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Product Details

$14.95  $13.75
Bloomsbury Academic
Publish Date
4.6 X 6.4 X 0.7 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Dinah Lenney is a member of the core faculty of the Bennington Writing Seminars, and the author or editor of four books, including The Object Parade (2014). Her essays and reviews have been published in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post among other publications.


"True to its subject, this book is a real stimulant: the prose is caffeinated, zany yet serene and habit-forming. Chock full of odd facts, poignant autobiographical vignettes, comic touches, and wistful philosophical insights, it is a delicious brew, all in all, and as fine and accomplished an example of that contemporary form, the extended mosaic essay, as we are likely to encounter." --Phillip Lopate, author of To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction (2013)

"If there's ever been a more perfect pairing of author and subject matter, I can't recall it. Dinah Lenney was meant to write this book. I could say this is not just a book about coffee, but we knew that already. So what I will say is that it's about all that coffee represents; being awake, being cozy, being able to savor what's in your cup as well as what's in your life. Lenney's mastery of these lessons comes from her mastery of the fleeting moment, the quiet revelation, the unlikely holiness of even the most ordinary objects and everyday rituals. She's more than an observer of the world in her midst, she's a precise and careful excavator of the ground beneath her feet. How lucky we are to dig alongside her." --Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion (2014) and The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars (2019)

"An expert brew of research, memoir, and introspection, this lovely and satisfying book delivers many pleasures also found in a perfect cup of espresso. Reading Dinah Lenney, one's brain and heart feel quickened. Lenney's writing throughout is moving, intimate, eager, graceful, discerning, tender. The generosity of her self-examining candor and the warmth with which she admits us into her life play off beautifully against her natural reporter's curiosity. And happily, the salutary effects of Lenney's excellent prose last much longer than the buzz of mere caffeine." --Amy Gerstler, author of Scattered at Sea (2015)

"Dinah Lenney is a treasure. The acuity of her eye, the precision of her voice: Reading Coffee is like savoring the notes, the nuances, of a finely brewed cup. Energizing and engaging, full of deft and unexpected narrative turns, this book reminds us of the depths inherent in the simplest pleasures, as well as the ongoing relationships and daily interactions that add up to a life." --David L. Ulin, author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles (2015)

"Reading Dinah Lenney's frenetic ditty on coffee mimics the thing itself: one tries to quit it, but can't; one tries to put it down, only to pick it up again for stimulus, for agitation, for one more lasting epiphany!" --Mark Yakich, Gregory F. Curtin, S.J., Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, USA, and author of Poetry: A Survivor's Guide (Bloomsbury, 2015) and Spiritual Exercises (2019)