The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series:The Hill Country Authors Series will feature Air National Guard major MJ Hegar on at the library. She is author of Shoot Like a Girl and we will be discussing her novel at the event. Please help us publicize this fund raising event and plan to join us at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W 8th St. The doors will open at for a delicious dessert from the Red Poppy Cafe, with the talk beginning at Tickets will be available for $15 beginning at Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library and online at www.folgeorgetown.org/calen
Monday, August 20, 2007
The Coffee Trader Stimulates Us
We had a good discussion about The Coffee Trader, by David Liss today! This was a complex book with a lot of plot twists, and some business dealings that I'm not sure we all totally understood. I realized about halfway into the discussion that this would be a good book to read again, to get all the pieces and foreshadowings and cause-and-effect stories understood. I'm going to tell you 3 interesting points I picked up from the discussion, rather than ramble on.
(1) In 17th century Amsterdam, the water wasn't safe to drink without boiling it. So that was why everyone drank so much wine all the time, whether they were doing business or having breakfast or whatever! And that would also be another reason why the world was ripe for coffee to become popular - a wake-up drink rather than an alcoholic one, and one that could be made best with boiled water!
(2) Truth was hard to find in this book and for all the characters in it. Everyone seemed to lie to everyone else, and no one could trust the truth if it was staring them in the face, as they couldn't tell that it wasn't another lie. The reader was brought along on this ride from fabrication to fabrication and from one consequence of one person's lie to other consequences of other people's lies.
(3) There was a lot of discussion of this author's previous book and next book. David Liss wrote A Conspiracy of Paper, which is sort of a historical business mystery taking place in London about 50 years after the time of The Coffee Trader. The main character is a Jewish man who seems to be the nephew of the son of one of the characters in The Coffee Trader. This book, as well as Liss's next book, which is advertised in the paperback edition of The Coffee Trader ( I don't have it and didn't write it down, and it's not online yet, as it isn't on sale yet), seem also to have lots of well-researched history, business intrigue, and plot twists.
David Liss is an interesting author, whose home base is San Antonio. Maybe we can read another of his books sometime and get him to visit us!