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Eat, Drink and Be ... Well Read !

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Newsletter: July 22nd 2022

Couple of new books coming out in August - on Beer and Whiskey - caught my attention, so I thought I'd round that out and make this a food and drink edition with books on coffee, chocolate and spices!

Science News of the week:

Speaking of food, researchers have found the first example of another mammal "farming" it's food. I know some ants and insects "farm" food, in the sense that they put in deliberate effort to grow and protect and preserve their food sources, but this is the first time a mammal - a gopher - has been discovered doing that. We can argue its not really farming, but then neither is a store-bought tomato plant in my backyard, but I'm still very proud of it :)


  1. Tomorrow's event is on "Ending Distracted Driving" - meet Vijay Dixit, and learn all about his foundation and their efforts to end distracted driving on Minnesota roads. Also kicks off a 3 week fund raiser for the foundation - July 23-Aug 12. Use these vouchers ( pickup in-store OR at Raksha walk ) for your purchases during these weeks and percentage of your sale will go to the foundation.

  2. Late Evening Browsing - We're open late tonight - till 8p for your evening browsing pleasure. If you find yourself looking for a relaxed evening of book browsing, we'll be open! Of course, some of us may be playing board games and if you feel like joining, come on over too.

  3. Our favorite scientist - Liz Heinecke is back in store Friday July 29th 5p. As before, she will show some experiments and kids will have a chance to try some on their own! If you have a 5-10 yr old in your life, you don't want them to miss this one. Since this a Friday evening event, sending out the reminder a week in advance.

  4. Audio Books by - The two free books from S&S are still available till July 31st. Make sure to download yours before then - High Conflict and Let's talk about the hard things.

  5. Promoter program: Thank you to those of you who've been bringing in friends and family to share your love of reading and science. Each referral gets your friend 10% off one item and you get 20% off one item for yourself. You can save those up for future or redeem right away, up to you! Points never expire.

I just realized, I'm promoting books on Whiskey and Beer at the same time advertising an event on distracted driving! So please, eat, drink and read, for sure, just not while driving :)

Keep reading and see you in-store soon!

Books on Food and Drink

The Terroir of Whiskey

By Rob Arnold

Releases Aug 16th 2022

Look at the back label of a bottle of wine and you may well see a reference to its terroir, the total local environment of the vineyard that grew the grapes, from its soil to the climate. Winemakers universally accept that where a grape is grown influences its chemistry, which in turn changes the flavor of the wine. A detailed system has codified the idea that place matters to wine. So why don’t we feel the same way about whiskey? In this book, the master distiller Rob Arnold reveals how innovative whiskey producers are recapturing a sense of place to create distinctive, nuanced flavors. He takes readers on a world tour of whiskey and the science of flavor, stopping along the way at distilleries in Kentucky, New York, Texas, Ireland, and Scotland. Arnold puts the spotlight on a new generation of distillers, plant breeders, and local farmers who are bringing back long-forgotten grain flavors and creating new ones in pursuit of terroir.

In the twentieth century, we inadvertently bred distinctive tastes out of grains in favor of high yields—but today’s artisans have teamed up to remove themselves from the commodity grain system, resurrect heirloom cereals, bring new varieties to life, and recapture the flavors of specific local ingredients. The Terroir of Whiskey makes the scientific and cultural cases that terroir is as important in whiskey as it is in wine.

Rob Arnold is president and cofounder of Advanced Spirits, a venture firm partner for whiskey brands and distilleries, and was previously master distiller at TX Whiskey. He is a third-generation member of the whiskey industry and holds a PhD in plant breeding and genetics from Texas A&M University.

The Botany of Beer

By Giuseppe Caruso

Releases Aug 30th 2022

From mass-produced lagers to craft-brewery IPAs, from beers made in Trappist monasteries according to traditional techniques to those created by innovative local brewers seeking to capture regional terroir, the world of beer boasts endless varieties. The diversity of beer does not only reflect the differences among the people and cultures who brew this beverage. It also testifies to the vast range of plants that help give different styles of beer their distinguishing flavor profiles. This book is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated compendium of the characteristics and properties of the plants used in making beer around the world. The botanical expert Giuseppe Caruso presents scientifically rigorous descriptions, accompanied by his own hand-drawn ink images, of more than 500 species. For each one, he gives the scientific classification, common names, and information about morphology, geographical distribution and habitat, and cultivation range. Caruso provides detailed information about each plant’s applications in beer making, including which of its parts are employed, as well as its chemical composition, its potential toxicity, and examples of beers and styles in which it is typically used. The book also considers historical uses, aiding brewers who seek to rediscover ancient and early modern concoctions. This book will appeal to a wide audience, from beer aficionados to botany enthusiasts, providing valuable information for homebrewers and professional beer makers alike. It reveals how botanical knowledge can open new possibilities for today’s and tomorrow’s brewers.

