Saturday, October 01, 2022

Alli Frank & Asha Youmans's "Never Meant to Meet You," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Never Meant to Meet You: A Novel by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans.

The entry begins:
When we are supposed to be writing but are brain dead, we often indulge our Hollywood fantasies and cast our imaginary friends and families from our books. With a big deadline due to our editor for our third book coming out in 2023, we happily set aside our laptops to finalize how we would cast Never Meant to Meet You for My Book, The Movie blog. Maybe, someday, a real casting agent (not just the one in our dreams) will take our input to heart!

Marjette Lewis – Regina Hall. We just have a feeling Regina Hall can do nosy neighbor with a heaping side of loveable right.

Darius Lewis – Jaden Michael. Perfect mix of a teenager who looks like he would be true to his mama but start pushing boundaries to assert his own independence.

Booker Lewis – Jamie Foxx. Sexy Ex, who, try as you might...[read on]
Learn more about Alli Frank and Asha Youmans at the Alli + Asha website and on IG/FB/Twitter: @alliandasha.

My Book, The Movie: Never Meant to Meet You.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Mathias Thaler's "No Other Planet"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: No Other Planet: Utopian Visions for a Climate-Changed World by Mathias Thaler.

About the book, from the publisher:
Visions of utopia – some hopeful, others fearful – have become increasingly prevalent in recent times. This groundbreaking, timely book examines expressions of the utopian imagination with a focus on the pressing challenge of how to inhabit a climate-changed world. Forms of social dreaming are tracked across two domains: political theory and speculative fiction. The analysis aims to both uncover the key utopian and dystopian tendencies in contemporary debates around the Anthropocene; as well as to develop a political theory of radical transformation that avoids not only debilitating fatalism but also wishful thinking. This book juxtaposes theoretical interventions, from Bruno Latour to the members of the Dark Mountain collective, with fantasy and science fiction texts by N. K. Jemisin, Kim Stanley Robinson and Margaret Atwood, debating viable futures for a world that will look and feel very different from the one we live in right now.
Visit Mathias Thaler's website.

The Page 99 Test: No Other Planet.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eight novels about monstrous mothers

Ainslie Hogarth is the author of the YA novels The Lonely and The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated). She lives in Canada with her husband, kids, and little dog.

Her new novel is Motherthing, a "darkly funny take on mothers and daughters, about a woman who must take drastic measures to save her husband and herself from the vengeful ghost of her mother-in-law."

At Electric Lit Hogarth tagged eight books that "don’t fit easily into any one genre, but all of them deal with the unique horrors of creating and sustaining life." One title on the list:
The Need by Helen Phillips

Molly, an exhausted working mother of two, clutches her infant and her toddler in the corner of her dark bedroom while an intruder may or may not be lurking just beyond the door. The Need starts, and stays, as gripping as its first chapter. As Molly, a paleobotanist working on a mysterious site called The Pit, grapples with parenting’s ceaseless cyclone of labour and guilt and exhaustion and joy, Phillips introduces a menacing stranger who threatens to take it all away. The Need is vivid, creepy, and incredibly engaging.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 30, 2022

Nine top stargazing books

At B&N Reads Brittany Bunzey tagged nine of the best stargazing books, including:
The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy
Moiya McTier

A bit Bill Bryson, a dash Mary Roach, the canvas of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and all the excitement of a Ms. Frizzle Magic School Bus field trip. With an expertise in astrophysics and folklore, Moiya McTier is the perfect tour guide for all of us to have gazed transfixed at the heavens, full of wonder and questions. The Milky Way is a delightful and constantly surprising treat! Thrilling, eye-opening, and just plain fun.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Alena Pirok's "The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg: Ghosts and Interpreting the Recreated Past by Alena Pirok.

About the book, from the publisher:
On any given night, hundreds of guests walk the darkened streets of Colonial Williamsburg looking for ghosts. Since the early 2000s, both the museum and private companies have facilitated these hunts, offering year-round ghost tours. Critics have called these excursions a cash grab, but in truth, ghosts and hauntings have long been at the center of the Colonial Williamsburg project.

