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Come Here Often?: 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar

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"In this collection of essays, writers including Joe Meno, Rosie Schaap, and Craig Finn pay tribute to the bars that have shaped them. It’s an outstanding and talented group, and a subject that’s close to the hearts of many literary types." - Vol. 1 Brooklyn A neighborhood bar can become as comfortable as a second home or a memory best avoided—a wild evening half remembered "In this collection of essays, writers including Joe Meno, Rosie Schaap, and Craig Finn pay tribute to the bars that have shaped them. It’s an outstanding and talented group, and a subject that’s close to the hearts of many literary types." - Vol. 1 Brooklyn A neighborhood bar can become as comfortable as a second home or a memory best avoided—a wild evening half remembered and better forgotten. But what makes a particular bar special, better than the one just down the street? The answers vary considerably as writers share personal stories of drinking establishments both local and exotic. Come Here Often is an intoxicating world tour from Antarctica to New York City, Kiribati to Minnesota, to the places that have inspired—and distracted— some of our favorite contemporary writers over many years and many more drinks. Funny, smart, and poignant, this anthology is a rare opportunity to do some serious armchair drinking with Andrew W.K., Rosie Schaap, Jack Hitt, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Duff McKagan, Laura Lippman, Craig Finn, Elissa Schappell, and many more.


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"In this collection of essays, writers including Joe Meno, Rosie Schaap, and Craig Finn pay tribute to the bars that have shaped them. It’s an outstanding and talented group, and a subject that’s close to the hearts of many literary types." - Vol. 1 Brooklyn A neighborhood bar can become as comfortable as a second home or a memory best avoided—a wild evening half remembered "In this collection of essays, writers including Joe Meno, Rosie Schaap, and Craig Finn pay tribute to the bars that have shaped them. It’s an outstanding and talented group, and a subject that’s close to the hearts of many literary types." - Vol. 1 Brooklyn A neighborhood bar can become as comfortable as a second home or a memory best avoided—a wild evening half remembered and better forgotten. But what makes a particular bar special, better than the one just down the street? The answers vary considerably as writers share personal stories of drinking establishments both local and exotic. Come Here Often is an intoxicating world tour from Antarctica to New York City, Kiribati to Minnesota, to the places that have inspired—and distracted— some of our favorite contemporary writers over many years and many more drinks. Funny, smart, and poignant, this anthology is a rare opportunity to do some serious armchair drinking with Andrew W.K., Rosie Schaap, Jack Hitt, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Duff McKagan, Laura Lippman, Craig Finn, Elissa Schappell, and many more.

30 review for Come Here Often?: 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    I received a promotional copy through the First Reads program. I liked it. A well-deserved 4 stars, with no rounding up needed. 53 writers means a variety of writing styles and perspectives. 53 bars means a variety of bars - different vibes, different parts of the world, etc. There's a sense of loss running throughout the book - a lot of the bars have closed, and a lot of the writers are reminiscing about a time that is over and they can't return to it. On a happier note, the writers make clear ho I received a promotional copy through the First Reads program. I liked it. A well-deserved 4 stars, with no rounding up needed. 53 writers means a variety of writing styles and perspectives. 53 bars means a variety of bars - different vibes, different parts of the world, etc. There's a sense of loss running throughout the book - a lot of the bars have closed, and a lot of the writers are reminiscing about a time that is over and they can't return to it. On a happier note, the writers make clear how important camaraderie can be, how much better people are when banding together. Regardless of what section (of the book) the bars are in, it's obvious time and time again that those bars are meaningful to the writers because of the people there. I was disappointed that I had only read one book by these authors: The Year of Silence, by Madison Smartt Bell. I had heard of Scott Raab, Alissa Nutting, Malachy McCourt, and of course Duff McKagan. But I consider the latter more a musician who writes than a writer. A few of the writers chose bars they have been to only once or twice, so I wouldn't consider those bars favorites. Anyway, here are a few selections that stood out to me: The Patterson House (Nashville) - Adam Ross: The most interesting of the upscale establishments. Southern Exposure (Antarctica) - Hunter Slaton The Otintaii Bar (Tarawa, Kiribati) - J. Maarten Troost Both of those are location-driven. Eddie's Club (Missoula, Montana) - Kevin Canty Fireside Bowl (Chicago) - Joe Meno Slim's Last Chance Saloon (Seattle) - Duff McKagan Both of those are notable for the music. Leila's Peugeot (Tehran) - Azadeh Moaveni: Yes. It's a car. La Cabanita (Glendale, California) - Heather Havrilesky: Drinking with children. Raccoon's (Valrico, Florida) - Alissa Nutting

