WINE AND WORK

PEOPLE LOVING LIFE

From a global cast of winemakers come intimate, revealing comments about their art, which swing between invigorating to mellow.

Three years, 50 people and a dozen countries later, Mullen returns with these insights into why folks involved with the wine trade are in love with their work. The reasons are legion but all of a part: being outdoors and in tune with the seasons, entering into a partnership with the grapes, pride in the art of creation and an independence of spirit; as one Slovenian winemaker said, “When we started we have opinions that are different than other guys.” What Mullen has delivered is essentially a transcript of the spoken word, as unvarnished as are many of these mostly unsung winemakers—there are plenty of abrupt transitions and digressions—an enjoyable collection that contains many a rough diamond who yet ably convey the passion they bring to their work. “I like drinking red wine. I like making red wine. I like thinking about red wine.” Mullen keeps the proceedings lively by covering not only lots of ground—New Zealand to Missouri, Washington to the Azores—but also lots of aspects of winemaking, from cooperage to corks, the challenging demands placed on women winemakers, research into screwcaps, the talents of the garagiste, winery architecture. Particularly impressive is a short course on Italian geology that blossoms into an earnest and enlightening dissection of the whole notion of terroir, as well as a wonderfully disarming story of a Frenchman who now makes cognac, but who came to the calling via Kent in England, where he worked at “a small winery in the town of Chiddingstone for a bit more than two years. That’s where I learned to make wine.” That is an admission perhaps unique in the long annals of winemaking. Included are photographs heavily saturated with atmosphere, the kind you can almost smell before you see them. A fine, maverick company of winemakers hold court about the thing they love best: communing with the world of the grape.

 

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9849565-0-0

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Roundwood Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2012

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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