As I sit here at 10 p.m. on Thursday evening (quite sad, really), willing myself on to edit just another couple of chapters, fuelled by a “supersized” mug of coffee, it brings to mind an astoundingly fresh historical novel that I read last year called The Coffee Trader by David Liss.
The novel takes place in 17th-century Amsterdam (in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition) and is centered around a trader named Miguel Lienzo, of Portuguese Jewish descent, who has just emerged from a financial disaster and hopes to recover his fortune by trading in the virtually unknown new commodity called [WAIT FOR IT, *DRUM ROLL*] coffee. I particularly enjoyed reading about people’s reaction to this bitter brew in the 17th century. They found it hard to believe that money could be made from this weird and exotic beverage. I can’t even begin to think what my (professional) life would be like without coffee. There’s a G-d in the world.
Anyway, on that note, my coffee break is over. It’s back to work.