Tag Archives: Book Review

Sex Tips from Rock Stars by Paul Miles

I’ll say this much for Sex Tips from Rock Stars – you may not learn anything new from the book, but you’ll sure as hell be entertained.

From Almost Famous to Spinal Tap, Penny Lane to Connie Hamzy, we’re taught that “rock god” and “sex god” are interchangeable terms. There’s no doubt that musicians have a certain power when they perform that’s an aural aphrodisiac. The question is, are there any actual bedroom tips and tricks these rockers have to back up the appeal?

That’s the question that Miles sheds some light on in Sex Tips from Rock Stars. In the new book from Omnibus Press (a publisher better known for serious biographies than sex guides), 23 different musicians give their tips, “in their own words” on groupies, fetishes, romance, marriage and everything in between. I say musicians because, lets face it – “Rock Stars” is a bit relative. Though the fame of some of the interviewees might be questionable, the range of ages and musical styles makes for a good cross-section of the rock world. The book is pretty phallocentric, but does include the female perspective of The Donnas’ Allison Robertson. Continue reading


Quick Book Recommendation; Tall, Skinny, Bitter

9781570615658Like coffee? Spend more time in a coffee shop than the average Seattle-ite? Got a thing for tatted-out baristas? Buy Tall Skinny Bitter.

What? You need more that just my say-so to go out and pay for a book? Fine. I’ll give you a bit of an overview of the caffeine-fueled radness of Dani Cone and Chris Munson’s book. Grab yourself a venti triple skinny half-caf no whip mocha latte and follow me into the “Center of Coffee Culture.” Continue reading

Asylum by Christopher Payne

asylumThere are a lot of different reasons that I’ll write about a book here on Brews and Books. If I really, really enjoyed a book, I’ll try and put up at least a couple words to get it on to people’s book piles. Much more rarely, I’ll try and help people steer clear of a book I abhorred by writing a bit about why I hated it. Whether I liked or disliked a book, if I’m sent something to review I try to get something about it up on the site.

Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals is a bit different than any of these. I want to recommend Asylum because it is an incredibly strong, incredibly beautiful book.  Unfortunately, I think that the price, size, or subject matter of Christopher Payne’s book might prevent people from giving it a chance. Don’t let this happen. I have mentioned before that I am loathe to recommend expensive books, but this gorgeous hardcover is worth every penny. Continue reading

The Naked Pint by Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune

shapeimage_5I read more than my fair share of beer books.  I kind of have to, right?  I can let a book or a beer go by without mentioning it on Brews + Books, but when something hits with both barrels it’s difficult to let it go unnoticed.  Like any other genre, the world of beer books is flooded with topics well-worn and original, information valid and questionable, and writing very good and pretty damn bad.

Luckily, The Naked Pint is original, informative and very well written.  The authors, serious beer-crush-candidates Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune, really know their suds.  Perozzi is the founder of the popular beer website Beer For Chicks, a beer sommelier, and one of the country’s preeminent beer experts.  Beaune is equally pedigreed – a beer author, consultant, and former manager and educator at the famed beer bar Father’s Office.

Continue reading

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians

There’s an old saying that a writer has a million bad words in them, and they have to get them all out before they start writing well.  I’m not sure what the analogue is in video, but I think I have quite a few minutes left before I start feeling comfy on camera.


So, like I was saying in the video…

I really, really enjoyed reading Grossman’s The Magicians.  The story is split into four long books, and covers the college and post-college years of Quentin Coldwater.  Quentin starts the book as a bit of a nerd and an outsider, headed to a college interview for Princeton.  Before long, he’s diverted to a totally different interview – and accepted to Brakebills College, a (quite literally) magical college in upstate New York.  Quentin finds himself in a very adult version of Harry Potter‘s Hogwarts; along with sorcery classes and magic doorways, he discovers the drugs, booze, and sex you’re more likely to find in a book like Less Than Zero.  The book follows Quentin and his friends for five years at Brakebills and a few years further.

Continue reading

Quick Take – Arcade of Cruelty by Joseph Larkin

Arcade of CrueltyIf you’re easily offended, I suggest you stay far, far away from Joseph Larkin’s Arcade of Cruelty. In fact, I’d say that moderate-to-difficult to offend people should think twice before picking up this bizarre book. The book is a graphic memoir of sorts, a look back at the life of the recently deceased Larkin, who is still alive and well. Continue reading

Quick Take – I Saw You…, edited by Julia Wertz

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I Saw You…, edited by Julia Wertz, is borne from one of the most interesting ideas for an anthology that I’ve seen in a long while.  Based on real-life “missed connections” ads from craigslist and local papers, the book is a collection of short illustrated interpretations of these personals.  The stories, drawn by dozens of alternative  and up-and-coming graphic artists, each weigh in at somewhere between a single page and a half-dozen pages.  One thing I Saw You… gets absolutely right is the voyeuristic feeling you get reading “missed connection” classifieds.  Wertz and the other contributors nail the loneliness and longing in the posters of these personals.  The result is a fascinating book that you feel slightly guilty and a little titillated reading, like Other People’s Love Letters or the Postsecret Books.  The one- or two-sentence personals are a perfect starting point and script for the artists, leaving tons of room to play and create a narrative.  Like most other collections, I Saw You… does suffer a bit from the “anthology problem” – some of the stories are just weaker than the others.  The loneliness that is communicated so well in the stories can be gut-wrenchingly, heart-breakingly sad, but that shouldn’t deter you from the book.  If you want to read stories of how real people act in the name of love, lust, and desperation, you won’t find a better set of comics than this.

I Saw You…,  edited by Julia Wertz – 12.95 – 191 pages – Paperback – ISBN 9780307408532 – Three Rivers Press