Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 9 -- The Enchantress of Florence

by Salman Rushdie

Started: March 15
Finished: March 30

Notes: I've been meaning to read Rushdie for a first time and I'm in the mood for historical fiction, so this novel brings all that together.

Mini review: A European who seems to be something of a charlatan makes his way into the Indian court of an emperor where he proceeds to tell tales, culminating in a final tale that relates the European's history, ties it to the emperor, and unleashes a spirit of magic (sort of) upon the emperor himself and his people. But all that is really just the tip of the iceberg. Though rooted almost entirely in history, and more than a few historical figures do make an appearance, there are speculative elements to this tale, making it more magic realism than historical fiction. There is a lot of telling more than showing here, which makes this not the most fun of reads. I can't say I loved this one, but I did find parts of it enchanting and the melancholy ending is worth the wait. Reminded me a bit of the writings of Umberto Eco, which isn't a bad thing. Will I read Rushdie again? Yes, I believe I will, but only when I'm in the mood for something more literary.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Beer of the Week: DAB Original

Beer score: 3.5

Company: Dortmunder
ABV: 5.0

Very light golden color when poured, almost looking like water. There's a little sweetness in the scent, along with some floral accents.

It's wet, but tastes like any other beer mass-made for the American premium beer market. In other words, not all that great.

If you normally drink cheap beer and want to feel like you're trying something special, this might be for you. Otherwise, it's worth skipping.

However, if you do decide to try this beer, know it's not the worst in the world. It's just not among the best, or even the mediocre.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Beer of the Week: Saranac Adirondack Lager

Beer score: 6.9

Company: Saranac
ABV: 5.5
IBU: 22

Decades ago this beer was named "Saranac Adirondack Amber," but they've changed the name slightly. Anyway, when I can find it (which is more difficult since I've moved down South than when I lived up North), I try this one out, as I usually try to do with any number of Saranace beers.

Anyway, this beer pours a light golden color while giving off scents of sweet citrus.

The initial flavor is what makes this beer, but unfortunately that flavor doesn't stay around long. That initial taste is strong and caramel, though not too sweet. The caramel hangs around a little in the aftertaste, but not much. A half minute after you take your last sip, you can't tell if you were drinking a Saranac or a lesser beer.

Still, not a bad beer. I only wish it's flavor would hang around longer, because if it did I would probably give it a higher score.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 8 -- The Book of Ecclesiastes

published by Zondervan

Started: March 14
Finished: March 15

Notes: This is one of the most interesting, and somewhat philosophically dark, books of the Bible, so I'm looking forward to reading it again.

Mini review: Words of wisdom here, but it would not be heartening to much of humanity. This book can be summed up as: All is vanity, and your only duty is to serve God.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Beer of the Week: Guinness Baltimore Blonde

Beer score: 5.4

Company: Guinness
ABV: 5.0
IBU: 19

Has a light golden color as it's poured, and that's when hints of citrus will come to your nose.

In the glass, it's a pretty light beer with more of those citrus flavors. You'll also pick up malt in the smell and the taste. Not overly fizzy but does have some frothy head. There are also bready flavors that linger here and there with a light bitterness.

This isn't a bad beer, but it's also not an overly exciting one. Fans of blonde ales will likely enjoy this, but they'll also probably know there are better such drinks on the market.

Can I drink it? Sure. Would I? Only if there's nothing better around.

At least worth trying.

Books read in 2022: No. 7 -- Fat Ollie's Book

by Ed McBain

Started: March 4
Finished: March 14

Notes: I've only got about a half dozen novels to read before finishing the entire 87th Precinct series, but this is the last one I actually own at this moment. So I thought I'd go ahead and read it before searching for the others. By the way, for those who don't know, Fat Ollie is a recurring character in this series, a detective from another precinct.

Mini review: This one was a lot of fun, especially when 87th Precinct novels feel like catching up with old friends. Here a big drug deal is in the works, a city councilman is murdered, and Detective "Fat" Ollie Weeks has written a detective novel, which is then stolen. It all comes together to a nice ending, put not necessarily a happy ending.

Monday, March 07, 2022

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Beer score: 6.6

I went looking for this beer recently and found it out had been discontinued only a few years ago. What a shame, because this was a decent brew. Anyway, though I can't drink it now, I provide below some of my notes about this beer written a decade or so ago when I last had a chance to try it.

The beer had a strong, robust flavor. It started off sweet at first taste, but turned bitter on the way down. A very hardy brew. There almost seemed to be a touch of cinnamon in the beer, which is traditionally a flavor I don't care for in my beers, but here it worked.

Friday, March 04, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 6 -- Freaky Deaky

by Elmore Leonard

Started: Feb 15
Finished: March 4

Notes: Here's yet another author I've been meaning to experience for some time now, so here goes.

Mini review: A pair of '70s radicals get out of prison in the '80s and decide to make some money and have some revenge. Meanwhile, a cop is on their tails ... along with a few other characters. This read like a Tarantino movie, so Leonard's influence on Tarantino is obvious. The writing style here was good and the characters interesting, but for some reason or other I really couldn't get into it, though I'd be willing to give the author another shot. I'd also like to point out this was published back in the '80s, so it was interesting to see that take on some of the '70s vibe.