Now reading

Started by mgriffin, December 07, 2007, 09:39:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Scott M2

#240
Quote from: hdibrell on January 31, 2010, 03:25:27 PM
Whale Music - Paul Quarrington . Entertaining book about a reclusive, eccentric, genius, former rock star (based loosely on Brian Wilson) who quits the music business and lives alone in his mansion by the sea working on his music for whales. He doesn't want any contact with the outside world , living on whiskey, drugs and jelly donuts. He gets an unexpected ,uninvited young female visitor from Toronto who believes in his music. It's a fun story to read. Not anything heavy, but entertaining. I know I want to get his main instrument, a seven keyboard emulator, the Yamaha 666 that makes sounds even when it is turned off 8) .

I love this book! It's sad, funny, clod-hopping and transcendent.
It's an imperfect book about an imperfect character, derailed, prodded upright and now on a new track.
As creator of music striving for uncommon connections, the last page always makes me cry.
For many reasons, I think ambient musicians (who also appreciate pop) will find some oddball beauty and wry smiles.

The movie is good (and has music by Rheostatics, who had earlier named an (excellent) album Whale Music)
but can't match the finale in your imagination - or convey passages like this:

"The Yamaha 666 is so advanced that even Stevie wonder and I have problems with it. I call it the Beast.
Once I get it juiced up it screams, the Beast must be fed a handful of microchips and talked to softly."

RIP Paul Quarrington - So long and thanks for all the whales.

uhurit

Nisargadatta Maharaj "I Am That", a great intro to indian Advaita Vedanta system...great for spiritual seekers who are tired of seeking and not finding

mgriffin

Just recently finished Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson, which I liked quite a bit.  It reminded me of Spin in a superficial way, as if drafted from the same rough outline, with different details.  You can always tell when an author has travelled in a certain part of the world because they start making all their characters visit that area so they have an excuse to sprinkle in details learned in their travels.  In Wilson's case, without knowing for sure, I'd wager he's visited SE Asia.



In this one, the protagonist is a sort of hippie slacker living in very poor conditions in Bangkok, when a giant artifact from the future materializes nearby.  This monument, the Chronolith of the title, announces a future victory by the conqueror Kuin, a name note yet known at the time of the story.  This sudden "visitation," constituting proof of a looming, threatening force, spreads fear throughout the world and causes societies to virtually all at once close up shop.  In other words, most people become so fearful of something bad happening in the future they essentially give up twenty years before any conquering has even happened.

Because this is a Robert Charles Wilson book, the relationships are all haunted and broken, and the parent-child relationships are especially tortured.  It's an engrossing story, though, as our protagonist gets caught up into an effort to understand the Chronoliths (because the one in Thailand is not the last to appear) and realizes his proximity to the first appearance gives him a sort of unavoidable connection to the entire drama of Kuin, attempts to prevent more monoliths, and those who worship Kuin (who doesn't even exist yet) as all-powerful.

My first experience with Wilson's Spin was probably his best book, and while the others I've read have also been quite good, they've been at least a notch below that high point.  I'd recommend this book if you've already read Spin and enjoyed it, but if you haven't, then just read that one!
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

jkn

My first book on my new Nook eReader is Lord of the Rings.   Why?   It's my favorite book.  This is the fourth copy I've owned and it's approx. the 15th time I've read it.   What better way to start off my eReading life than with LOTR?    It's also been a few years since I read it so much of it is 'new' again.  :-)

I first read it around 6th grade from the library.  Bought it later to reread - maybe 8th grade.   Bought it again in college when I took a "Tolkien" class (awesome class!) - and Heidi bought me the red leather bound edition that is just amazing - but definitely a put on your shelf and admire it than one you sit and read.   

I love the nook - see Mike's eReader thread for more info.

I also have joined a website called Good Reads.   It's been fun trying to remember the books I've read over the years.   There are so many I've forgotten.  When I was a kid I was reading 50-80 books a year and I still read like a fiend in my 20's.   Slowed down in my 30's for a lot of reasons and almost stopping when my hands couldn't take it anymore.   :-)


http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3509775


John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

ambient789

I had recently read Jaron Lanier -- "You are not a Gadget." He does have a few valid concerns that would provide good discussion material at least.

