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Tuesday, July 10th, 2018
Book Reviews

Recommended Reading - David Sedaris, Japanese Whisky

Brian Ashcraft and Yuji Kawasaki

Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Desirable Spirit

Tuttle Publishing

Japanese whisky might be the most confusing subject in world spirits. Japan has only been distilling whisky for some 100 years, overcoming Western prejudice, snatching center stage from Scotland, Ireland and the U.S.A. I remember Suntory whisky in Manhattan bars in the 1980s, sneered at as “imitation scotch.” It never was, but now everyone knows it. Ashcraft covers the major players, detailing Japan’s “vertical integration” business model that pits self-sufficient distillers against each other (as opposed to Scotland and America, where things tend more to the cooperative). Kawasaki offers his opinion and ratings of major whiskies. A much needed manual.

- Bruce Collier


David Sedaris 

Calypso

Little, Brown and Company

Much like Sedaris’ other books, Calypso is a collection of humorous autobiographical stories. But there are heartfelt aches of tenderness and understanding here as well. Sedaris uses writing and humor to cope with his sister’s suicide, his memories of his alcoholic mother, and his ever-growing sense of mortality (quite literally in the form of a tumor the author had removed and later fed to a turtle). Most of the stories center around the antics of Sedaris and his siblings during time spent at his North Carolina beach house (the “Sea Section”). Longtime fans will delight in the retelling of Sedaris’ Fitbit obsession, which caused him to walk twenty miles a day collecting trash in order to get his steps in. Sedaris’ biting wit and clever observational style are ever-present in the author’s darkest, deepest, and possibly best work to date.

- Marilu Morgan