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Week two of Cheers to the Weekend and still going strong. Have I hit a streak yet? Thanks for checking back in and signing up for the newsletter! I hope everyone has a great weekend and gets to read some of the great new books out this week. If there is a beer close by while doing it then I think you are winning.

What I'm Reading:

Erik Larson writes books about historic events that even people who hate history would love. All of his books share the same trait in that they are meticulously researched and woven into a story that reads like any novel would. This is the story of the Lusitania and it's sinking in 1915 amidst the chaos and confusion of World War I and Germany's U-Boat war. Jumping back and forth between all of the parties involved it

really sets the stage both on an individual level and a geo-political level. Highly recommend this one.

Check out a couple of his other amazing books as well: In The Garden of Beasts and The Devil in the White City

Easily one of the most thoroughly researched books on Creativity I've come across. While a lot of other books take the high level approach to creativity and provide practical and personal ideas, Given Mihaly's research background he starts by first building a study by interviewing great creative minds across a variety of fields. From the distilled information, Mihaly builds a case for nature vs. nurture, practical advice to kick start our own creativity and also provide some stories and anecdotes from those interviewed. Definitely worth a read.

Perhaps Mihaly's most seminal work, if you are interested in the author then also check out his book Flow that even today is generating an incredible amount of thoughts on the topic.

What I'm Drinking:

Russell Beer IP'eh!

A Canadian beer for us Canadians that has a great balance between caramel and toffee flavours and hops. I was pretty impressed with the taste coming off this one. The drinkability rating on this one is high and I'll definitely be trying it again. I'm a few months short of Canada Day on this one but the spirit is still there as you can see from the book pairing!

For more info on the beer: Russell Beer's Site

Toolshed Brewing Prairie Pride

This 4.8% all Alberta ale really was tasty. It's really incredible to see the growth of the craft beer industry here in Alberta and this beer is a testament to it. All ingredients were locally sourced and produced right

here in Calgary, Alberta. A tasty farmhouse ale with banana flavors this one went down smoothly. Let's hope they continue to make this one.

For more info on the beer: Canadian Beer News talks Prairie Pride

Outcast Brewing Neon Dreams

Outcast's first canned beer coming in at 6% is a great double dry hopped New England style pale ale. Sadly for everyone it sold out so quickly that only a few got to taste this dreamy pale ale. Lots of fruit coming off the top of this one and drinks nice and smooth on a hot summer day. A hazy yellow amber with some carbonation. If you do find a can drink it soon as it is a small batch with a drink before date

that's quickly approaching.

For more info on the beer: Outcast Brewing

What I'm Listening To:

An updated and revised version from the original, this book goes further to describe where we are today with genetics all stemming from the discovery of DNA and the double helix less than 100 years ago. The rapid advancement in this field will no doubt be one of the pillars of technology going forward as we learn what the full impact on society will be of technologies like Crispr. Great read, especially the second half as the latest advancements are described and a great discussion on ethics and morality follows suit given our ability to modify and manipulate ourselves grows ever closer.

If you are a fan of this one you should also consider Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Gene and The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. The latter is an incredible tale of the history of cancer weaved through the lives of individuals and where we are today. It won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.

This book was a surprise for me. Having read all of Brene's previous works I wasn't aware this was in the works and was pleasantly surprised when I had a chance to listen to the audio book narrated by Brene herself. A topic that carries more weight, belonging seems to be at our finger tips and yet slowly disappearing. We become more connected and yet more alone. This book provides some incredible stories that we are accustomed to hearing from Brene and also truth about what each of us needs to do in order to foster that belonging. We are facing a wilderness that is uncharted and must remember who we are as authentic individuals. Great listen for sure.

Brene has a great site with a lot of awesome videos. If you haven't heard of her I'd check out the TED Talk on vulnerability first to really get a sense of where she comes from.

Random Thoughts:

Random Shoutout: Theardentbiblio

Beautiful photos of books and the lifestyle that surrounds it. They have really great website over at Theardentbiblio and post those beautiful pictures @theardentbiblio so be sure to go check them out and leave a comment if you enjoy!

A Quote:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book Creativity contains so many great words of advice. One of the quotes that struck me most was about our impact in the world.

"The world is our business, and we can't know which part of it is best suited to our selves, to our potentialities, unless we make a serious effort to learn about as many aspects of it as possible."

It reminds of another quote I once read by George Bernard Shaw on the idea that our lives matter but we must take hold of them and due to everything we can, regardless of failure, to make them better.

"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

- George Bernard Shaw

Final Thoughts:

60-80% of blogs apparently fail after the first month because the blogger gives up. That gives me two more weeks. If you want an extra week sign up to the newsletter.

Send me an e-mail: Books & Beers Follow along on Instagram: @books.and.beers Follow along on Twitter: Books & Beers Share your beers on Untappd: Books_and_Beers (You'll have to search for this one!)

If you are interested in books and beers then Cheers to the Weekend will cover the books I'm reading or have read this past week and a quick blurb to spur on your curiousity.

If anything is of interest then send me a note and I can fill you in!

It will also cover the beers I tried out during the week with a short review (I'm no expert) and a little more information for you to follow. Given my love of audiobooks I also want to include a section on what I'm listening too so you can get a sense of what's out there for audiobooks and why they are so great. Think commuting! The other stuff is random and could be a cool quote I found this week or a random musing.

I am also doing some deep dives into the books over at so follow along there if you are interested in finding excellence in your own life through the literature and ideas that are all around us.

What I'm Reading:

A book that brings to life the idea of absurdism at its most distinct. This is a thought provoking book right here and should get you thinking about your own beliefs and the type of philosophy that you follow in your own life. Camus weaves these philosophical thoughts into Meursault's life. If you pick this one up or have read it, let me know what you thought about the book and absurdism.

