A solid work of food journalism that will appeal to beer experts and novices alike.

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CRAFT BEER COUNTRY

IN SEARCH OF THE BEST BREWERIES FROM THE SOUTH PACIFIC TO THE PACIFIC COAST

A beer aficionado takes readers on a tour of some of the West Coast’s most notable breweries.

Craft beer is more popular than ever, which ensures a built-in audience for this debut, which profiles more than two dozen of the best breweries in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, and British Columbia. It’s clear from the opening pages that Richardson, a freelance food and beverage writer, is no casual quaffer. In the first entry, he pays a visit to Hawaii-based Maui Brewing and offers a behind-the-scenes peek at what really goes into producing their quality brew. This sets the template for the rest of the book, as Richardson hops around the West, visiting well-known breweries with national distribution, such as San Diego’s Stone Brewing, as well as smaller outfits, such as Reno, Nevada’s Brasserie St. James—whose owner, Richardson says, aims to elevate beer culture in his hometown—and community-supported Boise Brewing in Idaho. The author succeeds in his goal of producing more than just “Another craft beer bible,” instead offering “a travelogue that includes many of craft beer’s most interesting characters.” He takes the time to sit down with brewers and find out how they got started in the industry, and he learns not only their brewing techniques, but also their opinions on the state of craft beer in America and even suggested food-beer pairings. The experience is a bit like tagging along on a tasting tour with an informed friend who’s able to translate the unique characteristics of any given brew into words. Those with a working knowledge of the subtleties of craft beer will get the most out of this book, although members of what Richardson dubs “the mainstream beer crowd” may be inspired to step out of their comfort zones after reading about the “velvety, lactose-laden head…[and] hints of vanilla and oatmeal and a dash of chocolate” that characterize Paso Robles, California–based Firestone Walker Brewing’s Nitro Merlin Milk Stout or the “subtle orange hints” of Boonville, California–based Anderson Valley Brewing’s Blood Orange Gose.

A solid work of food journalism that will appeal to beer experts and novices alike.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-64307-167-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Mascot Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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