As a coffee enthusiast and writer I was pleased to receive as a gift a copy of local (to me) author Tom Pappalardo’s One More Cup Of Coffee.
It seemed like an appropriate work for my first book review on this site. Or any site. Just my modest way to promote the local commerce and literary enterprises. Who wants a coffee???
You don’t need to be a coffee snob or even a Masshole to enjoy the observations, critiques, complaints, and detailed analyses of various cups and establishments visited herein. Anyone familiar with the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts knows that this is an area rich in cultural and culinary character. There are lots of weirdos here, is what I mean. And plenty of coffee.
Pappalardo offers a pleasant and humorous narrative as he ambles through just about every establishment in the area that sells coffee. Everywhere from the snootiest cafe atop its single-origin Olympian heights on down to the “Starbucks Corner Area” inside the Stop & Shop. A bit of tasteless coupon-baiting leads him to conclude “This is why America is collapsing like a dying star.”
Under chapter titles like “MAYBE I’M ALREADY DEAD” and “A JAZZ DISAGREEMENT” Pappalardo gives each establishment a page or two of observation, a glimpse of everything from decor and customer demographics to anything else he deems noteworthy. Or cringeworthy:
Two older ladies sit next to me, eating salads and gossiping about someone named Ginny while the satellite radio plays Adult Alternative music: A Counting Fucking Crows song from 2014. Who and where are these adults and what are they being provided an alternative to? Bring these people to me, and I will take this ballpoint pen and I will gut them like fish.
Though I am sure most books in the “coffee shop observation” genre may easily grow tepid and stale, even if brewed strong enough to begin with, One More Cup of Coffee maintains its freshness and satisfying bold acidity throughout. If you live around here you will appreciate the inside jokes and local characters, and if you don’t you will come away with a sense of what it is like to be in the Pioneer Valley, a humble observer, just trying to get a cup of coffee.
One More Cup of Coffee written and illustrated by Tom Pappalardo COPYRIGHT 2016 tompappalardo.com
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