Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mom on Reading Between the Wines

I generally don't write about the books that I work on here. I find that I mention many authors or occasionally reference the books in passing, but as this is not an official UC Press blog, I avoid reviewing my books. Despite the significant overlap between my work and personal lives, reviewing the books I work on here seems a bit flackish. That said, today I present a review of one of my fall titles.

First, a story. This past spring, after more than 35 years and a long run of Best Independent Bookstore awards in the Hartford Advocate, my mother closed her bookstore. Which is both a good and bad thing. Now she has time for gardening and travel and movies and all of those things you can not do when running your own store. She is even coming to visit next month! But she is also not surrounded by books all day and I know that she misses it. She also can no longer hand sell the books I am working on by explaining to her customers that it is her daughter's book. They generally got placed on the front counter for easy access.

On the other hand, she now has more time to actually read books. So, I send recommendations, mainly for mysteries and very rarely even books. But as she is neither a wine expert nor an academic, many of the books I work on are not ones she is likely to sit down on a Sunday afternoon and read. But, sometimes it happens.
A couple of weeks ago when my advance copies of Terry Theise's Reading Between the Wines arrived, several were damaged. Not too damaged to read and enjoy, but too damaged to send out to reviewers or the general public. As a former bookseller, my Mom would not be offended to receive a slightly gluey copy. She likes wine, although she herself would say that she is far from an expert. But I thought that just maybe the book would speak to her. And, well, as I said, it was kind of sticky.

So I sent a copy and waited. It turns out that I did not wait very long. As I reported a week ago on twitter, she called me at work a few days later to say that she could not put the book down. (And, no, it was not just the glue.) I asked her if she would mind telling me why. I'll paste her review below because as much as I am looking forward to more traditional reviews, this one is special.

Amy, no wonder you have such a high regard for Terry Theise. I'm reading a preview copy that you sent me of "Reading between the Wines" And, I am both amazed and delighted by his book. It's concise and poetic, charming and edgy, romantic and practical, and informative--but, not pedantic. I am loving this little book which is both philosophical and sensible. Everything that he says about wine is a metaphor about living an holistic life--awareness, appreciation, acceptance, and openness. Bravo to him and to your publisher for printing this small gem! Love, Mom P.S. It's also very funny!

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