Full Pour Review: Beach Read

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Beach Read by Emily Henry was an adorable, witty and entertaining rom-com that truly is the perfect beach read. I was engrossed in the story from the very beginning and couldn’t put it down because I kept needing to know what was happening next.

Augustus Everett and January Andrews are both bestselling authors- Augustus in literary fiction and January in romance. Not only are these two complete opposites of one another in their writing styles and genres, but also in the way that they view the world. Augustus is more of a realist (sometimes pessimist) while January has always been an optimistic hopeless romantic. January and Augustus met in college and were not exactly friends (January even considers him her writing arch nemesis!). Needless to say, they have not seen or spoke to one another in years.

Due to some personal events happening in January’s life, she finds herself living in her deceased fathers beachfront house on Lake Michigan and it turns out that her next door neighbor is none other then Augustus Everett. For the next three months, the only thing that these two have in common is that they live on the same street, are broke and suffering from severe writers block.

One evening, Augustus and January decide to make a deal with one another as an attempt to get them out of their creative ruts- Augustus will attempt to write a feel-good love story while January attempts to write something serious and dark. Every week, January will take Augustus on field trips that are meant to inspire swoon-worthy meet cutes while Augustus takes January on interviews with people who’ve survived a backwoods death cult.

There’s no way that these two will both manage to write their next successful book without somehow falling in love, right? 😉🙄

I absolutely adored the relationship and witty banter between Augustus and January, as well as their character development throughout the story. Their stories were raw and real and their individual growth through out the story was admirable- I felt like I was navigating through their struggles alongside them. Their personalities were endearing and rich- Emily Henry truly did a fantastic job at planning out these characters.

Beach Read is a feel good, comical story about forgiveness, second chances, betrayal, failure, creative struggle and learning how to love again. If you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read with an exciting plot that will tug at your heart strings and a satisfying ending, this book is for you!

BEER RECOMMENDATION: Beach Read by Emily Henry is best paired with Apple by Bold Rock Cider. This crisp, sweet and refreshing cider is highly enjoyable and perfect for the beach 🍻

Full Pour Review: Big Magic

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

To say that I was impressed with “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert would be a bit of an understatement. I began reading this book with high expectations because of how hard I fell in love with City of Girls and as expected, this book absolutely did not disappoint.

Elizabeth Gilbert enchants the reader with her unique perspective about creativity and what it means to live a creative life. From the beginning, Gilbert explains that living a creative life is not necessarily pursuing things within the arts, but rather simply having the creativity and courage to unearth the hidden jewels within us that reveal our true capacities, secret talents, and aspirations.

Gilbert’s insight about creativity, inspiration and fear is very practical, and a refreshing change from the usual societal bullshit that tends to be forced down our throats that are blocking us from our creativity. For example, this book discusses the simple notion that we can live a fulfilled, creative life without worrying that our creativity is all for not if it won’t evolve in to something that will financially support us in a way that allows us to “quit our day job.” Another example is how society also fools us into thinking that we are not qualified in pursuing our creative outlets if we don’t have the college education to prove it when this is also not always the case. Throughout the book, Gilbert paints a colorful picture of the attitudes and habits that we must develop in order to live our creative lives, address the fearful thoughts that hold us back, and take on the things that we love most.

I found myself mesmerized by Gilbert’s theory of ideas because it was not something that I had ever considered before and it resonated with me. In her book, she describes her belief of how creativity functions as this:

“I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and planets and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us — albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, “Big Magic”

Gilbert further explains that when these ideas find us, they will latch on to us and try to get our attention. When we don’t notice them, or give them the attention they deserve, they leave us and seek out the next person that they can partner with to bring their purpose to fruition. The personal experience she shares that supports this theory is startling in the most exquisite way, and is one of my personal favorite stories from the book.

Overall, “Big Magic” feels like a wonderful conversation with a good friend and mentor. You will obtain a lot of valuable insight to help guide you out of whatever rut you’re in, push through the fears that block out your creativity, and inspire you to be serious about having fun when pursuing your passions.

BEER RECOMMENDATION: “Big Magic” is best paired with Crimson Ridge Vat No. 1 by Bold Rock Cider. This highly enjoyable champagne-like cider has a well-balanced profile of sweetness from the crisp Virginia apples and a slightly dry finish 🍻