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Drinking with Men: A Memoir

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  1,437 Ratings  ·  261 Reviews
A vivid, funny, and poignant memoir that celebrates the distinct lure of the camaraderie and community one finds drinking in bars.
Rosie Schaap has always loved bars: the wood and brass and jukeboxes, the knowing bartenders, and especially the sometimes surprising but always comforting company of regulars. Starting with her misspent youth in the bar car of a regional railr
ebook, 288 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Riverhead Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 13, 2016 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
I can't say it wasn't what I expected, but it was not what I wanted to read. I like bars, and I like to drink. But none of these recent memoirs about bar culture have satisfied me. (I'm thinking of The Tender Bar and that one by the lesbian New Yorker who buys a bar on the Hudson ....?).

Schaap's Introduction successfully got me in the "bar-room door," if you will. But the book didn't deliver on the promise of a thoughtful meditation on bar culture and what it feels like to be a woman who freque
Jan 16, 2013 Shaina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the Goodreads First Reads Program.*

This book is advertised as a memoir. I was rather disappointed. Schaap essentially fills nearly 300 pages of a book with ramblings of her drinking escapades. I was expecting to hear great stories of friendships and what not. This book reads more like someone's diary than a memoir. She takes us through her LSD dropping Dead Head days through her current state of what I feel is alcoholism.

The quality of writing leaves muc
Richard Sutton
Feb 04, 2013 Richard Sutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a man, and a writer and someone who enjoys a drink I'm happy to add this little book to my library of books on bars. Seriously. Here Rosie Schaap's memoir will sit alongside Pete Hamill's A Drinking Life, J.R. Moehring's Tender Bar, and Malachy McCourt's several titles. As a look at the intricacies of the bar culture, Drinking With Men displays a joyful abandon and a new point of view. It arrives at a few important conclusions regarding the unwritten rules of bar conduct that guarantee safe p ...more
I quite enjoy drinking in bars and have been a regular at my fair share. But I can't help feeling sorry for Rosie Schaap. A line from U2 keeps playing in my head, " I still haven't found what I'm looking for." She just seems like such a lost soul to me. Constantly searching for a place to feel accepted. Moving on to the next bar when the specialness wears off.

I can't believe how much the author exposes of herself while never really examining her motives. I believe we will be hearing more from t
Squirrel Circus
Drinking with Men is a collection of Schaap's recollections of her favorite drinking holes, beginning as a teenager in New York City and ending, um, in New York, with a notable absence of personal growth in between. Harsh? Maybe. Maybe I'm being especially hard on Schaap because I "get" everything she says about the amazing feeling of fitting in somewhere, somewhere, to quote Cheers, "where everybody knows your name". I've been a girl who loves bars, who enjoyed heated discussions and heart to h ...more
Paul Pessolano
“Drinking with Men” by Rosie Schaap, published by Riverhead Books.

Category – Memoir

When I read the promos for this book I was excited about getting a copy and reading it. It looked like a book that was not only interesting but unusual. It is the memoir of Rosie Schaap who took a liking, no a loving, for bars. Bars are usually the haunts of men and few if any women can be found there.

Rosie becomes infatuated with the people she finds in bars. She becomes friends with artists, soccer fans, teache
Mar 16, 2013 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have a soft spot for bar culture and bar characters, but "Drinking with Men" was frankly a chore to finish. Rosie Schaap is a contributor to "This American Life" and her memoir reads like a 269-page segment of the show: earnest, eccentric-in-a-NPR-sort-of-way, episodic in nature. She gives us a collection of neat little bow-tied anecdotes; the writing is... efficient, tangential at times, and almost never particularly evocative.

Schaap includes what may be the most boring story published in th
Apr 08, 2013 Sadie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok- here is the thing. If you write a memoir, you should at least have enough insight to show that you are growing and learning. Your story should enlighten (at best), resonate, or entertain (at the very least) your reader. Sadly Schaap's memoir did none of the above. I got exactly two laughs out of this book- one about a hard turd paddy and the other about 12 southern Baptist ministers. Interestingly, my book club did have a rich conversation about this book, so I guess that is something- on se ...more
Smutty McBookwhore
Apr 28, 2016 Smutty McBookwhore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016
This book is my world. I have never read something that has touched my soul so much. From the first page to the last page Rosie expresses every feeling I have ever had about bartending and drinking at bars and the relationships that comes from these experiences. I laughed, I cried, I reminisced. Such a beautiful life. Thank you so much for sharing it with me so that I know I am not alone, and that even if it is just you that feels the same way that I do about having a second home in a bar, than ...more
Feb 19, 2013 mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women, memoirists, bar folk
Recommended to mark by: Jami
Rosie Schaap has written a very honest, insightful, accurate, readable, and interesting memoir – and she’s just in her early forties. Three cheers and five stars, and boy does it make me yearn for the “good old days,” when I was young. Ms. Schaap opens with the statement that she has probably spent 13,000 hours in bars. Well, my number is 50,000.

