Go ahead and admit it — Literary Elitism is alive and well in all sophomoric hearts. It never goes away as we age. It’s always there, just beneath our adult consciousness waiting for an opportunity to come out and play.
Problem is, the opportunities are few and far between — unless you frequent your local Starbucks. Not the drive-thru window, mind you. No. You must be part of the daily foot traffic to completely understand the mash-up of this new clever and witty book, titled “Literary Starbucks.”
“Literary Starbucks” is not a book at all. It’s a combined collection of imaginations of historic, contemporary and classical author and character experiences in ordering their favorite (i.e. appropriate) caffeinated beverage from their neighborhood Starbucks — what they order, how they order it, and the interactions and conversations with not only the attending baristas, but the other patrons of the establishment as well.
From the very beginning of the book, the very first tale of e. e. cummings’ visit, a reader may experience the typesetter’s nightmare in this capture of the intended content and context, but will also appreciate the wit behind the story, even if they had only heard references to Cummings’s style and had not read his poetry:
Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the more recent “Go Set a Watchman,” makes a rather late appearance in the book, and is referred to once again even later on.
And the epilogue set 19 years later with reference to Rip Van Winkle is priceless:
A delightful quick-read published by St. Martin’s Griffin Press and illustrated by Harry Bliss, “Literary Starbucks” has all of the wit, humor and wisdom of a recently-graduated liberal arts major millennial, but it will appeal to any (literate) age group that has read “Great Expectations.”
The three authors met at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, but have now all graduated, and Starbucks doesn’t like them hanging around there all the time anymore. Currently, Jill Poskanzer lives in Los Angeles and works as the writers’ PA on “The Odd Couple” at CBS Studios. Nora Katz is pursuing her Masters of Philosophy in Public History and Cultural Heritage at Trinity College Dublin. And Wilson Josephson is a poetry editor for the Rain, Party, and Disaster Society, and “reveling in his unemployment” (his words).
Harry Bliss (the illustrator) is a cartoonist and cover artist for The New Yorker magazine. Bliss studied painting at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Illustration at The University of the Arts (BFA) and Syracuse University (MA). While not on tour promoting his picture books, Harry can be found drawing his internationally syndicated, single panel gag cartoons entitled “BLISS.” Harry N. Abrams published “Death by Laughter,” the first collection of these extremely witty cartoons in Spring 2008 with an introduction by Christopher Guest. Harry lives in South Burlington, Vermont.
Available at amazon.com. Click on title to order.
by Jill Poskanzer, Wilson Josephson and Nora Katz
e. cummings: Complete Poems, 1904 – 1962
by E. E. Cummings
To Kill a Mockingbird + Go Set a Watchman
by Harper Lee
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle
by Washington Irving
Death by Laughter
by Harry Bliss
St. Martin’s Griffin Press, Literarystarbucks.com/about
Watch To Kill a Mockingbird now — free streaming movie on moviezoot.com.
You can follow the Literary Starbucks Twitter at @LitStarbucks.
You can follow the authors individually on Twitter
(@MsJillMadeline, @norathebold, and @w_awful) and on Tumblr (jillmadeline, norathebold, and i–waffle).
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