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


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

Craft Beer & the Craft of Writing


I write a blog post every month about pairing books and beer, so it seems only right that I welcome all the amazing authors descending on my city this weekend for the James River Writers conference by providing information about the ever-inspiring Richmond craft beer scene. I have to say, being the self-elected purveyor of this important information feels a little daunting to me. There’s a lot of delicious beer in Richmond– what if I forget to list a brewery? And what if the one that I forget was going to be that one writer from Super Far Away’s absolute favorite because pumpkin infused with maple syrup and aged in bourbon barrels is their thing (that’s not snark– it is actually sort of my thing, this time of year).

Luckily, while visiting one of my fabulous local breweries recently, I spied a handy brochure that featured a map of the RVA Beer Trail, put out by the estimable and my fears evaporated. All you have to do if you want to learn about all the great beer in my city is visit their site. There’s a map, and links to websites for each brewery. So there you have it. No brewery left unmentioned and my job here is done. Welcome to Richmond, writers — go forth and find your favorite brew, whether it involves pumpkin, maple, and barrel-aging or not!

*In all seriousness, there is so much great food and beer in my city, so if you’re visiting for the conference (or anything else), feel free to reach out to me for recommendations!