Wine & Book Group Pick For Aug-Sept 11
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...
August 23, 2011 — To compliment our book selection we've picked whimsical wines whose vintner's philosophy, label design and product come together in a magical way. Just outside of the New York metropolis is the Finger Lakes wine district. Little did I know that this area has been winning award after award. Sheldrake Point Vineyard (Cayuga Lake) and Hermann Wiemer Vineyard (Seneca Lake) were named in the Top 100 wineries of the world by Wine & Spirits magazine. The quality of Finger Lakes wine is seen across the board with special note being given to the 2007 reds that were released in 2009, especially some of the 2007 Pinot Noirs. Those choices are great heading into fall, but this being the tail end of summer, let's add a lovely Pinot Gris into the equation. The Finger Lakes Wine Country trip organizer has a handy tool to help you pick wines, wineries, accommodation and dining opportunities.
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Previous Book & Wine Picks
Oct-Nov The Personal History of Rachel Dupree set in the midwest of USA
Dec-Jan The Winter Vault set in Egypt and Toronto
Mar-Apr Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell set in reality land
Jan-Feb Fifty Miles From Tomorrow set Alaska
Nov-Dec Distantly Related to Freud set Montreal, Canada
Sept-Oct Red Dog, Red Dog set the Interior, British Columbia
July-Aug A Romance On Three Legs set Toronto, Canada
May-June The Cellest From Sarajevo, set in Sarajevo
March-April Cellophane set in the Peruvian Rainforest
January-February Eat, Pray, Love set in New York, Italy and India
November-December Madonna:Like an Icon,
October-November Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, set in New England
August-September On Chesil Beach, set in England
July The Last Chinese Chef, set in Shanghai
June The Birth House, set in Nova Scotia
May Water for Elephants, set in Depression-era America
March-April Snowflower and the Secret Fan, set in China
February Cloudstreet, set in Perth, Australia
January The Good German, set in Berlin
December The Historian, set in Eastern Europe
November One Good Turn, set in Edinburgh
September Lost in the Forest, set in Napa Valley
August The Hummingbird's Daughter, set in Mexico
July The Devil Wears Prada, set in NYC
June Woolf in Ceylon, set in Ceylon
May Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living, Australia
April The Mermaid Chair, set in South Carolina
March Memoirs of a Geisha, set in Japan
February Get a Life, set in South Africa
January In the Shadow of the Wind, set in Barcelona
December Pride and Prejudice, set in England
November Beyond Measure, set in Renaissance Italy
October Breakfast at Tiffany's, set in New York