Giuseppe Caruso teaches forest botany at the Mediterranean University in Reggio Calabria and biology and agricultural biotechnology at the Istituto Tecnico Agrario “V. Emanuele II” in Catanzaro, Italy. He holds a doctorate in environmental and applied botany and researches the flora and vegetation of southern Italy, as well as habitat recovery and restoration processes. He is also a beer expert and taster. Marika Josephson is the James Beard Award–nominated co-owner and brewer at the Scratch Brewing Company in Ava, Illinois. She is a coauthor of The Homebrewer’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Making Your Own Beer from Scratch (2016).


By Sandra Boynton

Boynton for adults: A humorous, illustrated love note to chocolate, complete with debunked myths, chocolate profiles, tempting recipes, and Boynton's famous hippos.

Wait. Sandra Boynton wrote a book about CHOCOLATE? For grown-ups? Oh YES! Boynton’s beloved classic returns, updated and redrawn by her for a whole new generation of chocophiles. In addition to her extensive new research, Boynton also nobly sourced and consumed untold quantities of great chocolate, with no thought for her own personal safety. Lavishly illustrated and filled with useful facts and cheerful misinformation, CHOCOLATE: The Consuming Passion is the absolute ideal gift for every true chocolate obsessive. Discover the many faces of chocolate—milk chocolate, dark chocolate, boxed chocolates, pretend chocolate, and the wild new frontier of small-batch craft chocolate. Learn about chocolate’s complex effects on the body, the psyche, and the soul. Prepare select simple recipes, such as “Hippo Pot de Mousse.” Learn how to grow your own chocolate, assuming you don’t mind relocating to within 15º of the Equator. There’s even a handy guide to saying “Excuse me, where is the nearest chocolate?” in eleven languages, including Klingon. (Nook-dock YOOCH dah-PULL?) Boldly go.

Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, children's author, songwriter, producer, and director. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over sixty children's books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. More than 70 million of her books have been sold, "mostly to friends and family," she says. She has also written (with Michael Ford) and produced six albums of renegade children's music. Three of her albums have been certified Gold (over 500,000 copies sold), and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum (over 1 million copies sold). Boynton has also directed twelve music videos of her songs, including the award-winning "One Shoe Blues" starring B.B. King, "Alligator Stroll" starring Josh Turner, and "Tyrannosaurus Funk" (animation) sung by Samuel L. Jackson. She lives in rural New England, and her studio is in a barn with perhaps the only hippopotamus weathervane in America.

The New Rules of Coffee

By Jordan Michelman

This book was recommended to me by Mary Halbrooks, a coffee connoisseur and founder of All Beans Considered. You might've met Mary and her specialty coffee at The Thinking Spot on IBD this past April!

An illustrated guide to the essential rules for enjoying coffee both at home and in cafes, including tips on storing and serving coffee, coffee growing, roasting and brewing, plus facts, lore, and popular culture from around the globe. This introduction to all things coffee written by the founders and editors of Sprudge, the premier website for coffee content, features a series of digestible rules accompanied by whimsical illustrations. Divided into three sections (At Home, At the Cafe, and Around the World), The New Rules of Coffee covers the basics of brewing and storage, cafe etiquette and tips for enjoying your visit, as well as essential information about coffee production (What is washed coffee?), coffee myths (Darker is not stronger!), and broadcasts from a new international coffee culture.

JORDAN MICHELMAN and ZACHARY CARLSEN are the co-founders of, the world's most popular coffee publication, and publishers of the Sprudge Media Network, an international network of websites covering coffee (and as of 2017, wine) around the world. Michelman and Carlsen publish work from more than 100 contributors each year, and manage staff writers and editors in New York City, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, and San Francisco.

The Science of Spice

By Stuart Farrimond

Transform your dishes from bland and boring to punchy and flavorsome with this definitive guide to spices. It’s time to spice up your home cooking! Taking the periodic table of spices as a starting point, this adventurous recipe book explores the science behind the art of making incredible spice blends to help you release the flavor in your dishes. Discover a spice book like no other from TV personality, food scientist and bestselling author, Dr Stuart Farrimond. Sure to get your tastebuds tingling, you can explore: - 52 exciting recipes from around the world which showcase each spice blend - An explanation of what spices are and how they're produced - Which countries favor which spices and a bit of the history behind it - Dozens of spice blends you can make and what you can use it for - A reference guide where you can conveniently look up each spice to understand how to use it - Various color-coded charts to help you learn the chemical compound that make up the flavors - Instructions on how to design your own spice blends - Beautiful photographs of spices and food Great cooking goes beyond following a recipe - it's knowing how to use the right combination of spices and herbs to get the greatest possible flavor from your dishes. From learning how the flavor compounds within spices work together to exploring the world's top spices, this is the perfect cookbook for curious cooks and adventurous foodies. Whether you’re a fan of spice seeking to experiment with new flavor combinations, or simply a beginner-level home cook looking to advance your knowledge on all things spice related, this is a must-have volume also doubling up as a great coffee table book for the whole family to love. If you've ever wondered why some spices taste stronger than others or how to make your own personal garam masala, The Science of Spice has all the answers! Discover how to use spices for cooking to become more creative in the kitchen, and explore the multiple ways that spices can endlessly heighten your eating experience.

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