I've had a leisurely time catching up with my post and a big thankyou to everyone who has sent me books recently.
So many books to write about but a big parcel from Piatkus has kept me busy and some books nicely out of the ordinary for me.
A revelatory book Richi$tan by Robert Frank,delineates the new wealth of the dot.com billionaires and how the nouveau rich have made and spent their millions.I read about half of this which was enough to reveal that the money rarely brings happiness and it would seem butler-ing would be a good career move.They can't get enough butlers and once you've been through butler school you're made.
Bit like Norland Nannies I suppose. In the end I was completely sated by the wealth and the sheer extravagence, one can only own so many private jets.
A good autobiography, One Train Later by Andy Summers which all lovers of The Police (the band not the force) should head for. I've dipped into this and it's well written with hints of humility and self-deprecation that we don't often expect from the world of rock 'n roll.
One book in particular that will appeal to all rock music lovers out there Love is a Mix Tape : A memoir by Rob Sheffield.
"The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with - nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape..."
Mix tapes being those compilations of favourite and meaningful songs of the moment that we all used to spend hours over just to get what now takes about ten seconds with an iPod.
We had a Philips reel-to-reel tape recorder that did valiant service through the 60's and Alan Freeman's Sunday night Pick of the Pops.You'd sit in hushed silence while the music recorded, go ssshhh when anyone walked in the room and press the buttons fast to avoid Al's voice overs, waiting with bated breath to hear what was Number One.
This used to be the moment of the week, there was no other way to find out.
Once Sing Something Simple came on my brother and I would be off with our treasured recordings to try and copy out the words (lot of stop-start-rewind) then perform our weekly show. We invented karaoke.
We'd mime to all the songs. I got all the duff parts but was allowed to be the girl drummer in The Honeycombs and was also allowed to do that harmony part in The Fortunes song, You've Got Your Troubles...If I said to you my friend that I ain't got nobody but you...I did of course make Sandi Shaw and Mary Hopkin my own.
Rob Sheffield is a rock pop and culture critic for Rolling Stone magazine and this book is his musical journey through his life and the tragic sudden death of his young wife Renee in 1997.
Hands up, Rob and I have slightly differing musical taste barring the fact that he also revered Micky Dolenz as his favourite Monkee.
Mix-tape compilation lists appear at the start of each chapter much as Nick Hornby gives us books in The Polysyllabic Spree and someone somewhere has to help the likes of me out and put these together as an MP3 download to accompany the book because I could manage that and then I'd know what or who are Pavement and Tindersticks. Meanwhile I was relieved to find the likes of Peter Green, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison and plenty of others in there I knew.
I was quite taken with the compilation entitled Jumping Sylvia Plath it's a gas gas gas.Sorry about that.
This was a good read, I settled down to it over an evening and heartily agree it is a story about "lost love and music's ability to guide us through the most important moments of our lives".Music sees Rob through his grief over Renee's death and beyond to a life afterwards, his memories of Renee are a wonderful tribute to a girl who was clearly so full of life and love.
I'm not sure the book needs to be likened to "the tragic punch of Dave Eggers", that could have killed it for me, but it is a great mix of joy and sadness all permeated through one man's lifelong love of music and a must for all you pop pickers out there.
Camper Van Beethoven? Are they any good?
Would I like Psychedelic Furs?
What about Rollerskate Skinny? Should I try some?