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Showing posts from July, 2016

Water Reviews: Mg Mivela mineral water

Brand:Mg Mivela

Type: sparkling mineral

Rating: six drops (out of six)

Review: Okay, here's the scene: It is early summer and you are on a high speed train cruising through central Europe. You are 22. It is hot and you are hung over. The train stops at a town, any town, with a name you cannot pronounce, nor even properly read, thanks to funny accents over and beneath the letters, which make you realize you are not only hung over but very, very far from home. You disembark and make for the nearest tabac (or local equivalent) and there, in front of you, is a brand of mineral water you've never heard of. You buy a bottle. You go and sit on the marble steps of church that is older than your home country, and you drink. The cacophony of bubbles brings your mind back to life. The water re-hydrates your parched alimentary tract. The light refreshing sodium taste quenches your throat. The minerals begin to restore what the liters upon liters of Czech pilsener have sucked out of your cell…

Water Reviews: Badoit Mineral Water

Brand:Badoit

Type: sparkling mineral water

Source:Saint-Galmier, France

Rating: five drops (out of five)

Review: An elegant and sophisticated water that was worth every penny of the nearly $8 I paid for a a 1 liter bottle. Sparkling, but not "carbonated," in the sense that the bubbles do not take over. Rather, the subtle effervescence takes a back seat to the overall refreshingly tonic quality of this water, adding just a bit of texture and an excitement that is peculiarly "French."

Relatively high sodium content (150 mg/l) makes itself known, but not in an oppressive or arresting way. Rather, in keeping with everything regarding this well-nuanced and refined water, it comes off as healthy, crisp, and refreshing. You feel like you're doing something good for your body while also indulging yourself.

Recommended chilled but without ice, and the merest hint of lime. Drink it in low lighting, in the basement of a bar with a one-word name that is also a verb, and in the…

New Yorker Fiction Review #140: "My Purple Scented Novel" by Ian McEwan

Issue: March 28, 2016

Story: "My Purple Scented Novel" by Ian McEwan

Rating: $$$

Review: I don't have a lot of spare time these days to mull over the finer points of literature (okay fine, I probably do) but I do have time to tell you that I loved this story with an all-abiding passion that knows no earthly bounds. Hyperbole, yes. But not by much.

I haven't read anything by Ian McEwan since I randomly found myself reading and loving Amsterdam when I was about 18 years old. The book left a big impression on me for the dark and elegant way McEwan portrays a years-long friendship between two friends who are also sort of rivals, and how their friendship-cum-rivalry unfolds over the years.

Ironic, because that's exactly what McEwan does in this finely-tuned and eminently readable story. The absolute best thing I can say about this story was that it took me to that "place" that literature should take you, at best: It makes you forget you are reading. Boom. McEwa…