Author Archives: SwordMistressofMeleeIsland

About SwordMistressofMeleeIsland

I am a pirate princess and Governor of Melee Island. I live a quiet life of looting and pillaging with my plunder bunny, Guybrush Threepwood. (I also enjoy reading. A lot. Any book will do.)

Spot’s House of Horrors!

It is safe to say that it has been a while since I have contributed our blog. My excuse is being pregnant and having a baby. I don’t know what those other slackers are using for an excuse. As my baby boy hits the one year (and some change) mark, I felt like it was time to dust off the blog and jump in again. While I have managed to still carve out time for myself to read, a lot of my time during the day is spent reading board books. Board books are an amazing invention, because pretty much everything ends up in my kids mouth. The few “regular” picture books I have let him go near have ended up with ripped pages, which hurts my soul. He has a few books that he insists that we read every day, and I will be slowly reviewing them, along with more YA and adult books. This brings me to todays book, Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. Spot I know what you’re thinking. Cute picture book? Lift the flaps to play hide and seek with Spot? WRONG! Lift the flaps and you DIE! Spot’s mom, Sally, goes looking for Spot around the house because he has not eaten his supper. First she looks behind the door. What could possibly be behind a door in a normal home? Coats? Boxes? No. It’s a fucking BEAR people. He is eating honey, but there is nothing that says that once he is done that he won’t be eating your face off. 11H5531040-01-lpThat’s cool. We just found a giant bear in the house. We should TOTALLY keep looking.

Maybe Spot is inside the clock? This is a rational place to hide… if you are a giant PYTHON lying in wait to strangle innocent puppies! You hear that?! Puppy murder by asphyxiation! Why is Sally not phased by this? What kind of mother is she?! How is she not showing any concern as to whether or not her baby boy has survived a bear and a python?

The piano. Definitely has to be hiding in the piano. That is where I would go to hide from a bear and a python. Oops. NOPE. Just your friendly neighborhood HIPPO. First, hipppn-618b_3zos are mean and will crush you. Second, what the hell kind of piano do they have that can hold a hippo (maybe a baby hippo?), and how do they even play the piano with their paws? BURNING QUESTIONS IN CHILDREN’S LIT. Again, Sally is not shocked. This may be because the hippo does appear to be high, and thus, not a threat. Unless he got the munchies and really wanted puppy. My bet is on Sally being the worst mom ever. This makes me feel better about my own mothering skills.

We’re running out of room for large dangerous animals here. Under the stairs seems like a safe place to hide. Maybe go into your little closet and pretend to be Harry Potter? Wrong AGAIN. wheres-spotThat is obviously where they keep their LION. He’s trying to play it cool and is all “No, I haven’t seen Spot,” but what are you hiding back there Mr. Lion? Could it be blood and guts? How do they feed all of these wild animals?

Next, we find a monkey in the closet, which would be fine and cute and cuddly if I didn’t know that monkeys have sharp teeth and throw their poop. From a hiding standpoint, this is not good.

We move on to under the bed. Kids across the board pretty much fear what is under their bed at some point in their lives. So what does Sally keep under the bed? A hungry crocodile with razor sharp yellowed teeth! This guy has been around the block and is biding his time to snatch you as soon as you close your eyes!

Now I don’t want to ruin the end for you, but suffice it to say that reading this book might give you night terrors. Go buy it. The kids will love it!

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Guest Post: Gillespie and I

Gillespie and IEvery so often you read a book so outrageously strange and mind-bendingly, well, mind-bending, that you have to tell people about it–––if only so you have someone to puzzle the details over with. Gillespie and I, a 2012 historical novel by Jane Harris, fits this description to a ‘T’.

When I say Gillespie and I is strange, I don’t mean that in the post-modern sense. There are no incomprehensible, Pynchon style linguistic acrobatics to leave readers dazed and confused. On the contrary, Harris’ writing is consistently polished and easy to follow.

