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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