Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Books read in 2020: No. 24 -- The Outsider


Started: Oct. 9
Finished: Oct. 20

Notes: The Halloween season is upon us, so why not turn to the King of horror?

Mini review: A small town Little League coach is arrested for the brutal murder and rape of the child, but he has a strong alibi including witnesses and himself appearing on video. So how can a man be two places at once? And if he wasn't the killer, then who was? I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this book, but I felt it bogged down for much of the second half, though the ending was pretty good. Also, I found the main protagonist to be too "Stephen King," if that makes sense. In other words, King fans will enjoy this one, but there's nothing new here. Not a bad read at all, but again, nothing unexpected.

Beer of the Week: SLO Brew Blueberry Blonde Ale

Beer score: 6.0

Company: SLO Brew

ABV: 4.8
IBU: 20

Going into the glass, this looks like a traditional blonde ale with a somewhat cloudy light gold color. And while it pours, it smells not unlike blueberry Eggo waffles, no kidding.

But despite the smell, this is not a sweet beer. In truth, I was surprised how well this went down. It's not overly bitter and definitely has a strong, almost lager-like feel to it. Also, it didn't taste overly fruity to me, though it does smell that way.

While not the greatest beer in the world, it's still pretty good and is something different. I'd drink this again.

Comes to us from California.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Free short story over at Blackgate

 This week over at Blackgate appears my short story "Deep in the Land of Ice and Snow," originally published in Rogue Blades Entertainment's collection The Return of the Sword. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Michelob Dry

Beer score: 3.7

This is another beer that's no longer with us, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As my notes from a decade or so back tell me, this wasn't the worst beer ever, but it was pretty plain, another example of mass brewers jumping on a bandwagon when something is hot or popular for a short period of time, in this case "dry beers" that suddenly sprang up a few decades or so back.

As for the quality here, this drink poured a weak gold color. It went down smooth at first, but the fizz kept growing the more you drank until it became annoying. There was a little sweetness in the aftertaste, but not much else.

So, yeah, if you didn't try this one, you didn't miss much.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Books read in 2020: No. 23 -- The Book of Joshua, KJV

published by Zondervan

Started: Sept. 29
Finished: Oct. 9

Notes: I took a break, but now it's time to get back to my Biblical reading.

Mini review: This book covers much of the life of Joshua, the leader of the Israelites after Moses. Here one will find the early conquests of the Israelites, a lengthy listing of various conquered lands and how they were given out by lots to the Israelite tribes, and the final days of Joshua leading up to his death. While Jews and many Christians consider this history, known history and archeology do not back this up, but historians and archeologists learn more all the time. Some of the harshest history (or mythology, depending upon one's views) are covered in this book, specifically the genocides the Israelites attempt and sometimes succeed against their early enemies, peoples whose lands they sought for themselves as promised by God. Perhaps God had his reasons, or perhaps the early Israelites simply used God as an excuse, or maybe even none of this is true but it's only mythology.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Fantasy fiction for your funny bone

If you like a good chuckle from time to time and enjoy fantasy literature, and you're a fan of the film The Princess Bride, then you need to check out the latest short story collection from Rogue Blades titled As You Wish!

And yep, I had a hand in editing this one.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 05, 2020

Beer of the Week: Labatt Blue

Beer score: 3.9

Company: Labatt Brewing Company

ABV: 4.7
IBU: 12

Word is this is the best-selling Canadian beer in the world, and I guess I can understand why. It's weak and watery with a touch of carbonation, pretty much like most mass-marketed brews. There is a little sweetness, but that's about it.

The coloring is a weak yellowish gold with a touch of foam. Again, about what one would expect.

There are better beers at better prices, but that doesn't mean this one couldn't cool your thirst on a hot day while working beneath the sun. And there are worse beers, so I wouldn't turn down a free one if tossed to me at a party.