Beyond the stacks of cocktail, drink, entertaining, and cooking books, I tend to read a wide range of printed works, from pulpy paperbacks in pocket size to long-boxes of comics to more modern novelists to poetry. But maybe my favorite area to hang out in, literature-ily, is the classic English novelists, especially Dickens and Anthony Trollope. Trollope’s drawing room books aren’t only an example of stellar prose (this really should go without saying, like it goes without saying that an Old Fashioned should never have soda water), but also feature characters whose motivations, observations, and situations are incredibly relevant today (even if they aren’t burdened down by cellular phones, televisions, and autos). Also, as they play out very episodically, Trollope books are ideal to take on daily bus rides, and, as they transport you in a way, they’re also ideal to take on planes, or on trips. I could go on and on, but instead, let me type in my favorite Trollope quote having to do with drinking (though there are lots of others, as many of his characters–not as many as Dickens, but still a lot–enjoy their drinks and parties), a quote that I never get tired of:
“The gentleman in his cups is a gentleman always, and the man who tells his friend in his cups that he is in love does so because the fact has been very present to himself in his cooler and calmer moments.”
–Anthony Trollope, He Knew He Was Right
That’s good, late 1800’s stuff y’all.