“I’m a shark!”

Book: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Wine:  2014 Baltimore Bend Arrowhead Red
BONUS BOOZE: The Shark Bite

I’ve embraced a new-found love for comics and graphic novels over the last few years. This is due to several contributing factors:

  1. I want to prepare myself for the onslaught of Marvel and DC Comics movies hitting theatres over the next few years.
  2. A video game called “A Wolf Among Us” based on the long-running Fables series opened up a whole new world for me to immerse myself into.
  3. There are some really awesome graphic novels and graphic memoirs (like Maus and March) that are critically acclaimed and genuinely interest me.

So I’ve been expanding my reading and find that comics/graphic novels can be just as complex and riveting and fun and thought-provoking and moving as any other book you pull off the shelf. And Nimona is no different.

At first glance, the book is whimsical and darkly funny — it’s the story of a shapeshifting girl named Nimona who seeks out renown supervillain Lord Ballister Blackheart to become his sidekick. They plot, they scheme, and Nimona goes a little…overboard. She means well (for a villain sidekick) and Ballister tries to instill in her the idea that even villains have a code of conduct of sorts. Still, shenanigans happen.

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As the story unfolds and we learn about her enigmatic past, the story grows a little darker. We learn that the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics, the organization that transformed Ballister into the villain he is, has dark secrets of their own that could potentially harm the people of the kingdom they’ve sworn to protect, and the “villains” set out to expose these truths. But in their clashes with the Institution, things get out of hand and we find that this little girl has early immeasurable power and is a force to be reckoned with.

This story has it all: villains that aren’t so villainous, heroes that aren’t so heroic, shapeshifters, knights, jousts, dragons, science, technology, magic, love, friendship, tests of loyalty, etc. I laughed, I cried, I read it again.

Noelle Stevenson has created and written such a wondrous thing with this web-comic-turned-graphic-novel, and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. Earlier this year I picked up Lumberjanes Vol. 1, an ongoing series that she co-writes and illustrates. It too is witty, quirky, spunky, and oh-so-smart. I really think this author is going places.

Now, for the booze contingent.

I’ve got two picks — gasp! — because I’ve read this twice now, loved it so much, and can’t tell which is a better pairing.

The first is wine, per our usual. Nimona calls for something sweet but dark, and Balitmore Bend’s Arrowhead Red fits the bill. I feel as if Nimona herself (when she is “of age” of course) would love the look and taste of this wine made from Concord grapes.

And second is a cocktail called the Shark Bite.*

1 shot of clear rum
orange juice
grenadine

In a glass over ice, pour a shot of rum — I prefer Don Q Cristal, a Puerto Rican rum. Fill glass with orange juice, then sink about a splash of grenadine.

When done like this it should be layered and have the same appearance as a Tequila Sunrise. However, you can also mix it up. This drink is appropriate because…

The cutest damn shark you'll ever see.

The cutest damn shark you’ll ever see.

-Liana

*NOTE: So, after doing some Googling I’ve determined that what I’m calling a Shark Bite is apparently not a “traditional” Shark Bite, which contains sweet & sour mix, Blue Curacao, rum, and grenadine. But this is what I make at home, and it’s delicious. So deal with it.


 

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, $12.99
Paperback 266 pages
Published 2015 by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

2014 Arrowhead Red, $10
Baltimore Bend Vineyard, Waverly MO
Avaliable for purchase at these locations. 


Comments? Questions? Have an idea of what we should read next?
Let us know in the comment spot!

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140 Million Miles Away & Disco

Book: The Martian by Andy Weir
Wine: Vignoles, Baltimore Bend Vineyards

duct tape fixes everything.

for starters, duct tape fixes everything.

So, so many apologies for the absence these past few weeks. I could go into a long storied affair that would include blame upon my dog and a desire to make ‘things go faster’. Instead I’ll just include the photo below.

tears were shed.

tears were shed.

But never fear! I swear we spent our time away from you doing exactly what it is that we do best. We drank, we read, and we texted one another at all hours about how the best horror film ever made was ‘The Village’.

