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Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello
And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury
A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
City of Spies by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals
The Daddy Book by Todd Parr
The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson
Filipinos in Alaska by Thelma Buchholdt
Fullmetal Alchemist 05 by Hiromu Arakawa
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Junonia by Kevin Henkes
Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
Looking Like Me by Walter Dean Myers
My Dog Toby by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer
Once Wicked, Always Dead by T. Marie Benchley
Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin
The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt
Something to Do by David Lucas
Stella, Princess of the Sky by Marie-Louise Gay
The Tale of the Namelss Chameleon by Brenda Carre
A Toast to Tomorrow by Manning Coles
Tuey's Course by James Ross
Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield
Vampire Theory by Lily Caracci
Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for And a Bottle of Rum

And a Bottle of Rum: 07/31/11

And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis covers the history of rum.And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis draws its title from the pirate song penned by Robert Louis Stevenson for Treasure Island. In fact, Curtis's opening chapter includes an explanation of why he chose the title and how the phrase came about.

From there he explores two parallel histories: the creation of rum and its uses over the years. Along with his discussion of how rum has been used, he has some cocktail recipes and their histories.

My favorite pieces of the book were the history of grog (along with its recipe), the history of the mojito (a drink I've never had but was curious about) and the differences between the real Captain Morgan and the brand name.

Rum I remember from history class and the discussion of the sugar trade. Curtis has some thoughts about the triangle and makes some compelling arguments against the simplistic description of the relationships between slavery, sugar and rum. He's not saying there wasn't any correlation, just that it's not as straightforward as a triangle.

Another fascinating piece of rum's history, is its similarities with gasoline (petrol). I remember from my days of listening to my dad and his antique car buddies talk shop is that cars run on gasoline because in the early days of car tinkering (when they were primarily self built or engines but onto carriages), gasoline was cheap (if not free) because it was the waste product from making kerosene.

Rum came about under similar circumstances. The sugar refining process left tons of this black gooey mess that was a pain to dispose of, until some enterprising hooch makers found a way to distill it into a cheap (if not free) alcohol. The only problem, lead in the pipes often lead to poisonous liquor. But carting it around in barrels (yo ho ho!) leeched out those impurities. So in a strange turn of fate, rum shipped overseas (or kept on a ship and mixed with water and lime juice) was a much nice spirit than what was drunk locally on the islands.

Five stars.

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