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Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

To be honest, I know nothing about fine wine.  Once a year on New Year’s Eve, hubby and I indulge in a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante.  It is OK to laugh and yet from reading, I retain the idea of fine wines mentioned by the characters who enjoy them.

A site on types of wine:

wiki explains the history of wine:

Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest known production of wine, made by fermenting grapes, took place from the late Neolithic or early Chalcolithic, possibly as early as the sixth millennium BC, between the Caucasus and the Middle East, with clues of winemaking in different sites dated from 6000 BC in Georgia, 5000 BC in Iran, and 4100 BC in Armenia. During an extensive gene-mapping project in 2006, archaeologists analyzed the heritage of more than 110 modern grape cultivars, and narrowed their origin to a region in Georgia, where wine residues were also discovered on the inner surfaces of 8,000-year-old ceramic storage jars.

Chemical analysis of 7,000-year-old pottery shards indicated early winemaking in the neolithic village of Hajji Firuz Tepe in Iran's Zagros Mountains. Other notable areas of wine production have been discovered in Greece and date back to 4500 BC. The same sites also contain the world's earliest evidence of crushed grapes. A wine making press was found in 2011 in the Areni-1 site of Armenia, and dated around 4100 BC.

Literary references to wine are abundant in Homer (9th century BC, but possibly composed even earlier), Alkman (7th century BC), and others. In Ancient Egypt, six of 36 wine amphoras were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun bearing the name "Kha'y", a royal chief vintner. Five of these amphoras were designated as from the King's personal estate with the sixth listed as from the estate of the royal house of Aten. Traces of wine have also been found in central Asian Xinjiang, dating from the second and first millennia BC.

Somehow, I have an image in my mind of books that are like fine wine.  The kind of book, short story, poem or play that makes us sit back and relax and say, “ah…perfect!”  

These books may have dry wit, bubbling dialogue, a fine bouquet of phrase, a robust plot, harmonious tone, or clarity of expression.

We award these literary offerings the highest praise and often re-read them with great pleasure.

We all have different books that touch a chord in us which makes for good discussions.

Whether it is a tiny gem of a book, a huge behemoth, or a series; whether it is an adventure, a travel story, a memoir, a mystery, a romance, a fantasy or several types all together; the memory of the book stays with us and we yearn to find more like it.

This is why I used to say that if we can get a student to read one truly fine book, he will go looking for more.  Readers have complained bitterly about books they had to read in school, but there must have been some that were put into our hands that we never forgot.

I hope.

Perhaps, the tales we love best were stories we found all by ourselves, unknown, unheralded, and that discovery has never been forgotten.   The finding of the book was part of the memory that we cherish.  Because of that we still prowl book stores, used book stores and libraries looking for books that qualify as special and rich.

I can only mention a few so I hope you will fill in with your favorites.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Mary Doria Russell
    The Sparrow
    Children of God

The Cygnet and the Firebird by Patricia McKillip

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Janny Wurts

     Wars of Light and Shadow series
       Curse of the Mistwraith
       Ships of Merior
       Warhost of Vastmark
       Fugitive Prince
       Grand Conspiracy
       Peril's Gate
       Traitor's Knot
       Stormed Fortress
       Iniate’s Trial

Robin Hobb

Farseer Trilogy
     Royal Assassin
     Assassin's Apprentice
     Assassin's Quest
 Liveship Traders series
     Ship of Magic
     Ship of Destiny
 Tawny Man series
     Fool's Errand
     Golden Fool
     Fool's Fate
The Rain Wilds Chronicles
      Dragon Keeper
      Dragon Haven
      City of Dragons

Dennis L. McKiernan


Lloyd Alexander

Chronicles of Prydain

The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights by John Steinbeck


Historical Fiction

The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

A Very Long Engagement by Sebastien Japrisot



Our Choice by Al Gore

Bill of Wrongs by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose



Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

The Charioteer by Mary Renault

Losing Battles by Eudora Welty


Memoir/Autobiography/Story based on a real person

Cat from Hue by John Laurence

Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart

Mrs. Mike by the Freedmans

Homer Hickam

   Rocket Boys
    The Coalwood Way
    Sky of Stone



Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder about Dr. Paul Farmer

Taylor Branch

  Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963
   Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65
   At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68


True adventure

River-Horse by William Least-Heat Moon



The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals ed, by Patrick Hart and Jonathan Montaldo.

Night Country by Loren Eiseley


Short Novel

Shane by Jack Schaefer

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shaffer
and Barrows

Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman



A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


Short Story

The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet

A Worn Path by Eudora Welty



Falco series by Lindsey Davis

The Likeness by Tana French

The Todd series with Inspector Ian Rutledge

The Louise Penny series with Inspector Gamache

The Andrea Camilleri series with Inspector Montalbano (except the first one)



Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas

The Highway Man by Alfred Noyes

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking by Walt Whitman



Vivere: Live in Tuscany with Andrea Bocelli

Firefly series

Lark Rise to Candleford series

The Red Violin

Educating Rita

Children of a Lesser God



What books are like fine wine for you?

Diaries of the Week

Write On! Editors
by SensibleShoes

Thursday Classical Music OPUS 91: Karl Weigl Symphony #5 "The Apocalyptic Symphony"
by Dumbo

NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


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