The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg examines how the past comes alive at this living-history museum. In the early twentieth century, local stories about the ghosts of former residents―among them Revolutionary War soldiers and nurses, tavern owners and prominent attorneys, and enslaved African Americans―helped to turn Williamsburg into a desirable site for historical restoration. But, for much of the twentieth century, the museum tried diligently to avoid any discussion of ghosts, considering them frivolous and lowbrow. Alena Pirok explores why historic sites have begun to embrace their spectral residents in recent decades, arguing that through them, patrons experience an emotional connection to place and a palpable understanding of the past through its people.
Follow Alena Pirok on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: J. Todd Scott's "The Flock"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Flock by J. Todd Scott.

About the book, from the publisher:
From J. Todd Scott comes a chillingly engrossing thriller about a cult survivor who must confront the horrors of her past to ensure the safety of the future.

Ten years after a fiery raid kills her family, former cult member Sybilla “Billie” Laure has a completely new identity. She’s settled in rural Colorado with her daughter, hoping for a quieter life. But the world has other plans.

With wildfires raging and birds dropping from the sky, Billie wonders if her cult leader father’s apocalyptic predictions are finally coming true. When an intruder murders her husband and kidnaps her daughter, Billie has no choice but to confront the secrets of her past. But Billie’s journey has other perils, too―namely, a police chief hot on her trail, determined to expose the dangers of the defunct doomsday cult.

To save her daughter, Billie will have to go back to where it all began―to the ruined compound in New Mexico where the real threat is the truth.
Visit J. Todd Scott's website.

The Page 69 Test: High White Sun.

My Book, The Movie: High White Sun.

My Book, The Movie: This Side of Night.

The Page 69 Test: This Side of Night.

Q&A with J. Todd Scott.

The Page 69 Test: Lost River.

The Page 69 Test: The Flock.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Q&A with Lygia Day Peñaflor

From my Q&A with Lygia Day Peñaflor, author of Creep: A Love Story:

About the book, from the publisher:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

There couldn’t be a more perfect title for this book. Creep: A Love Story sets the stage immediately. We have our narrator Rafi: a creep. And we have Laney Villanueva and Nico Fiore: a love story. When the popular couple walks into the Holy Family High School attendance office, where Rafi works at the front desk, she is instantly obsessed with them.

“Creep” by Radiohead was a huge inspiration for this novel. Those who know the song will pick up on its dark, desperate tone from the title. The words “weirdo” and “I don’t belong here” will come to mind, too, which are perfect ways to describe Rafi and her place in Laney and Nico’s lives, as her behavior escalates to full stalking mode. This title understood the assignment.

What's in a name?

I used the name Holy Family High School to emphasize...[read on]
Visit Lygia Day Peñaflor's website.

Q&A with Lygia Day Peñaflor.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten nature memoirs

Sarah Thomas is a writer and documentary filmmaker with a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies. She is committed to work that explores our entanglements with the living world. Her films have been screened internationally. She has been a regular contributor to Dark Mountain journal, and her writing has also appeared in the Guardian and the anthology Women On Nature edited by Katharine Norbury. In 2020 she was nominated for the Arts Foundation Environmental Writing Award. She was longlisted for the inaugural Nan Shepherd Prize and shortlisted for the 2021 Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize.

Thomas’s debut memoir, set in Iceland, is The Raven’s Nest.