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rosi Hollinbeck

    My review from the San Francisco Book Review: “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world…” Perhaps that line from Casablanca is what set Sean Manning on his quest to find stories of what made particular bars memorable to or favorites of more than fifty writers. And stories abound in this wonderful book. These stories are personal and revealing and heartbreaking and uplifting and funny and crushingly sad. They are stories that could make one swear off the hootch forever or just as easily My review from the San Francisco Book Review: “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world…” Perhaps that line from Casablanca is what set Sean Manning on his quest to find stories of what made particular bars memorable to or favorites of more than fifty writers. And stories abound in this wonderful book. These stories are personal and revealing and heartbreaking and uplifting and funny and crushingly sad. They are stories that could make one swear off the hootch forever or just as easily induce one reach in the back of the cupboard and dust off that bottle one saves for special moments. What is it about saloons and taverns that make them so memorable? Well, it is the people and the stories, of course. How brilliant of Manning to mine something so many writers seem to have in common, and yet, for each is so different. The stories are interspersed with great quotes about drinking from all kinds of books. This is such a fresh take on an age-old story, that it is not to be missed. Keep it at hand for quick reads when you have only a few minutes or read the small sections aloud with a few friends.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I received Come Here Often? as part of a Goodreads giveaway. 53 writers pay tribute to their favorite drinking establishments in locales as far flung as Paris, Montana, Iran, and even Antarctica. Each installment is fairly short, generally no more than 8 pages, and small pages at that. One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Cheers, and I think it's because, even as a child, I realized that a good bar can become a home and its staff and regular patrons a family. This book really plays upon tha I received Come Here Often? as part of a Goodreads giveaway. 53 writers pay tribute to their favorite drinking establishments in locales as far flung as Paris, Montana, Iran, and even Antarctica. Each installment is fairly short, generally no more than 8 pages, and small pages at that. One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Cheers, and I think it's because, even as a child, I realized that a good bar can become a home and its staff and regular patrons a family. This book really plays upon that idea, even if the stories the various contributors told only took place over one evening. It's a situation in which a room, some booze, and a few passersby adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nick Klagge

    As you might expect from a book with 53 contributions, there is quite a bit of variation here. The worst sections come across as exercises in self-regard (Adam Ross's "Patterson House"); the best are understated portraits of a moment in time/place, more than of a bar per se (Joe Meno's "Fireside Bowl"). In general, I thought the quality improved toward the end of the book. Unfortunately for me, even from a selection of 53 writers, there were only a handful with whom I was at all familiar--which As you might expect from a book with 53 contributions, there is quite a bit of variation here. The worst sections come across as exercises in self-regard (Adam Ross's "Patterson House"); the best are understated portraits of a moment in time/place, more than of a bar per se (Joe Meno's "Fireside Bowl"). In general, I thought the quality improved toward the end of the book. Unfortunately for me, even from a selection of 53 writers, there were only a handful with whom I was at all familiar--which probably speaks to both the overall caliber of the effort and my own level of literary awareness.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kit

    i picked this up for the sole purpose of devouring 'the sun don't shine on a moonshine still', by k.m. mccann, which was a fascinating read. my maternal grandmother was a kansas farm girl before the dust bowl brought her family west, & her step-dad was a moonshiner; i have always loved that a piece of my heritage is rooted in pure american lore & wanted to know more. this was just the ticket. i picked this up for the sole purpose of devouring 'the sun don't shine on a moonshine still', by k.m. mccann, which was a fascinating read. my maternal grandmother was a kansas farm girl before the dust bowl brought her family west, & her step-dad was a moonshiner; i have always loved that a piece of my heritage is rooted in pure american lore & wanted to know more. this was just the ticket.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma Kantor

    Wonderful -- whether you're in the mood to savor a single story or binge read. Get ready to discover a diverse array of voices and settings. I'm bummed that most of the NYC bars mentioned here are now closed. Wonderful -- whether you're in the mood to savor a single story or binge read. Get ready to discover a diverse array of voices and settings. I'm bummed that most of the NYC bars mentioned here are now closed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    FTC disclosure: I received this book free from Goodreads hoping I would review it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kaylee

    *goodreads first reads* very clever idea..but most of the authors I've never heard of. but can be a good little introduction for discovering new authors. just wasn't my cup of tea unfortunately. *goodreads first reads* very clever idea..but most of the authors I've never heard of. but can be a good little introduction for discovering new authors. just wasn't my cup of tea unfortunately.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tobias

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eshani

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joel P.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve Delong

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  15. 5 out of 5

    John

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Cadotte

  17. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  18. 5 out of 5

    Catty K

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suzi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shelle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Renee

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katy St. Clair

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrea O

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Pluck

  29. 5 out of 5

    Connor

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

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