Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Best Books and Beers 2011

Okay, just like everyone else, I have Christmas stuff I gotta do. So this is gonna be short and to the point. I'm picking the two best books I read this year and the two best beers.

Here we go:

BOOKS:

AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman: Not published in 2011. In fact, it's the tenth anniversary. I stumbled upon this book because of Gaiman's brilliant episode of Doctor Who this year. But American Gods is more than a Doctor Who episode. It's one of the top 5 books I've ever read. A stunning, sprawling "realistic" fantasy novel (as if those two words make sense in conjunction with one another)... it is the story of American immigration... and what if those immigrants all brought their Gods with them. And those Gods wanted to start a war. Oh yes, it is awesome.

CHOKE ON YOUR LIES by Anthony Neil Smith: Quite simply the funniest, dirtiest, darkest, and most easily read book this year. A twist on the Nero Wolfe novels and also a scathing take on University life. Compelling and wonderful, it was the best book published this year. And only 99 cents. Please buy it, because I want a sequel. Now.

BEST BEERS 2011:

Schlafly AIPA: Bitter when it needs to be, smooth at the beginning and the best IPA I've ever had. A great summer beer... I tried tracking this beer down all year and was only able to find it in one restaurant. Just great tasting and fantastic. If you can find it, you're very, very lucky.

Keegan Ale's Mother's Milk: A stout so smooth and drinkable. Tastes like chocolate milk. If you don't like beer, this is a starter beer for you. And if you like stouts, but are looking for something to drink more than just one of... try this one out. Great stuff.

Now, I want your best books and BEST BEERS in the comments.

4 comments:

Scott Parker said...

I'm a huge fan of season beers and this year, I discovered two, both by Blue Moon. The Pumpkin Spice ale and the Winter Abbey ale both surprised me with exceptional taste and smoothness.

Thomas Pluck said...

Keegan's is awesome. I have both of the books you mentioned on my to-read shelf. I'm just slow-ass reader these days.

My top 2 books this year:
I forgot all about THE ASK Sam Lipsyte when I did my top 10. It came out last year, but I read it this year. It's one of the funniest eviscerations of NYC life you will encounter. But it doesn't count.

Two books ripped my heart out this year, in a good way.
Megan Abbott's THE END OF EVERYTHING, and OUT THERE BAD by Josh Stallings.

Two beers blew me away recently:
Left Hand Brewing's Fade to Black #3, a Pepper Porter. Smooth and silky with bite, like my woman...

And Bellegems Bruin, a West Flanders sour brown ale. Sour like a green apple candy dropped in a malty fresh beer. Tart and refreshing... (see above)

Bryon Quertermous said...

I, like Scott, was very surprised at how good the Winter Abbey Ale was. I also loved the Shiner Holiday Cheer.

Best books were Fun and Games, just a great heart for a crazy over the top book. And also The Most Dangerous Thing. It was great to see someone not particularly known for stylistic theatrics do some great, inventive things with a simple narrative.

No Filter: The Book said...

Favorite books are many this year but include.

Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut --- read a huge amount of Vonnegut this year.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline -- one heck of a fun, geeky ride.

Persepolis (Graphic Novel) -- Amazing story

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl -- phenomenal and fun

Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein -- I love a good bunny fook.

Favorite beers include:

Marshall Wharf Big Twitch IPA .. huge and drinkable (Belfast, ME).

North Coast Brother Thelonius Monk Ale .. Another huge lovely beer (Ft. Bragg, CA)

Oxbow Farmhouse Ale (Newcastle, ME) lovely and rich.