The story Harris presents, however, is far from clear-cut and direct. This is thanks to Harris’ remarkably well-crafted unreliable narrator, Harriet Baxter, from whose vantage point we see the novel unfold. Harriet is the motor that drives the entire story, as well as the crazy.

When I say crazy, please keep in mind that I don’t mean slightly unhinged. I mean bat-shit, holy crap, locomotion of the romantic variety, of a mode that gives Peter I of Portugal a run for his money (What up, History nerds?). It is the layers of Harriet’s insanity, gradually revealing themselves in tiny pieces, that is the true engine of the book, which is ostensibly a simple murder mystery.

Unraveling the depths of Harriet’s madness is as addictive as it is disturbing. Harris did an incredible job crafting this character, and the psychological portrait she paints is one of the most convincing character studies I’ve read in a long time. Even now, I’m still struggling to determine exactly how far the rabbit hole Harriet went, and trying to separate fact from her own strange vision of reality. I doubt I’ll ever be entirely successful in either endeavor.

All that gushing aside, if the novel does have a weakness it’s in the main subplot. Harris divided the book into two alternating sections, one written from Harriet’s POV in the 1880s and the other from her POV in the 1930s.  The 1880s POV makes up the bulk of the story, and this ends up being for the best. While the 1930s section is promising at first, it ultimately sputters and doesn’t fulfill its promise. I understand why it was included in the book, but it felt far weaker to me and I think dragged the book down a bit overall. But at the end of the day, this isn’t a particularly big deal.

Bottom Line: Gillespie and I is a good book. Jane Harris is a talented writer. You should read it so I have someone to talk about the crazy with.

 


Game of Thrones: A Storm of Swords

So I got onto the Game of Thrones bandwagon a little late. My sister read all the books years ago, but I had never heard of it until the TV show came on. Like most everyone else, I got completely sucked into in and couldn’t wait to find out what happened in season 3. Then I remembered that I had the technology to find out! thousands of pages later… I finished the first two books and I am just starting the third. The great thing about this is that I have absolutely ZERO IDEA what happens next. All I know about the third book is that something awful happens to Joffrey (Thank God!). I can’t wait for that part. Don’t read anymore if you don’t want to know what happens in season 3 of the show.

So for this post, I give you my reactions to the book as I read it:

  • Is Theon dead? I hope he is alive so that Bran or Robb can kill him.
  • What is going to happen to poor Sansa!? Life was bad before when she had the little protection that being engaged to Joffrey gave her and Tyrion was the Hand of the King. Now what is she going to do, especially since the Hound and Tyrion can’t help her?!
  • Jaime gets chapters! Awesome! Although creepy how he talks about his sister…
  • I want Brienne on my side when the zombies come.
  • I should care more about Davos, but I don’t.
  • Tyrion, you will survive them ALL! Bwahaha!!!
  • DON’T TRUST ANYONE SANSA! I don’t know what Lady Margaery is playing at, but I am not sure that she isn’t going to stab Sansa in her sleep. I want her grandmother to be my best friend though and invite me over for tea. She should TOTALLY hang out with the Dowager Countess of Grantham over at Downton. PBS & HBO, MAKE THIS A REALITY!
  • I love you Jon Snow. Now save the world from zombies!
  • Seriously though, where are the zombies? I’m like 200 pages in and there are only hints of White Walkers.
  • Oh, Sansa! Don’t let them seduce you with silks and lace! That goes for you too, Shae! They will hang you both!!!
  • Arya, why did you trust strangers?! What is WRONG with everyone? Have they learned nothing?! TRUST NO ONE! Everyone is going to die, I just know it.
  • Don’t turn into a full time wolf, Bran! You will not be able to become human again and then you will die!
  • SAMWELL! He gets his own chapters! Please survive! I would hate for you to have just one chapter.Keep walking, Sam!
  • He SURVIVED HIS CHAPTER AND KILLED ONE OF THE OTHERS! Sam the Slayer 4 Eva! I was worried. No joke.
  • I feel for you Tyrion, really I do.
  • DAMN! Jaimie is going to be PISSED if Cersei gets married off. Can’t wait to see that happen.
  • Poor Sansa. She can’t catch a break. How did Tywin find out?! Was it Littlefinger? I hate him almost as much as I hate Joffrey. You know what, I hate them all. They must all die! Except the imp.
  • Really Catelyn. You fucked shit up. And Robb?! Way to add fuel to the fire! You don’t have to marry a girl just because you have sex with her! How do you think you got your bastard brother Jon Snow?!
  • If Jaimie calles Brienne Wench one more time, she might cut his balls off.
  • Arya! I told you not to trust anyone! You’re never getting to Riverrun now and now everyone knows who you are! The only reason you’re still alive was because no one knew who you were! Except Gendry. He’s pretty awesome.
  • Don’t hire slave puppy killers, Dany! We’ll find another way! And maybe get rid of creepy Jorah. He’s way too old for you. Wait… I just got to her next chapter and she kills EVERYONE! Take that slavers! You didn’t really think that she was going to give you Drogon, did you?
  • SANSA MARRIES TYRION?!?! Now there is something I didn’t expect. I hope she at least learns to be nice to him, because he’s kind of awesome and will keep Joffrey from raping her. He’s a good Lannister, I promise!
  • Run Sam! Keep Running! Omg. The Nights Watch are flipping out and killing everyone! Event the Old Bear is gone! RUN SAM!
  • Don’t care much about Bran’s chapter either. And where is Rickon?! Lost to the world?!