At the Guardian she tagged ten "books, many with a focus on the far north and spanning nearly a century, [that] have inspired how I explore this interplay between place, people, living, thought and the body." One title on the list:
Soundings by Doreen Cunningham

A failed relationship and resulting professional and financial ruin compel former climate journalist Cunningham to make a bold move. Taking out a bank loan, she travels with her young son along the migration route of the grey whales, from Mexico to the Canadian Arctic, back to a family of Iñupiaq whale hunters who took her in as one of their own years earlier on a research trip. Cunningham’s honouring of the hunters’ culture is nuanced by this entanglement, and the endless wait of the whale hunt is made fascinating by her quiet observations. The protagonists make a deeply refreshing triad: a single mother travelling with her child, learning from the whales how to parent.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Minh-Ha T. Pham's "Why We Can't Have Nice Things"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Social Media’s Influence on Fashion, Ethics, and Property by Minh-Ha T. Pham.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 2016, social media users in Thailand called out the Paris-based luxury fashion house Balenciaga for copying the popular Thai “rainbow bag,” using Balenciaga’s hashtags to circulate memes revealing the source of the bags’ design. In Why We Can’t Have Nice Things Minh-Ha T. Pham examines the way social media users monitor the fashion market for the appearance of knockoff fashion, design theft, and plagiarism. Tracing the history of fashion antipiracy efforts back to the 1930s, she foregrounds the work of policing that has been tacitly outsourced to social media. Despite the social media concern for ethical fashion and consumption and the good intentions behind design policing, Pham shows that it has ironically deepened forms of social and market inequality, as it relies on and reinforces racist and colonial norms and ideas about what constitutes copying and what counts as creativity. These struggles over ethical fashion and intellectual property, Pham demonstrates, constitute deeper struggles over the colonial legacies of cultural property in digital and global economies.
Visit Minh-Ha T. Pham's website.

The Page 99 Test: Why We Can't Have Nice Things.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Sofie Kelly reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Sofie Kelly, author of Whiskers and Lies (Magical Cats Mystery Series #14).

Her entry begins:
I just finished reading Bad Scene, the third Colleen Hayes mystery by Max Tomlinson. I recently discovered the first book in the series, Vanishing in the Haight, and I was hooked. In my opinion, Bad Scene is the best in the series so far, and that’s saying a lot because the first two books were very good. The stories are set in San Francisco, in the late seventies. Maybe part of the reason I like them is because I’m old enough to remember that time. Colleen is a private detective, on parole after serving prison time for killing her abusive husband. In Bad Scene she learns that neo-Nazis are talking about killing the mayor. She also discovers that her estranged daughter has joined a cult reminiscent of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple. Colleen is desperate to get to South America and save...[read on]
About Whiskers and Lies, from the publisher:
Librarian Kathleen Paulson is always willing to help a friend, but to save one from a wrongful arrest, she’ll need magical backup from her affectionate cats in the newest installment of this New York Times bestselling series.

Baker Georgia Tepper has been hired to provide delicious and spooky cupcakes for the Reading Buddies Halloween Party at the library, and she and Kathleen are meeting to finalize the menu of festive confections. Unfortunately, once Georgia’s former mother-in-law ambushes her at the library and threatens Georgia with legal action, the afternoon of fun is soured.

When Georgia’s litigious in-law is later found dead and the friendly baker is implicated, Kathleen is eager to help prove her innocence. Luckily, Kathleen and her intrepid magical cats, Hercules and Owen, have solved their fair share of mysteries. As a result, she knows that in life as well as crime solving, it is all relative, but with hard work, she can make sure the right criminal is booked.
Visit Sofie Kelly's website.

My Book, The Movie: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat.

Writers Read: Sofie Kelly (October 2015.

The Page 69 Test: Faux Pas.

Writers Read: Sofie Kelly.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Five mysteries that don't sacrifice the whodunit for the whydunit

Joy Jordan-Lake is the #1 Amazon bestselling author of the just-released historical mystery A Bend of Light, and ten other books, including Under A Gilded Moon; A Tangled Mercy, an Editors’ Choice recipient from the Historical Novel Society; Blue Hole Back Home, winner of the Christy Award for Best First Novel; and two children’s books. Raised in the foothills of the southern Appalachians, she lived nearly a decade of her young adult years in New England, which she still misses—and jumps at every chance to visit. She holds two master’s degrees and a PhD in English and has taught literature and writing at several universities.

