Monday, November 5, 2018

Five top books to understand drinking

Leslie Jamison is the author of the essay collection The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestseller, and the novel The Gin Closet, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Her latest book is The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath.

At the Guardian, Jamison tagged five of the best books that "offer solace, if not salvation" to readers in the grip of drinking. One title on the list:
Billie Holiday’s memoir, Lady Sings the Blues, is a searing account of her life as a brilliant artist, a heroin addict, simultaneously worshipped as a siren of sorrow and persecuted by a legal system structured by systemic racism. Booze runs like a glimmering ribbon through these pages – she even makes moonshine from potato peelings while incarcerated – but Holiday emerges as a figure far more nuanced and human than her mythic image. In one memorable scene, she cooks red beans and hamburger meat – out of cans, heated with steno fuel – for the entire staff of her London hotel.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison.

--Marshal Zeringue