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Coffee And Kung Fu

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  597 ratings  ·  97 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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3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  597 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a thinker, a reflection pool into our why some of us do the things we do. I was not expecting that. Honestly, I don't know what I expected I bought this for the cover and back cover, it mentioned Jackie Chan and Kung Fu movies. I guess I expected a slap stick movie kind of feel to it. I really enjoyed it, I was glued to the pages, I wanted to see her wake up and live. It was very therapeutic There were many moments where I wanted to teak her ear and tell her to smell the coffee more. Da ...more
Ginger K
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Alison Perry
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Nessa Flax
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm always delighted to "discover" a new author. "Coffee ..." is a delightful read. The main character, Nicci, is wonderfully human (flaws and all). Her challenges to act according to her true self amid life's usual challenges (relationships, work, friends, family, social expectations) resonate with reality. Written with humor and insight to how most of our lives never move smoothly from Point A to Point B, you'll miss Nicci when you've reached the last page. I am happy to learn that Brichoux ha ...more
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam O'Brien
Feb 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Tanya Taimanglo
Oct 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Picked up by the end. Some likeable characters, namely Ethan and gramps.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, travel
Between two and three stars for me. I think if I’d read it back in 2009 when I put it on my TBR, I’d have liked it more. Now it felt a little dated and a little cliched. The kung fu angle could have been funny and charming, but came across as a detail added to make a kind of generic character more interesting. The missionary part also felt less than nuanced - her struggle against the religion of her parents, for example, didn’t even seem to be a thing. She just was agnostic and no one in the Bib ...more
Chelsea Ferguson
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I started this book out knowing not to expect much. This was going to be what I call a book clense. something easy and light to read after finishing a heavy book! I found the main character to be boring. that is until the very end when she, finally, took charge of her life! I pretty much spent the book going, what a stupid girl! clearly I was having a hard time relating to her!
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Feels weird to give 5 stars to a chick-lit novel, no matter how entertaining it was, but the truth is, this was way more than just entertaining. Karen Brichoux can really write, and inbetween the sex scenes and awkwardly amusing conversations were some downright great and perfectly worded observations about the human condition in all its messed-up glory. I loved it.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Disappointing. Expected frothy chick lit, but got way too much whiny introspection and gratuitous trashy language and scenes with random Kung fu references here and there. Overall: So slow, kinda sad, too whiny and trashy.
Sara Laughs
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute story. Didn’t hate it. It’s not my genre so I didn’t love it, but I’d recommend it to people who do like chick lit.
Katherine Rowland
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
There were pieces of this book that were marvelous, paragraphs that I read a couple of times because I wanted to savor them. Unfortunately, they were spread too thinly among other paragraphs that were hackneyed and trite.

I loved the framework of starting each chapter with a Kung Fu tidbit. THe main character, Nicci, resonated with me from the beginning, though some of that resonance faded as the story progressed. I can understand being both brash and timid, so I didn't find that terribly off-pu
Gail Berna-Dompke
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I wasn't really looking for a romance. I was looking more for farce by the title and a whole lot more of Jackie Chan. It would be easily adaptable into a movie, something Drew Barrymore would be good in. The descriptions of the Phillipines and Hong Kong were excellent.
Amanda Bynum
Jan 06, 2010 rated it liked it
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
S.m. Torres
Jul 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-enjoyed
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
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
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this one. I think half the problem is the cover and the other half is with odd things like tone and dialogue. I'll explain why I dare judge a book by it's cover. Because it's a freaking book. The cover is not something it's randomly born with. The cover should be created with thoughtful reflection on what the book is, not a blind stab in the dark. In this case, a stab in the dark that resulted in failed expectations of what lies within. With the electric pink cover and a ...more
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: omg-can-t-finish
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
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jun 25, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Eli Brooke
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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?” 4 likes
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