Coffee. This rich, intense essence of life; the bold, earthy goodness that makes mornings more bearable. A whiff of the stuff can help my eyes open, get me out of bed a little faster.
But this wasn’t always the case.
I worked at Starbucks at the end of college and during the first couple of years of my marriage, and I loved it. I loved the smell of the place, the warm, enveloping dark, leathery feel of stores. But, and this is the weird part, I didn’t really drink coffee when I worked there.
Weird, right? I drank chais and teas and mistos (tea with steamed milk), and, every once and awhile, a frappucino. What was the strangest thing was that I could take a sip of coffee and tell you which beans they were–I had a great pallet for different coffee. But I never sat down and had a whole cup of coffee just to have a cup of coffee.
So, coffee and I were friends. Friends with benefits. I got the taste factor, but I didn’t get the sitting and sinking into a cup of coffee thing. For years, we stayed in touch. Sometimes we would hook up with some Bailey’s (holidays), or at a friend’s house (as not to be rude). But it was a friendly nod from across the room. I understood the taste, and the caffeine stuff is obvious. But I was afraid of the intense love that was hiding behind the cute coffee mug.
Through early days of motherhood, through jobs that forced me out of bed in the morning, I stayed away from what I knew would be a darkly obsessive relationship with coffee. I spied it through the Starbucks drive-through, I even tasted its sweet loving embrace. But I wouldn’t let it have a real hold on my heart.
And then, Keurig. We bought one, and I decided it was time to have a cup here and there. I let it in. I fell in love. Slowly at first, and then all at once.
Pretty quickly one K-Cup at a time wasn’t enough. I was up to two in my mug in the morning, and sometimes another a little later. I couldn’t get enough. And that’s where I am now.
I’m fully immersed in this love story now. Every morning now, coffee has me at Hello. So much so, that I’m leaving my Keurig and jumping into the French press. We’ve had one for awhile, but we have no kettle to warm the water (and doing it in a saucepan has led to spills of hot water). Today, my electric kettle will be delivered.
Watch out world, no one can stop this endless love. It’s me and coffee forever.
I read Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season last August and really liked it. It was hugely hyped by Bloomsbury, and Shannon was receiving adulation and accolades, the build-up being that she was the most talented young writer of late and her books were next great series for a generation raised on Harry Potter.
Now, I really enjoyed the book and the series has so much potential. And this young lady has a great imagination, creating an alternative history that is intricate and detailed. But I don’t think this book lived up to the hype. I think the series will, though.
I’m reviewing this book now because I was lucky enough to get to read a chunk of the next installment early. The next book, The Mime Order is due out on October 21st. After reading the first bit I cannot wait for the whole book.
In The Bone Season, we meet Paige Mahoney, the heroine of the series. Paige lives in London and is an unnatural, a person with a psychic gift. In this alternative reality, unnaturals are illegal and must stay hidden or face prison in The Tower. London is controlled by Scion, a sort of police force who works to rid London of unnaturals.
Paige lives in the real world with her father, but really comes to life working for one of the underground mime-lords. Her mime-lord is Jaxson, and she is basically his second in command. He can feel her untapped potential. For a mime-lord, he seems to be on the kinder side.
The real action begins when Paige is captured by Scion and taken not to The Tower, as she feared, but to a hidden detention camp called Shoel I, located in what was once Oxford. Here Paige learns what happens to many unnaturals; they are kept as entertainment and trained for warfare by a seemingly brutal race from a different world, the Rephaim. Here, Paige is given to Warden, a Rephaim royal, to be trained. She must decide if he is worth trusting in order to get away from this horrible place and back to the London she knows.
The book is a little slow and full of Paige’s backstory. After reading The Bone Season, I was a little worried that Shannon wouldn’t live up to the hype. But, if the first part of The Mime Order is any indication, I think this wunderkind has created a world in which we can become fully immersed, one of those worlds that created the best kind of book hangovers.