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2 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

Now, there was a wit.  His letters, his (mostly-mock) duel with Jack Benny on the radio...  An under-recognized mind.

Totally agree, a quick, funny and insightful mind at work in the Golden Days of Radio, his humor transfers easily to today's climate.

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11 hours ago, JSngry said:


Please post impressions.

As mentioned in some other thread, I've effectively read several excerpts from the book (Gann posted them, or talks based on book excerpts, etc. over the years). Not sure I'm a big enough Cageian to justify purchase, and it's not available on my interlibrary loan network (only Gann work thereon is American Music in the 20th Century).

Edited by T.D.
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I am not "now reading" it. In fact, it's not a book that you read for hours on end. But I recommend "Woodwind Instruments And Their History", by Anthony Baines, originally published in 1956. Yes, that's a long time ago, but the book is still of great value.

That dude had an encyclopedic knowledge (and even briefly mentions some jazz saxophone players).

The book has just about all you would need to know about the different models of instruments, including fingering charts. The section on saxophones (in the Clarinet chapter) is very brief, but there is no shortage of saxophone information elsewhere, so this isn't a drawback.

Eek, the fingering charts for bassoons (French "Buffet" design or German "Heckel" model) are enough to give a person nightmares. 12 keys for the left thumb alone!

I play the Boehm system clarinet and I'm glad I don't have to play the German model, which is the old "simple system" with numerous extra bits and pieces, to correct its many drawbacks (especially bad intonation in the low register). I disagree that the Boehm doesn't sound as good as the other systems.

Well worth getting as a reference.

Edited by Shrdlu
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On 7/24/2019 at 2:07 PM, ejp626 said:

Read Play It As It Lays fairly recently.  Haven't gotten to this one yet, but it's reasonably high on my to-read pile.

You know, I set it (The White Album) aside last night.  Didion's obviously an excellent writer (and I've enjoyed other books of hers that I've read, such as The Year Of Magical Thinking), but there's some sort of cold, sour, and rather reactionary tone to her view that ultimately tends to put me off.  Going to give it a break and resume reading in another week or two.  

Edited by ghost of miles
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I received the following for those who may be interested.



Free US shipping on all orders over $50


“It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is or has been is but the twilight of the dawn."
—H.G. Wells

For this weekend only, these classic science fiction novels and short story collections are available at 50% off


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Introduction by Jeff Vandermeer


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Afterword by Margaret Atwood


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Illustrated by Edward Gorey


John Wyndham
Introduction by Christopher Priest



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Throughout the remainder of this year, NYRB Classics will be celebrating its 20th anniversary by offering selected backlist titles at 50% off for one weekend only. Keep an eye on your inbox for more deals in the coming weeks. 

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Just wrapped up a debut novel - To Me You Seem Giant by Greg Rhyno.  It tells the story of a high school rock 'n' roller who doesn't make the big time, but one of his bandmates does.  Anyway, the chapters alternate between Peter's senior year in high school and 10 years later, as we watch him try to carve out a satisfying life far from the limelight.  It did give me some serious flashbacks to my own teaching days (fortunately long behind me...).  It does help to know something about the Canadian indie rock scene before diving into this one.

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9 minutes ago, Brad said:

NYRB Classics is having a summer sale on 48 of their books, for those who may be interested. You can save up to 40% on the cover price, depending on how many books you buy.  There are some pretty good titles included.

See https://www.nyrb.com/collections/nyrb-summer-sale

I've always been interested in Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson. Is it worth the buy?

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52 minutes ago, Matthew said:

I've always been interested in Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson. Is it worth the buy?

I haven’t read it but I’m thinking of buying it. I saw it mentioned in the Times book review last week by one of their foreign correspondents, which piqued my interest, and I read the Times review from earlier this year and it sounds kind of interesting but long. 

Here’s the review, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/books/review-anniversaries-uwe-johnson.html

Edited by Brad
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6 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Went ahead and started the long march: grossman.1_2048x2048.jpg?v=1536788088

Let us know how it goes.  I've heard generally good things.  It supposedly doesn't quite live up to Life and Fate (partly because Grossman did work with the censors on this book) but is still deemed a worthy "prequel."  I'm hoping to read the two together this winter.

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