Ok… I read a lot without commenting. Here’s where we are:

  • Sam is SAFE and found Bran! I am so happy! Don’t die!
  • Robb is dead. Not only is he dead, but they cut off his head and then sewed the head of his direwolf onto his dead body. Poor Grey Wind! I think I may be more upset about the wolf than Robb.
  • Lady Catelyn too?! Well she freaked out, clawed her face and then was killed. Will the Starks never catch a break?! I 100% was sure that Robb was going to make it and now he is dead and so is his mom. Why didn’t they listen to the wolf?! WHY?!
  • ARYA! NOOOOOOO!!!! You can’t be dead! Don’t let it be!
  • Kingslayer, you’re getting a bit of a soft side saving Brienne. I kind of like it. Can she be your sworn shield? She *did* help get you back to Cercei’s vagina alive, even if you’re a hand short.
  • While we are discussing the Lannisters, we can’t forget Tywin, who needs to die in all of the fires!!! He orchestrated Robb’s death! He made Sansa marry Tyrion! Who know what else he is going to do!!! ALL THE FIRES!!!
  • No Lord of Light fires though. I don’t trust that guy, or the lady in red or Stannis, and please let Edric Storm live! Someone has to make it out alive!
  • Maybe Dany will. She does have dragons. Team Dany!!! Make it so!
  • So wait… Jorah was informing on her, which I figured out a while ago, but Whitebeard is Ser Barristan?! I have been wondering where he ran off to and feel like an idiot for not seeing it sooner.
  • What the fuck is Lysa doing? I mean really.
  • JOFFRY IS DEAD. Poisoned, and it was GLORIOUS!!! But poor Tyrion is being blamed! Sansa should have taken him with her.  You know, him and Sansa could have been the ultimate power couple. Politically they would have kicked everyone’s ass and Tyrion could keep Shae as his mistress and Sansa could have taken the Lord of Flowers as her consort and everyone would be happy and the Seven kingdoms would be at peace. Can no one else see this?
  • But more importantly, JOFFRY IS DEAD and Sansa is free. Or is she? I DO NOT TRUST LITTLEFINGER. Make it known! He is bad news. What trap has Sansa walked into? Is he going to force her to marry him too?! Can’t Sansa just live in a romantic song?!
  • Arya’s alive!!! Thank God! Someone had to still be alive!
  • You know nothing, Jon Snow! Now take command of Castle Black.
  • Even Bronn has abandoned Tyrion?! If he dies too, I am giving up on these books!!!
  • Do it Red Viper!!! Be his champion! DO IT!
  • Sansa is going to be married to her creepy still breast feeding cousin?! I can’t feel bad enough for this girl. She is going to snap eventually, just you wait and see. It will be bad.
  • Tyrion is saved, and had the satisfaction of killing Tywin! Tywin literally died taking s hit. AMAZING!
  • Is the Hound Dead? I was kind of liking him and Arya as traveling companions. I hope she makes to to the Wall.
  • Stannis saves the day?! Talk about something I never thought I would say! I still don’t like him, but talk about timing!
  • You could be Lord of Winterfell, Jon! Do it!
  • Wait?! Lord Commander of the Nights Watch? Makes more sense… and GHOST IS BACK!!!
  • Damn the Red Woman. I still don’t like her.
  • How sad is it watching Sansa make Winterfell out of snow?!
  • EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! Littlefinger kissed Sansa!!!!!!! Poor Sansa!!!! Can nothing go right for her?!
  • WHAT?! Lysa killed Jon Arryn?!?! How can so much happen in these books that I don’t predict?!
  • OMG. He threw her out the Moon Door.
  • ZOMBIE CATELYN.
  • THE END

