Today is our final piece of the month for Books vs ???, and I am excited to welcome my team member and fellow co-founder of Book Bloggers International, Tasha! She is here to talk about books and booze, and it is perfect timing since she just released her book, The Introvert's Guide to Drinking Alone!
If you enjoy the occasional adult beverage, and you enjoy reading, why not combine the two and get twice the fun out of life? These are some of the best books with, about, or sponsored by alcohol I've come across.
The Drops of God by Tadashi Agi
Pairing: A Burgundy wine.
A manga about wine? Yes. This graphic novel about a young man who must find thirteen famous wines in order to inherit his father's estate has absolutely gorgeous artwork, lovable characters–I adore Shizuku and Miyabi, his friend who's training to be a sommelier–and storylines that feel like a rollercoaster ride, in a good way. But what's really going to make you love this manga is how beautifully it expresses the feeling of drinking wine.
There are some books that just grab you and make you want to recreate them in real life, and The Drops of God is one of those books. It's no wonder Decanter called this series the most influential books about wine published in the last 20 years. As soon as you read it you want try the wines the characters drink, or at least something similar (you will also want to buy a wine decanter. I'm just warning you right now).
The Brewer's Tale: A History of the World According to Beer by William Bostwick
Pairing: Stella Artois, one of the oldest still-brewed beers in the world.
It's been said civilization started so that people could have a reliable source of beer. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but it's definitely true that beer and civilization go hand-in-hand. Our earliest known recipes are for beer, and beer has been brewed at one time or another in nearly every continent on earth. In this book, William Bostwick goes back in time, not just by learning about the history of beer, but by making it. A really fun and fascinating story that travels from the hop-erific craft IPAs of today back to Babylonian brewmasters.
Waking the Merrow by Heather Rigney
Pairing: Good ol' whiskey on the rocks.
A spooky horror novel featuring mermaids, with a self-professed "functional alcoholic" as the main character. I was disappointed by the ending (spoiler alert: she quits alcohol), but the beginning was very entertaining and funny.
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Pairing: Martinis, many many martinis.
You've probably seen this movie and noted there's a lot of drinking going on. Well, let me tell you: the amount of drinking in the movie is nothing compared to what's in the book. It's mind-boggling these people could even get out of bed.
Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold
Pairing: Gin & tonic, preferably made following the obsessively "perfect" recipe in Arnold's book.
A very sciency, precise book on the art of making cocktails. Although the audience is definitely professional bartenders, it should appeal to anyone who loves a good drink. Arnold covers everything like how to mix cocktails, make ice, invent your own cocktails, and even molecular mixology.
Shake 'Em Up! by Virginia Elliott and Phil D. Stong
Pairing: Something really old skool, like a scofflaw or a clover club.
How to party, 1930s style. This book is simply fascinating. It contains a ton of useful advice, like how to prep for a party you know will be too much for you, or how to get rid of your guests without appearing to be rude. Also: bathtub gin. This is a trip back in time to the golden age of cocktailing, but without the 21st Amendment putting a kibosh on your fun.