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Display Name: CWFredrickson
About me: I'm a Mpls-based blogger, absurdist/humor writer, and editor for print and online media.
Reading Interests: Gene Wolfe, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, dark fantasy, cyberpunk, cognitive science, word origins/history and etymology, graphic novels.

CWFredrickson's Book Lists
Homebrewing (13 titles)
Some of the best books for creating your own beer, imitating the popular brands, or just exploring the broad and dazzling world of international beer.

CWFredrickson's Comments    
Cover ArtTorpedo. Volume 1
by Sanchez Abuli, E.
This is a really questionable book. The artwork is spectacular, and it would be valuable to any budding graphic artist to study the techniques of Alex Toth and Jordi Bernet, but the positives end there. Torpedo, the main character, is an inelegant thug prone to racism and not above rape for "payment." There are no redeeming qualities to elevate him to the status of anti-hero: he’s just an ill-tempered goon with enough money to dress well but never enough to get anywhere in life. Perhaps it’s the translation from French into English that stripped this book of its wry humor, because mainly these short stories were depressing or repugnant, but the artwork is an excellent study.   posted Mar 21, 2012 at 3:51PM

Cover ArtLow moon
by Jason, 1965-
I really enjoyed this book, a collection of five almost mystical short stories. The simple illustrations convey a very ponderous tension between the characters, an expectation of greater things at play, and I don’t know how Jason does this. There is so much life present and hinted at in each of the characters, so the funny moments are full of relief, with both subtle and overt humor, and the darker moments are quite bleak or dreadful. How should this be possible with comical-looking anthropomorphized dogs? And I didn’t realize this until I read the public library’s subject categorization, but yeah, each of these stories is about revenge and its futility. The characters who seek it and get it never find it satisfying, and those who never attain it often get lost in its pursuit. What an interesting theme to center five stories around.   posted Mar 11, 2012 at 12:20PM

Cover ArtPaying for it : a comic-strip memoir about being a john
by Brown, Chester
This was a fascinating story. Brown’s candor in representing himself is refreshing and, even if one doesn’t exactly empathize with his choices, he makes it clear (through action, introspection, and contrast against his friends) why he goes into seeking "escorts." The body of the novel itself is a very thoughtful conversation on the sex industry, but on top of that Brown provides a couple dozen appendices that sufficiently address nearly every point that could be raised in objection to the existence of prostitution or the patronage of this profession. It’s a quite complex issue that has been oversimplified and grossly misrepresented by mainstream media, and this book stands as a very calm and lucid rebuttal.   posted Mar 11, 2012 at 12:13PM

Cover ArtPractical short story writing
by Sheriff, John Paxton
This is an extremely important how-to guide for writers. I can’t stress that enough: Paxton goes all the way back to the basic components of short story fiction and builds upon them with each chapter. If you read this book carefully and diligently follow these exercises, you will surprise yourself with the quality stories you can generate. This is a must-read for anyone wrestling with writer’s block or simply in the mood for motivating writing exercises.   posted Feb 24, 2012 at 11:24AM

Cover ArtClone brews : recipes for 200 commercial beers
by Szamatulski, Tess, 1954-
You might not save money, and you won't save time, but imagine the fun you'll have making your favorite beers at home! Anyone can buy a case of beer, but there's something empowering about opening your fridge and looking at 24 bombers of the lager, ale, or stout you made yourself. Share them with friends or pour them into a nice stew: it just tastes better when you make it yourself.   posted Feb 24, 2012 at 11:12AM

Cover ArtBeer for dummies
by Nachel, Marty, 1958-
The Dummies guides are excellent sources of condensed information from experts. With this book, you can learn what to look for in a beer (whether you make it or buy one in a bar), dissect the components that give it its color and flavor, and learn in which glass to serve it. Non-essential for the beginning homebrewer but definitely imparts points for style.   posted Feb 24, 2012 at 11:10AM

Cover ArtThe homebrewer's garden : how to easily grow, prepare, and use your own hops, br
by Fisher, Joe, 1966-
Welcome to the next stage: you've made your own beer, now grow your own ingredients. Entire civilizations have been constructed around beer-making, so play your part in history with this guide to organic gardening, natural pesticides, and cultivating amazing hops.   posted Feb 24, 2012 at 11:08AM

Cover ArtThe Brooklyn Brew Shop's beer making book : 52 seasonal recipes for small batche
by Shea, Erica
This is a fantastic book for experienced homebrewers and novices alike! Created by two homebrewers in a cramped Brooklyn apartment, this is a recipe guide outlining a seasonal beer for each week in the year. Leaf through the recipes and be amazed at some of the highly creative and imaginative work-arounds and innovations that lead to stunning beer.   posted Feb 24, 2012 at 11:07AM

Cover ArtThe secret
by Richardson, Mike
This story reads like a high school class project on constructing a campfire ghost story. The structure is technically correct but there is no life to the tale that compels the reader. None of the characters are likable, the script is unsteady and disjointed, and there’s no explanation for anything that occurs. This story might be suitable for a young and undiscerning reader.   posted Feb 3, 2012 at 11:35AM

Cover ArtThe Brooklyn Brew Shop’s beer making book : 52 seasonal recipes for small batche
by Shea, Erica
This is an excellent book for anyone even thinking about the possibility of homebrewing, not to mentioned experienced crafters. 52 fun, seasonal recipes means one for each week of the year (which you can’t possibly make unless you have a lot of room in your house)--craft your own black-and-tan, for example! The book was started, in fact, by people who had very little floor space and had reduced all their brewing to one-fifth the original volume. Anyone who’s ready to expand their horizons and get a little crazy with homebrewing needs to pick this up and leaf through it.   posted Jan 17, 2012 at 2:16PM

Cover ArtThe walking dead. Volume 8, Made to suffer
by Kirkman, Robert.
I jumped into this series with this title. Distantly I wondered how zombies would make a running series, but of course it’s not about the zombies: as ever, they are merely a foil for the living. ’The Walking Dead’ can’t free itself of every last tired trope of the fiction genre but it does handle the characters pretty well regardless. Even when someone does something stupid, I can accept it’s a believable (if not reasonable) action in the heat of the moment. The artwork is great, the writing is very skillful. I enjoyed figuring out what was going on in previous issues to get the story to where it is in vol. 8, and this was easily done with this book’s clear exposition. The story does compel me to want to know what happens next, so obviously I care about the storyline which itself is a mark of success.   posted Sep 13, 2010 at 8:53AM

Cover ArtBest ghost stories of J. S. LeFanu.
This is a fantastic, entertaining collection of stories! It’s an important resource for anyone studying the structure of ghost stories, useful to anyone studying folklore or even linguistics and dialect. Lastly, this is a treasure for anyone of Irish distraction.   posted Oct 7, 2009 at 10:10AM


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