See, I used to tend bar, in my 20s, 30s, and 40s; and I can say with certainty that she tells it as it was, and probably still is, but to a lesser degr
Apr 19, 2013 J rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a charming nod to bars, a la Cheers. Disappointingly, this was really about the author’s messed up life, not the bars she visited. Each chapter is like an epic “stupid drunk” story.

The author started frequenting bars at 15. At 16, she drops out of high school to follow the Grateful Dead. She devolves further into alcohol, drugs and sex. And it goes on from there … she consciously seems to place herself in dangerous and unhealthy situations. The memoire is frequently gritty and vu
Dec 12, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a memoir, and I love a cozy bar. But I was a little bit anxious about reading Rosie Schaap's new memoir, Drinking With Men, because I was afraid it would be a gritty memoir of alcoholism and ugly bar encounters. Nope. Not even close. Drinking With Men may be about bars, but it is engaging, gentle, and strangely wholesome. It's a happy-family memoir, only in this case, the family is the cheerfully raffish crew of bar regulars with whom Schaap has made common cause over the years.

Schaap dev
Brenda Wegner
Apr 03, 2013 Brenda Wegner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half of my time reading this book was spent finding fault with Rosie because I was angry at her for writing this book before I could write this book. The ways she is similar to me, like being a female who likes to drink in bars alone, to her overuse of the em dash--all of it upset me.

But then I got into her story. I love how she changes, moves on, copes. I love how drinking with men is a constant that helps her get through. I love how it's not about sex. I love how it's not about alco
Dr. Detroit

There's only one thing I can think of that's worse than sitting around a bar listening to a bunch of drunks talking about poetry, literature, and the fucking Grateful Dead and their misguided, stoned and hygienically questionable followers and that's reading about a bunch of drunks sitting around a bar talking about poetry, literature, and the fucking Grateful Dead and their misguided, stoned and hygienically questionable followers. Scabies? Gimme a break.

You've been warned.
Apr 10, 2013 Sheri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't say that I ever connected with Rosie. Much of the time, I thought that this is a book about "nothing". And maybe, that's what it is intended to be. I like her writing style, and that is what kept me going throughout (and the OCD desire to finish something that I started), but often, I thought, you know, this is not a lifestyle that I would be bragging about. Hey, I like bars and talking to men as much as the next person, but it is kind of sad when your day often revolves around, and begi ...more
Barbara Williams
I remember the first time I became a “regular” at a bar. Every Wednesday after work, my roommate and I would make the long trek across the river (about a mile from my former residence) to the local TGI Friday’s in the heart of downtown. We had not picked a chain restaurant on purpose, but the bar was the only place in town that had a chai liquor called Voyant, which came in a orange bottle with flames on the sides. We called shots of the drink “Phoenix Tears,” claiming their slogan to be “I am r ...more
Feb 19, 2014 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read really. I felt that I empathized with the author a lot as my history has similarities. I went to a hippie college that sounded similar to the one Schaap attended in Vermont. I've always loved a good bar and drinking with men. I like being one of the guys.

It did have an east coast vibe for sure. If I wrote this book there'd be a lot more concentration on great NW beers/microbrews, but I appreciated the glimpses into what makes a good bar - maybe because I agree. The regulars, the stor
Mar 13, 2013 Leah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booze-books
As a west coast woman, I felt like this book, and Ms. Schaap, was very East-coast centric. The idea of a neighborhood or "corner bar" (and the distinction between the two) doesn't exist as much outside of the big city. It seems that Schaap has a wildly romantic notion of what bars are like - perhaps influenced by her stint in Ireland as a college student - that many intelligent, educated, females don't share. I've been an almost regular at a bar only because the guy I was involved with had a fri ...more
Mar 19, 2014 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library, memoir
Back about half a dozen years ago, I was lamenting to my now-husband that "there aren't many drinking role models for women." Which sounds strange, but what I really meant was that while I loved hanging out in bars and had my regular places, I often felt like I didn't quite belong, because when I looked around I didn't see too many women who had the same kind of relationship with drinking establishments that I did. It seemed like something Not Done.

