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Cover Image of The Eye Like a Strange Balloon (004) by Mary Jo Bang published by Grove Press
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Wine & Book Group Pick for Dec-Jan

abstract: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

article:

December 01, 2009

About the Author

Anne Michaels was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1958. Michaels attended Vaughan Road Academy and then later the University of Toronto, where she is an adjunct faculty in the Department of English. Her first book, The Weight of Oranges (1986), a volume of poetry, was awarded the Commonwealth Prize. She received the National Magazine Award, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry and a nomination for the Governor General's Award for her second collection, Miner's Pond (1991). Michaels is best known for her novel Fugitive Pieces (1996) which explores the possibility of love and faith after the Holocaust. The novel won the Orange Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Trillium Book Award. Ms. Michaels, who has also composed musical scores for the theater, has said "when you put a tremendous amount of love into your work, as in any relationship, you can't know--you can only hope--that what you're offering will in some way be received. You shape your love to artistic demands, to the rigors of your genre. But still, it's a labor of love, and it's the nature of love that you must give it freely."-Wikipedia

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  • Wine of Choice

    CEDAR CREEK, 2006 Platinum Reserve Meritage, $44.90
    To accompany this book discussion we suggest a delicious blend by the Canadian winery Cedar Creek. Owned by the Fitzpatrick family for over 20 years, they pull grapes from several locations, owning 150 acres nestled on the banks of beautiful Okanagan Lake. The region is referred to as "Napa North" for its warm summer climate and spectacular light. For the past two decades they've experimented with blending, and have consistently come up with a full-bodied red wine that is greater than the sum its parts. This is a wine you buy a case of, and bring out for special occasions. Please contact them via the link provided, and say we sent you!

    WINEMAKER'S NOTES The grapes for this blend were harvested from five vineyards. A combination of French oak (70% new), aged for 20 months, has allowed the fruit to subtly integrate with the oak in this exceptional wine.

    TASTING NOTES Deep, dark and complex with aromas of chocolate, roasted coffee, ripe blackberry, black currants, cedar, spice and licorice. Flavours of vanilla and ripe black fruit with elegant tannins.

    Previous Book & Wine Picks

  • Mar-Apr Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell set in reality land
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  • 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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