At CrimeReads Jordan-Lake tagged "five mysteries that include all the twists we expect of a good whodunit, while also diving deep into what it means to be human, and the ways in which the inequities, privations and privileges of our own cultures can shape us." One title on the list:
Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara

Hirahara spent thirty years researching this novel, and it shows in all the best ways. A New York Times Best Mystery of the Year, Clark and Division refers to the area of Chicago where the Ito family is relocating after being released from Manzanar, the U.S. government’s detention camp for Japanese citizens during WW2. As twenty-year-old Aki Ito searches for answers about her revered older sister’s death, which authorities have labeled a suicide but Aki suspects was murder, the story unfolds in multiple layers. Hirahara’s own parents were survivors of the Hiroshima bombing, and perhaps partly because of her family’s story, the author explores history not as dusty old facts but as mystery, crevices of human experience we’ve not always explored fully or well. In Clark & Division, she has woven a story that is both captivating historical fiction and thriller.
Read about another entry on the list.

Clark and Division is among Brittany Bunzey's fifteen top books that take place during or around World War II.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Richard Kieckhefer's "The Mystical Presence of Christ"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Mystical Presence of Christ: The Exceptional and the Ordinary in Late Medieval Religion by Richard Kieckhefer.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Mystical Presence of Christ investigates the connections between exceptional experiences of Christ's presence and ordinary devotion to Christ in the late medieval West. Unsettling the notion that experiences of seeing Christ's figure or hearing Christ speak are simply exceptional events that happen at singular moments, Richard Kieckhefer reveals the entanglements between these experiences and those that occur through the imagery, language, and rituals of ordinary, everyday devotional culture.

Kieckhefer begins his book by reconsidering the "who" and the "how" of Christ's mystical presence. He argues that Christ's humanity and divinity were equally important preconditions for encounters, both exceptional and ordinary, which Kieckhefer proposes as existing on a spectrum of experience that moves from presupposition to intuition and finally to perception. Kieckhefer then examines various contexts of Christ manifestations—during prayer, meditation, and liturgy, for example—with attention to gender dynamics and the relationship between saintly individuals and their hagiographers. Through penetrating discussions of a diverse set of texts and figures across the long fourteenth century (Angela of Foligno, the nuns of Helfta, Margery Kempe, Dorothea of Montau, Meister Eckhart, Henry Suso, and Walter Hilton, among others), Kieckhefer shows that seemingly exceptional manifestations of Christ were also embedded in ordinary religious experience.

Wide-ranging in scope and groundbreaking in methodology, The Mystical Presence of Christ is a magisterial work that rethinks the interplay between the exceptional and the ordinary in the workings of late medieval religion.
Learn more about The Mystical Presence of Christ at the Cornell University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Mystical Presence of Christ.

--Marshal Zeringue

Kathleen George's "Mirth," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Mirth by Kathleen George.

The entry begins:
One reason I would love to see a movie of Mirth is that I could fall in love with ... yes, three actors who play the role. Could it be two? Possibly. But there is a sixty year timeline and three phases of life--youth, middle age, old age. Alas, the timeline will get in the way of the movie's actually being made. But wouldn't it be lovely? I can't cast the whole thing because even though I study actors all the time, I don't have an immediate name for the current Albert Finney type as middle aged man or Peter O'Toole as a gorgeous older man. But I can say...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Kathleen George's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Blues Walked In.

Writers Read: Kathleen George (May 2018).

My Book, The Movie: The Blues Walked In.

Writers Read: Kathleen George (September 2022).

The Page 69 Test: Mirth.

My Book, The Movie: Mirth.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Five top SFF books about strange houses

Rachael Conrad is the Event Coordinator, Social Media Manager, and a Frontline Bookseller for Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine. She was a 2021 Publishers Weekly Star Watch nominee for her bookselling.

At Tor.com she tagged five SFF titles about strange houses, including:
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

If you’re in the mood to read a deeply unsettling murder mystery that has a sinister, time traveling house at the center of its story then The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes is the perfect book for you. I have yet to find another that kept me awake at night the way The Shining Girls did, which is both a blessing and a curse.