These days I don't really think about that as m
Jan 22, 2013 Dyana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think the writing itself was very good but I did not like the story line. If the author wrote a fiction novel I would likely read it though.

This book was basically the authors life story with plenty of drinking, some drugs and some sex. I thought it was going to be about friendships and meeting people but that is not what I found upon reading. On page 34 the author wakes up with her own feces on herself after a night of drinking. I fail to see how this truly disgusting piece of information ha
Dec 02, 2013 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boy, it's hard to describe my reaction to this book - really mixed feelings. On one hand, I was pulled into the stories because of her descriptive scenes and engaging storytelling; on the other, I was completely put off by the way she romanticizes drunkenness and "regularhood." I can think of few things LESS appealing than sitting on a bar stool night after night, year after year... and I couldn't really let go of that opinion long enough to relate to her experience.

Though she's holding up these
Apr 07, 2013 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

For many reasons not worth getting into here, it's not easy for a woman on her own to walk into a bar and make herself at home, so having learned how to be the only woman at my pub (because it aired English Premiere League soccer games,) I was hoping Rosie Schaap was going to share interesting if not similar experiences of being that solo lady in a room full of men and alcohol.

In the interview which put Drinking with Men: A Memoir on my radar, Schaap concentrated more on the great relations
Jun 17, 2013 Annemaria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
disappointing. the title could have been "drinking with me; the annemaria story", however it seemed like the author more wanted to show off her charisma and friends and stories about being a bar darling. Was hoping for something more in depth and less "omg look how cool it was when i was ONE OF THE GUYS". also i guess it was too much to hope that she would go into some of the societal/gender issues surrounding bar culture and being a woman alone anywhere, above all a bar.
Laureen (Ms. Bibliophile)
Whether you love the subject matter or not, Rosie Schapp's passion and true love for bars comes through clearly. The writing is evocative and can transport the reader to these bars that were a second home, a second family, and can make you feel just as at home.
Heather Hobbs
Nov 29, 2015 Heather Hobbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last week a friend sent me an email around the theme of bar books (an inside joke between the two of us). She frequently sends me book recommends, despite my lack of recommends back, and I always check out what she sends me because I'm rarely disappointed. As I perused the list I found that all the selections appealed. So, I downloaded the first one "Drinking with Men: A Memoir" by Rosie Schaap. I expected a book with raunchy stories of men behaving badly, but what I got was so much more.

I was really, really excited to finally get my copy of this book from the library (I had been on the waiting list). I anticipated a literary version of Cheers told from a female perspective. I thought of life long friendships with an interesting cast of characters set in the warm, dark smoky confines of pubs and bars, not exactly what I got.

The first quarter of the book is all about a seriously messed up childhood, think teen years, as a Dead Head high school dropout touring the country fueled b
Jan 29, 2013 Haley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, enjoyed
If you are hesitant to read Drinking with Men: A Memoir, don't be! The title may seem slightly weird and make you think immeadiately of ugly bar scenes and sexual content but this book has none of it. Instead, it speaks of a fifteen year-old girl who goes off on her own, taking drugs and drinking alcohol. BUT soon after that, she comes to her senses and gets her GED and goes to university. But that doesn't mean she doesn't go to bars! She still enjoys going to pubs, relaxing with others and star ...more
I couldn't wait to read this book. I like drinking, I like bars, I like the characters one meets in bars - and while this has all that, something is still missing for me. I really like Rosie Schaap and wish I could have a drink with her in real life, and other than one disconcerting story at the start of the book regarding the author and an episode of crapping her pants, I liked the book. It just seemed to me that she didn't go deeply enough into her relationships with the people she knew at var ...more
Emily Douglas
Jan 30, 2014 Emily Douglas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit-reading
This book was a huge disappointment. And I was really expecting to love this book. The back cover synopsis and the Introduction are totally misleading, both of which I read in the bookstore before I decided to buy the book. I was expecting some really great bar stories, rich with character and detail, and quirky and comforting the way Cheers episodes always were. Or if not comforting, mindblowingly absurd the way my dad's and my uncle's bar stories always are. This was no page turner. Except for ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Felicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of these reviews seem really disappointed in this book and in Rosie. "I can't help feeling sorry for her." "I'm remained of a U2 song 'I still haven't found what I'm looking for.'" "I thought this was a memoir...I expected stories of great friends..." Yes, the cover does say memoir, and maybe that is false, as this is not a story of Rosie's life, but how the bars in Rosie's life have affected and changed her and the directions here life has taken. Trying to find a place to belong, friendsh ...more
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