Skip to main content

My Back Pages - May


My God how time flies. It's already June and I'm way behind being on track for fifty books this year. I read four in May bringing my year-to-date total to 15. What were the four?

Well, I started the month with a quick read titled George Harrison Reconsidered. The title itself appealed to me because I always felt Harrison was the overlooked Beatle; that he had a lot of talent that people never spoke about or gave him credit for. My only problem with this book was that it was far too short. (3 stars)

Book two was The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood. Similar in feel to her recent MaddAddam Trilogy, the Guardian describes it as "a jubilant comedy of errors, bizarre bedroom farce. SF prison-break thriller, psychedelic 60s crime caper". Now I ask you how can you turn that down. I didn't and enjoyed it immensely. (4 stars)

My third book was Dropping The Needle - The Vinyl Dialogues Volume II. Not unlike volume one I found this disappointing. When you'e going behind the scenes in the making of rock albums I don't think a duo on Lawrence Welk or the 5th Dimension qualify. This book had its moments, but not enough of them. (3 stars)

I closed out the month with The Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead, the sixth in the Dave Robicheaux series. Robicheaux is a part-time rural Louisiana cop. True to the detective genre Robicheaux operates a little outside the box. If you like detective novels and are looking for a new one to follow I'd recommend this series. (4 stars)

I finished out the 7th season of The Sopranos in my binge watching this month. The 4 season Treme I just loved both for the music and the backstory of one New Orleans neighbourhood after Katrina.

And my wife and I watched the available two seasons of Grace and Frankie, on Netflix, a hilarious comedy with Jane Fonda, Lilly Tomlin, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen. We loved it.

I bought a lot of music this month and I don't usually go into my listening pleasures here but I have to mention two I bought at the end of the month. The new Jayhawks, Paging Mr. Proust, is very nice...much like the old Jayhawks and fans will know what I mean.

But the best of all CDs was from the Skydiggers, a Canadian band, titled Here Without You. - The Songs of Gene Clark. Clark was a songwriter/singer with the Byrds before he had a moderately successful solo career. The title of this monthly post is a tip of the hat to the Byrds by the way. This CD is a lovely collection of stripped-down, but harmonically tight tunes. My favourite CD this year. And that's saying something because I buy a lot of CDs.

Anyway, that was my May when it comes to what I was reading, watching and listening to.

How about you? I'm always looking for recommendations.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Back Pages - November

I read five books last month bringing my year to date total to 61, well past the 50 I estimated at the beginning of the year. And I've yet to get through December.

The month started out with The Nix, the debut novel by Nathan Hill which has been receiving a lot off positive reviews. In it Hill flips back and fourth from the 1968 Chicago protests and 2011 in a desperate search for the truth behind why his mother abandoned him at an early age. In between Hill takes on politics, the media and addiction as well as other aspects of society. It's a well-spun tale and I quite enjoyed reading it.

Next up was the auto-biographical I Am Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. This was somewhat of a scattered affair but an interesting read nonetheless. Wilson - or his ghostwriter - however is no Hemingway.

Then it was on to one of my favourite authors, Ian Rankin and his latest tale of now retired Inspector John Rebus, Rather Be The Devil. I never tire of these stories and this is the 21st in …

My Back Pages - 2016

Here, as promised is a month-by-month breakdown of the 67 books I delved into this year. I got off to a strong start and then my intake dwindled for a couple of months until picking back up in April. I'll let you in on my favourites at the end of this list.

January

Here, There and Everywhere:
My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles - Geoff Emerick - ****
H is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald - ***
Close To The Edge - The Story of Yes - Chris Welch - ***
Sweet Caress - William Boyd - ****


February

Purity by Jonathan Franzen 
Still Alice by Lisa Genova.


March

Natchez Burning - Greg Iles
The Promise (Elvis Cole #20) - Robert Crais

April

The Snowman (Harry Hole)- Joe Nesbo ****
Phantom (Harry Hole) - Joe Nesbo ****
The Leopard (Harry Hole) - Jo Nesbo ****


May

George Harrison Reconsidered ***
The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood ****
Dropping The Needle - The Vinyl Dialogues Volume II ***
The Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead, (Dave Robicheaux #6) - James Lee Burke****


June/.July

 Lust and Wonder - Aug…

Traveling Along Singing A Song

Pete and Paulie were strolling along one day. The sun was bright, the air was cool, the birds chirped crazily in the trees and the squirrels  munched merrily on their nuts. Well not their nuts exactly. Nuts they found on the ground and in the gardens in the park.

Paulie felt so good he began to whistle. It wasn't any tune in particular, just one of those annoyingly tuneless whistles that wandered all over the place. Pete looked at Paulie and he squiggled up his nose and he said "What the hell is that?" Paulie replied "Oh nothing in particular. I'm just happy." "But you're not even whistling a tune" said Pete. Paulie replied "If you're so wise I'd like to see you do better, Pete."

Pete went silent for a moment and seemed to mumble to himself for a moment or two. Then he cleared his throat with a little cough, he opened his mouth and he began to sing.


"There once was a king very wise
Who spoke to his enemies in disguise
T…