The Shining Girls (a title that is, no doubt, a nod to Stephen King) kicks off in depression-era Chicago when Harper Curtis discovers a strange and alluring house that allows him to travel to different periods of time. Harper’s unbelievable discovery comes at a steep price. The house, through malevolent means, begins to show him the girls that he has yet to kill throughout time and consequently allows him to slip in and out of different time periods to spy on, talk to, and eventually murder his victims. He’s brutal, efficient, and impossible to track down until he finally meets his match in 1989. By some miracle Kirby Mazrachi survives Harper’s attack and begins to unravel the mystery of how Harper can do what he can.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Shining Girls is among Rebecca Jane Stokes's seven books for people who loved The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Bidisha's ten best books about women.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Trevor Price's "Ecology of a Changed World"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Ecology of a Changed World by Trevor Price.

About the book, from the publisher:
An increasing amount of usable space on our planet is crowded by humans. Whether we are using the space for permanent homes, vacation homes, travel accommodations, farming, public recreation, transportation, or office buildings, our chronic overuse of Earth's resources is pushing our ecosystem into uncharted territories. This has spurred many species extinctions, and we can expect the losses to continue to grow.

Ecology of a Changed World outlines the importance of species conservation relative to human existence. The book breaks down ecological principles and explains six threats to biodiversity in terms anyone studying ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental science, or environmental justice will understand. Ecologist Trevor Price begins the book by breaking down population growth, food webs, species interaction, and other ecological principles. He draws on examples from agriculture, disease, fisheries, and societal growth throughout each chapter, offering insight into the relationships between demographic transitions, monetary exchanges, and ecosystems.

Price focuses on six threats to biodiversity--climate change, overharvesting, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, and disease--and offers the history, current status, and economic as well as environmental impacts of each of these. He ends the book with a rigorous review of the importance of species diversity, outlining the ways losses to our ecosystem will be a detriment to public health and global wealth.

Taking readers through competition, predation, and parasitism, Ecology of a Changed World helpfully traces what has occurred on our planet throughout history, why these things happened, and how we can use this information to determine and shape our future.
Learn more about Ecology of a Changed World at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Ecology of a Changed World.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Kathleen George's "Mirth"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Mirth by Kathleen George.

About the book, from the publisher:
Mirth chronicles the struggles of a writer, Harrison Mirth, a romantic man who writes about love and tries to find it through three marriages, in three cities, and always with renewable hope. Amanda is first—New York city and youth. Maggie is second and spans the middle age years—Upstate New York. Liz is third—Pittsburgh and the senior years. Harrison Mirth doesn’t say much to Liz about life before her—a thoughtful comment here and there, funny stories, very little casting of blame. But like a quilt maker, Liz puts these scraps together to make a story—how she thinks he was—a boy, then a man sheltering a secret lake of sadness, but somehow always upbeat, cheerful, a willful optimist, forever innocent. To her, that is irresistible. She wants him, all in all.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathleen George's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Blues Walked In.

Writers Read: Kathleen George (May 2018).

My Book, The Movie: The Blues Walked In.

Writers Read: Kathleen George (September 2022).

The Page 69 Test: Mirth.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 26, 2022

Twenty-four top mythology retellings

At B&N Reads the editors tagged twenty-four of "the best mythological retellings," including:
A Thousand Ships
Natalie Haynes

In A Thousand Ships, Calliope, goddess of poetry, takes us through the Trojan War — where women become the deserving center of the most epic story ever told. A fresh entry into a burgeoning category of modern retellings, this story collection is a beautiful doorway to the inimitable ancient works. “Natalie Haynes gives a much-needed voice to the silenced women of the Trojan War.”—Madeline Miller, author of Circe
Read about another entry on the list.

A Thousand Ships is among Susan Stokes-Chapman's top ten novels inspired by Greek myths, Jennifer Saint's ten essential books inspired by Greek myth, Deanna Raybourn's six top novels based on historical scandals, and Alyssa Vaughn's forty-two books to help you get through the rest of quarantine.

