Things We Love: Alive Staff Picks

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Brewery hopping in Asheville, North Carolina

I think I liked the beers at Burial best of all, but would recommend Wedge (best outdoor space), Wicked Weed's Funkatorium (best sours) and Hi-Wire (shuffle puck!) as well. Now to begin planning a return trip... - Andy Downing

"God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse"

I recently readJames Weldon Johnson's work,a collection of seven long-form poemspublished in 1927, each piece based on a standard topic of traditional African-American sermons. Whether or not the text speaks to your faith tradition - or lack thereof - is not as important as the quality of the folk verse and snapshot of historical culture. The trombone reference was employed by the author, who said preachers' voices often resembled the tone of the instrument. - Jim Fischer

Diana Henry cookbooks

I love giving food gifts to friends at the holidays, and Henry's "Salt Sugar Smoke" is brimming with recipes for preserved fruits, pickles and souped-up spirits. After the first of the year, I'll turn back to "A Change of Appetite" for clean-food recipes that star fish, grains and veggies. - Kristen Schmidt

oTranscribe

This free web-based transcription app came in particularly handy working on this week's cover story (See page 10). The simple act of having audio controls and a transcription field in the same window is heaven for a journalist. Sorry for being nerdy. - Brad Keefe

Christmas movies

'Tis the season to binge on Christmas movies 24/7! Thanks to the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime and ABC Family, I have a constant supply of holiday classics and some really cheesy Christmas rom-coms. - Alyse Kordenbrock