Books & Brews: The Strangeness of Men / Isley Brewing Company’s Choosy Mother

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a story I love with a pint to sip while reading it, under the theory that there is a perfect beer to compliment every book.

I’m kicking off 2016 with a Book & Brews first — instead of featuring a novel, I’m thrilled to share a collection of short stories, flash fiction, and poems! Kim Drew Wright’s The Strangeness of Men is thirty-eight unique stories bound together under one lovely cover (really, look at that cover up there– so gorgeous). Obviously, it would be impossible to give you a synopsis of each and every one of those stories, but what I can tell you is that each one explores some element of humanity– from the mundane (think laundry, cooking, and cleaning bathrooms), to the quirky (a naked sleepwalker), to the unimaginable (life in a quarantined town where people die every day). And each piece leaves you thinking just a little differently about the world around you and the stories everyone carries with them.

Here are just a few things I loved about this book: Continue reading

Books & Brews: Love in a Carry-On Bag / Abita’s Pecan Harvest

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a novel I love with a pint to sip while reading it, under the theory that there is a perfect beer to compliment every book.

It seems like there were a number of gray, rainy days in Richmond, Virginia this month, which made it a perfect month for curling up inside, under a blanket, with a good book.  Which is exactly what I did. This month I read Sadeqa Johnson’s Love in a Carry-On Bag. The novel tells the story of Erica and Warren, who are about a year into their long-distance relationship. She lives in New York, and is climbing the ladder in the marketing department at a huge publishing company. He lives Washington D.C. and works a lucrative job as an IT contractor by day and plays jazz trumpet by night. The story chronicles the intense ups and downs of their long-distance relationship, while also weaving in their childhood experiences (neither of which were easy).

Heres what I loved about the book: Continue reading

Books & Brews: Jagged Hearts / Starr Hill Double Platinum

Two of my favorite things in the world are books and craft beer.  Out of this grew the idea that maybe pairings aren’t just for the table anymore; perhaps there is a perfect beer for every book . . .

This is an especially exciting installment of Books & Brews because it’s about not only beer and books, but also rock n’ roll.  I recently read the first installment in Lashell Collins’ Jagged Ivory series, Jagged Hearts. Continue reading