Greetings and welcome to the Pick Your Poison Edition of You Are What You Read.
This weekend you may have to do just that, pick your poison. We have not only Cinco de Mayo but also Derby weekend. It’s a party weekend and while they both feature hats with ginormous brims and elaborate decoration, they also both feature signature beverages that seemingly don’t play well together; tequila for you fans of the Cinco and for the Derby folks Bourbon.
I recently incensed my Kentucky cousin by saying I did not understand the allure of a Mint Julep. Why would you ruin beautiful bourbon with some weird combo of muddled mint and sugar? I do own a silver julep cup. It holds my toothbrush and toothpaste in my bathroom. I think this is an excellent use of this object.
As far as Tequila goes, I like it all right. I’ll drink a margarita as long as it’s not sickly sweet. It has to have fresh squeezed juice and a nice salted rim.
For those of you who feel that there needs to be a way to celebrate both at the same time, I offer you a cocktail out of Portland Oregon; the appropriately named Man of Leisure. It features both Bourbon and Tequila and some Ginger Beer for good measure. If you want the exact mixology of it all you can read it on the Eater website. If you make one please let us know how that turned out. And let us know which chapeau you donned while sipping. Inquiring minds...
This week we have the moon, Alaska, and some feminism.
Let us begin!
Abby has recently read Artemis by Andy Weir. “The title refers to a city on the moon inhabited by natives, tourists, and a few folks looking to make their fortune. One of these is the shady Jazz Bashara, a young woman born on Artemis and not above a little smuggling and other sketchy activities. Artemis is a cramped space populated with tunnels, chambers, with an occasional estate owned by billionaire. Jazz has the goal of making enough to afford a better life. Her choices estrange her from her father, a master craftsman disappointed that Jazz, while talented as well, chooses not to follow in his footsteps, and instead lead a life of questionable morality. When Jazz’s constant scheming lands her in a middle of a rare murder investigation involving the death of a billionaire, her inside knowledge of Artemis comes in handy. Weir is also the author of The Martian, a book that flowed easily and had much more charm than Artemis. While I’m glad I read Artemis, it would be tough for me to give a strong recommendation as I did The Martian.”
Sweet Ann has finished our most popular fiction book this week, The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah and here’s what she thought. “This is an engrossing novel that sweeps you into the very difficult world of the Allbright family in an untamed part of Alaska in 1974. Ernt Allbright, the father, had served in Vietnam and is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. He thinks his family; wife Cora and thirteen-year-old daughter Leni will have a fresh start leaving Seattle and heading to Alaska. They are ill prepared and his mental state deteriorates during the long winters. He is unable to control his anger and physically abuses Cora. He is always apologetic and she forgives him, but as time goes on Leni does not understand and will no longer forgive his behavior. Over time Ernt becomes a survivalist and tries to shield his family from the outside world. Leni tries to understand her mom's reasons for staying but she becomes disillusioned with her and their way of life. This is a difficult book with a great story. As a reader, you will see the human side of Ernt and see him as a victim as well. The characters of Cora and Leni are believable, well written and your heart will go out to both of them."
**Jeanne **has just finished Meg Wolitzer’s new book The Female Persuasion. “Greer Kadetsky is a smart, young college student who learns to speak up and use her outside voice. Faith Frank is her feminist mentor who rose to prominence as a women’s activist in the 1970s. Throughout the next few decades, Wolitzer, a great storyteller, weaves in several other characters who affects these two women’s lives in great detail. There are many subplots that depict alternative possibilities to the conventional views of power and the lack of for women in families; in friendships and love; and at work. The book is relevant and thought provoking for its global portrayal of women’s rights and the drastic need for change. Think Gloria Steinem, Roe v. Wade, and sex trafficking. I found the novel compelling and a great read.”