This is the last Books and Beverages of the year. During 2015 I read a total of 24 books, which surpassed my original goal of 15. I read just under 9,000 pages and it’s a miracle my wrist doesn’t ache from all that page turning. Over the months of November and December, I read four books and consumed countless mugs of tea and other beverages while doing so.
John Grisham is one of those iconic American novelists, so I figured I’d give him a try. I hate to admit that I wasn’t all that impressed. Mitch McDeere, newlywed and fresh out of law school, gets a job offer that he can’t refuse. The firm offers to pay off all his college loans, give him a brand new luxury car, and even get him a great deal on a new mortgage, not to mention the salary that will become six figures in a few years. He works extra hard, like 100 hours a week hard, to impress his coworkers and bosses. Then one day he’s approached by an FBI agent and soon realizes that the firm isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The novel has good suspense and an interesting plot, but the characters are very flat and there is no character growth.
Dave Barry is a comedian that went to Japan courtesy of Random House for three weeks. In this book, he describes his experiences in a different culture in a humorous way. Although some of his jokes and point of view are a little offensive, overall the book is very entertaining. If you’ve ever been to Japan, you will understand and probably chuckle at a lot of things he says or exaggerates. It’s probably best not to read this before going to Japan because I think it’s best to experience the culture from your own perspective first.
I have been anticipating this book for a very long time. Like almost a whole year, I think. In some ways, it lived up to my expectations, but in others it did not. Magnus Chase is sixteen and has been living on the streets of Boston ever since his mother passed away in a fire two years ago. His uncle, who seems to have completely lost his mind, finds him and Magnus soon learns that his own father is a Norse god. One event leads to another and Magnus finds himself on a quest with an elf and a dwarf to stop the end of the world. They meet many gods and monsters along the way, befriending or making enemies of them. Sometimes this book was too much like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but sometimes it was unique and surprising. If you like Percy Jackson, then I recommend picking up Sword of Summer.
This is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy. The beginning of it has a tone very similar to that of Catch-22 that makes you chuckle because of how eerily similar it is to life. It opens with Arthur Dent, whose house is supposed to be demolished to make way for a new bypass. His friend, Ford Prefect, shows up to tell him that the world is going to end in about twelve minutes and that they should go and get some drinks. Meanwhile, on a planet called Damogran far far away from Earth, Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Imperial Galactic Government, is giving a speech. Through highly improbable random coincidences, Zaphod meets up with Arthur and Ford and some very unexpected and improbable events occur. It’s a very entertaining read and an amusing poke at all things science fiction.
Stephen’s Peppermint Hot Cocoa
This is my favorite time of year to drink tons of hot cocoa. I especially love Stephen’s Peppermint Hot Cocoa. It tastes like liquid Christmas. I love to garnish it with whipped cream and a candy cane.
Gingerbread Spice Tea
Celestial Seasonings makes several holiday teas, but the gingerbread is my favorite. It tastes exactly like you would expect it and doesn’t need any sweetening.