Corked by Kathryn Borel: Road trip! During one of the worst years of her life, Kathryn Borel joins her father for a wine-tasting trip through France. Her dad, a Frenchman turned Candian hotelier, is a renowned wine expert, while Kathryn, a journalist, is fine with the grocery store stuff. This trip is her effort to learn more about her father, bond with him, and come to terms with the traumas in her own life. If she can stand to be around him that long. The first chapter has Kathryn trying to sink into the floor as her dad berates a waitress for not bringing the wine list to their table quickly enough.
Overall Quality: Pretty good. Based on the cover, I was expecting a lot more discussion of wine mixed in with the story of the relationship, and while there are some good wine tidbits, this is primarily a story about a woman and her father trying to understand each other. They bond over their goofy (and sometimes gross) sense of humor, but falter when dealing with more serious issues. Borel is a journalist by trade, and I think that comes through in this book (her first) as many of the chapters read more like columns. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and I would be up for reading future books by Borel.
Bus Readability: Good. It’s easy to pick up and put down, so it’s well suited to bus reading. The hardcover is just on the verge of being too big for one-handed reading, but my habds are small. I suspect the paperback would be fine.
Cocktail Party Conversation Starter: The highest classification of wine is called Grand Cru, and it represents the best of a particular region for a given year.
TL;DR: Sweet, easy, and sometimes painful tale of daughter-dad bonding.
Trigger Warnings: Vivid description of car accident, including a fatality; depression; character remembers the Holocaust with no graphic details.