Some absurdism info for after your read. Here.

Mihaly has another tremendous book with Creativity on the heels of his already classic Flow.

Creativity takes the next step and examines the lives of various creatives from numerous fields including science, writing and art, and distils the ideas and beliefs that shaped them while generating practical advice for you to find your own creativity. Look for a deep dive on this one in the coming week.

For a great TED Talk to see what Mihaly is all about and his views on happiness check this out.

What I'm Drinking:

Driftwood Brewery's Belle Royale

A powerfully sour kriek coming out of this B.C. brewery. Poured a thick burgundy and lots of sourness with some nice cherry hitting the nose. Reminded me of the Belgian Lambics we were drinking last fall on the streets of Brussels; you don't find these very often around here so it was a nice change and a good reminder. Side note; always love the artwork coming out of this brewery!

For more info on the beer: Driftwood Brewery (check that logo out!)

Breakside Brewing's Passion Fruit Sour Ale

One of the highlights of our trip to Vietnam this past spring was tasting passion fruit in beer! It has now become quite popular over on this side of the ocean and this sour brings lots of passion fruit flavour and some great citrusy flavours hitting the palate. Not too sour either bringing a lot of balance to the mouth. First time trying a beer from Breakside Brewing and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more.

For more info on the beer: Breakside Brewing

What I'm Listening To:

Written by a retired marine (Thomas Brennan) and photographer (Finbarr O'Reilly) this book was a sobering look at the effects of war on individuals. There have been a lot of books written on the subject (Thank You For Your Service, Dispatches, etc.) that are all great. This one was interesting

because it provided a lot of back story before the wars and the effects afterwards. I never considered the impact on those documenting war but PTSD seems to affect everyone who bears witness.

Some great info on the book and a few photos to check out: Shooting Ghosts

If you have some extra time Finbarr O'Reilly has a cool IG account with some of the photos from his different tours.

Neil's follow up to the epically successful The Book of Awesome, this one makes a solid case for many areas where we get ourselves hung up when trying to find happiness. One of my favourites that I'm often trying to remind myself of: Do It For You. So simple to read and always a challenge to remember especially if you are an overthinker like myself!

Simon Sinek wrote Start With Why to great acclaim as a follow up to his TED Talk that was providing the very ideas presented in this book. See below for a link. Find Your Why is the practical guide to how to find it. This book is thorough and truly step by step. You can follow the instructions for individuals or go down the path of applying these ideas to where you work. The ideas of recalling and writing down stories from childhood really struck me as a good idea. I find myself often thinking back now about stories from those days and what they may tell about myself.

The Simon Sinek TED Talk: Jump

Random Thoughts:

Thanks for making it this far; I appreciate everyone who has made it to this page and joined me for this weekly update. If you love books and beers as much as I do then the goal is to help you find new ones that may take you down the path of greater learning, happiness and overall well-being.

Random Shoutout: The Queue

The queue reached out to me a week ago and started prodding me about this very blog. I said I don't really know what to do with it. They gave me this very idea. So please go check out their Instagram @thequeuegram (books related!) and their website (TheQueuePress). Thank you for the idea!!

A Quote:

Neil Pasrich quoted the above poem taken The New Yorker magazine, written by Kurt Vonnegut after famed author Joseph Heller passed away. It should be a reminder to us all to take stock of what we have in our lives and how great we have it.

True story, Word of Honor:

Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer

now dead,

and I were at a party given by a billionaire

on Shelter Island.

I said, "Joe, how does it make you feel

to know that our host only yesterday

may have made more money

than your novel 'Catch-22'

has earned in its entire history?

And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have."

And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?"

And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough."

Not bad! Rest in peace!

Final Thoughts:

Although I write this for me, I want to hear from you. It's the first week so let me know what you liked or what you didn't like. No holds barred.

Send me an e-mail: Books & Beers Follow along on Instagram: @books.and.beers Follow along on Twitter: Books & Beers Share your beers on Untappd: Books_and_Beers (You'll have to search for this one!)

Why is this site for you?

This site is for anyone who wants to learn. Period.

Two seemingly opposite interests fueled by creativity and passion and perhaps not that different when you stand back and look at the brewer creating something incredible or the writer crafting their masterpiece.

Books can be our greatest resource and yet we hear readership seems to be dropping every year (#bookstagram would show otherwise). There are more books being written than ever before and people seem to have less time to read with technology slowing filling up our lives.

The craft beer industry is exploding and the stories behind the breweries and beer can become lost in the shuffle. I'm here to help guide you in the right direction. I'm by no means an expert and I'm learning as I go, but I'm hoping that makes us similar and we can go through this process together.

The goal of this site is both selfish and altruistic. To share my own thoughts, photos, and ideas about books and beer but to also continue to learn more about myself and learn more from other people who share a similar interest. From other fans of both books and beer, to the writers and publishers of books and the brewers and breweries creating the beer.

My own personal goal is to continue to challenge myself to grow through this site and I challenge you to do the same. Books have been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. From reading challenges in elementary school, long road trips with the family, to now listening to audiobooks everywhere I go, the constant has been books. As I grew older and the craft beer scene began to grow in Alberta I began to notice a trend developing especially when I travelled. Finding new and unique beers and places to drink beer. The stage was set to bring these two, seemingly different ideas, together and through this process, learn more about both. Not only learn more but to take that one step further and share with you and hopefully lead you to find a book, and maybe a beer, that changes your life. This is an experiment in bringing two ideas together to the benefit of everyone but it only works if you engage and share. I would love to hear from you.

Welcome and Good Luck!

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