Saturday, December 19, 2009

Russian Coffee

Viennese, really.

I recently finished reading "Ground Up", the first novel written by Michael Idov. It was surprisingly good, and I say that more like you would say a Cedar-Plank Salmon with capers and fresh spinach was surprisingly good...not like you would say a certain pizza place was surprisingly good. Get it?

If you enjoy coffee (read "enjoy actual coffee, the rich aromas and flavors, and history, and roasting/brewing techniques, have a favorite bean origin or at least know how to describe the type of black coffee you enjoy; not "oh yes....I absolutely LOVE a good frappocino"), enjoy literature (read "GOOD literature - intelligent, entertaining, provoking, and have read at least 2 or more books that were translated INTO English, bonus for it being Russian"; not "oh yes, I really enjoyed that recent best seller mentioned by Oprah or Dobson"), and see the humor in just a proportionate amount of pretension...you'd love this book.

I probably just ruined it for a lot of you with the amount of wordy pretension in the previous paragraph, but seriously....good book alert. It's the journey of a married couple in New York as they begin their dream coffee shop in the Lower East Side. The challenges they face economically, relationally, and beyond...more than fit the title of the book well. If you've ever thought how awesome it'd be to run a quaint little "anti-Starbucks and Walmart" coffee-shop with someone you love - you'll enjoy this book.

I will give a brief warning, simply because my blog is often read by parents of teenagers - this is not a book to recommend to teens. Although I was pleased that the few scenes that were a bit over PG-13, could be quickly scanned passed...as opposed to some books that would require a few page turns.

It will make you thirsty for a good cup of coffee, and to know a bit more about where it came from. It will make you thankful for your spouse if you're married...and perhaps make you thankful you don't have one if you're not. :) You'll be glad you never decided to launch your own coffee shop, or perhaps it will entice you to jump into that journey after putting it off for so long. In any case, the characters are well developed, dialogue captivating both internally and externally, and all around a refreshing book. I look forward to hearing more from Mr. Idov.

Although, seeing how this was based (however loosely) on his experience...here's hoping he can simply write next time, without having to endure being ground once again (ground = verb). :) If he's listening - thank you sir...for sharing your experience in such a way.

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