ghost of miles

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Easy going detective novel set in Perigord with one of those gentle, likeable cops. The descriptions of food are absolutely mouth-watering. Interesting plot set in the present but reaching back into Vichy and the German occupation.

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A magical book about a young Irish girl starting life aknew in Brooklyn. 30 pages from the end and I just want it to go on.

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Keeping the Beat on the Street: The New Orleans Brass Band Renaissance by Mick Burns. I expected this to be informative, but I didn't expect it to be so moving - it was to me, anyway. The "modern" New Orleans brass band scene is explored through interviews (pre-Katrina) with all the important figures, starting with the guys who played in Danny Barker's Fairview Baptist Church band and the Hurricane Brass Band (which turned people on their ear before the Dirty Dozen). Musician after musician speaks with wonder about how lucky he was to grow up in New Orleans. And Jerome Smith, who runs a social club for the young people of Treme, has a powerful interview. His anger over the decimation of Treme by the construction of Armstrong Park and the I-10 expressway almost leaps off the page. Recommended to anyone interested in New Orleans music.

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David Remnick, THE BRIDGE: THE LIFE AND RISE OF BARACK OBAMA.

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Rereading The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton by Michael Mott to get in my mind a good overall feel sense Merton's life. Heaven help me, but I'm 99% certain that I am going to blog a commentary on Merton's Journals.

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While reading this book, I'm embarrassed that I forgot so much about Merton's life, and completely forgot about the unsettling "crucifixion incident" at Cambridge, where, according to Mott, Merton was Jesus in a mock crucifixion, and might even have carried a scare on the palm of his hand as a souvenir -- Yikes! Also amazed that the book kind of skips over his conversion to Catholicism also, a very cursory glance at that part of his life . Still, it's worth the read, I'm not even up to when Merton enters the Trappists yet.

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Jade Visions: The Life and Music of Scott LaFaro. I've only read the"life" part. I'm not as interested in the analysis of the music. He seems to have been an amazing guy. The index is screwed up (surprisingly since it's from a university press) and the discography is a bit weird.

Not surprising at all--most university presses are unwilling to pay for a professional indexer and instead have the author do it. Some authors are excellent indexers of their own work but many aren't.

Lately: Walter Tevis's The Queen's Gambit. Terrific novel about a teenage (female) chess prodigy. And Fumiko Hayashi's Diary of a Vagabond. Annoying that so little of her work is translated into English (only novel I've seen is Floating Clouds).

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Nate, is your avatar Sylvia Tyson?

No--it's Ann Quin, author of Berg.

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Sort of getting back on track.

I read Narayan's Swami and Friends.

I am mid-way through Aravind Adiga's Between the Assassinations

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These are a series of short stories set in Kittur, which is a real city in India (unlike Mulgudi). However, in his portrayal of it, it is much closer to the coast of the Arabian Sea than it appears to be in reality. Adiga is better known for The White Tiger, but actually I like these a bit better than White Tiger, which was a bit too flash for me. One of the longer stories is about a boy in St. Alfonso's Boys' school, who gets into trouble at school. I wonder if it was a bit of a nod to Narayan's Swami.

Probably will read Nabokov's The Defense next.

I am just about done with my gym book -- The Unlimited Dream Company by J. G. Ballard. It is pretty trippy -- sort of a mix between a PKD novel and Philip Jose Farmer novel (one of the more licentious ones) -- but there is so much repetition in it (imagine just a hint of Groundhog Day thrown in). Almost every chapter the narrator mentions how he is nude but the people of Shepperton take this in stride and he talks about the bruises on his ribs stemming from a plane crash into the Thames. I'm just not digging it that much. It would have been better as a novella at half the length, in my opinion.

I should mention Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw, which I reread last month. It's a well done version of the Sliding Doors multi-plot approach where we see the main character (an Olympic medalist in swimming) in three possible variations of how her life might have turned out after the Olympics. Two of her lives are not too shabby (and in fact one is positively glamorous) but one is kind of sad.

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Edited by ejp626

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Catching up with the book after enjoying the movie. Interesting to see all the stuff that the movie left out; though it more or less had to if it didn't want to be six hours long.

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Dan Simmons' "Drood." Really engaging and thoughtfully written, though I have some character questions......

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While reading this book, I'm embarrassed that I forgot so much about Merton's life, and completely forgot about the unsettling "crucifixion incident" at Cambridge, where, according to Mott, Merton was Jesus in a mock crucifixion, and might even have carried a scare on the palm of his hand as a souvenir -- Yikes!

Yes, that's an amazing, disturbing story. Wasn't there an incident much later in his life when he told somebody, half-jokingly, that the scar was his "stigmata"?

Now reading:

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While reading this book, I'm embarrassed that I forgot so much about Merton's life, and completely forgot about the unsettling "crucifixion incident" at Cambridge, where, according to Mott, Merton was Jesus in a mock crucifixion, and might even have carried a scare on the palm of his hand as a souvenir -- Yikes!

Yes, that's an amazing, disturbing story. Wasn't there an incident much later in his life when he told somebody, half-jokingly, that the scar was his "stigmata"?

Now reading:

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What do you think of the Ellington book? Is it worth adding to my book shelf full of Ellingtonia.

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Only in about 70 pages, but so far, I'd say yes. Very interesting in-depth material about Irving Mills' marketing of Ellington in the late 1920s and the 1930s, the development of DKE's "Harlem Aristocrat of Jazz" image, etc.

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Fernanda Eberstadt's When the Sons of Heaven Meet the Daughters of the Earth

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The second Bruno mystery - evokes a nice, fluffy France where devious things go on but the essential goodness of the community makes all right in the end. Has me itching to go to France.

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Read on the back of the first Bruno mystery. Wanted to know a bit more about wartime France.

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Somewhat timely, given our current woes and the threat of the barbarians taking over again on Friday. A nicely balanced view, showing the 70s not to have been all misery. Amazing what I have forgotten; also useful for putting a jumble of memories into some sort of order.

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'Gordon Brown' bio by Tom Bower. It's been sitting on my shelves for years but thought it was time to read it. A horror story !

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the threat of the barbarians taking over again on Friday

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YIKES!!!

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Terry Teachout - "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong"

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Somewhat timely, given our current woes and the threat of the barbarians taking over again on Friday

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This week's reading?

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Cordwainer Smith - Norstrilia

...thanks to Lon for turning me onto this cat, what a joy!

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Somewhat timely, given our current woes and the threat of the barbarians taking over again on Friday

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This week's reading?

I'm thinking of this:

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Bev, you really shouldn't be reading that book.

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Bev, you really shouldn't be reading that book.

I'm not. I'm looking at a internet image of the cover.

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Terry Teachout - "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong"

I've really got to read this!

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