Reviews #1: Rosie Schaap’s “Drinking with Men”

Hello everyone!

As part of the resurrection of this blog, I’ve decided to include some reviews of things to keep it interesting. I know how tedious it an be to read some reviews so I’m going to try and make these short and sweet, while hopefully giving you a good idea of what I thought about the book/movie/ any other things I may be reviewing.

Today I’m gonna be looking at “Drinking with Men” by Rosie Schaap, so without further ado;

Genre: Memoir

Format: Riverhead Trade Paperback

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publication Date: 2014

Pages: 272

Source: O’Mahoney’s Booksellers also here

The Book: A colourful, sometimes funny, sometimes moving memoir of Schaap’s time spent in bars over the years.

The Blurb: 

 Rosie Schaap has always loved bars: the wood and brass and jukeboxes, the knowing bartenders, and the comforting company of regulars. From her misspent youth in the bar car of a regional railroad to slinging cocktails at a neighbourhood joint in Brooklyn, Schaap has learned her way around both sides of a bar and come to realize how powerful the fellowship among bar patrons can be.

Now she shares her unending quest for the perfect local haunt that takes her from an L.A.  dive to a Dublin pub full of poets, and from small-town New England taverns to a character-filled bar in Tribeca. Drinking alongside artists and expats, ironworkers and soccer fanatics, she finds a safe haven, a respite, and a place to feel most like herself. Drinking with Men is a love letter to those bars, pubs, and taverns that have been Schaap’s refuge, and a celebration of the uniquely civilizing source of community that is bar culture at its best.

My Thoughts: I was stuck in a serious reading rut before I stumbled across “Drinking with Men” by complete accident, and I’m happy that I did.

The book is broken into chapters based on the bar that Schaap found herself frequenting at the time. Schaap recounts her life in a chronological fashion, starting in the mid- to late-1980s right up to the 2010s. I found that this book moved very fluidly and was well-paced throughout.

Schaap has led a very interesting and somewhat unconventional life which  only added to the fascination I felt as a reader. Despite the fact that my life thus far has been very different from the life she was living during the same years, I still find that she is still very easy to relate to; that her ability to make a home for herself in the various venues with various clientele over the years has somehow been incorporated into her writing style.

While reading this book, I enjoyed how honestly Schaap spoke about the situations she found herself in and as a result I was never bored.“Drinking with Men” deals with real-life issues that affect a huge amount of people everyday; from studying abroad to falling in love to dealing with the death of a loved one and being in New York during 9/11. Schaap’s memoir tells of how finding solace away from home is one of the best things a person can find, especially during turbulent times.

This book had me hooked from the very beginning, it’s not like anything I had read before and I look forward to reading more of Rosie Schaap’s work in future.

Rating: 3.5/5

You can keep up with Rosie Schaap by following her here on Twitter.

Until next time,

Laura

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I Can Explain, I Swear…

Hello everyone!

I have written posts akin to this in the past, probably way too often for the lifespans of this blog. I digress.

From the last time I posted on this blog in March(ish) time lots has happened in my life. I have planned and rescheduled what feels like twenty ways to get this blog back off the ground, but it hasn’t budged an inch- until just now.

I don’t really feel like getting into all of my failed plans and how I was probably the closest to rock bottom that I have ever been in the months I was absent but I am here now! Here’s to future plans; and successful ones at that!

I have a project that I am eager to start in mind. Originally I was going to start a new blog, but I felt that wasn’t going to go well for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • having to compromise on a blog URL, seeing as all the good ones are taken
  • it would result in the complete abandonment of this blog and the little family I have here and I didn’t really want to do that; but keeping up one blog is hard enough for me right now
  • I would be insanely limited in terms of the type of content I could post there

And so, here is my triumphant return to the blogging world! I am setting myself the challenge/goal of one post a week for the moment, with the intention of upping that once I get back into the swing of things, if I have the time of course!

The aforementioned project isn’t quite ready for action just yet, so I will have to keep it under wraps. I do however have some other prospective exciting plans and projects for the future that include a potential band being formed, a trip abroad, some book reviews (I’m over my no-reading funk 🙂 ) and some crafty bits and pieces, especially in the run-up to the holiday season.

I think I’m just going to leave the suspense build from there though!

Until next time,

Laura