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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

Tue
Hi: 78
Lo: 61
Wed
Hi: 79
Lo: 68
Thu
Hi: 84
Lo: 72
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Does your bookclub motivate your reading or get added to your to-do-list?
Does your bookclub motivate your reading or get added to your to-do-list?

Do you like your bookclub?

Is it worth it to join a bookclub?

I love to read. I'm good about keeping up with magazines, newspapers and online articles but for some reason, it takes me longer than it should to get to and through books.

While I'm quick to spend the afternoon wandering the bookstore and loading up with plenty of fiction and non-fiction options, I don't always keep up with my purchasing; falling asleep before I've gotten through the first chapter.

So, I thought a book club could be my remedy. But while I'm optimistic about the possibilities of cruising through a couple books a month, I'm also realistic about it seeming more like a chore and less like a relaxing afternoon.

I've heard friends and family who belong to book clubs often rushing to get through hundreds of pages before meeting with friends or disappointed at being "forced" to finish a book they don't really like.

So, for all you members out there, what do you think? Is a book club worthy of your time or are you contemplating dropping out?

Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" is light years ahead of the other television shows on my list.
Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" is light years ahead of the other television shows on my list.

More TV talk

For those of you who caught our live blog this morning, OnMilwaukee.com staff and readers talked up this season's first time television premieres and returning current favorites to the small screen.

At one point in the conversation, Publisher Andy Tarnoff listed his five favorite television shows and it got me thinking.

When I was a kid or in high school, my five favorite shows would come rattling off in a matter of seconds. I'm pretty sure the odd combination of "90210" and "Law and Order" remained in the number one and two spots. To limit myself to solely five probably would've been a test of my ability to wean off and sort out the lesser of nearly 20 hours of television I watched weekly.

But as an adult, I'm very non-committal in my television watching. I'm never home at the same hour on the same night for several weeks in a row and I tend to flip between a selection of five or six channels rather than stick through one show for the complete hour.

But, after recently joining the technology turn and investing in DVR, I can now say there are a few shows I absolutely wouldn't miss. Shows like "Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations," "True Blood" and "Weeds" record regularly and are watched immediately. I tend to stick to the Travel Channel, Bravo, HBO and Showtime.

But when thinking about my favorites, I started thinking of others, no longer on the air; shows I would love to see still in the making. I think "Arrested Development" was one of the funniest shows I've ever seen, despite, like most, I started watching it after it was off the air. And "The Wire," which ran five seasons on HBO, hit an addicting intersection of reality and fantasy.

Are there shows you'd like to see still on the air? Use the Talkback feature below to divulge your favorites.

Read more...
Rishi Tea, a Milwaukee-based company, sells Matcha Japanese Green Tea in powder form.
Rishi Tea, a Milwaukee-based company, sells Matcha Japanese Green Tea in powder form.

Could matcha lure me away from my morning coffee?

I'm contemplating an experiment of morning beverages.
A friend gave me a box of Rishi's Japanese Matcha Tea, saying that drinking it every day changed his life. He didn't go into detail or give any specifics but it was enough of an endorsement to provoke me to at least give it a try.

Matcha is a Japanese tea with, according to the packaging, three times the health benefits of one glass of green tea. Its long list of benefits includes acting as an anti-depressant and increasing levels of energy.

Each time I've drank the bright green tea this week, I've been shocked at how much energy I have late into the day. I admit, it could quite possibly be solely a subconscious association, but I haven't ruled out the possible miraculous affects of matcha.

So, I've realized the only real way to truly test the power of matcha would be to swap out my morning coffee and see what transpires.

I don't drink a ton of coffee, just a cup a day, but I don't remember the last time I went without it and as such, I know it would be brutal to cut it out of my daily routine. Enter matcha.

The price is about the same; Rishi sells a 10 pack of matcha for $19, slightly more expensive than buying a cup of coffee every day at Alterra.

Does anyone have any experience or advice on Japanese matcha? Use the Talkback feature below.

Other than Walt Disney World, what should I do on a mini-vacation to Orlando?
Other than Walt Disney World, what should I do on a mini-vacation to Orlando?

What should I do in Orlando?

As part of our AirTran Free Recession Buster Getaway Contest series, I'm travelling to sunny Orlando for a few days next week. Home of Disney World and the Convention Capital of the southern United States, I'm setting out to find the other side of Orlando; the hidden gems of cultural, culinary and visitor-worthy distinction.

Every winter and spring, hundreds of Wisconsinites flock to the coastal beaches of Florida for a warm vacation or spring break. But, what about landlocked Orlando? Boasting the same sunny weather, where would you visit if you had a couple days in Orlando?

So, aside from Walt Disney World and the surrounding theme parks, what are your visitor's suggestions for Orlando? Let me know and we'll see where I end up next week on my mini-vacation.