ghost of miles

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The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History by Scott DeVeaux. Interesting read, even throws in some Marxist perspectives on the economics of the music business.

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Interesting book, love all the information about Hawkins.

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One of my very favorite jazz books.

Me, I'm reading

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Bud Powell and Art Tatum get honorable mention.

(Retitled "Shoot the Piano Player after Truffaut's movie based on it.)

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Yes, that's a great book. I was surprised how closely the Truffaut film follows it actually, both in terms of plot & in terms of the mix of tones--I think the only thing that wasn't there was the famous gag about the gangster's mom keeling over.

Oh yeah: currently reading: Colette's The Captive and the remaining Sjowall/Wahloo novels I haven't read before.

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Percival Everett's story, "The Appropriation of Cultures"

Watched part of Henry Louis Gates' documentary Looking for Lincoln on PBS last night, including a segment that included a black family carrying confederate flags attending a confederate celebration. A family ancestor had twice saved his master, and when asked why they were carrying the flags and attending the celebration, the response was that this was their heritage. My first response was what kind of craziness is this? Then I had the sense that whether it was intended or not, what I was seeing was subversive in the best sense.

Then I thought about Percival Everett's story, which deals with the same subject, and realized that the story had in some way come to life. Felt the need to reread it today.

Percival Everett is one of America's finest writers, whether America realizes that or not.

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Personally, I think Friday holds up better than most of his stuff. The juveniles are okay, though I doubt any kids would be interested today; it's just too dated, and too simplistic. Most of the later unifying works like Cat, Number of the Beast, etc. were pretty much garbage when they came out IMO, so there's really nothing to hold up. The middle stuff (Double Star, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, etc.) is probably the best, but even there, it's more of a nostalgia thing than any great quality. Heinlein was a great influence on the field, but...

Yeah, I really can't stomach late-period Heinlein at all. He really kind of went off the rails. I'd agree with your opinion that most of the later books were garbage when they came out. Even Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is half-and-half for me, as the story is interlarded with a lot of lecturing from the author, of the know-it-all, hectoring, obnoxious-libertarian-asshole mode already familiar from Starship Troopers. Still, I have a sentimental attachment to many of his juveniles, and even managed to get my older son into some of them.

Well, you got me interested and I'm finding it a good read:

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Luis Alberto Urrea: Into The Beautiful North

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Waiting For The Sun: A Rock And Roll History Of Los Angeles by Barney Hoskyns. Spent a lot of time on planes this week, so I read this LA history. I found that this was not a very insightful book, and Hoskyns does not even understand the culture he is critiquing. A glaring example of this is his treatment of "Surf Music," which he cannot mention with adding adjectives like Aryan, Nazi, or racist. I have yet to read a good treatment of Los Angeles or the whole surf music phenomenon from someone who did not grow up in SoCal.

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Just polished off Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin, which I loved. Thinking I'll tuck in to another Irish-American novel next: perhaps Tom Kelly's Sandhogs.

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Seems like a good time to reread this.

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Took longer than I wanted, but finished Bradbury's Rates of Exchange. The ending was class.

I was actually disappointed by the Milhauser book, Dangerous Laughter. It's hard to explain. He was clearly inspired by the fables of Borges and Calvino, but then he tried to ground them in material reality (putting his own twist on them). Well, these stories kind of grind to a halt and crash down when you think too hard about an infinite library or building a city for the dead or what have you. So for instance, Milhauser writes about building a tower that literally reaches into heaven, that is so tall that if a family starts climbing it, then only the youngest children will be alive to reach the top. But he pushes at it for so long (and so much about the technical details of the tower) that you start to think about could they have brought enough dirt up there to farm and how could they possibly have enough water. So not only does it spoil the effect, it kind of spoils the Calvino and Borges stories he is sort of following. Thanks for nothing, Steven.

I'm in the midst of a number of novels but am making pretty good progress in working through them. Mahfouz's Khan al-Khalili. It's better than The Mirage, but the main character, Ahmad, is still awfully passive and unpleasant. However, it hits harder than The Mirage, since I recognize in myself at least a few traits that he has given to Ahmad.

Dawn Powell's The Locusts Have no King (enjoyable so far)

Ian McDonald's Cyberabad Days (short stories set in his future India, the setting of River of Gods). As an aside, if you like SF, you ought to check out McDonald's Desolation Road, which has been reissued.

Paolo Bacigalupi's Pump Six and Other Stories (short stories by the author of The Wind-Up Girl)

I was glad to see that this is being reissued, as the hardcover went OOP and sells for crazy prices (I am just reading the library's copy). I really thought the world of The Wind-Up Girl was interesting (a future Thailand in a post-carbon world) and actually in the same league as McDonald in terms of future world building.

Valerie Martin's A Recent Martyr (my current gym book)

I actually have some travel planned, so I should be able to wrap these up by next week, then read Metropole and probably mostly non-fiction for a while after that.

Edited by ejp626

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Just started reading this (took 2 months to get from the library). My first thought after a few pages: who wastes Harvard money on a CSC degree? MIT is more prestigious and just down the road. Great read so far!

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Jean-Jacques Sempe: Displays of Affection

Actually mostly looking along with some reading. Sempe's drawings never fail to bring a smile, a chuckle, or a laugh when I look at them.

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The third of Downing's excellent series about a British/American journalist living in Nazi Germany. This one is set in the weeks leading up to the first setbacks in the Russian campaign in 1941 and the US declaration of war after Pearl Harbor.

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Beautiful book about a family in St. Ives Cornwall during World War I with D.H. Lawrence and his wife who had retreated to Zennor nearby playing a key part.

Now really enjoying this Daphne Du Maurier/Wilkie Collinsesque ghost story:

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Bev

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. For the longest time, I just didn't like Chandler's later work, but it seems as I get older, I'm beginning to understand and enjoy them more.

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Am in the middle of Anthony Trollope's "The Duke's Children." I've read a lot of Trollope in recent years and have yet to be disappointed. Can't imagine I would have cared for him before I got to about this age.

Also just read the most recent of Lee Childs' Jack Reacher novels, "61 Hours."

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The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. For the longest time, I just didn't like Chandler's later work, but it seems as I get older, I'm beginning to understand and enjoy them more.

I think The Long Goodbye is one of his best. . . certainly outshines all the others written in the fifties to me. I'm a BIG Raymond Chandler fan. When he was at his best hardly anyone could touch him.

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Am in the middle of Anthony Trollope's "The Duke's Children." I've read a lot of Trollope in recent years and have yet to be disappointed. Can't imagine I would have cared for him before I got to about this age.

Also just read the most recent of Lee Childs' Jack Reacher novels, "61 Hours."

I actually read a great deal of Trollope in my early 20s, perhaps a bit too young to fully appreciate it, but I did start to get into the pacing about halfway into Can You Forgive Her? I suspect someday I will read through the Palliser novels again, though I am fairly unlikely to read Powell's Dance to the Music of Time for a second time. I'd really like to read The Way We Live Now, but I have stashed it away in storage, but maybe in a year or two... Curiously, I never read any of the Chronicles of Barsetshire books, so that is something else I have to look forward to.

Am mostly done with Karinthy's Metropole, which successfully conveys the overwhelming, pressing nature of this overcrowded metropolis the narrator has landed in. It actually is making me a bit claustrophobic.

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