Books: “Bowling for Communism” in Leipzig

 Leipzig was among the East German cities to be visited in 1989 during my August working holiday in the GDR, but the group excursion...

Books and politics, with Roberto Bolaño and “The Savage Detectives”

In the year 2015 I ran for mayor of New Albany. During a candidate Q & A, I became the first mayoral candidate in...

Louisville beer, now and then (or, my 2014 review of Kevin Gibson’s “Louisville Beer”...

Because, I really nailed this one. --- Louisville Beer, Now and Then “Anyone who has groped among the dark beer dungeons which lie for a number...

Books: “The Cold War from the Margins” in Bulgaria

In May I read a good book about a little-known aspect of the Cold War. The Cold War from the Margins: A Small Socialist State...

The books I read in 2020

From December 22, 2020 at NA Confidential. Some articles from late in the year were not archived here, and this is one of them.  The...

“Trieste,” a novel by Daša Drndić

It can be daunting, perhaps even crippling, to consider the immensity of what remains unknown about the wider world. What we as individuals know...

“When the Doves Disappeared,” a novel by Sofi Oksanen

The novel is called When the Doves Disappeared, written by the Finnish/Estonian author Sofi Oksanen. The English translation was released in 2015. The publisher...

Times change, but Ernest Hemingway was an inspiration to this youthful traveler

Originally published as "(Ernest) Hemingway in a time of mercifully silent thunder" on April 23, 2020. A Ken Burns documentary about Hemingway is coming...

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Dr. Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse, now pouring at Common Haus

Dr. Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse currently is pouring at Common Haus Hall. In late May of 1989, I flew into West Berlin for three...

The famous mishap in Madrid, November, 1989

This column from "On the Avenues" originally was published at NA Confidential on November 14, 2019. Kindly note that nothing came of my plan...

From 2017: “When it comes to beer, less might yet be more”

This column was written in 2017. Pints&union came along in 2018, and Common Haus Hall in 2022. At both these establishments, owned by Joe...