Blog Archives

Around The Year in 80 Books

I didn’t intend to read 80 books in 2021 to make for a nice little headline. It just turned out that way. Thanks to a(nother) year of isolation* both willful and ongoing pandemic-induced, my days are highlighted by three daily bibliotivities: Early morning walk accompanied by an audiobook. Early evening (shorter) walk accompanied by an [More]

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BBQ Beyond Beer

I would never turn down a beer beside my brisket, but there’s a lot to be said for paring wine with your grilled and/or smoked meats. So I was excited to get my copy of of Fire and Wine: 75 Smoke-Infused Recipes from the Grill with Perfect Wine Pairings. Even better, my friends Mary Cressler [More]

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My Favorite Books of 2019

Good news, I smoked my Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge. I set the bar at 30 books and am currently parked at 37…with a little over a day to go and only a few short pages left in number 38. Without further ado, here’s my Favorite Books 2019 list. Well, not a list per se but [More]

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Valpolicella in Venice: The Talented Mr. Ripley

When I read Social Creature, then perused the reviews on Goodreads, I was surprised by the vitriol from folks calling it a cut-rate/derivative spin/lift of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. I really enjoyed Social Creature, but had no point of Ripley reference since I’ve never read said classic. But then fate intervened. Well, not [More]

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Sex, Lees, and Social Media

I assiduously avoid reading (fiction) reviews on Goodreads prior to cracking open a book so as not to be prejudiced/predisposed to like or loathe it. I’d rather peruse the back cover teaser and a handwritten note from a bookstore employee. Also I find reviews to be spoiler-y. Not in a “The butler did it!” kind [More]

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Champagne, Doritos, and Sand

The best non-fiction books can open up a captivating world existing right under your nose. The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How it Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser falls into this category. I’ll get to the meat of the book but there’s a short passage explaining the title of this post [More]

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Champagne in “The Idiot” by Elif Batuman

Have you ever been reading a book and dreading the ending? Not that you’re worried it’s going to turn out super corny or hackneyed, but because you never want to finish the novel due to its compelling nature. This is the case with The Idiot by Elif Batuman. I’m on page 370 of 423. Our [More]

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Unexpected Wine and Food Match in James Salter’s Novel “Light Years”

Sometimes when you least expect it, expect it. That’s how wine sneaks up on me. Not like a bottle quietly tiptoeing behind me and then, “SURPRISE!” More of a coming across mentions of it while reading and thinking about the author’s experience with wine. Such is the case of the novel Light Years by James [More]

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