Alcohol – Nikka Whisky from the Barrel

My first post on another thing I enjoy doing – drinking. Drinking is a good word i like to use. Over the years, I’ve used it often in conversation and realize it means different things to different people.

Kids – water, lemonade

Non alcohol drinkers – coffee, tea

Normal adults – wine, beer, gin, whisky, vodka.

(I fall into the last category by the way)

I actually came across this when drinking with a friend. Nicely-shaped rectangular bottle, slightly smaller than your usual (this is a 500ml bottle). What stood out most was the alcohol content. 51.4% – yikes! This doesn’t taste too bad actually, with a little ice (wait for it to melt just a tad). Then again, most Japanese whisky taste quite passable.

I wish I could tell you more about how it tastes. smokey, peaty, hints of blackcurranty-citrusy whatchamacallit, but the truth is I haven’t graduated from the Hogwarts school of Distillery and Whisky-ery. Yet.

Overall, good bang for your buck. I’ve proudly polished off 3 bottles already. Try some today. I promise nobody gave me any money (or bottles) to write this.

Don’t drink before trying to read though. It has never ended well for me.

 

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Book Review – The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

It was the title of the book that caught my attention. I enjoy stories where the characters harbor a secret, even better if it’s a devastating one that could threaten to demolish a certain proverbial pillar built upon that premise. It draws you into part of the secret audience, hacking into their brains. Or maybe gives you a God-like complex, where you can read everyone’s minds? I’m not sure. Maybe a little bit of both.

Scanning through the back page, I picked up a few key words “conman, fleecing, willing victim, why”. Interesting.

Writing style is slightly difficult to read for two reasons.

Perhaps as an attempt to create mystery, much of the book is written in a way where the subject of the sentence is unclear and key components of the sentence such as pronouns are deliberately left out. Short, incomplete sentences join some sequences together – making for difficult in comprehension.

The narrative style is non-linear flashback. However, instead of going forwards and flashing back, the story flashes back and goes backward with sporadic sub-plots, and then right at the end, forward. Confused yet? I’m not even sure I’m being coherent in my attempt to illustrate my point.. see what I mean? – I can’t even explain it well. You know what to expect after reading this! I nearly wanted to stop reading one-third of the way through. Still, I soldiered on, driven by weary stubbornness which I like to disguise as fierce determination.

The plot becomes clearer about midway, and you get a better idea of what is going on. So, I urge you to be steadfast and read to 55%, before you decide to give up. Did I mention having a general knowledge of history helps too? Specifically, WWI/WWII/East German SS aka Gestapo. 

In a nutshell, we find out about a con-man’s possibly final con job and his victim, his history, victim’s history, and WHY the victim was willing. Did she have similar interests? Does she know something he doesn’t? Shit. I may have said too much already.

Rating: 5.5/10 (difficult to read, interesting twist towards the end, didn’t give me a endorphin/dopamine [whatever chemical it’s supposed to be] rush, very put-down-able before midway)

 

Book Review – The Pretty One by Lucinda Rosenfeld

So, I picked up this novel almost by accident. Almost by accident in this case means that it was lying on the table, and I noticed there were eraser marks across the cover page. Picking it up, I started to sweep those pesky shavings into the bin. WAIT! those shavings are printed into the cover page! Intriguing, I thought. What’s the title, the (squinting hard at the cursive) prettyone. Hmm.

Flips open and starts disinterestedly scanning. Soon, I was 20+ pages in. Enough said? If a book can be interesting enough to read when you don’t intend to start reading, I think it is a key marker of a good book IMO.

So this tells the story of 3 sisters who went down different paths in life. You feel like you may just as well be one of the sisters (you’ve 3 to choose from). They think things you probably think about too but are too embarrassed to admit.

Summary of 3 sisters’ life:

1st sister  – married, traditional, successful career, 2 kids (or was it 3?)

2nd sister – lesbian, family lawyer

3rd sister – single, lots of flings, one kid

This will be relatable to those with sisters. Equally appeals to married couples. Also good for people with children. (I use ‘people’ here because there’s a single mum with kid in the story) Let me also make clear at the beginning that “Pia” is the nickname for Olympia, and “Gus” the nickname for Augusta. That information would have been immensely useful to me had I know earlier – kept me thinking that there are more than 3 people. Geez.

Moving on, the three sisters encounter interesting experiences in their lives. In no particular order and keeping them generic so as not to give away any spoilers: sibling rivalry, betrayal, midlife crisis, getting hit on from unexpected (BIG clue) people, sexual orientation, mistaken identity, blast from the past, one night stands, hookups.

Writing flows easily and not difficult to understand.

Rating: 7/10 (family drama, married life, things you secretly want but too embarrassed to admit, relatable to people with children, a women’s novel, could have been more exciting but I guess, how exciting can it be without psychotic killers and humanity-erasing viruses? I digress.)

Book Review – Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Let me start off by admitting I have not read random books in awhile. Most of the reading I’ve been doing revolves around popular books (i.e. books by authors that are already firmly rooted in the bestseller’s section of popular bookshops, Top 10 bestsellers on Amazon Kindle, etc [READ: Harry Potter, 50 Shades]), as a result of my reluctance to venture into something new.

Behind Closed Doors captivated me at the 5% mark. The writing style is easy to read- however, the story is told in flashback. The author constantly shuttles back and forth between different times in the past and present, which some readers may not enjoy.

Mystery surrounds you right at the beginning. Questions pop up in your head. What the hell is going on?  -you will start wondering. I promise though, things will become apparent about 20% into the book (don’t you hate it when a mystery thriller only lets you in on the secret right at the end?).

This is a story about a happily married couple. Or at least, the way it seems to their friends. I know you must be thinking -domestic violence, psychotic killer, adulterous affair. Noooo.. that’s far too predictable. As the title suggest, behind the closed doors of their homes, things are not all it seems.  With lots of plot twists and turns, the author will keep you guessing, playfully toying with your emotions so just when you expect something to happen, it gets thwarted and doesn’t (cue rage in my brain).

The reader will be rewarded with happy ending. Perhaps a role reversal? Perhaps somebody discovers their secret? Perhaps somebody who doesn’t seem to know knows all along? Ah-ha! Have I intrigued you yet?

Go on, check it out.

Rating: 8/10 (slight terror, VERY refreshing genre, unexpectedness, flashback)

Hi there!

I spent a very long time thinking what I should write about. Decided an introductory post may be in order.

I’ve decided that I’d like to share things that I find interesting (or not) with you, and then maybe you can try them for yourselves and decide if they are indeed.

This is likely to include books, food, music and other things in my life.

So, stay tuned!