Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sharp Objects

Brain too hot, must read thingy...easy words.  Drink drink. Hey, it's summer reading time. Time for a thriller. Sharp Objects, authored by Gillian Flynn, is the same author as Gone Girl. This is not a prequel or sequel, it's a stand alone freaky book.  Keep in mind this is more of a thriller, with some horror aspects rather than a mystery. Think more Silence of the Lambs than Twin Peaks. Whoa, I went totally 90's there....buuddy.

Ok, this is not quite as good as Silence of the Lambs, but it's fine. It is what it is.  Some people hate this book because it is disturbing. THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE SIGNING UP FOR, FOOL. Don't give something a bad review because you can't handle the genre. Amateurs.

If you regularly read this blog (thank you by the way) then you know that I try not to put any spoilers. So the plot is simply a reporter who goes back to her hometown to investigate some murders. She takes some time out to reallocate her investment portfolio, do some yoga, and go on a cleanse.  Actually she does none of those things--because this is a thriller.  Although talking about how great you feel on your cleanse might put someone into a killing rampage. It might put me in a killing rampage.

Some of the people in this book have a drinking problem, but we don't, so we can have something fun and summery. Tabernacle Crush: 1/2 large peach sliced, 6 basil leaves, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1&1/2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce Lillet, 1/2 ounce simple syrup. In a tall glass, muddle the peach, basil and lemon juice, then add the gin, Lillet, and simple syrup. Next add some ice, top with club soda and then garnish with a little basil sprig.    

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anubis Gates

Want a time-travelling urban fantasy set in the olden times, kind of like Dickens meets Indiana Jones?  Be warned, this book has more twists than your DNA. There are a few jokes peppered throughout but they aren't lame (by that I mean they aren't dad jokes and no puns). Use a lot of puns around me = Berserker.

Granted, this book is confusing.  Time-travelling books often are. This one uses a mix of real historic figures, real events, crazy magic, fictional poets's just cuckoo bananas.  Anubis Gate's only flaw (besides that weird title) is that it's very confusing. Like how on earth was Two and Half Men on the air for twelve seasons confusing.

Anubis Gates was republished in 1997 and won some fantasy awards back in the 80's. Even though I was working at a bookstore when it was republished, I had never heard of it.  Granted it was a feminist bookstore (think the feminist bookstore in Portlandia meets a gay pride parade) so maybe that's why I don't remember it.  I think instead of carrying this title we might have been carrying: Hiking Antarctica Alone with Your Dog or How to Knit a Working Bicycle.

Drinks: There are plenty of drinks in this book like scotch, beer, port and lots of brandy. Brandy in coffee, brandy straight and brandy in punch.  Most of this book is set pre-cocktail era but there are a lot of fun cocktails with brandy.  The Embassy: 3/4 oz brandy, 3/4 good rum, 3/4 oz. Cointreau, 1/2 oz. lime juice and a dash of Angostura bitters. Put those ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish this with a lime wedge.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

Want a twist on the my-crazy-parent-alcoholic memoir? What about having some colonialists for parents? No, not African missionaries. Colonialists. Rhodesian colonialists that would cheer when a land mine went off because it was either an African rebel or a baboon. What?

I had been meaning to read Alexandra Fuller's memoir for years, and yes, the writing is excellent. 2003 was the tail end of the weird memoir era. You didn't know there was a weird memoir era? Running with Scissors, Liars Club and then A Million Little Pieces kind of ruined things as people were just making stuff up. Hey, every family is crazy enough that you don't need to make stuff up. You just need a good memory and the wherewithal to realize that not all families, say... go through a period where when any member of the family farts, you all have to knock on wood for some reason. The last person to knock was the so-called "loser." (Who started this, I'm not sure.) This game was so popular in my family that for an nine month period all of the artwork on the walls was crooked. (We discovered that the picture frames were often the closest source of wood within reach). I still have no idea why we did this as we all suffered the consequences. 

Fuller does mention farts in this memoir, albeit briefly.  This book wasn't as good as I had hoped, it's a little sad and it covers death, disease and war-like unrest.  Vastly different than my family.  The most traumatic thing that happened in my family is when our beloved parakeet drowned in the upstairs toilet. I'm sure he wanted to take a bath, poor guy.

Even though the title of this book is from a quote...there are a ton of dogs in this book, When the dogs got worms and scraped their butts across the floor they called it "sailing." Drink with a variation of the "dog drinks": Greyhound: 1&1/2 oz. vodka, 3 ounces grapefruit juice, serve over ice, garnish with lime. Salty Dog: Same as above but replace the vodka with gin and put a salt rim on your glass.  Salty Chihuahua: same as the Salty Dog but replace the gin and use tequila.