Do you still buy a paper calendar? Here’s one with a local twist: The 2020 Cafes to Write Home About. Each month of the calendar celebrates a cafe in and around Cambridge ($21). Watertown artist Miranda Loud drew beautiful illustrations, and Corky White, a professor of anthropology at Boston University, coffee expert, and author, wrote the text. The two spend considerable time in cafes while studying, writing, sketching, and gabbing with friends, and singled out these (there are 14) for a variety of reasons, says White. “Some places are sociable, some are cozy, and some you’re there for the jolt.” Included is the European-style Café Pamplona on Bow Street, which opened in 1959: It’s February. Loyal Nine Café on Cambridge Street is July: The spot brews great coffee in various vessels and has outdoor tables that extend practically to the nearby train tracks. November is Café Zing, snuggled in a corner of the Porter Square Bookstore. Gracenote in Boston, which covers December, has very cool below-counter Modbar espresso machines. Ogawa Coffee of the Financial District — the last page of the calendar that extends to January 2021 — is distinguished for its latte art and is the first American outpost for the Kyoto-based company. Loud uses a bright color palette for her witty and whimsical detailed illustrations. "Each drawing has a quirky sensibility,” says White, whose narratives on the back of the page give you the history of each place, its vibe, and menu offerings. Here’s a bonus: When the month is over, the pages are designed so the illustrations become postcards. Available at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-1515; Westcott Mercantile, 63 Leonard St., Belmont, 617-484-0093; Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., 617-566-6660; Wellesley Books, 82 Central St., Wellesley, 781-431-1160, and others, or go to www.mirandaloudartist.com.
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.