Coffee And Kung Fu
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Coffee And Kung Fu

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  443 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Twenty-six-year-old Nicci Bradford doesn't exactly love her job fixing the grammar in company brochures, or living in Boston, or going on awkward fix-ups with men she barely knows. What she does love is Kung Fu movies...especially the ones starring Jackie Chan. Their timeless and inspired wisdom offers her a philosophy of life. The problem is she doesn't have much of a lif...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published June 3rd 2003 by NAL Trade
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 667)
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Alison Perry
Brichoux’s debut novel is a pithy literary waif silently waiting to claim its place among the cookie-cutter quirky romantic comedies at Blockbuster. It is the same offbeat tale of romance in the big city done a thousand times before, yet that for some reason when on the big screen rarely goes un-noticed (unfortunately for the historical sales of the book). Brichoux shuffles around the irrelevant details just a bit, but not enough to make an endearing or lasting impression. It wasn’t my cup of te...more
Jul 24, 2007 Djinnjer rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: chick lit lovers
Coffee and Kung Fu is the chick lit book to which I compare all other chick lit. Funny, engaging, light reading - but featuring a protagonist I didn't cringe about identifying with. As Nicci navigates work and romance, she turns for guidance, not to martinis with the girls, but to the wisdom of the kung fu masters in the movies she loves. That's right: she's quietly a geek. The supporting characters are also delightfully quirky; her grandfather in particular stands out, with his ability to tell...more
This is quite possibly the best chick lit book I've ever read. I don't know what made me pick up this book at B&N other than it was on the bargin rack and the main character was in love with kung fu movies... It was an impulse buy and a pretty good one at that. It's chick lit with a heart and a brain, believe it or not. Very good read. Starts off like typical chick-lit but about half way through, gains momentum and the ending is sad and happy all at the same time. Highly recommended.
Adam O'Brien
I was lifeguarding as a teenager, and instead of buying a new book every other day, I would just browse the library for whatever looked interesting. The title of this book had two of my favorite things, but it was misleading. Jackie Chan references are cool, but the story itself is unimaginative and trashy.
Yes it's a girly book BUT it is a nice quick read and for once I don't hate the author. Plus there are a ton of Kung fu references...always a bonus.
Barks & Bites
This was an all-around terrific book and I found it difficult to put down. Nicci wasn't your typical self-centered, poor me, cynical type chick lit gal and I was very much able to empathize with her various dilemma's (work, friendship, guys and life in general). Loved the way she was a true introvert and was comforted by Jackie Chan flicks and popcorn (for me it's B-horror flicks & ice cream). Was witty at times. "Wearing a thong is the same thing as deliberately giving yourself a wedgie." I...more
I picked this up, and was reasonably sure I'd read it before, but couldn't remember it at all. So when I needed a break from a huge marathon book I am reading, I picked this one up. I've pasted my original review below. Interesting that everything held true for me from from the first read, except I really appreciated Nicci's relationship with her grandfather and her interactions with Jimmy, the homeless guy more. And this time through, Melanie struck a little truer, especially when her vulnerabi...more
S.m. Torres
I bought this book for $4 when I was fourteen and it was perhaps one of the books that made me write my characters as honestly as I could make them. Second time around, six years later, and the magic isn't entirely destroyed, but it isn't entirely there either.

It's a RomCom, to put it simply. Follows the formula and everything, so it's not something to be all, "I will be reading the greatest novel of time!" It's Coffee & Kung Fu, a book where you follow the snarky life of a redhead raised i...more
Here's what the book jacket has to say about Coffee and Kung Fu by Karen Brichoux:

Twenty-six-year-old Nicci Bradford doesn't exactly love her job fixing the grammar in company brochures, or living in Boston, or going on awkward fix-ups with men she barely knows. What she does love is Kung Fu movies...especially the ones starring Jackie Chan. Their timeless and inspired wisdom offers her a philosophy of life. The problem is she doesn't have much of a life to philosophize about. But Jackie Chan is...more
I work for a publishing company/book distributer type place in Boston. And I love Jackie Chan. Coffee too. That’s why I put this book on my TBR several years ago. What took me so long to read it? Well, I’ve read good chick lit and bad chick lit. Either way, I find it almost impossible to relate to the women in these books. They are nothing like me so my reviews are often full of ranting about bubble-headed women who shop too much. I only read chick lit or women’s fiction when I’ve overdosed on o...more
It's a light, airy read, peppered with humor. Though there were points where I was downright annoyed with it. The ending drags as our heroine spends literally pages angsting over her relatively obvious choice.