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Anyway… enough about past Hollywood Classics, and more on future ones. If you haven’t heard, Matt Damon is going back into space in October, taking Andy Weir’s novel The Martian to the big screen, and if you’re unfortunate enough to speak to me in these past few weeks about such a development I am deeply, terribly sorry.

I’ve just been… a bit excited.

Though the publishing house copy you can buy in just about any store right now gives a date of 2014, that is not the whole story. Weir first published the book in serial form on his website in 2011 after having spent two years in development. It was only the begging & pleas of fans that he even put it up on Amazon Kindle, only it there to be snatched up by Podium Audio Publishing and Crown, who purchased the rights for a truly magnificent price. Not even a year later, and here we are, waiting to see it on the big screen.

As well crafted and masterfully written as the plot is, the story it spins is far from such. The book is written predominately in ‘Captain Logs’ where we are told his tale of luck, bad luck, and terrible  luck in bite size forms.  Some chapters go on for pages, detailing facts and figures for food rations or how he managed to locate himself on the red planet. Others are short sufficient log entries expressing his profound feelings for Disco.

But do not go into The Martian thinking that it will be a one-man play. For in between the seat-gripping anxiety that is the Martian atmosphere, Weir gives us equally dramatic interludes back on planet earth. There we meet a beautifully diverse cast of characters that I can only pray that Hollywood can live up to.

I've got a lot of hopes riding on you

I’ve got a lot of hopes riding on you Mr. Mohammed.

Read The Martian right now. Today. Don’t even bother reading the rest of this post, just save it for later after you’ve read all 369 pages. Or even better? After you’ve listened to all 10 hours, 53 minutes and 35 seconds of the audio recording. R. C. Bray gave the audio performance before this book was ever printed – which is exactly how I first enjoyed it. He reads every ‘woo hoo!’ and ‘I’m Alive!’ and ‘I’m Fucked.’ as if he was there as Mark Watney giving each and every one of those updates from 140 million miles away. It’s nearly impossible to not join him there, except here? On earth?

We get wine.

Which leads me to the second part of this post.

This past weekend (9.12.15) I had the opportunity to go to Winefest, Independence Uncorked and taste far, far too many wines for one day. I have no regrets, though Sunday was a tiny bit bright.

The Martian is a witty, dry novel that demands more than one glass to survive the ordeal – this is no sipping book. As such I am going to recommend a wine from this weekend: Baltimore Bend Vineyard’s Vignoles. It’s not exactly fully dry, which makes it something you can enjoy more than one glass of. I admit I don’t remember exactly which grapes and what season they picked them. (I had a lot of wine that day) but I do remember it’s taste, and the fruity aroma it gave just before the first sip. This is a wine that sits with you, carries you through the day and into the afternoon hours. In a day full of exotic local taste and options, only this and the suddenly regionally popular ‘Not Your Father’s Root beer’ stayed in my memory.

Which, to be honest, I’d pair with this book as well.
-Mercedes


The Martian, $15.00
Hardcover 369 pages
Originally Published 2011 by Andy Weir & Amazon Kindle
Republished February 11, 2014 by Crown

2013 Vignoles, $14
Baltimore Bend Vineyard, Waverly MO
Avaliable for purchase at these locations. 


Comments? Questions? Have an idea of what we should read next?
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“And yet we watch the stars…”

Book:    How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

Wine:    Apple Wine, Pirtle Winery

 

When back-to-school time hits, I immediately go into Fall Mode, thinking of comfort foods and drinks, shorter days and longer nights, crunchy leaves, and the whole shebang. Even though the temperature outside is still reaching into the 90s in mid- to late-August, I’ll admit that I’ve grabbed my closest throw blanket just for the coziness factor. (This, coming after Mercedes just posted last week about how blazing hot her house has been this summer…)

But there are certain types of books I like to dive into during the fall, just like in any other season:

Spring: Light and airy, with touches of magical realism
Summer: So-called Beach Reads, action-adventures, and sci-fi
Fall: Thrillers, and in general anything that is a transitional hunkering-down-for-winter type of book
Winter: Heavy tomes, usually written in the 19th century, like Dickens or anything in Russian literature

I didn’t immediately peg How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky for a Fall book, but it seemed like the perfect fit for my transition into this most glorious of seasons.

