Beer Review: Samuel Smith Organic Strawberry

Beer: Organic Strawberry Fruit Beer
Brewer: Samuel Smith Brewery
Source: 500 ml bottle
Rating: No stars (4.7 of 10)
Comments: I’ve been impressed by Samuel Smith’s beers in the past, so I decided to give this unique beer a try.  The rosy red color is a pleasant surprise, but the sickly-sweet smell is a big turnoff.  Unfortunately, the taste is not much better, falling somewhere in-between a fruit smoothie and cough medicine.  I will say that as the beer mellowed in the glass and I took a few more sips, I was able to overcome my initial revulsion, but overall this is not a beer I will try again.

Beer Review: Allagash Saison Ale

BeerAllagash Saison Ale
Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: **** (8.0 of 10)
Comments: A hazy pale yellow beer with light carbonation, this Farmhouse Ale offers a peppery spice aroma with hints of herb and citrus.  The taste is a pleasant balance of spice and citrus which leaves a fruity tingle on the tongue and a yeasty aftertaste.  There’s not much of a head or lacing after a few sips.  This is a tasty, complex beer.

 

Song of the Week: “Forever Don’t Last” by Jazmine Sullivan

For the post-Valentine’s Day Song of the Week, Philadelphia’s Jazmine Sullivan provides the plaintive and soulful vocals for “Forever Don’t Last.”

Book Review: The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

AuthorSam Kean
TitleThe disappearing spoon : and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements
Narrator: Sean Runnette
Publication Info: Tantor Media, 2010
Summary/Review:

This book is a history of science based on the periodic table.  Kean goes through the elements discussing their discovery, the stories of the scientists who discovered them, and the element’s place in human society.  A lot of the book is anecdotes about chemists, but they’re good stories.  There are also a lot of interesting connections, both among the elements and the people who work for them.  A nice, easy-to-read popular science and history work that enlivens the periodic table for even the most curmudgeonly humanities major.

Recommended books13 things that don’t make sense by Michael Brooks, Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science–From the Babylonians to the Maya by Dick Teresi, and Connections by James Burke.
Rating:

Book Review: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

AuthorGeorge R.R. Martin
TitleA Clash of Kings
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Publication Info: Random House Audio (2011)
Previously read by the same author: A Game of Thrones
Summary/Review:

The second installment of A Song of Ice and Fire was gripping to my ears as I plowed through the audiobook.  Despite the title, there is not much clashing for most of the novel, but there is a lot of moving of chess pieces around the board.  There’s also a grim portrait of the effect of war on the ordinary people in Westeros.  Having watched the television series, I notice that it diverges more from the source material than in A Game of Thrones, but not so much that I’d wonder why they make the changes.

Rating: ***

Book Review: The Librarian (Book Two: Unhappily Ever After) by Eric Hobbs

AuthorEric Hobbs
TitleThe Librarian (Book Two: Unhappily Ever After)
Publication Info: Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2012
Summary/Review:

This sequel picks up from the cliffhanger ending of the previous book.  Having made changes within the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Wesley and Taylor discover that the real world has been changed as well.  They had back to the library to correct what they’ve done, and find themselves in the dystopian world of Oz under control of the Wicked Witch.  This novel is grimmer in tone than it’s predecessor with violence in Oz and tensions among the lead characters.  There’s also an interesting shift from Wesley to Taylor as the primary protagonist.  I thought this book improved upon Little Boy Lost and that Hobbs’ sometimes-pedestrian writing and shallow characterizations are picking up as well.  I look forward to the next installment which will be set in Alice’s Wonderland.

Recommended books: Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde, Band of Demons by Rob Blackwell, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Rating: ***

Book Review: The Librarian (Book One: Little Boy Lost) by Eric Hobbs

AuthorEric Hobbs
TitleThe Librarian (Book One: Little Boy Lost)
Publication Info: Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2011
Summary/Review:

This is a book I picked up as a Kindle deal because I like stories set in libraries.  This is a pretty imaginative one.  Wesley is a bookish boy bullied by his peers with one true friend Taylor.  On a class trip to their town’s mysterious library, Wes and Tay discover that the library offers portals into books.  A Lost Boy from Peter Pan joins them as they hide from villains by entering The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  It’s kind of young adult fiction take on Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, although with a less-engaging writing style.  Still, the book was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages.

Recommended books: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, A Soul to Steal by Rob Blackwell, Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Rating: ***

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,263 other followers

%d bloggers like this: