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November 27, 2006

John Adams items/news

Accidentally discovered a week or so ago that there's a new John Adams CD out: Dharma at Big Sur/My Father Knew Charles Ives . Also saw that there was a book about him and his work: The John Adams Reader. Seems to be a book of interviews with critics, performers, and the composer. Added it to my Amazon Wishlist.

November 14, 2006

Ivory Tower Bookmobile

I'm mostly about the nonfiction these days. A quick glance to the right to the Currently Reading box shows what's been taking up my time. Just finished So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star (by the drummer from Semisonic) last week. A great book about forming a band, getting a record deal, making an album, getting dropped, getting signed to another label, making videos, having a hit, the ins and outs of the music business, and the fading of interest in the band from the label and radio stations.

Julia Child's posthumous book My Life in France is another behind-the-scenes tale in a way. The book covers her life from the late 1940s, adjusting to a foreign culture, learning to cook, discovering her calling in life, and the writing of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her voice comes through quite clearly in the writing.

I'm still working on getting through Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. I had been reading it at work during lunch for quite a time, but its stronger academic tone makes it a little harder to get into for short bursts of reading in a noisy lunchroom. I've recently brought it home and added it to the nightstand alongside Tolkien's Unfinished Tales, which I've been neglecting. I've read parts of it and decided that since I had recently bought volume two of Lost Tales I had better thoroughly read the first volume. I'm currently stuck in the pre-First Age stuff written long before any of the Silmarillion stuff. A little hard going working through the various drafts of stories, but the stuff becomes more familiar as the book goes on.

Up next, for lunchtime reading, will be Steven Johnson's Everything Bad for You is Good for You and then a bit of fiction, Banana Yoshimoto's Hardboiled and Hard Luck. After that, I'll need to dig into the stack of stuff I've bought long ago and have been meaning to get to for the longest time. I recall that 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and Benjamin Franklin : An American Life are in that stack and the next likely candidates for the reading stack.