Coffee (Object Lessons)

Coffee (Object Lessons)


Contributor(s): Dinah Lenney, Christopher Schaberg, Ian Bogoest | Paperback

Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

Coffee--it's the thing that gets us through, and over, and around. The thing--the beverage, the break, the ritual--we choose to slow ourselves down or speed ourselves up. The excuse to pause; the reason to meet; the charge we who drink it allow ourselves in lieu of something stronger or scarier. Coffee goes to lifestyle, and character, and sensibility: where do we buy it, how do we brew it, how strong can we take it, how often, how hot, how cold? How does coffee remind us, stir us, comfort us?

But Coffee is about more than coffee: it's a personal history and a promise to self; in her confrontation with the hours (with time--big picture, little picture), Dinah Lenney faces head-on the challenges of growing older and carrying on.

Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.


"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)
"An expert brew of research, memoir, and introspection, this lovely and satisying 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)

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic | Pub Date: April 16, 2020 | Format: Paperback | Pages: 192 | Dimensions: 0.7" H x 6.4" L x 4.6" W | 0.4 lbs