Tattoo" is currently under production starring Daniel Craig, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgård scheduled for release in 2011. So, in deference to my dear friend who is trying to save me from turtling into an elitist literary shell, I thought I'd place the last of Larsson's trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest up for our Wine & Book Club pick over the summer. After all, don't we all love a good hornet's nest during a summer picnic? I bought the 3-book pack and my husband bought the audio book and we've been listening to it here at the ranch after our work day, with great anticipation. For all you book and wine people, we recommend some cool Ice Wine from Sweden to accompany your meeting.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wine & Book Group Pick for Feb-Mar (Wine & Book Club)

"When a major writer emerges, the time for comparison ends, and the time to celebrate begins," so says The National Post about one of Canada's fresh literary voices, Rabindranath Maharaj whose forth novel, The Amazing Absorbing Boy has just been published by Knopf, Canada, 2010. But I can't help compare Maharaj's writing style and subject matter as a cross between Junoz Diaz's The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao for its liberal use of foreign slang throughout the book, and Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for its character's obsession with comic books. It seems many talented writers of this generation refer back to comics as the portal to their protagonist's relationship-slash-coping mechanisms for the real world. It makes me wonder if anyone has ever done a study on the affect that super hero, super powers has on the socio-development of little boys. No one seems to quote Archie. It's always Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk, etc with Hugh Jackman-type actors filling in the film roles. I suppose GI Joe is the inspiration for writers like "Full Metal Jacket" or why boys become Jar Heads? Psychology aside, I read this book in three sittings. It captures the culture of Trinidad through the eyes of a 17 year-old boy whose mother has died and whose father reluctantly sends for him to come to Canada. With fantasies of reuniting with his long-lost, deadbeat dad, he soon discovers his father has no intention of making up for lost time with his son. Left to fend pretty much for himself, Samuel negotiates the strange streets of Toronto with its frigid northern temperatures and unfamiliar immigrant neighborhoods, giving the reader an incredibly fresh view of Canada's culture and the machinations of assimilation. To accompany this book we've selected an Alsace Pinot Gris as recommended for spicy Indian style foods by Decanter

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Wine & Book Group Pick for Dec-Jan (Wine & Book Club)

Who can resist the delicious red cover of The Winter Vault by Canadian powerhouse, Anne Michaels (McClelland and Stewart, 2009) $15.88. Her last book Fugitive Pieces launched her literary career and garnered her several literary awards including the UK's prestigious Orange Prize and Guardian Fiction Prize. Readers say they "have been aching for her next novel" ever since. Now over a decade later, it has arrived. Judging by the reviews, Michaels has not disappointed her readership. Publisher's Weekly says Winter Vault is "a tender love story set against an intriguing bit of history is handled with uncommon skill." (starred review) and the New York Times writes, "Literature is all the better for it." What could be a better read over the holidays? The story is about a couple who travel to Egypt to live on a houseboat on the Nile River just below Abu Simbel during the '60's, the period of the building of the Aswan Dam.

"Avery Escher is one of the engineers responsible for the dismantling and reconstruction of a sacred temple... Jean is a botanist by avocation, passionately interested in everything that grows. They met on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, witnessing the construction of the Seaway as it swallowed towns, homes, and lives. Now, at the edge of another world about to be inundated in the name of progress, much of what they most believe in is tested.

When a tragic event occurs, nearing the end of Avery’s time in Egypt, he and Jean return to separate lives in Toronto; Avery to school to study architecture and Jean into the orbit of Lucjan, a Polish émigré artist..." - McClelland and Stewart What could be a better Wine & Book Group read over the holidays? To celebrate we've paired this book with a spicy delicious red, evocative of exotic locations from a stunning winemaker

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wine & Book Group Pick for Jun-Jul '09 (Wine & Book Club)

