Books and Booze Overview

I've always had a passion for great books, good booze, and "philosophizing" with interesting people.

This podcast is simply a way of doing what I love, and publishing the content for potentially billions of Homo Sapiens to listen to.

The perfect book for this show is one that has had a meaningful impact on the guests worldview, changed the way they live, or are otherwise super passionate about.

A typical episode will include 1) a featured guest, 2) a book, 3) and a booze. After each reading the book independently, the guest-to-be and I will get a little (or a lot) drunk, and hit the "record" button. The resulting conversation becomes our podcast episode.




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Episode #16 - Knocking on Heaven's Door

By Katy Butler

Guest: Kim Ukura, bookish blogger & podcaster

Book: Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Katy Butler

Boozes: Gin & Tonic

Main topics: End of life care, physician assisted suicide, reading, reviewing “bad books”, podcasting, blogging, being a “dork”, and more.


Episode #15 - Blitzed 

By Norman Ohler
Guests: Stefani Manard & Big Dev, co-hosts of the Shot of History Podcast
Boozes: Bourbons: Elijah Craig, Jim Beam, and Bulleit
Main topics: Nazi’s & drugs, history, podcasting, reading recommendations, and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s views on sex, masturbation, and circumcision.

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Episode #14 - The Geometry of wealth 

By Brian Portnoy
Guest: Brian Portnoy
Booze: Noah’s Mill bourbon and Bulleit bourbon
Main topics: Money, meaning, reality vs expectations, investing, and reading (plus recommendations)


Episode #13 - Civilization and its Discontents 

By Sigmund Freud
Guest: Tom Beck
Booze: Lagunitas Aunt Sally
Main topics: Sigmund Freud, religion, morality, and civilization


Episode #12 - The Magic of Thinking Big

CEO of Toujours Planning and co-host of the Worth It! Podcast, Dustin Granger, joins the show to sip Maker’s Mark bourbon and discuss The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. Topics include: Thinking big, finding meaning, confidence, goal setting, risk taking, social relationships, dealing with setbacks, and more.

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Episode #11 - Drinking In America

Ron McIntire from the Grasping at Beers blog joins the show for a second visit to share four different kinds of booze and to discuss Drinking in America by Susan Cheever. Topics include: the history of alcohol in the United States, John's & Ron's own alcohol histories, and more.


Episode #10 - 50 Shades of Grey

Author and traveling winemaker Amira Makansi joins the podcast to discuss 50 Shades of Grey. Topics include: Power dynamics in relationships, sexual taboos, wine and writing, politics, and more.

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Episode #9 - I Know This Much Is True

Rich Young joins the podcast to split a bottle of Green Spot Irish Whiskey and discuss I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. Topics include: Mental illness, self-delusions, bullying, masculinity, denial.


EPISODE #8 - Last of the Unanswered Questions

Retired politician, current entrepreneur, author, and world traveler Elliot Killian sits down to discuss a variety of interesting topics including: How Elliott ran for elected office at age 19 (and won), Elliott’s two short stories that peaked at #6 and #1 respectively on the Amazon short read Sci-Fi & Fantasy charts. We also talk about the Japanese classic Book of Five Rings, entrepreneurship, invention & innovation, career advice, world travel, and community service.


Episode #7 - I read 100 books in 2017, and here are the 4 that I recommend

John read 100 books in 2017, and narrowed them down to 4 books that you should read. The top 4 are: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Tribe by Sebastian Junger, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges, and Doing Good Better by William MacAskill. Topics include: History, fictive language, tribalism, community, alienation, war, meaning, and effective altruism.


EPISODE #6 - saint of auschwitz

Ron McIntire joins the podcast to discuss Saint of Auschwitz, a biography of Catholic saint Maximilian Kolbe, who sacrificed himself in a Nazi concentration camp. Despite John’s initial trepidation due to his rejection of Catholicism, the pair enjoy and interesting conversation about Kolbe’s inspiring sacrifice.


EPISODE #5 - Doing Good better

Billy Ray Taylor joins the podcast to discuss Doing Good Better by William MacAskill and drink Lagavulin 16 Scotch. Topics include: Effective Altruism, moral philosophy, problems of loyalty, leadership organizations, and how to make the world better.


EPISODE #4 - hammurabi's code

John's first solo episode is a deep dive into Hammurabi's Code and it's relevance in today's society.


EPISODE #3 - The immortal Life of Henrietta LAcks

Bridget McNeela joins the podcast to discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoot and share 3 local wines. Topics include: scientific advancement, medical ethics, informed consent, scientific education, individualism vs collectivism, and whether or not you should have the right to be an asshole.

EPISODE #2 - Ready player one

Geek culture writer, and host of the Blurbing It podcast, Monica Piluso joins the show to drink copious quantities of Pinot Grigio and discuss Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Topics include: geek culture, escaping reality, serial killers, cults, virtual reality, social identity, video game addiction, mythology, and being a woman in the geek culture dominated by men.




Episode #1 features our favorite local data scientist, Pawel Bodanowicz, Tito's Vodka, and The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Fun topics include: Political protest, schadenfreude, reality TV, aliens, making a deal with North Korea, and the ethics of nuking Mars if it was populated by martian puppies.


EPISODE #0 - Where good ideas come from BY sTEVEN JOHNSON

In this solo episode John introduces himself, the concept, and the inspiration for starting a podcast.

Big topics include enlightenment coffee houses, liquid networks, and not being afraid to fail.