Well kudos to George R. R. Martin for having a lot of twists and turns that I did not expect. I will be starting book 4 soon. I won’t even pretend to be prepared for what will happen, but I can’t wait for season three to start! In the meantime, enjoy this video that is more awesome than it has any right to be.


Dune, Treasure Trolls, and the Last Airbender All Walk Into a Bar…

I think it is important you know that a) I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books – HarperCollins) in two days because it was so fun and I didn’t want to put it down and b) some of it was unintentionally hysterical.

***Spoilers Below***

Our story opens with our fat heroine being stuffed like a sausage into her wedding dress. No, I am not being mean. That is how they put it. Elisa is fat and has a seriously unhealthy relationship with food. I was actually pretty psyched to have a heroine that wasn’t lithe and athletic off the bat, except that every other paragraph they talk about how fat she is and how she loves sneaking into the kitchen for food. It was kind of beating a dead horse after a while, but I really liked how they explored how different characters reacted to her while she was fat and later skinny. Elisa has gained so much weight in a short amount of time, that she is too big for and rips her wedding dress, for her rush wedding.

Elisa is to marry King Alejandro of Joya d’Arena. She doesn’t understand why he wants her and not her beautiful and cunning sister… despite the fact that Elisa herself is incredibly smart and educated in her own right (She is a wiz at battle tactics!) and happens to be God’s chosen one and bearer of the Godstone. What it the Godstone you ask? It is a diamond like stone that God put into her navel on her naming day and it means that she is destined for some kind of great service. A new bearer of the Godstone is chosen every 100 years, like the Avatar without the cool bending. So, Yes. Large person with a gem in her belly button = Treasure Troll Avatar. Just go with it. It works really well within the world Carson has created.

Despite her obsession with her weight and food (which, I love food, so I could relate to that. They even put a recipe in the back of the book for Elisa’s favorite food, Honey-Coconut Scones!), I really like Elisa. She is only 16, so she obviously has some growing up to do, but right of the bat, she starts asserting herself in little ways. Her new husband is beautiful beyond words, but she is afraid of her wedding night and asks to wait. He agrees and asks if she would like to talk and get to know each other, which I hadn’t really expected. Alejandro is not a bad guy, but I get the impression that he is weak. Elisa is clearly willing to overlook this because he is so pretty. Don’t judge. We’ve all been there…

The journey from her home to Joya d’Arena is long and arduous. Their caravan  is attacked by Los Piedros, all of her things are burned, her nurse is killed, but she somehow finds the strength to save Alejandro by killing one of their attackers who has cornered him… by stabbing him over and over again. Despite being terrified, she is not just able to survive, but protect those around her. She definitely has a strong emotional reaction after this whole event, but she ends up better for it.

