As a classically-trained historian, Nick has a sophisticated understanding of the 'real world', its inhabitants, where it's been and where it's going, and has made the decision to avoid it at all costs. Since reaching this decision, Nick has achieved his life-long goal of becoming an eccentric recluse, grilling meat at all hours of the evening, subsisting on a diet of unpronounceable Islay whiskies, pretending his bathtub is a yacht, and leaving his house only to sell books and for the occasional currywurst. Nick enjoys both genres of literature: science fiction and fantasy.
Christmas: It’s a bland and soulless holiday. There. I said it. These days, jolly St. Nick swills Coca-Cola and the only sneering devil the church has to offer is Pat Robertson. Whatever happened to the good old days, when our forefathers drank buckets of ‘holiday cheer’, put on shaggy fur coats and horned masks, and shamed whole families by tearing the tables from their dining rooms and tossing them into the snow? We need to put the spirit back into the season...a spirit like the Krampus: St. Nicholas’s grisly servant, who gives beatings to naughty kids instead of coal. This book has everything you need to know about the Krampus: where he came from, what he’s about, the spooky Krampus rituals of yesteryear to the troupes of today who keep them alive. It reads like a particularly merry college lecture, with beautifully gruesome photos and illustrations of quasi-pagan folk rites from across the ages. By the last chapter you’ll want to organize your own Krampus party. Bonus: this book makes a handsome holiday ornament for your coffee table, to delight your friends and scare their children. Isn’t that what the holidays are really about?
Here’s a weird little tale: A photojournalist gets lost in the Amazon with a reclusive tribe of cat-whiskered people, gets embroiled in tribal politics, takes a heroic amount of strange forest drugs, discovers the telepathic “beaming” language of the ancients, and goes on a ceremonial hallucinatory exodus to the beginning of time. Yeah, it sounds like a total crock, but Loren McIntyre is not your garden-variety crackpot: in the process he found the source of the Amazon River, a laguna which now bears his name. The story is told from Loren’s own journal, and the gaps in the narrative are filled in by an obscure Romanian scribe: Petru Popescu. With sensitivity and survivalist grit, they philosophize about man’s relationship with nature, the metaphysics of time, and the fragility of tribal cultures standing between civilization and its thirst for resources; all this wrapped up in rainforest wisdom, spoken from the minds of shamans who still remember.
This a bartending guide for people who want to throw fancier house parties than their friends do. Just having a copy in your house (if I may suggest: next to a cocktail shaker and a bottle of vermouth) will make you seem more sophisticated. because nothing is more sophisticated than getting old-timey lit.
All the classics are right here: martinis, manhattans, margaritas, all as they were meant to be poured. You''ll also find obscure cocktails from the sepia-and-sherry-stained depths of history, with flavors as whimsical as their names. Two or three of these concoctions and you'll feel as fried as Fitzgerald -- or perhaps more pickled than Parker.
And if promises of highfalutin' insobriety don't muddle your mint, quite a few of the recipes come with historical anecdotes to fully immerse you in the habits and customs of the time. Perhaps it is slightly debauched to casually read a bartending guide like you would a Farmer's Almanac, but your snazzy-dressin', gin-swillin' forebears would be proud.