Teaser Tuesday: The Monk of Mokha

Like the feeling you get when settling into a comfy chair with a good book and your favorite beverage, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.Confession Time: As I write this, I still haven’t finished Song of Roland. Also, I returned one book to the library and brought home two more. And I read one of them. Poor Roland.

One of those books was The Monk of Mokha by David Eggers. It had me at coffee.

The Goodreads Blurb:

The true story of a young Yemeni-American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by civil war–and his riveting tale of escape.

Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age twenty-four, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman, until a statue of an Arab raising a cup of coffee awakens something in him. He sets out to learn the rich history of coffee in Yemen and the complex art of tasting and identifying varietals. He travels to Yemen and visits countless farms, collecting samples, eager to bring improved cultivation methods to the countryside. And he is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs Yemen in 2015. The US Embassy closes, Saudi bombs began to rain down on the country, and Mokhtar is trapped in Yemen. Desperate to escape, he embarks on a passage that has him negotiating with dueling political factions and twice kidnapped at gunpoint. With no other options, he hires a skiff to take him, and his coffee samples, across the Red Sea. A heart-pounding true story that weaves together the history of coffee, the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man–a Muslim and a US citizen–following the most American of dreams.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 153:

In the cooperative, Malik owned perhaps four hundred coffee plants, which stood next to those owned by another farmer. All of the farmers picked their own coffee, which was then mixed together in a mass of cherries, red and green, ripe and rotten. 

Monk of Mokha cover

Four Stars to Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence

I suppose it was inevitable this book drew me in.

Dear Fahrenheit 451 coverFirst, the title references one of my all -time top ten books (top 5 if we count certain trilogies as one book). Second, I found this book while in the process of moving – and not all of my library could go with me. Sorting through and deciding what would stay, what would get donated, and what would go to the pulping machine, I found myself thinking about how each book has affected me.

This is Spence writing to her books. When any two readers get together, there’s bound to be disagreements, but I agreed with her opinions more often than not.

I would have given this book 5 stars for enjoyment if not for the last section, in which she recommends certain books in a kind of “You May Also Like”. It’s not that I disagreed with her recommendations, but rather the style was so vastly different than the letters that it felt somewhat plodding. Maybe it’s just me.

If you love books, you should read this book.

2 Stars to Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg

I read this book on a Sunday afternoon for several reasons.1. I was sick.2. I was bored.3. I was trying to avoid the Super Bowl.4. I found the book while moving and, as I’d never read before, wouldn’t donate/toss it without giving it a chance.This turned out to be a forgettable book written by a forgettable actor/comedian, whose IMDB I had to look up to even know who he was.

Having never seen Star Wars, there were much too many Star Wars references, and the fact that a *film* played such an important role in this so-called celebrity’s development/worldview speaks volumes. Films have their place and so do comedians; but this book deserves zero shelf space whatsoever. Don’t waste your time.I still gave it two stars because I reserve one-star rating for those books that are so utterly wrongheaded that I physically throw them in the trash to keep other unsuspecting readers away from their sullied pages. I’m sure someone already a fan of Pegg would appreciate this book, but I do not.

What are you reading today?

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