Books & Booze: Fall Favorites
I miss reading. Every summer, I look forward to fall with this crazy notion that life is going to slow down after three busy months of travel and events. Unfortunately, I need to realize that life doesn’t slow down when temps dip and leaves change color. Maybe winter. We’ll see.
I’m often too tired to get to my books, and though I pored over several during vacation this year, I’m still stuck halfway through my last beach read — The Rocks. Our team loved putting together these book // drink recommendations for summer, so I’m hoping a fall version will inspire me to finish my book and move onto something new.
I’m never sure how books end up on my Amazon Wishlist. I source from various places and hope to be pleasantly surprised. I remember in middle school when the Bosnian War began. I am part-Croatian and my best friend was Serbian, and I recalled joking about how we were best friends despite this civil war.
Novic’s book shares the tale from inside Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, and the lasting influence this had on her life — even later as an adult in Manhattan.
The book has received global acclaim, and I envision reading it alongside a bottle of Croatian wine. Ziveli!
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read one book a week this year, and I am happy to say I am still on track to complete 52 books by the end of 2016. That being said, I have read nearly 40 of books this year so far, some very good, some not-that-great.
For fall, here were two of my favorites, both musical memoirs:
Drink: Angry Balls
I read this book in one plane ride earlier this year, and I absolutely loved it. Before I got really into running, I was really, really into music. I was constantly listening to music, buying CDs (remember those?) and going to shows.
In this memoir, the author seeks to recreate his record collection from his past. Sounds reasonable, right? Except when he says recreate, he means recreate his EXACT record collection. He wants that Bon Jovi record with an ex’s phone number scrawled on the cover.
It sounds ridiculous, but I really enjoyed it, and could relate to it a bit — especially since my mom threw away my box of CDs when I moved out. I can’t talk about it still, but I do miss those rare Silverchair imports.
Anyway, he reexamines his past as he searches for these records, and reflects on how the music has impacted each time period of his life. I often associate certain bands with time periods in my life, so I enjoyed following along with his walk down memory lane.
To drink: I feel like I need to say scotch, but I don’t like scotch, so I am going to go with my FAVORITE fall drink: An Angry Orchard with a shot of Fireball. Just be careful with that one. (As in don’t have three in one hour… Things I’ve learned the hard way.)
While I have been a Blink-182 fan since Dude Ranch, I figured this book would be interesting, but I was completely blown away by it. Barker begins at, well, the beginning, talking about his lifelong love of drumming, before delving deeper into fame, drugs, alcohol, a reality television show, a clothing business, multiple musical side projects and surviving a plane crash — just to name a few.
His life has been nothing short of fascinating to me, and his honesty really shone through. It was really well-written, and I found it to be a very intriguing and unexpected look into his life. I’m embarrassed to admit I’d ignored friends and football on New Year’s Day because I could not put this down.
To drink: I’m saying champagne. Let’s toast to everything this man has been through.
Drink: Apothic Inferno
There are two things I’m really excited about this fall: the launch of Pokemon Moon & Sun, and a new book from Anne Rice. As previously discussed, I adore the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles and have read and re-read each one more times than I can count. The most recent novels have been incredibly thought-provoking as ancient vampires arise to find our modern world and the internet.
In The Realms of Atlantis, we will go down an interesting path at Lestat searches for the “great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.” I’m looking forward to getting lost in the fantasy world of my vampires once again. As always, vampires pair with red wine and red wine only. I’m opting for Apothic Fire, but always love a great red like a Syrah.
Drink: Yards Brawler
You could watch the show on Netflix, or you could read the book first like me! Following my past recommendations of The Night Circus and The Paper Magician, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell is set in 19th century England and tells the story of two magicians who combine their forces to fight the war against France. People had thought for years that there were no practicing magicians left in England until the reclusive Mr. Norell reveals his powers. Jonathan Strange hears of this showing and comes forth joining Mr. Norell as his apprentice. Fascinating!
To drink, go with the setting and drink an ESB or my favorite, Yards Brawler.
Drink: Pumpkin Beer
I haven’t personally read this yet, or even started, but it’s downloaded to my Kindle. I really enjoy my crazy Sci-Fi books, and I also like thrillers; this looks to be a little of both. This New York Times Best Seller tells the story of a seemingly perfect couple but alludes to secrets behind closed doors.
“How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.”
Color me intrigued! I’ll be drinking this with a pumpkin beer, most likely Breckenridge’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, because it’s a thriller and thrillers mean Halloween and Halloween means pumpkin!.
Drink: Pinot Noir
It’s going to be a busy autumn. I’m anxiously anticipating releases from some of my favorite contemporary authors: Zadie Smith, Ian McEwan, Ann Patchett and Margaret Atwood all have new novels coming out in the next few weeks.
And I just started reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s new novel, Here I Am, a gorgeously written glimpse into a family with precariously constructed relationships. The book explores the disconnect between what family members internally want and need and what is verbalized. They all tread delicately as to not offend one another. Each member of the family thinks one thing, asks for another, and is ultimately disappointed by the reaction they get. The result: total honesty is elusive, resentment burrows deeply, and there are consequences for both action and inaction.
The result: total honesty is elusive, resentment burrows deeply, and there are consequences for both action and inaction.
Foer’s writing is heart wrenchingly beautiful; this book deserves a quiet nook, overstuffed chair, or cozy fire. Enjoy it with a glass (no, you’ll want a bottle for this one) of Pinot Noir. The nuanced layers of the wine will pair perfectly with the struggle of one family to maintain its delicate balance.