In 1965 Helen Gurley-Brown became the Executive Editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine. She earned the spot by coming up through the ranks as a secretary whose writing abilities were next scooped into the copy writing department at a prominent L.A. advertising agency. But what really tipped the scale for the position offered by Randolf Hearst's magazine was her first book, published at the unlikely age of 40, titled Sex and The Single Girl (1962) that is still in print and now labeled a cult classic. At the time, it was rare for a woman to choose a career over motherhood and a life of domestic bliss. (Yeah, yeah... we hear the criticism of those who say it was just a play at the secretary pool to seduce their bosses.) The magazine's profitability and circulation increase was as shocking as its content with its sexual preoccupation and encouragement of the emancipated woman. Heck, even I remember the stir in my young

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Wine & Book Group Pick for Mar-Apr (Wine & Book Club)

This month's Wine & Book Group pick is Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (Little Brown & Co 2008) the latest block-buster nonfiction title from the New Yorker staff writer who moonlights as a penetrating social anthropologist. His first two books, "Tipping Point" and "Blink", talked about things that combine to push us over the edge into a new paradigm, and conversely, the things that we conclude in a flash or blink of an eye based on all of our previously learned knowledge and assumptions. This time Gladwell examines success - both debunking our misconceptions and drawing upon new examples to explain why some people succeed where others do not. This should be a thought-provoking discussion and so we've paired it up with some complex, "heady" wines... Details of how to join the group and discussion points and added research enclosed. Why not discover great wines and good books together! Enjoy

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Wine & Book Group Pick For Jan-Feb '09 (Wine & Book Club)

The International Dateline sits in the Bering Straight. William L Iggiagruk Hensley was raised just north of the Arctic Circle on the shores of Kotzebue Sound in a sod house with an ice floor in the tradition of his people&emdash;the Inupiat. Just like Sarah Palin, he can probably see Russia from his house on a clear day. Let us not be embarrassed to say that it is because of Sarah Palin people are sensitized to know more about this frozen frontier, and the perfect book to bring you there is an autobiography called, Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) It is the epic story of Alaska told through the eyes of an Inupiat elder. Hensley is to Alaska what Joseph Boyden is to Canada (only the latter writes fiction, while the former writes nonfiction-but you get my gist). In this first-person history lesson witness a people going from a virtual icy stone age to the current petrostate with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, awarding 44 million acres of land and nearly $1 billion to the first Alaskans. making them shareholders in a series of regional corporations, some of which became Fortune 500 companies worth billions of dollars. Can you imagine that? As the Wine & Book winter selection, we've selected some delicious ice wines. So purchase this book online, gather your group beside a cozy fire while you sip the sweet elixir of the late-harvest vines, and together you will be transported to the land of the midnight sun.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wine & Book Group Pick for Nov-Dec '08 (Wine & Book Club)

Distantly Related to Freud (Cormorant Books 2008) is Ann Charney's delicious novel about a Montreal girl named Ellen and her drive to control her destiny amidst generational codes and ethics. Set in the 50s and 60s this book explores the sexual morays of post-war European immigrants to Canada. "Sex is power," Ellen states after giving up her virginity with clear-eyed purpose. Distantly Related seemed like the perfect match for deep and delicious reds from the Niagara Wine Trail, which formally consists of twelve different wineries in the Niagara escarpment. We've singled out just three selections for you to track down and taste when you and your group discuss this book.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wine & Book Group Pick for Sept-Oct 2008 (Wine & Book Club)

Step into Interior BC, Canada for this month's Wine & Book Pick. Red Dog, Red Dog by Patrick Lane is available in bookstores Sept 30th, 2008 but available online here. McLeland Stewart publishers write, "[This is] an epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives. Set in the mid-1950s, in a small town in the interior of BC in the unnamed Okanagan Valley. The novel focuses on the Stark family, centering on brothers Eddy and Tom, who are bound together by family loyalty and inarticulate love." It's shortlisted for the 2008 Giller Prize for fiction. We've matched local wines from the same region where this virtuoso debut novel is set. Road 13 Winery is owned by Mick Luckhurst and located near the town of Oliver, just across the way from the renowned Tinhorn Creek Winery which shares the same terroir. Enjoy these surprisingly true and tasty, "earthy" wines—a brilliant match for your October book group and tasting.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wine & Book Group Pick for Jul-Aug '08 (Wine & Book Club)

