Beer Review: Pretty Things American Darling


Beer: American Darling – Good Time Lager Brewer: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Source: 22 oz. bottle, poured into a pint glass Rating: *** (7.0 of 10) Comments: Another beer from my new favorite local brewery.  It’s a lovely golden beer with a thick head, a grainy aroma, and tastes like a crisp pilsener…

Beer Review: High & Mighty Purity of Essence


Beer: Purity of Essence lager Brewer: High & Mighty Beer Co. Source: 650 ml bottle, poured in a pint glass Rating: ** (6.8 of 10) Comments: Lager is an ordinary beer, at least in the United States, and this tastes like an ordinary lager.  That’s no slight as it’s seemingly easy to make crappy lagers…

Book Review: Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway by Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll


Author: Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll Title: Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5,000-Mile Paleo Road Trip Publication Info: Fulcrum Publishing (2007) ISBN: 9781555914516 Summary/Review: I’ve long been a fan of the art of Ray Troll who specializes in drawing realistic but whimsical representations of…

Book Review: Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer


Author: Jonah Lehrer Title: Proust Was a Neuroscientist Publication Info: Brilliance Audio on CD (2008) ISBN: 9781423374206 Previously read by same author: How We Decide Summary/Review: This book explores the work of eight artists and how their art revealed truths about the human brain that would later be discovered through science.  A quick search of…

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


Author: Suzanne Collins Title:  Mockingjay Publication Info: New York : Scholastic Press, 2010. Books Read By Same Author: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire Summary/Review: The final installment in The Hunger Games trilogy is the strongest of the series.  The whole series is built on moral ambiguity and in this novel Katniss Everdeen finds herself among…

Book Review: The F-word by Jesse Sheidlower


Author: Jesse Sheidlower Title: The F-word Publication Info: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780195393118 Summary/Review: Not the book I expected.  I thought it was going to be a cultural history of the word “fuck” through history and various usages.  That was just the introduction which was pretty good.  The main…

Beer Review: Annie Schwartz Black Lager


Beer: Annie Schwartz Black Lager Brewer:  Haverhill Brewery Inc. Source: 22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass Rating: *** (7.2 of 10) Comments: Haverhill’s German-style black lager is a dark mocha-colored beer with a frothy head. It gives off a dark chocolate scent with a burnt, chocolaty flavor. The mouthfeel is a bit thin…

Beer Review: Notch Saison


Beer: Notch Saison Brewer: Notch Brewing Source: 22 oz. bottle, poured in pint glass Rating:  **(6.8 of 10) Comments: Inspired by a style of beer once enjoyed by farm laborers, this beer is refreshing and goes down almost too easily on a beastly hot summer evening. The beer is a hazy, sunny orange with a…

Beer Review: Samuel Adams Latitude 48


Beer: Samuel Adams Latitude 48 Brewer: Boston Beer Co. Source: 12 Fl. Oz. Rating: *** (7.0 of 10) Comments: It’s a pretty beer, copper-colored with a thick, yeasty head.  The scent is not strong, but there’s a whiff of sweet caramel and bready hops.  For a beer dedicated to hops (Latitude 48 is where many…

Beer Review: Lagunitas Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red Ale


Beer: Lagunitas Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red Ale Brewer: Lagunitas Brewing Co. Source: 1 pint 6 fluid oz/ bottle Rating: *** (7.5 of 10) Comments: Gorgeous copper-colored beer with a thick, enduring head and good lacing.  The aroma is full of floral hops. The taste is a sticky, sweet caramel balanced by some hoppy goodness. …

Book Review: Taking the Field by Howard Megdal


Author: Howard Megdal Title: Taking the Field Publication Info: Bloomsbury USA (2011) ISBN: 9781608195794 Summary/Review: I received this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewer program.  Mets fan and sports journalist Howard Megdal, frustrated by the mismanagement of his favorite team decides to take action by running for the office of Mets general manager.  The…

Beer Review: Hell or High Watermelon


Beer: Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer Brewer: 21st Amendment Brewery Source: 12 fl. oz. can Rating:  * (5.5 of 10) Comments: The beer is a golden and cloudy without much of a head (especially for a “wheat” beer).  The scent and flavor of watermelon is strong but otherwise the beer tastes weak and watery. …

Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon & Green Roots Festival


On Sunday June 26th, my son Peter & I rode in the fundraiser Bike-A-Thon for Bikes Not Bombs.  We were able to raise $376 for this worthy cause (feel free to add to our donations).  All-together 464 riders raised over $135,000 to support the work of Bikes Not Bombs! My photos are online and some…

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Author: Harper Lee Title: To Kill a Mockingbird Publication Info: Harper (2010), Edition: 50th Anniversary Edition ISBN: 0061743526 Summary/Review: With much joy and a little apprehension I returned to one of my Favorite Books of All Time after nearly 25 years.  It turned out to be better than I remembered.  It was interesting the details…

Book Review: The Pox and the Covenant by Tony Williams


Author: Tony Williams Title: The Pox and the Covenant Publication Info: Sourcebooks (2010) ISBN:  9781402236051 Summary/Review: Another bit of research for my Boston By Foot Dark Side tour, this one discussing the history of the smallpox pandemic of 1721.  Cotton Mather, a religious conservative but also a man of science (and member of the Royal…

Book Reviews: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


Author: Suzanne Collins Title: Catching Fire Publication Info: Scholastic Audio Books (2009) ISBN:  0545101417 Books read by the same author: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Summary/Review: So I wanted to find out what happens next and couldn’t resist listening to the next book in The Hunger Games series.  It’s plagued by some of the…

Book Review: The Underboss by Gerard Neill & Dick Lehr


Author: Gerard Neill & Dick Lehr Title: The Underboss Publication Info: New York : BBS PublicAffairs, 2002. ISBN:  1586481088 Books read by same authors: Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance between the FBI and the Irish Mob Summary/Review: The FBI’s takedown of the Anguilo crime of family of Boston’s North End may…

Book Review: The Crime of the Century by Stephanie Schorow


Author: Stephanie Schorow Title: The Crime of the Century Publication Info: Beverly, Mass. : Commonwealth Editions, c2008. ISBN: 9781933212548 Summary/Review: The Boston Brink’s robbery of January 1950 is shrouded in folklore and embellishment (much of it from the criminals themselves) so Shorow sets out to separate fact from fiction in this accounting of the famous…