Wednesday, 20 October 2010

October reads and listens 2

This selection is a mixed set. Some fiction with music CDs. Not quite strange bedfellows. What could be better on a rainy day, week or month eh?


There are three books by Joyce Carol Oates here. The latest of her novels A Fair Maiden involves a 16-year-old girl and an old man. It's a little unsettling and there are creepy undertones in a book touching on stereotypes. It references the traditional folk ballad 'Barbara Allen', but I fail to see the link.
Oates's most recently published book Wild Nights, is a collection of short stories about the last days of Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James and Ernest Hemingway. These are not true stories. Instead, she uses her imagination to invent what could be called fictional memoirs. 
The Gravedigger's Daughter made the New York Times' "10 Most Notable Books of the Year" list. Oates is one of those "everyone has read at least one book by her" authors. I read a couple of the books by her. Oates (a lit professor at Princeton) has won and been a multiple nominee of various awards and prizes. This is my pick of her work i've read so far.

Lisa Scottoline’s latest book, Look Again is apparently intriguing. Supposedly a dilemma between love and morality – between what society and your brain say are right and good, against what you feel. I made it to page 10, and then didn't look again.

The Sleeping Doll is one of Jeffrey Deaver's recent books. Kathryn Dance leads a manhunt for the 'Son of Manson'. I let the sleeping doll lie.

Music CDs.

Willie Nelson’s Collections is a compilation only CD that provides a brief introduction to his music. This includes many of his popular songs and a duet with Merle Haggard (Townes Van Zandt’s Pancho and Lefty).

Calling Me Home’ is Sara Storer’s first Greatest Hits collection. The two disc package includes her biggest hits, new recordings plus live tracks and rarities, cover versions and various duets.

Merle Haggard is one of the living legends of country music. I Am What I Am delivers a collection of tunes exploring life (and love). It’s not much different from the Hag of old, still possessed of his trademark ornery streak.
(On the road again) Music For Cruisin’ - is a series of compilations of classic songs - intended as a soundtrack to travelling the great outdoors of Australia. This includes selections from Willie Nelson, Dr. Hook, Simon and Garfunkel, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Buffett, Van Morrison, and Johnny Cash amongst others.

Two men and the blues. In 2007 two musicians (Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis) from different corners of the music world collaborated for two days of concerts, and this album (released in 2008) is the harvest. This record is much more interesting than just country and jazz.

The movie Valentine's Day tracks the intertwining romantic story lines of a group of LA denizens over the course of a Valentine's Day. The Soundtrack is packed with 18 songs from Michael Franti, Willie Nelson, Ben E King, Nat King Cole, etal.

More books.
I think I may have noted these books elsewhere. Maybe. It's been a few blogs ago. Do check them out.

True Grit DVD. A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer. Yes it's a cowboy flick with John Wayne and Glen Campbell (the rhinestone cowboy) - on the waste lands of the old American west.
Or maybe look up "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot.

Uncut fittingly features Merle Haggard, while Mojo does Dylan again, and then Tom Waits in another issue.

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