fall

The book tells the story of two astronomers, Irene and George. She studies black holes, and he is trying to prove the existence of god(s) through the stars. The two meet at the Toledo Institute of Astronomy, and the moment they lock eyes they can’t help but feel a magnetic attraction to the other, like they were destined to meet and complete each other. Little did they know, their mothers had planned this all along: as best friends since elementary school, the two women (Sally and Bernice) orchestrated a plan to make their children soul mates through practicing astrology. The children were born on the same day, they were raised together during early childhood, then separated. During the rest of their lives they were taught the same obscure songs, memorized the same poetry, traveled the same places, so that when they finally meet as adults, they’ll make these discoveries and know it was fate and not chance that brought them together. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

This is ultimately a romance novel, which I was a little hesitant about. I kept waiting for some overly cheesy astronomy- or physics-based pickup lines. Or at least one involving a supercollider. (Of which, there were none. So I Googled some to fill in that void: there’s a Tumblr for that.)

Hey girl, why don't you and I recreate the Big Bang?

Hey girl, why don’t you and I recreate the Big Bang?

But just when you think it’s going to get mushy gushy with George’s talk about how they were destined for love, Irene snaps back with some sciencey remark expressing her own skepticism and about how “love” and all the feelings and emotions connected with it all has a scientific explanation. They’re a great balance for each other – he sees the beauty in life and love, and she seeks empirical evidence and reaches logical conclusions to keep them grounded in reality. Somewhere in the middle of it all is the truth about how we make connections with each other, how we find love, or how love finds us.

But this is also the story of Sally and Bernice, about their friendship and how they made this whole crazy thing happen. Like Irene and George, their tale is filled with highs and lows, but there’s an overall sense of melancholy, which they hope to experience for themselves so that their children don’t have to. This book is rife with moments both lovely and heartbreaking, and it was a delight to read.

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Pictured: My Saturday Night

This book went perfectly with my Apple Wine from Pirtle Winery. Made with Honey Crisp apples (my favorite variety of apples to munch on), this semi-sweet white wine is crisp with a mild tartness from the apples. Full disclosure: this is not the first time I’ve ever had this wine. In fact, this is one of my go-to wines that will never fail me – easy for sipping on its own or pairing with a meal (personal fave: pork chops). Or, in this case, a book. It’s as familiar to me as Irene and George felt when they first met, and as refreshing and leisurely as the first crunch of red and yellow leaves under my feet.

-Liana

 

How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky, $25.99
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published July 2014 by St. Martin’s Press

Apple Wine, $12.95
Pirtle Winery, Weston, MO
Available for purchase online or at various wine & spirits retailers, including Hy-Vee.

 

Comments? Questions? Have an idea of what we should read next?
Let us know in the comment spot!

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Biopunk Dystopians, Elephants and Wine on Fire!

While I am not sure how your particular summer has gone thus far, I have to admit that mine has been incredibly, irrevocably, inexcusably hot. Most of the time I take pride in the fact that my home is over a century old and was built long before air-conditioning was a thing. That I’m able to manage quite well on natural breezes and carefully placed fans. But this last two months? Not so much. I’ve taken to hiding at coffee shops, my parent’s home (who in their older age, have learned that window units are a thing) and dragging a book along with me everywhere I go.

as seen outside my window

as seen outside my window

Some books are just meant for a quick summer read, to be consumed over a train ride or a long day on the beach. Then there are tomes who are more appropriate for such hot, humid and down right miserable weather.

Like The Windup Girl.

Now I’m not saying this book is miserable in the least, but the setting is easily familiar after this summer. Set, as all great dystopias are, in the near future, The Windup Girl takes a break away from America. Instead reminds those who have read their way through the genre, that after the world ends, there is more to life than Idaho.

you know which dystopian I'm talking about.

you know which dystopian I’m talking about.

