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Added by Keaster on 24 Jan 2022 12:41
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Read in '22

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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Outer Dark - Cormac McCarthy
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Bacchae - Euripides
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Wine in the Ancient World - Charles Seltman
Academically rather useless - it's from 1957 and by a British gentleman with corresponding ideals and views about the world, a fact that you absolutely cannot miss - but highly entertaining and pleasurable to read as a general book about the subject, while bearing in mind that a lot of the information is rather biased or dated. Some highlights:

"Far be it from me, however, to deny that the “respectable” women of Athens had a tendency to drink too much. This did not apply to the hetairai, the girl-friends who often took part in the men’s symposia, because they drank wine carefully mixed with water in accordance with the rules described in the last chapter. They were precise and masculine rules, for in general men are planners. But women have been, since the very happenings of organized communal life, improvisers, and this is apparent even today in a number of professions calling for precision and planning. Once a man becomes interested in the art of cooking food, he usually turns out to be a better chef than a woman, only because he measures with accuracy his ounces and his teaspoons where she guesses and approximates. She gets results, original and interesting, but she is rarely able to serve exactly the same dish twice. This is, of course, by no means an infallible rule; only a useful generalization. The point is that a woman who will hazard a guess in the kitchen will also hazard a guess in the buttery if she is preparing wine; and in ancient Athens she probably put less water with it than her husband would have done; often, indeed, she preferred to take her wine neat; and, as has been shown, neat wine was often very potent. Therefore it was the respectable wives – rather than the gay girl-friends – who were inclined to overdo potations, and some of them, naturally, showed intoxication more than did others." From pages 95-6.

"Nowadays the experts may declare that things like ham and eggs, or fish and chips contain each dish, 250 calories, that meat pie jumps up to 350 calories, and that a strange concoction called “fruit sundae” tops the bill with 800 calories. At the opposite end of the scale the experts place Brandy with 100 calories, Champagne with 90, Sherry with 80, and Burgundy with 75; while Dionysos himself, the bunch of grapes, is allowed no more than 50 calories.
But if in vino veritas is acceptable then so, surely, is in vino sanitas. Some have been known to drink a Health in spirits, in beer, in tomato juice, and, most lamentably, even in water. None of these things are proper for a Health.
Therefore when we rise from table to the toast “Gentlemen, The Queen!” let it be drunk in wine." Pages 154-5.

"A generation ago there were wine-drinkers who affected a scorn of Champagne. The pose has now flopped, for these sparkling wines have about them something of divinity. They are right for every occasion and for every kind of meal. Asklepios would have ordered Champagne for his patients, Dionysos would have cried out “This, at last, is the essential ME!” The heroes of Homer, the elegant Athenians, the Roman poets, even the Alexandrians down to Athenaeus and his Gastronomers would have purred with pleasure; but ice or snow is a requisite. Indeed one of its greatest virtues is that most men and women can take so much with so little ill effect. It is the great French miracle, quite unknown to the ancient world. But how they would have loved it!" Page 157.

I must say that although academically this kind of information is quite hard to put to use, I do enjoy reading a colorful and lively book such as this much more than the dry and over-intellectualized presentations one usually comes across while conducting a research.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Island - Aldous Huxley
a.k.a. Aldous Huxley's take on the State. His vision is truly quite appealing, charming, sensible and well-thought out. While of course being an utopia, I dare argue that it has elements that would not be impossible to see put to use in the world we currently live in, and that as a matter of fact, should be put to use, and the faster the better. Not an easy task, of course, ourselves being surrounded in this horrible infinite-seeming web of torment and misjustice, while in its core there lays a gruesome, venomous, ever-hungry gluttonous beast that is this monetary system of ours that certainly is not built on the welfare of human being and other living creatures.
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People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
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