Shanna Carrick’s Literarily Drunk has all of the ingredients of a great idea: books, good alcohol and an engagingly hilarious presenter (herself). The video, filmed by her husband at their home in Pittsburgh, is a fabulous cross between Drunk History and Book TV.
When we’d stopped giggling at her first installment, above (“It smells like book”), we dropped her a line via email and asked a few important questions.
Where did you get the idea?
I had just finished To Kill a Mockingbird and found I had so many things to say about the book that it would make a good video, however just that would be too boring (and I’m frankly much more funny and witty while imbibing anyway). I’ve combined my hobbies: reading and making cocktails. My husband, also my video producer/editor, and I created a cocktail blog before Literarily Drunk called “I Prefer the Term Boozehound” so it’s really a natural progression.
How drunk did you get before you started recording?
Before the Tequila Mockingbird episode/cocktail I had sipped a nice Wigle Rye whiskey on an empty stomach, which is enough to get me started. I’m admittedly a lightweight so I really hit my stride during the middle of a second drink. I don’t think I’ll ever be too drunk to talk about a book, but I might start going off track from the points I originally wanted to make.
How do you choose the books to review? And the drinks to drink?
I want to review books that I like and have a lot to say about. I’m not a mean drunk, so I don’t want to rage on anything. A friend recent suggested Fifty Shades of Grey and I don’t think E.L. James needs another person critiquing her writing style, much less a drunk person on YouTube. I’m absolutely open to suggestions, but I’m leaning toward beloved classics and books that are widely read.
Drinks will be selected primarily by the content of the book (ie champagne in The Fault in our Stars) and secondarily by the author’s background (I foresee Papa Dobles and a review of Hemingway).
Have you ever considered a drunk book club?
While I haven’t considered a drunk book club, you have to consider most book clubs get drunk. I belong to my local chapter of Forever Young Adult and we have the best time drinking together. The people in your book clubs quickly become your best drinking buddies.
How bad was your hangover the next morning?
As for the hangover – non-existent. When I drink: I drink well, know my limits, follow up with plenty of water. What most people think of as a standard “martini glass” (and by the by it’s called a cocktail glass) is probably double what you should actually be drinking.
While my over-all goal in life is to get people to read more, I don’t want adults to drink more (just better). Though if you’re going to drink, why not do it at home with a good book?
This interview was edited for clarity.