We soon set into her life at court where Alejandro has asked that their marriage be kept a secret for now, along with her Godstone. Lots of secrets, but what is a royal court without secrets? Elisa is at least given the old Queens quarters (the King is widowed with a son) and asked to sit on the council. Long story short, her maid Cosme, who hates her right off the bat, discovers her Godstone, then drugs and kidnaps her, taking her on a month long journey across the desert.

Through the desert and to a hidden city, Elisa gets stronger, loses weight, and begins to learn more about her kidnapper, her people, and the WAR that is happening without anyone in the city knowing about it. Cue Elisa becoming a leader of this tribe, and using her Godstone for guidance. (It gets warm when she prays or someone good is around and goes icy when bad things are approaching). I kept expecting characters to call Elisa, Muad’dib and for her to go into the Litany Against Fear every time she started to pray (which is a lot). At least no one needed Stillsuits.

Elisa really starts to come into her own after she is captured by the enemy army and outsmarts and kills their Animagus (crazy powerful magicians that the enemy has the shoot flames and get their power from blood! Only a few exist), escaping the camp. She becomes the leader of a revolution, but it is not enough to hold back the war that is quickly coming to Joya d’Arena. As a bearer, Elisa is too valuable to be on the front lines and goes back to the castle and king, WHO DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HER… and once he does, he is WAY nicer to her than he was when she was fat.

Throughout all of this, Elisa is trying to figure out her purpose and how to use the Godstone for magic like the Animagus do (withGodstones stolen from dead Bearers). The book culminates in four Animagi cornering Elisa, the King, his son, and Elisa’s protector in room. About to die, Elisa instead CARE BEAR STARES them with her Godstone. For serious. It was hysterical and awesome. Bad guys dead, army flees, king dies and Elisa is Queen Regent until the kings son comes of age.

Honestly, it is a difficult book to describe because there is way more detail and love triangles and world building that happen in this book. It was just so fun to read. Pick it up. Read it (and maybe send me a copy of the second one because I really want to read it).


Guest Post: Llama Reviews Wabi

Hey, did you know that November is ‘Native American Heritage Month?’ No? Well, don’t feel bad, most people don’t either. It’s not exactly heavily promoted, and the placement––right after Columbus day in October, and smack dab in the middle of spot-the-historical-inaccuracy Thanksgiving plays––kind of perks the awkward-o-meter more than little bit. But hey, any excuse to read some good indigenous lit, am I right?

When I went looking for a good YA book to review for NA Heritage month, I was thrilled to have many wonderful selections to choose from. Yeah, there’s still plenty of the usual crap out there: “Oh, make me a dream-catcher my vaguely-Plains-nation hero, before you disappear like the buffalo!” But there’s also lots of excellent work being produced, work which portrays indigenous experiences and cultures in nuanced, human ways. Wabi: A Hero’s Tale (Dial Books) is one of these stories.

Wabi was written by Joseph Bruchac in 2007. A writer, poet, and storyteller of Abenaki descent, Bruchac has made studying and sharing indigenous culture his vocation. To that end, he has published over 120 books––a startling fact made even more terrifying by the idea that, if Wabi is any indicator, those 120 books are all probably pretty good. So right off the bat, you know you’re in safe hands.

Anyways,  I was only a few pages into Wabi before I realized it was going to be a very fun and engaging little tale. It’s essentially the hero’s journey of a young owl, named Wabi. After being pushed from the nest by his ‘ornicidal maniac’ brother, Wabi finds his great-grandmother and grows into an accomplished owl. As part of his owling, Wabi protects the local Abenaki village from monsters and keeps an eye on the silly humans that inhabit it. It’s then that he falls in love with a human girl, Dojihla. With the aid of his great-grandmother, and a little magic, Wabi becomes a man and tries to win her heart. Unfortunately, Dojihla’s pretty headstrong, and Wabi’s a little awkward––being born an owl doesn’t really give you the opportunity to learn those smooth dating moves, y’know? But after many trials and tribulations––as well as a healthy dose of humor––everything works out.