Though we are introduced to Peter Lake (who is of course, our token American) in the very first few pages, he is not the sole character. Far from it! Instead we are allowed to travel along with individuals from every walk of life within the Thai Kingdom, from Jaidee, the military man so focused on upholding what is right, that he becomes a threat to those around him. To the fallen from grace refugee  Hock Seng. And of course, the title character of Emiko, a fabricated human with nearly all the appearances of, but none of the rights as a human. Each and every one of their stories flows strong and independent to each other until the title wave of the last few chapters come into play. They all leave you wanting more, wanting to know about the details of the American Midwest Agricultural Barons who control so much of the world. About Japan, and their survival after the rising tides and change of political structure. It brings the whole world in up close and under a microscope, without losing any of the vast details we are so often left to just imagine.  

For all of it’s 500+ pages, so many of my own questions have been left unanswered, and I admit perhaps my background plays a part in those questions. What was the original cause of the crop blights? Was it too much testing? Too much inbreeding or a lack of diversity? Did they engineer the pesticides too far? Where can I buy a Ngaw?!?

For those who read this book over the course of a weekend, I do salute you, because if I’m to be honest. I started this book back in April, and have been chewing away at it every chance I can. It’s a hefty thing, a book of substance, and not something to be paired lightly.

My heart tells me to pull out my favorite bottle of local sweet, or the neighbor’s new vine that’s producing something almost like kool-aide, my mind knows best. I don’t want you guys in my backyard, that’d just be weird and a bit creepy. So instead of Bellatrix or whatever name Strodtman will come up with I’m going to point you all into your local World Market, Liquor store or Wine Shop. Go to the red section and find the bottle with fire across the title.

I’m not quite sure what I expected when I poured Fuego into my glass, but the dark (grape juice) purple was not the color I expected. Blame it on trust issues, but I usually expect red wine to be red. However any hesitation you might have by the price and girl-on-fire label are quickly dismissed as soon as the first bit of scent hits the air. Pepper comes to mind, along with the dark soul-crushing despair that I want to heap upon Windup’s doorstep. And with the first drink, one can feel the burn of the 14.5% alcohol as it runs down your palate. The burn is what hit me first, like bourbon, like Fireball – though hopefully not so dangerous.

To be honest, I’ve not yet finished this bottle of wine.

What follows though, is the complexity the back of the label promises, which is damn impressive for a bottle that’s under $10. This isn’t a wine to drink in one long night, and I feel as if I tried I’d lose the details of each sip, and these grapes certainly better than that.

Windup Girl, is better than that.

Now, if you all can excuse me, I’m going to take this bottle and our next book and try to find some air-conditioning. I don’t think the attic fan is going to cut it today.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Gacigalupi, $15.99
Paperback, 505 pages
Originally Published May 1, 2010 by Orbit
Reissued May May 5, 2015 by Night Shade Books
wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1

Garnacha de Fuego
Bodegas Breca Winery
Available for purchase a heck of a lot of places. I found it here!
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Comments? Questions? Have an idea of what we should read next?
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Go Set a Watchman… and bring me some vino.

Book:    Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1
Drink:    Westphalia Vineyards 2012 Norton Reserve wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1

GSAW and NortonI was pretty excited at first when I heard about this recently-discovered manuscript that brings the Maycomb gang back together – mainly Scout (Jean Louise) and Atticus, though we see other familiar names and faces too. But that elation quickly turned to worry when the plotline was revealed, and the collective murmur of readers everywhere expressed their concerns that this just might alter our judgment of a classic text that most Americans who attended public school read, and still others who have held it near and dear to their hearts. Myself included.

So on release day, along with my pre-ordered copy of Go Set a Watchman, I got myself a bottle of Westphalia Vineyards 2012 Norton Reserve and settled in for what I knew was going to be an interesting read. The Norton is a dry red, full bodied and, I’m not gonna lie, sometimes not so easy to drink. (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this wine.) Though smooth, it’s bold and a bit spicy (is that even a descriptor for wine? If not, it is now!), and draws a lot of flavor from the oak barrels, all of which makes you want to take it in small sips…perfect for the heaviness of what was to come in this novel.

