Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It’ll Change the Way You Drink

Wow, one very busy summer means three months of neglecting my blog. Fear not, beloved readers, I have returned. Apologies to those who have asked questions in previous posts, I will answer them immediately. And now, onwards we march :)

For the past few months, I’ve wondered how much of what I read influences my daily life; causes me to try new things or at least want to try them. Not in a “my whole world view has changed because of this book” sort of way, but on a much smaller, less life-altering manner.

The best example I can provide is my personal quest for Tab. I adore Anne Stuart’s Ice series (Black Ice, Cold as Ice, Ice Blue, and the upcoming Ice Storm). Cold as Ice was one of my favorite books last year, and Ice Blue will almost certainly be on my personal Top 10 list for this year’s books. The heroines of Cold as Ice and Ice Blue, Genevieve and Summer respectively, both have a particular preference for the soda Tab. After reading Cold as Ice and not only loving the book but identifying in many respects with the heroine, I was curious about Tab, though I knew nothing about it. Ice Blue sealed the deal and I was on a mission to hunt down Tab which (and if you are from the West Coast you know or will soon find out it is more likely that you would be able to sell a kidney on the street than find a six-pack of Tab). I finally succeeded in buying some and was pleasantly surprised that, like Genevieve and Summer, I have found that I prefer Tab to both Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke. My mother, who can’t stand the drink, remains mystified as to why I like it.

Perhaps a more popular example would be the search for Grey Goose and dark chocolate. Fans of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood know that Vishous (of the upcoming Lover Unbound) has a strong preference for Grey Goose vodka, and Cellies also know that he has a noted preference for dark chocolate. Being a fan of neither chocolate nor vodka, I still set out to try both, and both products were markedly easier to find than the elusive Tab. Surprisingly, I did like both the Goose and the dark chocolate, more than I expected. Whether this is because of its association with a beloved character or not, I’m not quite sure. Neither is something I would have often, but just the same, reading the BDB books did make me want to try two products I might never have before.

This is not to say I support tons of brand-name dropping in books; I don’t. If it fits with the story, as in both the aforementioned examples, then I’m all for it. Nor does it mean that I will like everything that a favorite character likes, because that certainly is not true either. The two previous examples are just the most recent examples of small influences a book or series of books have had on my daily life. There are numerous instances of books making me see things a bit differently, consider what I would and would not do on a very personal level, et cetera. So this is, to me, yet another fascinating thing about books; their ability to make you want to try new things. From something as small as trying an unknown brand of soda to something larger and, perhaps, more profound, books have the ability to influence your life on so many levels.

Now, if only a gorgeous, intelligent operative like Peter Jensen were as simple to find ;)

So this week, my lovely readers, I leave you with the following question:
Have you ever been influenced by a book to try something new (no matter how big or small)?


Susan said...

Hmmmm...I've not thought about that and I can't recall anything at the moment. It's a thought to keep in mind now though.

Claudia said...

I'm sure I have tried something from a book, though at the moment I can't recall any examples. I did jump at the chance to take a shot of goose, though. It was pretty smooth....

Keira Soleore said...

Sib, I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with an example of this. I'm sure I've been similarly influenced. However, you know my lamentable lack of memory. I can't come up with anything.

I've always had vodka in a drink with an umbrella, so I have no clue what it tastes like. How does vodka taste in general, and how is the Gray Goose different from the norm?

As far as dark chocolates go, my hubby is a huge fan (we've even tried 80% cacao). While I don't like most American milk chocolates, there are some that are incredibly velvety, like Ghiradelli or Fran's (a local chocolatiere). Then there's always Nutella. :) :)

Anonymous said...

I always tried vodka as part of a cocktail drink (usually blue with a little umbrella in it) but I tries straight vodka after reading the BDB series. I quite like the taste on it's own...very smooth and hot, much like Vishous.
Then I discovered the Chocolate Martini at Tony Roma's. Wow.....chocolate and vodka together. It's a desert you can drink!

Anonymous said...

Not to drink but definitely to eat, for me. I have been prompted to try recipes I find in books by such authors as Susan Elizabeth Phillips' AIN'T SHE SWEET- Sugar Beth's Chocolate Brownie Trifle is now a regular dessert in our house. Also, Susan Wiggs' A SUMMER TO REMEMBER had a memorable Lasagne recipe that I adore.

So, yes, I have been influenced by recipes in the books I read. I well remember Tab by the way. My mother loved it!