Reading Goals – 1 Month In

Posted by Jim on Jan 31st, 2012
Jan 31

2012 is one month old, and I have read 11 books.  This represents some great progress towards my goal of reading 15 novels-length works and 15 graphic novels and/or children’s books.  Here is the breakdown so far:


  • Zombie by J. R. Angelella
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg et al
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Graphic Novels & Children’s Books

  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik
  • The Homeland Directive by Robert Venditti
  • The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes
  • Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstien
  • Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness by Donn Fendler
  • The Bipollo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

My current reading selection is Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell, which will end up being book number one for February.  I also checked Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem out from the library; I will read it once I’m finished with Ms. Vowell.

You Say You Want a Resolution

Posted by Jim on Dec 29th, 2011
Dec 29

Even though 2012 will be a shorter year than normal, I still want to make a resolution to read more in the next year.  During the South Portland Public Library‘s summer reading program, I was able to average 1 book read per week for the entire summer.  This is the highest concentration of books read that I have ever attained, and it inspired me to try to pare down my To Read list over the next year.  Since you are supposed to set goals that you can attain, I hope to read 15 novel-length books in the next year, as well as 15 novellas, graphic novels or children’s books.  I also want to read at least one complete series of graphic novels (which won’t be counted in the aforementioned 15).  I’ve created a Goodreads list with some of the books I plan to read as part of this goal; you can find it here. Speaking of Goodreads—if you are a member,why not add me as a friend?

I’m also looking for any suggestions you have for books I should check out.  Leave a comment with your recommendations!

A Beer Review for an Old Man

Posted by Jim on Oct 7th, 2011
Oct 7

Today is my 32nd Birthday!  To celebrate, I’ve pulled a 2 year old bottle of Atlantic Brewing‘s Anniversary Old Ale, Foonf Zane Auld Ale.  No one on BA has reviewed this since it was released back in 2009…until tonight.


Atlantic Brewing Foonf Zane Auld Ale

B+ / 3.93
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
I’ve had this bottle in my cellar since July 2009. I’ve poured it into a Delirium Noël snifter.

The beer has a dark ruby color. The head was a small layer of an and pinkish bubbles and foam. It settled quickly to a skim. Swirling the glass leaves an oily slick behind on the walls of the glass. Patchy foam slides down the walls and back into the beer.

Still a strong sweet aroma to this beer. Crystal sugar, toffee and plum scents are all present. A little bit of residual alcohol is mixed in as well.

This old ale has a typical dry, peaty flavor. Toffee flavors are present, but not as strong as in the nose. Malt syrup flavors are present in the back end. There is only a touch of alcohol in the finish.

This beer isn’t very sticky, but it does leave a decent coating on the inside of my mouth. Carbonation is low.

This is an enjoyable old ale. It seems to have aged well, although it has been a long time since I had it fresh—before I started reviewing beers. If you find yourself up in Maine and see a bottle, it would be a good one to bring home and drink later, once you’ve started missing Maine.


In some related news, Nissa got me three books on homebrewing as birthday gifts.  An introductory reference book published by the Brewers Association, a book of advanced homebrewing techniques, and a book about growing your own hops and malt grains!

2008 Wrap-Up

Posted by Jim on Jan 2nd, 2009
Jan 2

All year I have been keeping track of how many beers I’ve drank and movies I’ve watched.  The final totals are 148 movies and 611 beers.  About one third of those drinks came as part of Novare Res’ Uprising challenge.

For 2009, I’ll be keeping track of movies and beers, as well as the books I read.  To view this list there is a Movie + a Beer link at the top of every page.

Quote of the Day

Posted by Jim on Jan 24th, 2008
Jan 24

Mike Matthews, embalming professor in the Mortuary Science Program at the University of Minnesota, on alternatives to traditional embalming fluids:

A bottle of scotch works fine. It’s embalmed me several times.

As quoted by Alan Weisman in The World Without Us

The Dotted Line

Posted by Jim on Nov 2nd, 2007
Nov 2

I’ve updated my tags for Freakonomics on Library Thing; as my copy is now autographed by both authors! Actually, it’s not quite as exciting as you’d think. Being economists, Levitt and Dubner have made it extremely easy and affordable for anyone to get their autographs; just fill out the form on their website, and they’ll send you a signed bookplate that you can add to your copy of their book. Viola, a signed copy!

If you don’t have a copy and want to know what all the fuss over this book is about, check out the authors’ blog at the New York Times. It’s always an interesting read.