In Go Set a Watchman, Scout (although she goes by Jean Louise these days) is on her yearly pilgrimage, returning home to Maycomb, AL from her new digs in NYC. This is about 20 years after the Tom Robinson trial, which is only briefly mentioned from time to time. Jean Louise adores her father and thinks he can do no wrong. As it turns out, though, she finds out that Atticus and her boyfriend (who has been mentored by Atticus and is now partner in his law practice) are associated with a group dedicated to keeping white and black in their separate worlds, ensuring that the status quo is undisturbed. This revelation comes within the first few days of her 2-week vacation – a rough start, if there ever was one. That two of the people she cares most about are involved in such a group and uphold those beliefs is clearly a major blow. Jean Louise spends most of the rest of the book coming to terms with this grim reality, and questions her understanding of her father and his beliefs and actions while she was growing up.

There’s a reason that Harper Lee was encouraged to rework Go Set a Watchman and published To Kill a Mockingbird instead – and we can’t thank Lee’s original publisher enough. GSAW isn’t polished, it has weird pacing, and there really aren’t enough details given about the characters and their backstories (about the Tom Robinson trial, Jem, Calpurnia, Scout’s adoration of her father, etc.) to really even be a novel that could stand up on its own.

But the thing we all need to remember is that this is NOT a sequel to TKAM. Or really a “companion” piece, either. The books are independent of each other, even though they have many of the same characters and similar events that have taken place in their timelines. You almost have to imagine that these two stories are from parallel universes, in which GSAW is naturally the Darkest Timeline.

TKAM Attics that we all know and love

TKAM Atticus that we all know and love

GSAW Atticus - THE DARKEST TIMELINE

GSAW Atticus – “I’m not racist or anything, but…”

We worry that reading this book may change our opinion of one of our nation’s most beloved stories and tarnish the reputation and perception of Atticus Finch, one of literature’s most beloved characters (hardly hyperbole). Knowing that it isn’t a sequel/companion helps separate the two. Go ahead and keep your Atticus Finch on a marble pedestal, if you’d like. But I’m not going to downplay the fact that this Atticus (and many other characters) are not only racist but think that everything they are doing is for the greater good. Most of the second half of the novel is filled with this bogus rhetoric, and it’s not easy to read. And it’s especially unsettling after you realize you’ve heard the same talking points from your racist friend/relative/coworker who preaches it like the gospel truth. (We all know one…)

However, there are some great scenes in this book. In one such scene, Jean Louise’s Aunt Alexandra arranges for a coffee party in honor of Jean Louise’s homecoming, and made sure to invite a bunch of people that she never met or had nothing in common with. You know, like you do. Jean Louise drifts from group to group to see who she fits in most with — the Newlyweds, the Light Brigade (one-upping each other on the latest gotta-have-it appliances), the Perennial Hopefuls (the unmarried women “who had never made the grade”) — and it doesn’t take long for her to realize that they belong to a community and culture that she’s no longer a part of. (Or really ever was).

Auntie: Jean Louise, what did you think of your party? Jean Louise: *eye roll*

Auntie: Weren’t you just delighted to see all those old acquaintances from high school?
Jeane Louise: *eye roll*

I also loved the singular scene with Calpurnia. But I’ll say no more. Suffice it to say, it’s intense, and you see just how much things have changed in Maycomb.

All in all, I’m glad I read it, and I would encourage you to read it too. If anything, it’s a look at what could have been, and it makes me appreciate To Kill A Mockingbird all the more.

-Liana

 

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, $27.99
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published July 21st, 2015 by Harper, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

2012 Norton Reserve, $18
Westphalia Vineyards
Available for purchase online or at various locations around Central Missouri Wine Country

 

Comments? Questions? Have an idea of what we should read next?
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Armada & Kolada, a match made in the stars.

Armada, by Ernest Cline wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1
Jacquesse ‘Kick’n Kolada’, Missouri, 2014 wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1wine-glasses 1
Pair both with: Pizza, specifically the kind you can purchase at a gas station.

“I enjoy the freedom of the blank page.”

Irvine Welsh said that, and as much as I enjoyed Trainspotting and have set aside time in my schedule for Skagboys, I have to say that I think that this quote is a bit full of shit.

There is no freedom in the blank page, or screen, it stares at you like a pile of dirty dishes after making Italian lasagna for a fifteen-member family and the water has run out. It’s ominous, overbearing and ultimately, something that you have to conquer. You really can’t get out of doing the dishes, and after making a promise to Liana and Porsche, I really couldn’t get out of doing my first review for this page.

