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review 2017-11-11 14:33
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere ★★★☆☆
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere - Z.Z. Packer

I was enchanted with this book of short stories at first, but gradually lost enthusiasm as I progressed through the short stories. I love the author’s ability to draw characters through their actions and interactions with each other and their environment. I love her ability to create a sense of place and how her characters fit in that setting. I love the little thought-provoking moments in each story. But there was an unrelenting sameness to the stories. She likes Shirley Jackson-ish main characters: young people who live too much in their own heads, socially-awkward, alternating between remaining passively and resentfully where they are and impulsively jumping into situations that they then don’t know how to extricate themselves from. She also doesn’t seem to know how to wrap a story up. Most of them just end abruptly, like the author just ran out of things to say. Of the eight short stories, the best were “Brownies” and “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere”

 

Paperback copy, which I will donate to the library as I don’t keep paperbacks that I rated fewer than 4 stars. Although this book has been on my physical TBR for two years, I don’t remember what prompted me to buy it. It was probably something I read when I was looking for TBR recs when I started the Book Riot challenge for We Need Diverse Books.

 

I read it for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 16 December 26th-31st: Book themes for Kwanzaa: Read a book written by an author of African descent or a book set in Africa, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black. The author, ZZ Packer, is African-American.

 

Previous Updates:

11/9/17 82/265pg

11/10/17 210/265pg

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text 2017-11-10 14:42
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere - 210/265 pg
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere - Z.Z. Packer

This author apparently has no use for happy endings to her stories. They're not unrelentingly grim, but it's close.

 

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text 2017-11-09 18:39
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere - 82/265 pg
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere - Z.Z. Packer

Although the stories themselves are of varying quality so far, the writing is wonderfully evocative. This author can do more in less than 2 dozen pages to create a world, people it with real characters, and provoke my emotions than many authors can accomplish in a novel-length story. 

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review 2017-11-06 17:03
Review of Death by Coffee
Death by Coffee - Alex Erickson

Not sure why it took me so long to try this series and it was really cute and fun. 

 

Krissy and her friend Vicki thought it would be fun to open up a bookstore cafe and call it Death by Coffee, after one of her father's mystery books. It was cute until a man that just left her coffee shop ends up dead and then the words rang a bit too true. Though he didn't die by the coffee it still made her feel bad and it wasn't helping them get customers. 

 

So Krissy feels that she needs to try and figure things out and gets herself in a bit of trouble that started out with Paul, an officer taking her to the crime scene. Who takes a date to the crime scene! They both get arrested by a smug officer but Paul's mother is the police chief, so they didn't get in trouble. It does peak her interest in trying to solve the crime though and that gets her in a lot more trouble.

 

I like Krissy though she is sort of living in her father's shadow she is also trying to make something of herself with her bookstore cafe. There is a major fan of her fathers that comes into the cafe and it's pretty funny. Vicki is a bit of a worry wart but I can't blame her as they were not getting much traffic into their cafe at first. We don't really get to know her much in this first one but as a secondary character I am sure we will in the future.  I must say I didn't figure out the killer in this one so I really liked the mystery and thought it was done well. 

 

Overall I thought this was a good start to a cozy series and I am always a fan of bookstore and coffee themes so this is a great combination. :) If you love cozies you should try this one!

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review 2017-10-29 15:59
From the Platform 2: More NYC Subway Graffiti, 1983–1989
From the Platform 2: More NYC Subway Graffiti, 1983–1989 - Paul Cavalieri,Kenny Cavalieri,Henry Chalfant

BLURB:

 

This is a nostalgic, visual account of the best time and place to be a graffiti writer. In the 1980s, brothers Kenny, a.k.a. KEY, and Paul, a.k.a. CAVS, immersed themselves in the graffiti scene in the Boogie Down Bronx, dutifully photographing hundreds of pieces on now-discontinued MTA subway cars and capturing their proud comrades before, during, and after the act. “Bombing” “White Elephants” with their pilot markers and documenting them with their cameras, which they always carried, they were on the ride of their lives—until 1989, when the last painted train was removed from service. Tags by names like QUIK, IZTHEWIZ, and many others appear here in color exposures, and dozens of artists share stories and drop knowledge with no filter. A foreword by graffiti historian Henry Chalfant, coproducer of Style Wars—the seminal documentary on New York graffiti and hip-hop culture—kicks things off.

 

REVIEW:

 

I have always loved graffiti. I live near two cities that both sport a lot of graffiti. I never tire from seeing it. 

 

I really enjoyed this coffee table book. It is amazing what someone can create with some spray paint. I can only imagine the amount of time and dedication it took for the brothers to photograph all these subway car masterpieces. The text boxes tell the story of their jouney.

 

 

Highly recommended.

 

REVIEW copy provided by Edelwiess.

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