I've always been a fan of Glen Gould. His playing of Bach and particularly the Goldberg Variations is like trance for the piano—starting at the first variation one is swept away in space and time. I always imagine that my math skills are subliminally being enhanced just by listening to the contrapuntal melody. The other fascination I have with Gould is hearing the stories of his unusual personality quirks. Declared a child prodigy by age three when he demonstrated perfect pitch, it is said that he could read a music score through just once and play the piece perfectly from memory. He had an obsession with his hands. He always wore gloves, even in summer, and never shook hands with people. He would stand for long periods of time at the sink running warm water over his hands. This month I'm recommending the Wine & Book Group pick-up a new book about this fascinating musical genius. (Your dinner conversations will sparkle and entertain even the most die-hard pop or rock fan.) A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano borrows heavily on a previous biography on the artist, but it also tells the story of Gould's relationship with a particular piano and the blind farm-boy technician he relied upon to keep the instrument tuned to his grueling specifications. See what you think as you read further, and download Gould's music from iTunes as a wonderful accompaniment. For wines to go with this selection we've chosen a few delicious ones from the Niagara escarpment wine growing region of Ontario. (Gould was a native of Toronto, not far away.) The area is as physically beautiful as this love story and the music. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wine & Book Group Pick for June '08 (Wine & Book Club)

The cello is both the most beautiful and sorrowful of stringed instruments. And so, it is only fitting that The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (Knopf, Canada April 2008) is a story of extraordinary beauty and imagination that will sweep you off your feet with its compelling prose. "One day a shell lands in a bread line and kills twenty-two people as the cellist watches from a window in his flat. He vows to sit in the hollow where the mortar fell and play Albinoni’s Adagio once a day for each of the twenty-two victims... " Entice your book group to read this month's Wine & Book selection, The Cellist of Sarajevo, based on the true story of Vedran Smailovic. Listen to the music while you taste the old-world wines from the region for a truly moving discussion and a memorable experience.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Wine & Book Group Pick for March '08 (Wine & Book Club)

Cellophane (Dial Press) by Marie Arana is a novel set in the Peruvian rain forest during the 1930s where Don Victor Sobrevilla and his wife, Doña Mariana, venture to find a location for their papermaking factory. Along with the discovery of the secret to making cellophane (a fascinating story in itself) the family is drawn into an erotically charged landscape of surreal history and obsession. Nominated as a National Book Award finalist, Arana's writing has been compared to other literary giants, Allende, Marquez and Conrad. We think this novel is the perfect choice for February, when romance and exotic locations can sweep you away in the best literary tradition. Marie Arana, editor of Washington Post Book World Wines recommended for this book naturally derive from Peruvian sources. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for January 2008 (Wine & Book Club)

For January we thought you'd enjoy reading Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia (Viking 2007), the runaway bestselling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert. Facing a difficult divorce and a punishing affair, the New York journalist decides to escape her personal hardship by traveling to Italy then India, finally ending up in Bali. At once funny and profound, Gilbert's self-indulgent journey can be your guilty pleasure this month, along with fine wines picked by our partners at Women & Wine. Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights and will star Julia Roberts, according to Variety.com

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for November '07 (Wine & Book Club)

Madonna is the most famous female pop artist of our time; singer-songwriter, dancer, record and film producer, actress, and a fashion icon. She has won multiple Grammy and Golden Globe awards and is known for her controversial music videos, stage performances, and use of political, sexual, and religious themes in her work. Discover the woman behind the mystery. Journalist Lucy O'Brien's groundbreaking biography, Madonna: Like an Icon (HarperCollins, Nov 2007) gets at the heart of Madonna's chameleonlike existence. Extensively researched and perceptively written, it explores the complex personality and legendary drive that made her "the world's most successful female musican" (Guinness Book of World Records). A great book to discuss with your group over equally provocative wines picked for you by our partners at www.womenwine.com

Monday, October 01, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for October '07 (Wine & Book Club)

With the harvest and Thanksgiving on everyone's mind, BookBuffet invites you to take a look at Barbara Kingsolver's nonfiction treatise Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life for this month's Wine & Book pick. It's about eating local, eating seasonal, supporting small farms, and saving the planet from extinction through your everyday purchasing choices of food that is not trucked, flown or shipped using fossil fuels to your market. Don't miss the opportunity to drink a lovely local wine along with this book when you meet to discuss it with your group. Women & Wine have lots of ideas on wine makers whose products are organic, too. Learn about wine as you read the wonderful titles selected especially for this group.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for August '07 (Wine & Book Club)

