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Helen Thorpe, journalist, author and estranged wife of Governor John Hickenlooper, has been garnering national press attention since the release of her second book “Soldier Girls” ($28 Scribner), about three Indiana women who join the National Guard and unwittingly find themselves deployed to the real military world of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The book has been lauded by stalwarts including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor, but it took Westword editor Patricia Calhoun to ferret out the real publicity coup: “Soldier Girls” earned “Book of the Week” status in a recent People magazine.
High-profile praise, for sure. That, and her recent interview with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s irreverent series “The Daily Show.”
Thorpe, who in the past shunned the spotlight and loathed the title “first lady”, has been holding her own during the book promotion tour. Even the most veteran authors know that book tours equal book sales.
Thorpe spent four years tracking the three women who joined The National Guard for a variety of mostly financial reasons, only to be hit by the whammy of deployment to the front lines of a weird war.
Here’s what The Washington Post book review says, “Journalist Helen Thorpe follows three women, tracking their ups and downs with faithful detail in a brilliant tableau of their overlapping lives…as they do multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and readjust to civilian life.
“‘Soldier Girls’ raises important questions about how men and women serve together and the differences in how they experience war, enabling us to see the subtle challenges female soldiers face — the hardships that don’t make easy headlines.”
This book is the second in what will no doubt become a lengthy resume for Thorpe, the author, since Thorpe the political spouse is not in her future.
To see the Stewart interview, go to http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/20lo0o/helen-thorpe.
Thrillist.com, the national food and drink website with an attitude, ranks each the 50 states by its beer in its newly released compilation “Every State in the USA, Ranked by its Beer.”
How did Colorado’s suds stand up to the competition? We’re No. 3, behind No. 2 California and No. 1 Oregon Here’s what Thrillist said:
“It’s a great time to be drinking beer in America. Not that it was ever, you know, a bad time to be doing that necessarily, but with craft breweries multiplying like rabbits who’ve been drinking beer, you can literally find some serviceable (if not downright tasty) local brews in all 50 states. Which made the process of ranking them all the more difficult, but we were up to the challenge, especially since it meant drinking and thinking about beer for weeks straight.
“Here they are, all 50 states in the Union, ranked according to their beer. A couple notes about our criteria. Quantity and quality are both important, but quality’s a bit more important. If you’re a small state turning out a disproportionate amount of great beer, it did not go unrecognized. We also gave a boost to states who played a historical role in American beer as we know it today.
As for our suds-soaked state (just ask brewery-owner-turned-Governor John Hickenlooper), Thrillist said, “…Oskar Blues started the craft can revolution, and if you haven’t had a GUBNA, change that. Avery has an entire run of bombers called the Dictator Series. New Belgium is distributing with the big boys thanks to an amber ale and a cruiser bike. Crooked Stave is souring things that man previously assumed un-sour-able. Great Divide has proven once and for all that the Yeti exists…And the whole state’s in on it – even the guy who just had a frozen chocolatini with dinner can rattle off 10 upstart breweries you won’t hear of for years. Beer is everywhere. Everywhere is beer.”
Check out all the rankings at www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/every-state-in-the-usa-ranked-by-its-beer. Spoiler alert: Mississippi came in dead last.
Seasons 52, a Florida-based chain touting dishes made with “seasonably inspired ingredients,” recently opened its first Front Range store in the Park Meadows shopping area of Lone Tree.
Seasons 52 is a Darden Restaurant brand (The Capital Grille, Olive Garden, Yard House), which emphasizes lighter fare with nothing on the menu more than 475 calories.
The eatery features a piano bar and a wine list with 52 wines by the glass selected by master sommelier George Miliotes of Darden Restaurants. The place is expected to open early September. More information: www.seasons52.com.
Started as a monthly event in 2010, “Fridays Uncorked” has grown into a weekly wine and music series that continues year-around at Bonacquisiti Wine Company at 4640 Pecos St. in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
The fall series opens Sept. 4 with the Sept. 19 “Uncorked” event featuring the band My Old School – A Tribute to the Music of Steely Dan. My Old School is the culmination of the efforts of 12 professional Denver musicians who feel an affinity to Steely Dan and the music that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen created by applying jazz to pop music.
In addition to the September music line-up, winemaker and namesake Paul Bonacquisiti will be featuring three new wine releases, including a bold spicy Petite Sirah, which last year sold out to wine club members upon release, as well as a Barbera and the [d] Red, a blend of 80 percent Merlot, 10 percent Syrah and 10 percent Zinfandel. The [d]Red is named after the coal camp, Delagua, where Bonacquisti’s father was born. The [d] Red and Barbera releases will be available by the bottle and on tap at the winery in one liter refillable growlers.
Each event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Admission is free and wine is available to purchase, as is food from a food truck that changes each week. Seating is limited so guests are encouraged to bring a chair. The live music line-up through September includes:
* Sept. 4 – Knight Groove;
* Sept. 12 – Heavy, Timbo and Deb;
* Sept. 19 – My Old School;
* Sept. 26 – The Hip Replacements.
For more information visit www.bonacquistiwine.com.
Are you an outdoor adventurer who snaps snappy photos?
Then enter The Great Outdoor Adventure photo contest, sponsored by 5 Owls, a Golden-based outdoor personal shelter manufacturing company, by submitting a photo of a past outdoor adventure, and explain what makes you a true outdoors enthusiast.
Nine participants whose submissions receive the most votes and shares of uploaded photo on the company’s Facebook page, and whose posts demonstrate a love of the outdoors and a genuine sense of adventure, will win 5 Owls gear. The contest ends at midnight Aug. 31.
To submit photos, go to www.facebook.com/5owlsgear?sk=app_292725327421649.
Tickets are still available for comedian Dave Chappelle’s Birthday Extravaganza, featuring hip-hop artist Common, beginning at 9 tonight (doors open at 8) at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder.
Tickets are $37.50 general admission plus applicable service charges and are available at www.BoulderTheater.com and the Boulder Theater box office.
The City of Denver could become one big farmer’s market after the City Council recently approved a law that allows Denver residents to sell from their homes fresh produce they have grown themselves and cottage foods such as jams and honey they have made in their home kitchens.
“Denver has always been known as a city that appreciates ‘farm-to-table’ and using fresh produce and locally sourced foods, but this new law creates a whole new level of urban farming that will allow the city to become one big farmer’s market,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver.
Under the new law, which takes effect today (Friday), Denver residents will have to purchase a permit, but then will be able to sell from their home raw and uncut fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that were grown by the seller either on site or in a community garden.
They will also be able to sell whole eggs produced by chickens or ducks kept by the seller at home, or “cottage foods,” which are low-risk, unrefrigerated food products made on-site such as spices, teas, honey, jams and certain baked goods. People can sell from inside or outside their home from 8 a.m. to dusk and can sell up to $5,000 of goods a year.
“Denver has become a leader in urban farming,” Scharf said, noting that two years ago the Colorado Convention Center opened the Blue Bear Farm on the grounds of the Convention Center and is now growing 5,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and spices used in the convention center’s kitchens. “Many city restaurants have already put in their own gardens and farms, and now they will be able to buy vegetables, eggs, jams, and fruits grown right in the neighborhood.”
For more information, including how to secure a permit, a list of permissible cottage foods and tips for your home garden, visit www.denvergov.org/homebusiness. The sale of marijuana or marijuana-infused products is not allowed.
Additional resources are also available at the Colorado State University Denver Extension Office, which provides resources on soil testing as well as classes on urban farming, cottage foods and food safety. Visit www.denverext.colostate.edu for more information.
For more activities in Denver go to www.visitdenver.com.