I recently completed reading a book called “Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (The History of New York City)” by Edwin G. Burrows. It was definitely a marathon read that was interesting and worthwhile, yet also exhausting and at times frustrating. One of the mixed blessings of an e-reader is that you always know how much progress you’ve made on a book. I could read lengthy passages of “Gotham” and not move the needle at all. It is tough when you start at 17%, read for a significant period, and still end up at 17%. The paperback edition of the book checks in at 1424 pages which is rather hefty. I’m glad I read “Gotham,” but also glad that I can move on to more digestible material.
Currently, I’m engrossed in “The Audacity of Hops: The History of America's Craft Beer Revolution” by Tom Acitelli. At 416 pages, it’s not exactly a lightweight book, but compared to “Gotham” it’s been a breeze. Acitelli has done his research and his stories on the people and places behind the American craft beer renaissance are fascinating. He often doesn’t mention the name of the brewery until later in each story so it’s fun to try to figure out which one he’s detailing before the reveal. I’m only about halfway through the book so far which is in the mid-Nineties time wise. While there are a lot of familiar names, there are also a lot that came and went and the differences between those breweries that succeeded and those that didn’t aren’t always apparent.