So here it goes. Bottles and Bookends, where we drink the wine, read the books and pair them together like some truly magnificent matrimony.

Armada, Ernest Cline’s latest novel follows Zach Lightman as he discovers that all his video game fantasies are real and that it is up to him to save earth from it’s faceless, presumably evil alien invaders. It’s every gamer kid’s fantasy, and don’t tell me it wasn’t yours because the last game I remember playing on a console was Call of Duty: Medal of Honor on the PS2 and even I remember wanting to fight off the evil Zurg.

  ddd

Buzz shot first kthnxbai.

And in that way, Zach Lightman is everyone reading the book, Cline has a talent for taking the less common denominator of his reading audience, and giving them the gratuitous scenes they always hunger for. In his first book Ready Player One we were given every 1980s reference our little Alf-loving Atari-playing hearts could ask for. From the madcap dream we had of beating Pacman to having the chance to become billionaires by having all of Monty Python memorized.

If you didn't spend your pre-teen years yelling 'Ni' down the hallways of your school, I'm sorry for you.

If you didn’t spend your pre-teen years yelling ‘Ni’ down the hallways of your school, I’m sorry for you.

Armada is no different, though his time frame of nerd-culture is wider, he plays a specific tune for everyone who ever loved video games and the post-Apollo space obsession that Hollywood bought into in the late 1960s and 1970s. I admit that I am no gamer girl, guy or anything that doesn’t include ‘Plague Inc’ on my phone.

However this doesn’t take away the pure fun that was reading Armada. It’s a light read far from serious, it’s not life changing and it won’t give a wider view of what great literature can be. I admit the plot is a bit predictive, the dialog is lacking at times and the whole thing can feel like a bit of a copy paste job of his earlier works. Especially if you’ve read Ready Player One recently. But the entire book reads like a loving homage to the better episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series and Ender’s Game. The parts of gamer culture that we admire, and aspire to. The mom who plays with her children, the laughter with friends over the voice chat. The excitement of beating the ‘boss’ level, and the agony of defeat because the game ‘totally cheated’. I enjoyed it, and the audio production (voiced by Ultimate Geek Will Wheaton) is proving to be equally admirable.

All hail our geek overlord. credit: tubv

All hail our geek overlord.

This is why  I recommend Stone Hill Winery’s Jacquesse Kick’n Kolada to sip along with Armada. Stone Hill’s entire Jacquesse line is a playful take on what wine could be, it’s something you drink on a far too hot afternoon when others are pulling out their Bud Lites and Gatorade (kudos to you, those who choose to drink such things). I name Kick’n Kolada specifically because of it’s tart overtones that remind me less of the existential crisis that Zach is supposed to face but instead the light interludes in between. The 1980s music recommendations, the scenes within the video game store that is more Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash than Vintage Stock. It’s finish is a lift on the palate that’s about as close to space travel as wine can bear to mind.

Armada, Ernest Cline, $26.00
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Crown Publishing

Kick’n Kolada, $7.99
Stone Hill Winery 
Available for purchase here & perhaps nearby!

Comments? Questions? Have an idea of what should we read next?
Let us know in the comment spot!

Also, it’d be cool of you to check us out on Facebook, & Twitter!
happy reading – Mercedes

The Rules:

Welcome to Bottles and Bookends, where we aspire to drink wine (and other intoxicating beverages) read books (and other pieces of fine literature) and review all that comes before us. When we’re doing our job, we shall even pair them together, as all great things must.

Before I kill this bottle of six-dollar Riesling, I will just take a moment to lay out a few of our own self-made rules about how we shall conduct our reviews.

i. No bottle shall cost more than the most expensive copy of the book/e-book/audio production.

ii. All books shall be full read, and all bottles will be finished. No matter how fantastically written or near-vinegar they may be.
a. this rule does not include hard liquor, in which a glass may be substituted for bottle. We don’t want to ruin all of our livers now!

iii. We shall always strive to be honest, no pandering to the author, vineyard or even audience.

iv.  We will always be open to suggestions and recommendations.

long may he rein

long may he rule