The kids are hitting the books and so should you.
Relax with an apropos beverage while doing so.
"Destination: Cocktails"(Santa Monica Press, $19.95) by James Teitelbaum certainly gives you a few ideas. His bar guide goes national and international in an engaging, informed way. New York naturally is deemed "the cocktail capital of North America." There are very appealing craft-cocktail recipes, too.
Kelley Lilien's "Mrs. Lilien's Cocktail Swatchbook" (Potter Style, $14.99) fans out with recipes for the blended and the shaken, as well as the punch bowl.
More leisurely: Marco Pasanella's "Uncorked: My Journey Through the Crazy World of Wine" (Clarkson Potter, $24) -- an easygoing, sometimes contrarian, index-free look at the wineshop business. The author opened Pasanella & Son Vintners at South Street Seaport.
Oz Clarke's "Bordeaux: The Wines, The Vineyards, The Winemakers" (Sterling Epicure, $35) outlines the region that produces so many of the world's great wines. Good profiles on the châteaux and a section on the newer influences on the market. Illustrated.
"Musings on Wine and Other Libations" (Sterling Epicure, $18.95), by M.F.K. Fisher collects 30 examples of the beloved, influential food writer's vinous prose. Delightful. It's edited by Anne Zimmerman.
And unwind with "The New York Times Book of Wine" (Sterling Epicure, $24.95), edited by Howard G. Goldberg, with a foreword by Eric Asimov. The almost 600-page anthology compiles articles from more than 40 years, starting with the premier cru work of Frank J. Prial, the reporter-turned-wine columnist. He clearly loved both jobs and made them one.