Seren

Iain M Banks - The Algebraist. Really good sci-fi book. Vast reaches of civilisations and lots of plot twists too.

Got it form the library first and when given some book tokens bought it.

APK

Banks is great.   8)
www.dataobscura.com
http://dataobscura.bandcamp.com
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

Dave Michuda

I haven't read any Banks yet but was looking to try some of his material.  Any recommendations for a good starting point?

mgriffin

Start with Consider Phlebas if you're interested in the sci fi of Iain M. Banks, rather than the mainstream-ish fiction of Iain Bank (same guy, different names for different styles of work).

I recommend that one because it's the first book in his Culture series, which is the great big epic giant buncha books he's best known for.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

Oh, and... there's a sort of mini-review of Consider Phlebas on the previous page of this topic.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

jkn

I'm still reading LOTR.  :-)   
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

mgriffin

Quote from: jkn on May 03, 2010, 10:07:40 AM
I'm still reading LOTR.  :-)   

I remember the first time I read LOTR straight-through in junior high school and it took me the entire school year!  I wish I could re-experience that again, that first read-through.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

jkn

Absolutely!  I can't remember if I was in 6th or 7th grade - but I loved it.   I'm on about my 15th read through right now.   It's been long enough that I've semi-forgotten some little details which is nice!

I love being able to hold a book again!  Withough an eReader (I have a Nook) - I wouldn't be reading.
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

APK

#253
Quote from: mgriffin on May 03, 2010, 10:01:35 AM
Start with Consider Phlebas if you're interested in the sci fi of Iain M. Banks, rather than the mainstream-ish fiction of Iain Bank (same guy, different names for different styles of work).

I recommend that one because it's the first book in his Culture series, which is the great big epic giant buncha books he's best known for.

I was going to say the exact same thing.
Begin at the beginning.

Here are the list of books:
http://www.iain-banks.net/books
Oddly the new one, Transition, which appears to not be sci-fi is released
in the US under the Iain M. Banks name. Which is kinda wrong.
www.dataobscura.com
http://dataobscura.bandcamp.com
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

mgriffin

He wants to confuse people who read Iain M Banks books into buying his non-SF work and vice versa!  Sneaky.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

hdibrell

Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards by Al Kooper. Interesting look back at Al's career in the music business. He covers it all fairly honestly from playing in cover bands, playing as a teenager with Paul Simon and his dad's big band ( Simon and Kooperfunkel? ), to cowriting "This Diamond Ring", working in the Brill building and others with the well known songwriters of the day, to sneaking onto Bob Dylan's " Like a Rolling Stone" session, playing Newport with Dylan and then going on the road with him, forming The Blues Project, forming Blood, Sweat and Tears, getting kicked out of B,S&T, being instrumental in getting the Zombies "Oddysey and Oracle" released in the US, working the Monterrey Pop festival , producing Lynard Skynard's first three albums, recording with the Rolling Stones and on and on. Very easy, entertaining, quick read. For those interested in that period of music this is a fun book.
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.

jkn

I've started rereading the R.A. Salvatore - Drizzt books.   I read "The Legacy" (book 7) last week - and am now reading "Starless Night" (book 8).
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

Sighthound

China Mieville - Kraken

Bebbo

Quote from: mgriffin on May 03, 2010, 10:16:25 AM
Quote from: jkn on May 03, 2010, 10:07:40 AM
I'm still reading LOTR.  :-)   

I remember the first time I read LOTR straight-through in junior high school and it took me the entire school year!  I wish I could re-experience that again, that first read-through.

I recently started the third LOTR book but gave up after less than 50 pages. The second book was hard going, and I didn't have the willpower to read about more meetings with people who'll join them in the quest. It seemed to me that there was maybe a 400-500 page novel that had been bloated to three volumes.

Just finished Replay by Ken Grimwood and loved it. Currently reading Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer which is an interesting look at what makes us human.

Kaarinen

A good autobiographical take on religion(s) from the experiental (in contrast to, say, theological/dogmatic) perspective:

Huston Smith: Tales of Wonder. Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiography.

Good insights to a mystical mindset, yet written lightly, very personally and in an amusing, positive fashion from this lively 90 year old seeker.