stuff i’m reading:
Ray Bradbury: Life of Fiction – this book looks at key writings of Bradbury and the literary style, editing and wrangling with publishers and editors that brought these books to fruition. they analyze the carnival atmosphere and attitude that goes through all of his writings (stemming from his first collection back in the 40′s – Dark Carnival – and through much of his subsequent books such as Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes). it’s an interesting read IF you know much of the works they’re looking at. it’s very dry and academic and i’m frankly having a hard time finishing it.
A Great Improvisation : Franklin, France, and the Birth of America – a book that i waited 6 months for. a book that i highly anticipated being awesome and fantastic and all around enjoyable. a book that i almost stopped reading another book just to start this one…. and guess what? i can’t get past the first thirty pages. it’s just… flat. it’s not grabbing me at all.
The Johnstown Flood, by David McCullough – having finished his biographies on John Adams, 1776 and Harry Truman, i had to keep reading his stuff. i’ve only just started this but so far it’s excellent. i don’t know what got me on this history kick, but wow – good stuff. his narrative style is very readable and clear – helps you to get lost in the fact that it’s a book. he’s good at bringing his subjects to life.
given the greatness of McCullough’s writing, i’m not sure why i’m even bothering with trying to finish the first two.
books in the que:
Mornings on Horseback, by David McCullough – a Teddy Roosevelt bio.
Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt – his autobiographical Angela’s Ashes and followup ‘Tis blew my mind. here’s book three.
Blue Like Jazz – everyone’s talking about this book. i’ve had it for months but haven’t read it.
A Man Without a Country, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. – easily one of my favorite writers – vonnegut is a nihilistic writer of observations about the human condition. his hardcore sarcasm and pessimism have led me to wonder how he’s made it to such a ripe old age without killing himself.
stuff i’m listening to:
Neil Young – Prairie Wind – one of his best. slow. thoughtful. acoustic.
Jimmy Smith – The Sermon – can’t get this one out of my CD player – it’s as funky a jazz/blues album as they come, with smith, one of the finest Hammond B3 organists of his time, laying down some funky lines and all his sidemen falling into place – i can’t get past it!
Duke Ellington – Money Jungle – ellington, roach and mingus together – what could be wrong about that?? i’m listening to it now and just swingin with these cats.
Over the Rhine – Drunkard’s Prayer – mesmerizing.
Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – the ultimate Pumpkins album. i don’t think i’ll ever get tired of this one. Corgan is a genius. and when i heard that he presented Pink Floyd with the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame award, it all made perfect sense. kindred spirits.
albums i’m waiting for:
David Gilmour – On An Island – Gilmour, guitarist / vocalist for Pink Floyd – this is his first solo album since i was a freshman in high school (yes – a LONG time ago). can’t tell you how long i’ve waited for this day…
if you’re still reading at this point, congratulations. i’m boring myself with all this.