Amidst the April showers and faux summer days, we’re craving a little comedic relief to get us through the month. From memoirs to fiction novels, these books and bottles have been specially curated to bring some levity to the rainy days ahead. Check ‘em out below!
Off the coast of South Carolina, Ella Minnow Pea lives on the fictional island of Nollop, which is named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal phrase containing all the letters of the alphabet, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” With the ban of using certain letters of the alphabet that falls from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop, Ella finds herself trying to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. Written for linguists and word lovers everywhere, this book goes perfectly with this fun sparkling white from Lambrusco country, with notes of citrus, quince, cardamom, and honeyed flowers.
In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band, her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. A book that’s meant to be cherished, shared, and reread, it could only be paired with this prized rose that has lush notes of red currant and strawberry.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Sagmeister Dry Furmint 2017
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to the Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist… Embrace the end of the world with this book and wine combo. Fun, full-bodied, and richly textured, this organic white wine has notes of quince, cotton candy, pear, bruised apple skin, and lemon peel.
Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’s wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot. In a series of deftly drawn scenes, we watch the family grapple with American English (hot dogs and hush puppies?—a complete mystery), American traditions (Thanksgiving turkey?—an even greater mystery, since it tastes like nothing), and American culture (Firoozeh’s parents laugh uproariously at Bob Hope on television, although they don’t get the jokes even when she translates them into Farsi). A book this powerful needs to be paired with something equally intense. Laphroaig 10yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky is an extraordinary whisky that explodes with notes of briny seaweed, smoked almonds, and intense smoke.
The book that inspired the movie, A Christmas Story, Shepherd writes this wildly witty reunion with his Indiana hometown, which disproves the adage “You can never go back.” Bending the ear of Flick, his childhood-buddy-turned-bartender, Shepherd passionately recalls his genuine Red Ryder BB gun, confesses adolescent failure in the arms of Junie Jo Prewitt, and relives a story of man against fish that not even Hemingway could rival. From pop art to the World’s Fair, Shepherd’s subjects speak with a universal irony and are deeply and unabashedly grounded in American Midwestern life, together rendering a wonderfully nostalgic impression of a more innocent era when life was good, fun was clean, and station wagons roamed the earth. Cozy up with this book on a rainy day alongside this biodynamic Italian white wine with mesmerizing notes of Mediterranean herbs, fig, apricot, candied orange peel, and a splash of saline.