My crummy summary doesn’t really do this story justice, because it really is excellently written and constructed. Straddling the line between YA and Middle Reader, Wabi’s bite-sized chapters keep the narrative from becoming overwhelming to reluctant readers. The chapters are also basically vignettes, complete with their own miniature story arcs, which again works to keep the story moving in a quick and engaging way. The characters are also loveable, and everyone comes across as an actual person (or owl), rather than a tintype of what a ‘hero,’ ‘love interest,’ or ‘Indian’ should be.

Bruchac is also an expert at sneaking in educational information, and readers end up learning a lot about owls without realizing it, as well as Abenaki customs, myth, and vocabulary. By the time you’re done, you’ll probably have learned far more than you thought possible from a 198 page adventure story.

This brings me to my only real beef with Wabi––I wanted more info! Bruchac went through a lot of trouble weaving educational material into his narrative, and I feel like the publisher really dropped the ball by not augmenting his work. I desperately wanted a glossary and pronunciation guide to the Abenaki words, for example. Additional information on the myths the monsters are based on, as well as the Abenaki themselves, would have been amazing too. Not including support material like this just feels like such a huge, huge wasted opportunity for learning. Whoever designed the lame cover also did the book a huge disservice, as long as I’m kivetching.

Failings on bonus material aside, Wabi is a wonderful little gem of a book that I highly recommend to anyone who has a reluctant reader, an interest in indigenous myths and culture, or just a love of fun stories.


YA for Wine Lovers – Rampant

We were talking here on Rampant Reads the other day about how we named our blog after the book Rampant by Diana Peterfreund, but had not actually written a post about it! Ridiculous, I know. Fortunately for us, I run a book club, which means that I get to pick what we read. Bwahahaha!!!

For our October meeting, I wanted something with monsters, as it is October and Halloween is my birthday, so I like to celebrate monsters whenever possible. I feel that killer unicorns are really under appreciated nowadays, and I wanted to introduce more people to the glory that is a fanged, blood-thirsty beast of a unicorn.

It was really nice to have a mix of opinions on this book. While overall, every seemed to have a lot of fun with Rampant, we were able to have some interesting discussions about unicorn myths, virginity, and more.

This month’s drink is a basic daiquiri, with a twist. Combine all of liquid ingredients below and then put a spoonful of Pop Rocks in your drink for a nice little kick! Watch the video below to see it made step by step!

The Remedy

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Rum
  • .5 oz Lime Juice
  • .5 oz. Agave (or other sweetener)
  • .5 oz Prickly Pear juice
  • Pop Rocks


So now that you have your drink in hand (you do have your drink in hand, right?), let’s dive into Rampant!

Now it is no secret that we ladies of Rampant Reads love us some killer unicorns. I mean, we named our blog after the book for goodness sake! But it wasn’t always like that. When we first read the description of this book – unicorns are real, are killers, and can only be stopped by the virgin descendants of Alexander the Great – we were skeptical. This is the sort of thing that can be either awesome or horribly horribly awful. So we were very excited when buzz around the ‘net was that the book was fantastic. When we finally got a copy for ourselves, it traveled around our little circle faster than any other book before or since, and we all loved it.

At our book club on Wednesday, there was a mixed bag of reviews, but most people dug the book and the concept of killer unicorns. Because… come on. KILLER UNICORNS. That’s just a good time waiting to happen. I personally (and this is now RS here, btw – hi!) love the book because in the midst of all the craziness, there are some very real characters with some very real feelings toward being unicorn hunters. I love that Astrid does not want to become a hunter and really struggles with it throughout the book, even as she has to watch herself transform from ordinary teenager to killer. Her little moments of realization throughout the book as she caught herself doing or thinking things that would never have crossed her mind months earlier really drove home how much this experience had changed her. One point that was brought up during our Monday discussion was that when everyone thought she was dead, she had the perfect opportunity to escape and that almost every teenage girl would have taken that opportunity rather than return out of a sense of duty. I would argue that this just further proves how much this experience has transformed her into someone who is NOT a normal teenage girl. Throughout her months at the Cloister, she became a soldier, and it affected every decision she made after.

