Book: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi Tea: Izu Matcha Awesome Book Club: Carp Eyes Coming If you follow this book club you may have noticed a theme in the books we like to read and review. We like popular literature and usually the kind with a strong female character and a little romance thrown in. This book is quite the departure from our usual selections which is why we chose a tea that is a departure from our usual sipping. Spontaneous and adventurous! Hold onto your Megadonts (it is a reference to the beasts of burden in the book, not just a horrible misspelling of horses). This book is a look into the not so distant future and the outlook is grim. Oil has had its day and ravaged the earth, now it is the calorie man’s turn. This is the part I like best about this book. It seems plausible that one day those who can genetically engineer food might be the king makers. Of course genetic mutation has caused problems all over the world leaving much of it uninhabitable. Thailand, the main setting of this book, is a magical setting for this strange story full of mystery and drama. There are many memorable characters woven into this complex story. My favorite is the Windup Girl herself. She is a genetically engineered call girl or companion. She was meant for a wealthy Chinese business man so she had to be perfect with tiny pores so that her skin would be soft and flawless. Because she would be an air conditioning all the time her inability to sweat would not matter. But with the failure of China to the genetic engineering problems the Windup Girl ended up as a refugee in Thailand. In a brothel, she needs to be cooled with ice because she cannot sweat and is a second class citizen. Together with an undercover gene ripper she begins a civil war that takes up most of the story. This book has twists and turns and offers something new to readers. It is not fantasy but it is not reality either! It seems eerily possibly while being entertainingly impossible all at the same time. I paired this reading with Izu Matcha, a new tea for me. I have to admit while reading a book about mutating food it felt just right to try a powdered food that turned into a warm cup of liquid that tasted like fresh green grass and vegetables. That is my only way of describing it other than tasting like “green”. Brewing the tea is part of the excitement of this simple cup. I like the whisking and the little bamboo spoon that scoops just enough. A pleasant new experience and a new fondness for a new tea and a new type of literature.