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Cover Image of The Hotel On Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris by Tilar J Mazzeo published by Harper
Cover Image of Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression, and the Bankers who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed published by Windmill
Cover Image of Remember When by Nora Roberts, J. D. Robb published by Berkley Publishing Group
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Wine & Book Group Pick For Aug-Sept 11

abstract: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


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