Some quick reviews of the handful of books I savored during my recent trip in Mexico.

The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy–If We Let It Happen

I found this month’s Economics book club selection (my first Kindle purchase) an extra-ordinarily frustrating read mainly due to the Fox News-esque partisanship. Despite that, the sections on the incentives and implications of the Laffer Curve, Flat tax, Fair tax were thought-provoking and highly recommended.

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

The most inspiring cook book I’ve ever read – all about improvising in the kitchen and embracing the microorganisms around you. The recipes for Persimmon Cider Mead and fruit Kimchi sound pretty delicious.

Belgian Ale

Great book (like all the books in the Classic Beer Style Series) on the history and definition of Belgian ale. The key – don’t be afraid to use 20+% sugar and focus on flavor rather than strict tradition.

Brew Like a Monk: Trappist, Abbey, and Strong Belgian Ales and How to Brew Them

A deep dive into the history, brewing process, and recipes for some of my favorite Belgian beers – Afflighem Blond, Westmalle Trippel – and some of the American beers brewed in the same style. Stan Hieronymus makes a pretty good argument that it’s the Americans that are moving the style forward.

194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front (Architecture, Landscape and Amer Culture)

Fifty years ago, the Great Depression and WWII destroyed the careers of American architects – they switched from building to planning. Planning the new American cities, planning suburbia, planning for the war to be over and their careers to return.

Coffee Cupper’s Handbook

THE vocabulary book on describing coffee’s taste. The biggest ‘a-ha’ for me: cooling removes the sweet and bitter aspects of coffee – but has no impact on the sour tastes. Big thanks to Sam Buchanan for loaning me his copy.