Book review

Beers and books

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I’ve essentially got two obsessions in life – books and beer. Books come first because I’ve been a book lover for as long as I can remember. In fact I can still remember the first time I got a library card.
I’ve noticed some similarities in my approach to both obsessions. For instance, I review both books and beers for the newspaper I work for, and part of that reason is so that I get both for free from time to time. I find it hard to walk past a book or bottle shop without going in to see if they’ve got something I need/want. Also, I’m quite likely to buy something during that browsing session, even though I’ve already got loads of books or beer. And at times I look at those loads and wonder “how the hell am I going to get through all those?”.
Right now, I have about 150 books on my “to read” shelf. On my current reading rate, that’s about three years’ worth of reading. Which anyone would agree is a lot of reading.
It was inevitable that the book and beer obsession would overlap, and that’s happened in the form of buying a stack of books about beer. That’s them in the above picture, sitting on the “to read” shelf.
Some of them have been there for a while, like John Palmer’s How to Brew and Randy Mosher’s Radical Brewing. And some are on their last chance – that would be Pete Brown’s Three Sheets to the Wind. I’ve tried to read it twice and given up both times (I think he’s great when he’s giving a history of brewing but his writing about the beer-related shenanigans he and his friends get up to leave me cold. I certainly don’t find those sections funny). So this time around I plan to skip those bits and stick to the beer history stuff.
There are also a few others that lean towards social history, like Last Call by Daniel Okrent (about prohibition) and Iain Gately’s Drink (which is a history of alcohol).
As for when I’ll read these, I’m not sure. But it’d be likely to be some time in the next three years, I’d imagine.

Categories: Book review

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