Should have skimmed.

The first pages drew me in, with only one annoyance - I find myself more and more hating any time an author cuts out of some backstory or expository monologue to say "And then the doorbell rang, pulling me out of my thoughts" - you know, no one really believes that our h...more
I love books with humor and this one did not disappoint. When I completed the book, the one thing that popped in my mind is why did they use the word "kung fu" in the title? Yes, the main character watches Kung Fu movies but that piece of the story felt kinda forced. An plus, the only Kung Fu she watched was Jackie Chan.

The short version of a review of this book would be a woman having a "epiphany" about her life during several events that happen to her and people around her. We watch as the mai...more
I was so excited about reading this book, maybe because it was so hard for me to find. But I was greatly disappointed. First it started off real "surfacy" and it was hard to get into. Then it started to actually become not so bad, and was using the logic of Kung fu movies on how one should live life which was interesting and sort of funny. But then there was an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion and then it was like the lady had a second chance at life. I just can't read about that, it's not som...more
Eli Brooke
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This was a fantastic book! It shows just how much you can try and take out of life and whether or not you'll be truly happy for the next 50 years or if you just try to go along with what everyone expects you to. If someone expects you to go along with something just of "likes and dislikes," would you? Even though the story was about a fictional character, it really opened up some new aspects about MY life and how to get out of this current "I don't know what I'm going to do with my life now" fun...more
Susan C
Hey, the title alone made me smile. Pretty entertaining with a likable, realistic heroine. Set in Boston with Kung Fu allusions at the beginning of each chapter..kind of different. Concepts touched on: home, friendship, the vulnerability often hidden beneath professional facades, loneliness and the universal human need for relationships, and the courage to capitalize on opportunity. Her superficial relationship with empathically challenged dunderhead Rob reminded me very much of one I had a few...more
Julie H.
This was really fun writing and made for fast reading. The main character, a copy editor in a Boston-based graphic design firm, is a total Jackie Chan movie afficianado. The exposition is peppered with Jackie Chan movie references, as in: "In Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin, Jackie Chan slams crossed chopsticks onto the cafe table to indicate that the conversation is over. I doubt Carol will get the hint" (p. 2). I was hooked, and gobbled this up in an evening. It's fun, well-written, and soli...more
I don't really know why I read this book. I think that I was in between novels and was just looking for something. So I borrowed it from my sister. I didn't really like the character so much. It was kind of like the author couldn't decide if she wanted to make the main character tough and tomboy like, or weaky and kind of girly. So she's kind of a mixture of everything. Which I didn't like. And then all the references to the Jackie Chann movies, which I find boring, it just didn't make me enjoy...more
This was a great debut novel and I'd love to read more by this author in the future.

