Caleb J. Ross' booklikes

The official booklikes blog of author Caleb J. Ross.

Green Bike: a group novel - Kevin Rabas, Mike Graves, Tracy Million Simmons

(Full disclosure: I know Kevin Rabas personally)

I could go on and on about how great Kevin Rabas is, but rather than that, why not paste my blurb for Green Bike right here?

"Green Bike brings the idea of unseen, underlying cause and effect to the chaotic world of love, showing us one thing very clearly: though love is a volatile emotion it can be ignited by something so simple and so pure as a green bike. And that’s what people want for themselves, I think, the comfort in knowing that an unexpected spark can be responsible for infinite happiness."

Just finished: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History -

I wanted to like this novel more. After loving The Goldfinch, I decided to give The Secret History another try (after failing a few years ago). Overall, the book felt too much like a 20-something soap opera told amid the context of Greek-obsessed college students. Actually, that's probably exactly the point of the book, but it turns out such a subject just isn't compelling to me.


I read the entire book not because it was engrossing or even entertaining, but for the simple, yet vivid, language. It just goes to show how much mileage language can provide.

It’s my birthday! So, I’m giving something away. The owner of Postertext asked if I wanted to give away a $50 giftcard to one of my subscribers. I said yes. Thus, this video.


To enter the giveaway:1) You must be subscribed to my channel ( In the comments below this video (at tell me where you would hang a Postertext bookish art print.

Judging:I’m going to pick the best response to “where would you hang this bookish art print?” How will I judge the “best?” Subjectively, of course.


The contest runs from August 20, 2014 through August 27, 2014. That’s ONE WEEK ONLY! On August 28th I will post a video announcing the winner.


It’s a new month and a (mostly) new list of things to read and things to drink. I say “mostly” new because once again I failed to read White Noise by Don DeLillo. But I have good reason. That reason: a read along with Rincey ( featuring Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. I’m committing to just one book this month, because I always seem to let myself down anyway. Set the bar low, is my new mantra.

Also, I’m annoucing my new beer review channel at Head over there. Subscribe. Hear me talk about beer.


What I read: Incarnations by Chris Deal


What I’ll be reading:
NOT White Noise by Don DeLillo (seriously this time)
The Secret History by Donna Tartt


What I drank: Imperial Doughnut Break from Evil Twin


What I didn’t drink:
Rubaeus Raspberry Ale from Founders Brewing Co.
Love Child #4 from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Championship Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Imperial Biscotti Break from Evil Twin


What I’ll be drinking:
I can’t say. Head over to my new beer review channel at to find out


Also mentioned:

What am I drinking: Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Samuel Adams:


Emergency room doctors probably see a lot of strange things in peoples’ butts. Even stranger, they probably have to endure a lot of strange excuses for how said things got inside said butts.


Today, we come up with a few possible reasons in a segment hilariously titled SupposiStories: How’d That Get in There?


Learn more about Gordon Highland here:


I present the first of what I hope to be a long-running series: Book vs. Beer. The premise is simple. We (me and Gordon Highland) find beers that have literary origins. Then we talk about the beer as well as the source material.


For this first episode we discuss Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout (from Rogue Brewery) and Shakespeare, the playwright (from his mother’s womb). Watch to find out why I don’t like Shakespeare.



Frankenstein - Mary Shelley The Stranger - Albert Camus, Matthew    Ward The Inferno - 'Dante Alighieri' House of Leaves - Mark Z Danielewski Altmann's Tongue: Stories and a Novella - Brian Evenson, Alphonso Lingis American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis The Collected Stories - Amy Hempel Blindness - José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution - Denis Dutton Full of It: The Birth, Death, and Life of an Underground Newspaper - Tim Hall

I was tagged by MartheBozart to do this 10 Influential Books tag. The basic idea is that I choose 10 books that have been influential to me in some way. I decided to group my 10 selections into books that influenced me as 1) a reader, 2) a writer, and 3) a...well, this tier is miscellaneous.


The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch is a big book, both in physical size and ambition. What initially seems like a straightforward story of a teenage boy dealing with the death of his mother turns into an epic coming of age story that teases the us, the reader, with where our emotional investment should reside.

What am I drinking: Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Sam Adams



The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt Radium Girls - Amanda Gowin White Noise - Don DeLillo Incarnations - Chris Deal

What I read:

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (just a few dozen pages left, so I'm considering it a win)
  • Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin


What I'll be reading:

  • White Noise by Don DeLillo (seriously this time)
  • Incarnations by Chris Deal


What I'll be drinking:

  • Rubaeus Raspberry Ale from Founders Brewing Co.
  • Love Child #4 from Boulevard Brewing Co.
  • Championship Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
  • Imperial Biscotti Break from Evil Twin
  • Imperial Doughnut Break from Evil Twin




Radium Girls - Amanda Gowin

This makes two videos in a row in which I wear a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds shirt and drink Sexy Betty Imperial Stout. No, I’m not a slob drunk; I simply recorded two videos in a row.


Amanda Gowin’s Radium Girls is all sorts of interesting. It’s weird, it’s heartfelt, it’s wavering, it’s beautiful, it’s poetic, and it’s a bunch of other things I can’t think of right now because I’m tired.

You should buy this book!


The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny - 'Peter McGraw',  'Joel Warner'

I’ve read a lot of comedy studies books. Well, three, but that’s a lot compared to most people, because most people aren’t sadists.

Luckily, this book isn’t like most humor studies books. This one is readable. It’s interesting. It actually contributes to an overall better understanding of, wait for it, what makes things funny (appropriate subtitles are all the rage right now).



Once again I purge Facebook for suggestions about how to destroy books. And once again I don't have a valid reason for wanting to destroy books. It's who I am. Lay off me!


Today's request: "Put "Fahrenheit 451" in an oven set to 452.... Let's test this...." Can do.



It's June. How did I do with my May TBR+TBD? And what do I have planned for June? Watch to find out.

What I'll be reading:

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (still)
  • The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny by Peter McGraw , Joel Warner (almost finished)
  • White Noise by Don DeLillo
  • Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin

What I'll be drinking:

  • Avery Anniversary Twenty One from Avery Brewing
  • Milk Stout from Duck-Rabbit
  • Imperial Stout from Samuel Smiths
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter from Horny Goat


When we read books, we think about them. Sometimes at length. We discuss them with friends. We review them online. But what if the books had thoughts about us? I took some time to observe, and what I discovered is shocking.


I'm back with another convoluted way to destroy books. Once again I took to Facebook to ask for some suggestions about how best to destroy a book. This time: A goat. I'm with you, I never thought of a goat as much of a destruction machine, but apparently Amanda Gowin does. Watch as some very finicky goats refuse the delicious meal I offer them.


Book destroyed: Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin. Buy it!:


I consulted the TwiBookPlus (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) asking for ways to destroy books. Dakota Taylor eloquently said "fire." So, that's what this video does.


This will probably be a series, so look forward to more book destruction in the future.