Though there are definitely a lot of deeper topics within the book , I also love that the book is just fun. Phil, one of my favorite characters, is a trip. Astrid herself can be delightfully snarky. And then there’s, you know, killer unicorns. I’m sorry, I know that there are some people out there who don’t want to read about teenage girls hunting down and killing mythological creatures, but I think my years of Buffy-watching will prove that I am not one of those girls. The book does not shy away from sending these girls out into a bloodbath, and despite their lack of training, they prove themselves to be damn good hunters.

Of course, there are lots of things to discuss with this book, but we don’t want these monthly book club posts to just be like any other review. Book clubs are all about discussion, and we can’t wait to discuss this one with you guys! So hit us up in the comments with your thoughts and opinions. What are your thoughts on the fact that the hunters must be virgins? What do you think of Phil’s stance on wanting to protect and study the unicorns rather than killing them into extinction? Do you now want a little Bonegrinder of your very own? We want to hear from you!

And we also want to see you, either virtually or in person, at our next meeting of YA for Wine Lovers. Head over to our Facebook page for all the details. Our next selection is City of Thieves by David Benioff. See you next month!


Books & Cocktails are the Magic Combination

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with my friend David and we were talking about books and what we were reading. Suddenly a little light bulb went off in his head and he looked at me and was like, “We should totally start a book club!” I, of course, agreed that that would be a fabulous idea and moved on, not thinking that much would come of it. You see, I often have ideas like, “Let’s join a kickball league!” or, “We should really take some ballroom dancing lessons.” and even, “I heard that in Florida they have a Cowboy Resort! We should do that and learn how to lasso things while drinking whiskey!” Needless to say, I sometimes lack follow through. Lucky for me, David does not!

Which brings us to about two weeks after our story started. I got a phone call from David that went something like, “So Parker’s on Ponce is letting us use one of their rooms for our book club. There will be half priced bottles of wine and I am going to make theme cocktails for every book! So what are we going to read?” And that is when I realized that we were in fact starting a book club and that I was going to be half responsible for it. We picked out books, teamed up with a local indy bookstore, Little Shop of Stories, and the rest is history, so to speak.

On Monday we had our very first meeting to discuss Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. AND PEOPLE SHOWED UP! Not just people that I know and thus they felt obligated to show up so that I wasn’t just sitting at the bar by myself, but actual strangers that just wanted to drink wine and talk about books. Which is exactly what we did.

David’s drink was much prettier. This is a random photo from the internet, but you can at least the the general idea!

To go with our book talk, David made a delicious drink that he named The Tesseract, in honor of the book. Those of you that need a reminder, a tesseract is basically like a 5th dimension that is kind of like folding the fabric of space and time and it allows you to move great distances and times in an instant. Along with time and space travel, the novel has strong themes of the battle between light and dark, good and evil. Playing off of these concepts, The Tesseract drink is a dark blue at the bottom and clear at the top, showing a distinct difference light and dark and space. David said that it was how he pictures the 5th dimension to look. I was not thinking ahead and failed to take a photo of the beautiful (and delicious) drink, but below is the recipe!

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • .5 oz Triple Sec
  • A Splash of Sprite
  • A Bar Spoonful of Cranberry Juice
  • Shake well and strain to pour
  • After pouring, drizzle with Blue Curacao

For those of you that would like to participate virtually with us, we will be reading Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me for September 10 in Decatur, and will be discussing it on the blog that week. We will have a new book themed drink to share with y’all and encourage you to come up with your own! We would love to hear your thoughts on the book as well as your cocktail ideas! You can also join in the discussion at our YA for Wine Lovers Facebook Page.