Friday, December 20, 2013

Dave Newman's Guide to Books & Booze

Time to grab a book and get tipsy!

Back by popular demand, Books & Booze, originally a mini-series of sorts here on TNBBC challenges participating authors to make up their own drinks, name and all, or create a drink list for their characters and/or readers using drinks that already exist. 

Today, Dave Newman wants you to get drunk for all the right reasons, and he shares two special drinks for the occasion!



Let’s get drunk! The world is a terrible ball of violence and indifference spinning so fast and wide we can barely stand up. People hate each other. There’s too much arguing and not enough fucking. The job you work is not the job you want to work and the pay is terrible.

I saw a woman shout-down another woman in line at the grocery store because the one woman, dressed in sweatpants and looking exhausted with a young kid on her hip, was buying brand-name Mountain Dew with her foodstamps instead of some lame-ass off-brand that lacks bubbles and tastes like syrup.

I’ve spent a lot of time in sweatpants since I’ve had kids and I still feel exhausted even though my kids are too big to be carried around on my hip.

While I’ve often been broke, I’ve never been on foodstamps, but I believe in them, and I believe in welfare, and I believe in kindness, and I believe in supports, and I like my brand-name Mountain Dew too.

I dislike motherfuckers.

I dislike people who abuse those who need compassion.

I hate how Walmart treats their employees and I hate myself for shopping at Walmart but I shop at Walmart all the time because they have the best price on Coke Zero and I’d drop over without the fucking caffeine.

I love caffeine.

I’m guzzling it right now.

I love energy drinks but energy drinks are expensive.

I have my Coke Zero from Walmart. It’s ten in the morning and I’m on my fourth can. I’m about to make a cup of tea. I’ll drink five of those before I get back on the Coke Zero.

Now I’m wired. Really. I’m about to tweak.

So let’s get drunk. If it’s okay with you, let’s get drunk and talk about my book. If you purchase a copy and say some nice things, I’ll even let you buy me the next round.

Dan Charles, the main character in my novel, reads Walt Whitman the way some people read the Bible. He’s in his twenties and he’s obsessed with being a writer. He works three jobs. He attends college. When he can, he gets drunk with his older brother, John. John works endless hours selling industrial parts and has to drink with his clients and his boss and he wants out. He wants to drink for fun in bars and maybe get laid. John wants to pay off his student loans and the credit card he charged all his college textbooks on. John wants to be happy. Dan wants that too. So they dream of starting a business. To get money for that business, Dan takes a job as an over- the-road truck driver. Bad shit ensues.

People drink terrible things in my book, rotgut wine and warm beer, cheap vodka in cheap orange juice, lots of domestic drafts. It’s not PBRs in some hipster bar. It’s light beer on draft at a bar filled with old men and people who suffer from mental illness buying their booze with silver change from a plastic bag reinforced with duct tape.

If you want to be sympathetic to the characters in my book, you should drink Coors Light. Join the macro-brew revolution, it’s huge. I hate cans but a can would be better. The more metallic the taste, the more sympathetic you’ll be. You can clean the metallic taste out of your mouth with a fistful of pills. Remember, my main character is a truckdriver and he has to be awake and ready to drive at all hours of the day. Score some speed. Score some Adderall. Or hit the local truckstop and load up on Truckers Luv It, the go-to over-the-counter speeder for professional drivers. Truckers Luv It is ephedrine and some other stuff that isn’t as important as the ephedrine. Seriously, ephedrine is great. It’ll stop your heart right on the highway.

So that’s my sympathetic drink, Coors Light can and some Truckers Luv It. Let’s call it a Trucker’s Speedball. Here’s the recipe:

1 Coors Light, can
6 Pills, Truckers Luv It

If you want to read the book and not stop your own heart, I’d recommend a Hoegaarden on draft from my kegerator. My wife bought me the kegerator for Father’s Day a few years ago and it paid for itself in a couple months. Great investment. I get to drink fancy beer on draft for the price of cheap beer in bottles. I love it. Frosted mugs are available in my freezer. I like my Hoegaarden a little sour and I like to be healthy so I squirt a couple shots of lemon juice in each beer. It tastes great and I’m pretty sure I’ll never get scurvy.

Let’s call this drink a Frosted Newman. Here’s the recipe:

Hoegaarden, frosted mug
2 squirts Real Lemon lemon Juice

Frosted Newmans are available whenever you arrive but don’t arrive too often or I’ll never get any writing done, thanks. 


Dave Newman is the author of the novels Two Small Birds (Writers Tribe Books, 2014), Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children (Writers Tribe Books, 2012) and Please Don’t Shoot Anyone Tonight (World Parade Books, 2010), and the collection, The Slaughterhouse Poems (White Gorilla Press, 2013). He’s worked as a truck driver, a book store manager, an air filter salesman, a house painter, and a college teacher. More than 100 of his poems and stories have appeared in magazines throughout the world, including Gulf Stream, Word Riot, Smokelong Quarterly, Rattle, Wormwood Review, Tears in the Fence (UK), and The New Yinzer. He has been the featured writer and on the cover of both 5AM and Chiron Review. Anthologies include Beside the City of Angels (World Parade Books) and The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Autumn House Press). Newman has won three chapbooks prizes. In 2004, he received the Andre Dubus Novella Award. His work has been recently optioned for film. He lives in Trafford, Pennsylvania with his wife, the writer Lori Jakiela, and their two children.


  1. Looking forward to the new book, and looking forward to a Frosty Newman someday. Until then, let's just keep goin' on with our bad selves...