The Page 69 Test: A Thousand Ships.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Pedro Monaville's "Students of the World"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Students of the World: Global 1968 and Decolonization in the Congo by Pedro Monaville.

About the book, from the publisher:
On June 30, 1960—the day of the Congo’s independence—Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba gave a fiery speech in which he conjured a definitive shift away from a past of colonial oppression toward a future of sovereignty, dignity, and justice. His assassination a few months later showed how much neocolonial forces and the Cold War jeopardized African movements for liberation. In Students of the World, Pedro Monaville traces a generation of Congolese student activists who refused to accept the foreclosure of the future Lumumba envisioned. These students sought to decolonize university campuses, but the projects of emancipation they articulated went well beyond transforming higher education. Monaville explores the modes of being and thinking that shaped their politics. He outlines a trajectory of radicalization in which gender constructions, cosmopolitan dispositions, and the influence of a dissident popular culture mattered as much as access to various networks of activism and revolutionary thinking. By illuminating the many worlds inhabited by Congolese students at the time of decolonization, Monaville charts new ways of writing histories of the global 1960s from Africa.
Follow Pedro Monaville on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Students of the World.

--Marshal Zeringue

Q&A with Christopher Swann

From my Q&A with Christopher Swann, author of Never Go Home: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I tend to like titles that create an image in a reader’s mind and have something to do thematically with the story. But my Faulkner family thriller series is different. Never Turn Back is the first in that series, and my editor suggested the title. I didn’t know if I was going to turn it into a series, but when I did, I decided the subsequent books all have to be “never” titles—“never” plus a verb plus a third word. I’ll see how many books I write in that series and how many “never’ phrases I can come up with!

What's in a name?

Everything. Even the minor characters’ names matter. In Never Go Home, the first chapter has Susannah Faulkner interacting with a real slimeball, and I wanted to give that guy a slightly unserious name. I settled on...[read on]
Visit Christopher Swann's website.

The Page 69 Test: Never Go Home.

My Book, The Movie: Never Go Home.

Q&A with Christopher Swann.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Pg. 99: Edward F. Fischer's "Making Better Coffee"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Making Better Coffee: How Maya Farmers and Third Wave Tastemakers Create Value by Edward F. Fischer.

About the book, from the publisher:
An anthropologist uncovers how "great coffee" depends not just on taste, but also on a complex system of values worked out among farmers, roasters, and consumers.

What justifies the steep prices commanded by small-batch, high-end Third Wave coffees? Making Better Coffee explores this question, looking at highland coffee farmers in Guatemala and their relationship to the trends that dictate what makes "great coffee." Traders stress material conditions of terroir and botany, but just as important are the social, moral, and political values that farmers, roasters, and consumers attach to the beans.

In the late nineteenth century, Maya farmers were forced to work on the large plantations that colonized their ancestral lands. The international coffee market shifted in the 1990s, creating demand for high-altitude varietals—plants suited to the mountains where the Maya had been displaced. Edward F. Fischer connects the quest for quality among U.S. tastemakers to the lives and desires of Maya producers, showing how profits are made by artfully combining coffee's material and symbolic attributes. The result is a complex story of terroir and taste, quality and craft, justice and necessity, worth and value.
Learn more about the book and author at Ted Fischer's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Good Life.

The Page 99 Test: Making Better Coffee.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books for coffee lovers

James Hoffmann is the managing director of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, a multi-award-winning coffee roasting company based in East London. He is also the World Barista Champion 2007, having won the UK Barista competition in both 2006 and 2007.

Hoffmann is the author of The World Atlas of Coffee (2014) and How to Make the Best Coffee at Home (2022).

At Shepherd he tagged five books that "inspired my own passion for coffee and I hope they do the same for you." One title on the list:
The Devil's Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee by Stewart Lee Allen

This is the book that started my obsession with coffee. It is really a travel book, using the spread of coffee from Ethiopia through to the rest of the world as its guide. It’s a fun read, and fascinating to see the way coffee was become entwined into so many different cultures in many different ways.
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see: Benjamin Obler's top ten fictional coffee scenes in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue