Monday, May 26, 2014

A History of the World in Six Glasses - Tom Standage

A history book divided by different types if drinks? Now this is my kind of book!! Beer, wine, distilled drinks, coffee, tea, and soda. What a great idea for a book! Tom might just be a new hero for me. I read this book for a food related book club that I'm part of - the Kitchen Reader.  (Awesome book club, by the way)

Over ten thousand years ago it was all about cereal grains. Not only did it nourish the people but the were paid in beer and bread. Paid. in. beer. Now, I know this is resonating with some of you! I see the sign now. Will work for beer. Actually I really did see this sign a couple weeks ago. Interested tidbit- beer was originally consumed through a straw because there was so much gunk (technical term) floating in it. 

Next we move to wine in Ancient Greece and the formal drinking parties where they discussed politics, poetry, and philosophy. Again, I know this is striking a cord with me. How about you?

Next stop on the history tour is the Age of Exploration and the discovery of distillers drinks.

The Age of Reason is next and seriously, after all that alcohol dong we all need a good cup of joe? Coffeehouse discussions brought about scientific societies, newspapers, banks, and revolutionary ideas.

Tea is next and here we learn about Britains national drink. We read about the British foreign policy, Americas independence, and tea production in India.

Last up is Americas national drink -Coke. Here we learn about America as a super power, twentieth century wars, capitalism, and the global marketplace.

This was such a fun (and informative) book to read!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Feed (Newsflesh trilogy, book 1)

I usually stick to nonfiction but every once in a while, I like a good work of fiction.  Feed definitely hit the spot!  It has zombies, politicians, bloggers, and a really good story.  I read this (over 500 page) book in just a few days.  The characters are well developed and the story is just plan fun to read!

Feed tells the story of three bloggers who are going to be following a presidential candidate around.  It happens to be post-Rising, in a world where regular humans have to avoid 'the infected', the name given to the zombies that roam the earth thanks to an infection.

Not only do you get a little taste of politics, but you also get a look at the bloggers and how they are organized in this new world - the newsies, the irwins, and the fictionals. I don't want to give away too much, but seriously, if you're looking for a good read, give this a try!

I've added the other two books to my reading list.  And you can bet the next time I'm ready to read a good work of fiction, I'll know just where to look.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

St. Peter's Bones - Thomas J Craughwell

This is a short book (only 102 pages) that contains a lot of information about the bones of St Peter- how they were lost and found and lost and found again.  I really like how the story is written - it switches between the archeological digs to the history of St Peter's life and other more modern information.  I think it if were organized differently - with all the information on the archeological dig, it might get a tad bit boring.  But with it woven together the way it is, it really works.

I enjoyed the book and learned a lot along the way.  I think it was the perfect length and contained the right amount of detail.

This is the second book I've read by Thomas Craughwell.  The first was Saints Behaving Badly, which is another great book!

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

In the Time of Butterflies - Julia Alvarez

This is a work of fiction that is based on real events and real people. It tells the story of the Mirabel sisters who grew up in the Dominican Republic during the reign of Trujillo. During the reading of this book, you will come to know and love each of these four sisters and their family.  

The book begins with the only living sister Dede but covers the life and stories of all four girls and the tragic end that comes for Minerva, Patria, and Maria Teresa. These three girls are known as butterflies in their country because that (Mariposa) was their code names in the underground group that planned to overthrow the government.

This is such an amazing story! I found myself thinking about these girls during the course of my days, even when I wasn't reading.   I am now going to have to search out Julia Alvarez's other books and see if they are on par with this one.