The Saxon word for pebble is chesil. Ian McEwan's brilliant new novelette, On Chesil Beach: A Novel is this month's Wine & Book Group pick. Set in 1962, it begins on the wedding night of a young virgin couple, Edward and Florence. After meeting and falling in love at a London college, they anticipate their vows as the entry into 'real adult' life; however, naiveté brings disappointment. The story is a touching examination of relationships, love, sex, the era, and how, despite best intentions, people somehow manage to get it wrong. McEwan asks, "Can the entire course of a life can be changed –- by a gesture not made or a word not spoken?" Despite differences in sexual politics today, readers will resonate with these two characters. Chesil Beach is an excellent choice for the last month of the summer. So pack your beach bag and slip in a delicious wine selected by our partners at Women and Wine. McEwan calls this a movie-length book that will take about three hours to complete -- just right for a lazy afternoon picnic!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for July '07 (Wine & Book Club)

July is the month that promises long summer days and time to escape into a delicious novel set in far-away lands. This month’s Wine & Book Pick take us to Beijing, China, where Nicole Mones (bestselling author of Lost in Translation) brings us an enticing story of friendship, love and, cuisine The Last Chinese Chef (HoughtonMifflin, 2007)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for May '07 (Wine & Book Club)

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen is an imaginative story set during the American depression involving an orphan boy named Jacob and the tribe of circus performers and animals that become his world. Alternating between Jacob's early life and his final years in a nursing home, the story is sure to intrigue and stimulate interesting discussions. For wines we've picked labels with elephants! Join the Wine & Book Group and meet more hearty food, story and wine lovers!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for March '07 (Wine & Book Club)

Product image for ASIN: 0812968069For our March Wine & Book Group book selection we have a wonderful story by Chinese-American author Lisa See. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel (Random House Trade 2006), Lisa's third novel, is both a suspenseful and poignant story and an absorbing historical chronicle. Her books deal with the cultural divide between her two nascent cultures. To purchase wines suggested by our partners at Women & Wine, click link for more details. Author details and more inside...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for February '07 (Wine & Book Club)

For February's Wine & Book Group we return to Australia with the fifth novel of two-time Booker Prize-nominated Tim Winton, and his post-WWII Australian saga Cloudstreet (Schribner, reprint 2002). Purchase the book online and read the tasting notes of the fabulous regional wines our partners at Women & Wine have picked to match this title. Sip, discuss, enjoy! This is our 14th session. Register for the group, and join in the online discussions.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Wine & Book Group Pick for January '07 (Wine & Book Club)

January is a great month to review your resolutions. If one of them is "read more books" or "taste more wine" then this is the group for you! Join our Wine & Book Group, meet other people, and use the author, book and wine information to meet those ny's resolutions. This month we feature Joseph Kanon's compelling thriller that has been adapted to film starring Cate Blanchett and George Clooney and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for December '06 (Wine & Book Club)

The folks at Women & Wine have made the book selection this month -- they had a burning urge to match wines to Elizabeth Kostova's popular historical novel about vampires -- but better than Rice, with plenty of suspense, romance and intrigue, The Historian  (Little, Brown & Co) 2005. Read about the author, the plot, and the wines you can purchase and enjoy at your next meeting. And don't forget to join our Wine & Book Group!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for November '06 (Wine & Book Club)

When Stephen King rated Kate Atkinson's new novel, One Good Turn (Little, Brown and Company, Oct 2006) "the best mystery of the decade," I just had to bite. What a perfect book for stormy, rainy November and for our Wine & Book Group.  Kate is best known for her Whitbread award-winning novel Behind the Museum. One Good Turn is a sequel which takes now ex-private eye Jackson Brodie, also wealthy, retired and bored, mooching around Edinburgh festivals.  Buy the book, join the group, and see what our partners at Women & Wine have in store for you to taste along with this delicious mystery.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for September '06 (Wine & Book Club)

