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A free-wheeling podcast that combines books, booze, and interesting guests to create thought-provoking and often ridiculous conversations.

A free-wheeling podcast that combines books, booze, and interesting guests to create thought-provoking and often ridiculous conversations.
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A free-wheeling podcast that combines books, booze, and interesting guests to create thought-provoking and often ridiculous conversations.




Episode #16 - Knocking on Heaven's Door

Guest: Kim Ukura, bookish blogger & podcaster Book: Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Katy Butler Boozes: Gin & Tonic Main topics: End of life care, physician assisted suicide, reading, reviewing “bad books”, podcasting, blogging, being a “dork”, and more. Find more Kim & John: Follow on Twitter: @kimthedork & @booksandbooze_ And check out our websites:


Episode #15 - Blitzed

Guests: Stefani Manard & Big Dev from the Shot of History podcast Boozes: Bourbons: Elijah Craig, Jim Beam, and Bulleit Main topics: Nazi’s & drugs, history, podcasting, reading recommendations, and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s views on sex, masturbation, and circumcision. Find more Stef, Dev & John: Follow on Twitter: @DrunkDorksStef , @PodmadBigDev , and @booksandbooze_ And check out our websites:


Episode #14 - The Geometry of Wealth

Guest: Brian Portnoy Boozes: Noah’s Mill bourbon and Bulleit bourbon Main topics: Money, meaning, reality vs expectations, investing, and reading (plus recommendations) Find more Brian & John: Follow on Twitter: @brianportnoy & @booksandbooze_ And check out our websites: Books mentioned or recommended: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl Capital in the Twenty-First Century by...


Episode #13 - Civilization and Its Discontents

Episode #13 - Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud Guest: Tom Beck Booze: Lagunitas Aunt Sally Main topics: Sigmund Freud, religion, morality, and civilization Part 1 - Freud (~23 mins) 0:00:00 - Intro - Tom Beck 0:03:27 - Why Freud? 0:07:29 - This episode’s booze: Lagunitas Aunt Sally 0:09:09 - What did Freud get right and what did he get wrong? 0:11:40 - Sigmunda Freud’s Vagina Envy 0:13:56 - Id, Ego, Superego 0:18:58 - Psycho sexual stages of development Part 2 - Religion and...


Episode #12 - The Magic of Thinking Big

CEO of Toujours Planning and co-host of the Worth It! Podcast, Dustin Granger, joins the show to sip Maker’s Mark bourbon and discuss The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. Topics include: Thinking big, finding meaning, confidence, goal setting, risk taking, social relationships, dealing with setbacks, and more. Twitter: @DRGranger Show Notes: 00:00:00 - Introducing Dustin Granger, his business (Toujours Management), and...


Episode #11 - Drinking In America

Ron McIntire from the Grasping at Beers blog joins the show for a second visit to share four different kinds of booze and to discuss Drinking in America by Susan Cheever. Topics include: the history of alcohol in the United States, John's & Ron's own alcohol histories, and more. 00:00:00 - Introduction 00:04:42 - and John & Ron’s mutual passion for booze. 00:06:27 - Drink #1 Jim Beam Black Bourbon and John’s...


Episode #10 - 50 Shades of Grey

Author and traveling winemaker Amira Makansi joins the podcast to discuss 50 Shades of Grey. Topics include: Power dynamics in relationships, sexual taboos, wine and writing, politics, and more. The Sowing (Seeds Trilogy #1): Literary Libations: What to Drink with What You Read Amira’s...


Episode #9 - I Know This Much Is True

Rich Young joins the podcast to split a bottle of Green Spot Irish Whiskey and discuss I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. Topics include: Mental illness, self-delusions, bullying, masculinity, denial. Subscribe and Rate us on iTunes. (Please!) See more episodes at See John's other projects at 0:00:00 - Intro and super long summary of the book (Feel free to skip this part) 0:36:53 -...


Episode #8 - Last of the Unanswered Questions

Retired politician, current entrepreneur, author, and world traveler Elliot Killian sits down to discuss a variety of interesting topics including: How Elliott ran for elected office at age 19 (and won), Elliott’s two short stories that peaked at #6 and #1 respectively on the Amazon short read Sci-Fi & Fantasy charts. We also talk about the Japanese classic Book of Five Rings, entrepreneurship, invention & innovation, career advice, world travel, and community service. Subscribe and Rate us...


Episode #7 - I read 100 books in 2017, and here are the 4 that I recommend

John read 100 books in 2017, and narrowed them down to 4 books that you should read. The top 4 are: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Tribe by Sebastian Junger, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges, and Doing Good Better by William MacAskill. Topics include: History, fictive language, tribalism, community, alienation, war, meaning, and effective altruism.


Episode #6 - Saint of Auschwitz

Ron McIntire joins the podcast to discuss Saint of Auschwitz, a biography of Catholic saint Maximilian Kolbe, who sacrificed himself in a Nazi concentration camp. Despite John’s initial trepidation due to his rejection of Catholicism, the pair enjoy and interesting conversation about Kolbe’s inspiring sacrifice. 0:00 - A lengthy, but heartfelt introduction 8:51 - Ron brings a 2015 Wycombe Chamberson 10:35 - Kolbe’s background and his religious vision 15:32 -...


Episode #5 - Doing Good Better

Billy Ray Taylor joins the podcast to discuss Doing Good Better by William MacAskill and drink Lagavulin 16 year scotch. Topics include: Effective Altruism, moral philosophy, problems of loyalty, leadership organizations, and how to make the world better. 0:00:00 - Introduction 0:03:02 - Episode dedication 0:04:09 - Billy Ray Taylor and Lagavulin 16 introduction 0:05:37 - Disclaimer about the difficulty of talking about charity without sounding like a d-bag. 0:07:44 - A free beer offer,...


Episode #4 - Hammurabi's Code

John's first solo episode is a deep dive into Hammurabi's Code and its relevance in today's society. 00:00 - Introduction: Why try a solo episode? 03:30 - Low-carb boozin’ 04:47 - What makes Hammurabi's Code so unique and fascinating? 10:42 - Who were the Babylonians? 14:30 - Values and value systems 17:51 - Part 1 - “Tough on Crime” - Death penalties, Restitution multiples, Property laws, Assault crimes. 31:08 - Part 2 - “Crimes Against King and Government” 33:11 - Part 3 - “Selling your...


Episode #3 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Bridget McNeela joins the podcast to discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and share 3 local wines. Topics include: scientific advancement, medical ethics, informed consent, scientific education, individualism vs collectivism, and whether or not you should have the right to be an asshole. See more episodes at


Episode #2 - Ready Player One

Geek culture writer, and host of the Blurbing It podcast, Monica Piluso joins the show to drink copious quantities of Pinot Grigio and discuss Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Topics include: geek culture, escaping reality, serial killers, cults, virtual reality, social identity, video game addiction, mythology, and being a woman in the geek culture dominated by men.


Episode #1 - The Hunger Games

Pawel Bogdanowicz joins the program to drink a bottle of Tito's Vodka and talk Hunger Games, sort of. Major topics include: Political protests, reality TV, schadenfreude, the morality of nuking alien puppies, poop problems, North Korea, and rebellion strategy.


Episode #0 - Where Good Ideas Come From

Host John Leven discusses his show's premise, inspiration from Steven Johnson, John's background, and what to expect in future episodes.