Overall, the story was really well written. The book started out very light and fun. The ending was serious and heavy. The author did a great job of blending these two extremes and weaving several sub-plots throughout the book without the writing feeling choppy. I felt like some of the characters were kept pretty vague which I didn't enjoy, but that could very well have been done intentionally by the author.
Molly 'norman' yamamoto
Kind of felt "meh" about this one. It was mind candy but I found myself kind of frustrated and turned off by the main character. I don't know why but I felt like she was trying too hard to be awkward or something... resonated Kristin Stewart to me whom I loathe! However, I did enjoy the connections between her and Ethan and also the relationship with her family. It was a fairly good read, but I don't think I'd offer it up to my friends as one of the books I'd recommend first.
Justin Bruno
My first foray into the genre of Chick-Lit. Honestly I enjoyed it more than I expected to. The relationship beats were predictable and the trappings of Kung fu were a bit pasted on, but I enjoyed Brichoux's writing style and I found Nicci to be a relatable character. I don't know if that came more from me projecting onto her or the way she is written, but it turned what might otherwise be an unremarkable story into something worthy of the hours I spent with it.
I honestly judged a book by it's cover - the title had me thinking oh this book is going to be awesome...I can't wait to read it...I LOVE Kung Fu movies...boardering on the unhealthy...but I can honestly say if I didn't have the sheer analness to finish the book I would have tossed it. Not that I want a "Me woman hear me roar" but I don't want to read about some unstable woman either. Just not my cup of tea...or coffee.
The main character, a copy editor in a Boston-based graphic design firm, is a total Jackie Chan movie afficianado. She is also grew up in the far east as a missionary kid. She is 26 years old and realizes she is "settling" in life. Kinda early in life to come to this realization but...A good book with quirky yet believable characters. I enjoyed reading about her life in Boston- very different from way of life.
I think I wished this were my life while I was reading it. Okay, maybe not quite, since I wouldn't put up with the stupid, we-all-know-he's-wrong boyfriend, but the escape to Hong Kong and the amazing barrista and the general casualness of the getting together - I could take those, plus one of the amazing tea pots often mentioned that I really hope was not a figment of the author's imagination.
It's a cool title and cover. But in general the premise and the characters irked me a little. The main character felt so out of place in society but she seemed to care too much about it as well which put me off. I knew the ending to this story about a 1/4 of a way through it. It was just okay. I liked it more towards the end but still not that much in the end.
From my old, paper Book Log: "Chick-lit, but w/ a fresh, 'real' heronine -- avoids cliches!" (Also, I love the author's comment in her bio: 'I’d always pictured authors as reclusive, frightened, bitter people. Realizing that the description also applied to PhD students, I abandoned my prejudice against being an author and wrote my first book.' LOL!)
Jun 26, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone who likes stories told by women
I absolutely loved this book! At the end i literally stood up and clapped my hands. I then gave it to my sister who reads other types of books then I do and when she was finished she came over, clapping her hands and smiling like she stepped out of Wonderland. It was that good. When you get to the end, you go, "Oh My God! I can do anything!"
I really had to force my way through this one. I just didn't like the main character so it made the whole thing difficult and the graphic descriptions of her "relations" were totally unnecessary. Somehow the writing made it seem like anyone who came into Nicci's life was some kind of villian except for her grandfather.
I happily read this book while abroad in Paris, and while it easily held my attention while I was reading it, the core plot and ideals were trite, some of the events far fetched, and you could predict the ending from a mile away. Besides, any book based on hating Boston and lattes is no friend of mine.
Jon Rybka-Wachhaus
I saw the title at our local thrift store and thought it sounded really cute. I am a guy. I love chick lit. (you figure that out if you want).... I really liked the fact that it was not all "wrapped in a bow" style. I hope Karen writes a sequel about her in Hong Kong. That would be cool.
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The daughter of American missionaries, I was born and raised in Southeast Asia. Most of my childhood was spent reading or forcing the long-suffering family pets to act out the plots of books I'd recently read.

In college, everything interested me, and I could never answer the question “What do you want to be?” without a measure of sarcasm over the idea that “being” something was somehow equated wit...more
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The moment isn't a piece of time; it's a question. The moment comes when you look up and see your life stretching out for seventy more years. And there, in front of you, like a giant roadblock, is the question: Is this life good enough for the next seventy years? But maybe that's the easy question. The next logical question--Can I live like this?--is the killer. Because it isn't a yes or no kind of question. It's a do or die kind of question.

I avoid moments.”
“She’s had the moment. A moment isn’t a piece of time, it’s a question. A realization. A trauma. The moment comes when you look up and see your life stretching out for seventy more years….Is this life good enough for the next seventy years?” 3 likes
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