Sue Miller, Lost in the Forest  examines love, sensuality, and betrayal in idyllic Napa Valley wine country. A perfect setting for our September Wine and Book Group where we select a popular book each month and our partners at Women&Wine.com match delicious wines.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for August '06 (Wine & Book Club)

For August we mind-travel to Mexico where Luis Alberto Urrea captures the landscape and soul of his native country through the voice of his young protagonist, Teresita, who has been gifted with the power to heal. The Hummingbird's Daughter, (Little, Brown 2006) won Urrea the Kiriyama Prize for fiction in 2006. The prize is awarded to voices from the Pacific Rim.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for July '06 (Wine & Book Club)

Just in time for summer, Lauren Weisberger's bitchy New York fashion novel has been released as a feature film produced by Wendy Finerman (Forrest Gump) and the new movie tie-in copy of her first novel is now available.  It's the perfect beach read AND the perfect choice for our Wine & Book Club! Click on the book to link to purchase and join us. Find out more...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for June '06 (Wine & Book Club)

The Wine and Book Group pick for June combines literary biography with a travel, cultural, and historic perspective. Why not let Christopher Ondaatje (yes, Michael's brother) take you to Sri Lanka where his own roots derive, to read about another relative of a famous writer, Leonard Woolf, husband of Virgina. Woolf in Ceyon (HarperCollins 2006) It is emerging that Leonard is one of the literary giants of the twentieth century. 

Friday, May 19, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for May '06 (Wine & Book Club)

May's book selection introduces us to Australia's author-equivalent of Barbara Kingsolver—Carrie Tiffany is a former park ranger and agricultural journalist who combines her two passions in this stunning debut novel set in the '30s in the Australian countryside. Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living (Scribner May 2006) has just been shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and we can't wait to introduce you to this author and her country's fabulous wines when you join Bookbuffet's Wine & Book Club Come and learn about wines as you read, courtesy of our partners at www.womenwine.com!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for April '06 (Wine & Book Club)

Sue Monk Kidd is the chosen author for April's Wine and Book Group where we select a popular book group read and match delicious wines. The Mermaid Chair (Penguin Non-Classics March 2006) is Sue's follow-up novel to her bestselling first fiction, The Secret Life of Bees. The Mermaid Chair won the Quills Award 2005. Sue celebrates the feminine erotic in this transcendent story about a daughter who, upon returning home to help her mother, becomes sexually involved with a Benedictine monk. Filled with Sue's delicious use of metaphor, and mixing desire with the forbidden—you won't want to miss out.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for March '06 (Wine & Book Club)

Book groups who have been meeting for a few years will all have read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (Vintage) when it first became available in January 1999. But for those of you who are just starting out, this book remains forefront in our minds with the stunning adaptation to film that garnered Oscar awards for Best Art Direction, and Best Costume. Our partners at Women and Wine have matched delicious wines to sip and taste at your next book group meeting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for February '06 (Wine & Book Club)

For all of my adult reading life, I have been learning about South African politics and race relations through Nadine Gordimer's novels. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, she has been called the moral voice of her nation. Her latest novel, Get A Life (Farrar, Straus and Girioux) is our pick for this month's Book & Wine Club, where our partners at www.WomenWine.com match equally complex and evocative wines. Don't miss this opportunity to experience South Africa as it breathes and tastes today.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Wine & Book Group Pick for January '06 (Wine & Book Club)

Experience España this month as BookBuffet and our partners at Women & Wine http://www.WomenWine.com have selected the runaway European bestselling novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind Penguin (Non-Classics) for the January 'book and wine club' with three delicious wines at various price points, carefully researched and selected for you and your group. Read, taste, discuss and enjoy! January is a good month to join our group, order the book, and pick up some fabulous deals on wine (by the bottle or case) guaranteed to transport you on mental and sensual journey.  

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Wine & Book Group Pick for December '05 (Wine & Book Club)

This month Women&Wine and BookBuffet bring you a wonderful literary and enophilic match -- Jane Austen and passionate reds -- just in time for the busy holiday season. Something to think about and drink about; are we really that much different from Jane's crowd?

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