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Holland, a prolific and wide-ranging writer (Gentlemen's Blood, among others), distills a considerable tonnage of fact and trivia into this casual, shot-sized volume, the kind once found in every libation-related library, tucked behind every bar next to the Mr. Boston guide and a dog-eared paperback joke collection. She has a breezy, whimsical style, perfectly suited to her swift romp across the histories and cultures of alcohol down through the ages. While disclosing facts about the drinking habits—and abuses—of characters like Mark Anthony, Samuel Pepys and Pope Leo XIII, Holland includes summaries of how various kinds of fermentations and distillates were developed, often accidentally, in cultures from ancient Arabia to present-day America, and in times from Ptolemy's to Prohibition. She includes several recipes for home-style "remedies" like elderberry wine and applejack, as well as diagrams and instructions for the construction of your own backyard still. It's the sort of book-length essay that makes a perfect Father's Day gift, with stocking-stuffer backlist potential in seasons to come. (May)
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Impressive…Holland has a light, winsome tourch and is always funny. (New York Times)
With a style as witty, practical and Triple Sec as M.F.K. Fisher's, Holland's "The Joy of Drinking" grows from a hilarious ancient-history lesson into a compulsively readable mini-mosaic of humans and our various fermented tipples. (Los Angeles Times)
Holland, a prolific and wide-ranging writer, distills a considerable tonnage of fact and trivia into this casual, shot-sized volume...She has a breezy, whimsical style, perfectly suited to her swift romp across the histories and cultures of alcohol down through the ages. (Publishers Weekly)
Mixing fact, fable, anecdote, and personal opinion with irresistible panache, cultural historian Barbara Holland's The Joy of Drinking distills thousands of years of humankind's lusty relationship with alcohol--made from fermented honey, hops, grapes, grains, and even mare's milk--into a slim, sparkling history that covers all manner of blithe spirits, from lowly beer, 'the cornerstone of civilization,' to the vaunted martini, aka 'Fred Astaire in a glass.' (Elle)
Beautifully written...sharply detailed recollections...compelling, both touching and funny. Holland writes with breezy elegance and a sly wit. (New York Times Book Review on When All the World Was Young)
Imagine Lauren Bacall narrating Tristram Shandy...Leisurely and rich as a long, steamy summer day. (Chicago Tribune on When All the World Was Young)
Richly detailed, droll, and very human. She could be our E. B. White. (Washingtonian (a Best Book of 2004))
The word charming could have been coined just so it could be ascribed to Holland. (Booklist on When All the World Was Young)
A smart coming-of-age text...an acute narrative of how the clever Holland came to be so writerly. (Kirkus Reviews on When All the World Was Young)
Who knew that alcoholism was really a hobby? I wish I could sup whiskey or a fine stout with this incredibly person. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James L. Ball
A couple decades ago I picked up Holland's book Hail To the Chiefs, not realizing it was a humor book. Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by D. Tabner
I ordered THE JOY OF DRINKING from Amazon.com, the book showed up within 3 or 4 days and it was in perfect condition.
What more could a person ask for. Read more
"THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION claims that a moderate beer drinker-whatever that means-swallows 11 percent of his dietary protein needs, 12 percent of the... Read morePublished on October 7, 2009 by H. S. Wedekind
The part of the Book Club that actually read the book, enjoyed it and would highly recommend the book. It would be a documentary vs a movie. Read morePublished on March 6, 2009 by DMS
This makes for an excellent gift to anyone who you would consider a drinking buddy. It provides a snapshot of the history of alcohol and its role in civilization. Read morePublished on July 25, 2008 by Cody Kittle
"A popular hangover cure called for two ounces of opium, one of saffron, a dash of cloves and cinnamon, and a pint of wine, though perhaps in an emergency you could skip the... Read morePublished on January 11, 2008 by Mr. Joe
I met Barbara Holland at our book club when we read HAIL TO THE CHIEFS. She's as great in person as she is on paper. Thanks, Barbara, for THE JOY OF DRINKING. Read morePublished on September 25, 2007 by jinxinva