Friday, April 30, 2010

The Month in review and of Things to Come

Productivity; that's the word of the month, and a good word at that. I've learned so much new on guitar my calluses have blisters, I've read more than any other single month out-put, I've taken pen to paper (or fingers to keys, if you will) and gotten more writing done than usual, and I've been beating down doors with such vigor that I'm daring to be optimistic about find a new job.

I didn't buy a single book this month which is a first for me in a long time. My reading out-put test from last month yielded odd, yet expected results: I do in fact read more when I tell myself all I'm going to read in a month as opposed to picking up a book here and there. I was most surprised that I didn't feel any pressure to get through what I had set aside for the month. My to-be-read stack has diminished by six.

Claudius the God by Robert Graves was as good as it's predecessor but without Livia a good deal of the conflict didn't feel as intense. It's still one of the finest historical fiction and first person narratives I've come across. I surprised myself by picking up and putting down The Graveyard Book in all of two days. The powerful adventure and exploration themes are as good as Neil Gaiman can be and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had a little bit to say about Quin's Shanghai Circus, Ysabel, and The Sun Over Breda. I even added that nifty list in the right hand column so I don't have to point out in my monthly wrap ups what books I've commented on. Isn't that nifty? See how hard I work for my readers? Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev, is so good that I'm tempted to rescind my, 'I don't talk about dead authors of the classics' policy. Perhaps I'll start another blog and do precisely that as this is a book I not only want to share, but seems to demand discussion.

In May I'm gonna tackle The Count of Monte Cristo and in doing so polish off my list of books that were Christmas gifts. I never read it in high school. ( I don't think I had to read anything in high school. ) I've gotten a bit of a head start and it seems to read quickly, however it's still a thousand plus pages. I'm being modest in my reading estimation; if I can finish The Count, The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin, and The King's Gold by Arturo Pérez-Reverte I'll feel good about things.

I'm feeling very good about a few other projects that I can't yet mention, but I hope come to full fruition in places other than my blog.

To end things on a bit of a downer, May maybe the last month of my rum reviews. I was able to do them this long as I was sitting on about ten of those reviews before I put the first one up. I may reload and try again in the future but the truth is, I'm very close to exhausting the local variety of rums available. There are a few I'm intentionally staying away from and some others, I plain old can't afford. Nonetheless, I feel good about my contribution to the rum drinking community. I've done my part, and as that segment passes it may give rise to something new.

To tie together Guy Gavriel Kay and rum and I read of his introduction to spiking ginger beer with rum. I'd always used vodka, which only dilutes the ginger beer. He's an intelligent guy and I can see how rum would actually add some character to a drink already over flowing with personality. Plus, it's summer--ginger beer season--so why not?


Anonymous said...

I learned recently that the people who make Angostura bitters also make rum. It's a three hundred year old family operation in Trinidad. But I'm guessing the run is prohibitively expensive.


Chad Hull said...

I'm not familiar with that manufacture, but I'm looking into it. It looks like their prices run the gambit. I'll be on the lookout for it. If you try some please be sure to tell me what you think of it.