What Are You Reading?

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  • @donna  Jan 2019

    ‘That time of the year’ again. Yikes! And YAY!!! 😀

    What have you guys been reading over the past several months? Any special books you'd recommend? Any that might inspire you to write a lyric or a song?

    Lately, I’ve been going through a phase of crime thrillers. Discovered a couple of excellent authors, including Belinda Bauer (her ‘Snap’ is particularly good). At the moment, I’m reading her ‘Rubbernecker’, whose major character has Asperger’s Syndrome. Written with tremendous insight.

    Did any of you ever get round to Peter Wohlleben’s ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’? I mentioned it a year or two ago. Anyway, a brilliant book, even a very moving one. You’ll never look at trees the same way again.

    Another splendid book I’d mentioned earlier is 'Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Into the Dreaming of Earth' by Stephen Harrod Buhner. A glorious book, which – along with Peter Wohlleben’s – I intend to re-read.

    I also want to spend a little time returning to my first passion – poetry.
    What modern poets can you recommend? I’ve only recently discovered Kevin Kling. He’s basically a storyteller and commentator, but much of what he writes – his descriptions – are poetic.

  • @darcistrutt  Jan 2019

    I read Bird by Bird earlier this month and found it inspiring. I’m reading Stage Performance now and next in line is Growing Gills which is about blending creativity into a busy life.

  • @darcistrutt  Jan 2019

    It makes me excited to create more as I read about the creative lives of others.

  • @atitlan  Jan 2019

    At the moment I've got two books on the go.

    One is fiction: Kim Stanley Robinson's 'New York 2140' which tells the story of a semi-flooded New York following major Greenland and Antarctic ice-melts.

    The second is non-fiction: David Graeber's 'Bullshit Jobs' which is a book length expansion of his theory first raised in an essay for Strike magazine - https://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/. Most people will recognise his descriptions of bullshit jobs - the book tries to dig behind the way they have arisen and the effect they have on people.

    Once FAWM starts I'll be switching to Simon Reynolds' 'Energy Flash', which is the history of dance music with a particular emphasis on the rave scene, but also charting the influence of dance music on other genres and the various styles that have evolved from the house and techno roots.

  • @nikke88  Jan 2019

    A collection of Russian novels and short stories. Novelists include Dostoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy, Turgenev and so on.

    Not in Russian, because my Russian is not fluent enough. At least not yet.

  • @wobbiewobbit  Jan 2019

    I have just started reading a book called A Short History Of Ukrainian Tractors - not as left-field as it sounds, just a novel, not a textbook!, I am only a little way in but enjoying it so far and am intrigued how it will pan out. Lately i have enjoyed Other Minds - The Octopus And The Evolution Of Intelligent Life and Storm In A Teacup on the science-y front, The Rubbish Picker's Wife on a touching real life front (written by my friend's friend about setting up schools for the school-less and forming friendships in Kosovo and has a charming, heart-warming human touch and deft turn of phrase - it is on amazon I read another of hers similarly set in Kosovo based around bee-keeping but about more than that called Travels in Blood and Honey, that has more Kosovan history in it and was also good, but I think the Rubbish Picker's Wife is more grabby) Novel-wise I enjoyed The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, far-fetched stuff but great fun story and I enjoyed

  • @wobbiewobbit  Jan 2019

    ....the style of writing.
    As always on this thread I recommend my old favourite Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth for a fun book about the English language.
    (Fawm telling me I am rambling on too much already 😉 )

  • @mkd  Jan 2019

    I’m reading a new novel by Ru Pringle, called A Time of Ashes. It’s sci-fi, which I don’t normally get drawn to, but I am absolutely captured by this book! Very naturally written and so vivid, I feel like I’m there, which is the ultimate in storytelling. Highly recommend it.

  • @vomvorton  Jan 2019

    I'm reading Under the Glacier by Halldór Laxness. Intriguing Icelandic wit and mystery.

    I got The Ode Less Traveled by Stephen Fry for Christmas and I'm keen to get started on that before / during FAWM as it seems like it'll stir up some interesting creative thoughts.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 2019

    I'm busy reading books about songwriting...something I hope to learn some day! Here are the books...


  • @juoppis  Jan 2019

    Right now I have Paul Auster's Winter Journal on my nightstand.

    Probably going to finish it tomorrow (it's a short book) and get started on a new book, Johannes Anyuru's The Rabbit Yard.

    (Though I like more the original title "De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar" which is translated to "They will drown in their mothers' tears".)

  • @toms  Jan 2019

    A book about deontic logic. There are no songs in deontic logic. Perhaps. 😁

  • @miltz  Jan 2019

    Just finished: Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity by Dan Berger. It's good.

    Just starting: The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale.

    Especially good from the last few months: Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America by Kristian Williams, and Keith Rowe: The Room Extended by Brian Olewnick.

  • @resonut123 Jan 2019

    Getting into Jonathan Lethem lately. Read Fortress of Solitude a little while ago and now I'm almost done with Motherless Brooklyn.

  • @jerrypettit  Jan 2019

    Rereading a couple of Pat Pattison's books on lyric writing. "The Bible"!

  • @acromie  Jan 2019

    In the last year I've read every book by Brene Brown, plus Lean In, Start with Why, Feminist Fight Club, and I'm in the middle of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck.

    I can honestly recommend all of them.

  • @scottlake  Jan 2019

    Anthony Doerr’s “Grace”
    Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”
    Various “The Bible -English Standard Version”

  • @metalfoot  Jan 2019

    The script for Thornton Wilder's play The Matchmaker. Over and over and over again. Eventually I'll have my part memorized, right?!?

    Other than that, reading an assortment of novels and other books but top priority at the moment is getting my lines memorized.

  • @majordanby  Jan 2019

    I can highly recommend ‘Humans’ by Matt Haig if you haven’t read it already. There is so much gold in this book it will inspire some great lines and ideas.

    Currently reading ‘Strangers on a train’ so I might end up writing about a murder or two this year?

  • @donna  Jan 2019

    @wobbiewobbit I read ‘A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian’ a few years ago. Loved it. It was a particular pleasure for me because I’d lived in the Ukraine (Kyiv) for a couple of years. The author’s other books are charming as well. The additional books you mention sound interesting, especially ‘Other Minds – the Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life’ and ‘The Rubber Picker’s Wife’. Mark Forsyth’s famous trilogy is on my ‘plan to read again’ list. 😉 It’s wonderful. 😉

    @mkd I love sci-fi, so will definitely check out ‘A Time of Ashes’.

    @vomvorton I’m a huge fan of Nordic literature. Thanks for that title.
    And Fry’s ‘The Ode Less Traveled’ sounds intriguing.

    @johnstaples Yes, it’s invariably inspiring to read how others approach songwriting. I have umpteen books on the topic, and go back to each of them from time to time, even if it’s just to be reminded of the basic function of each section in a lyric. Helps keep me on track.

  • @donna  Jan 2019


  • @donna  Jan 2019


    @juoppis Oooooh, Paul Auster. Such a fine writer. I’ll check out the book you mentioned. And you’ve just reminded me of another ‘Paul’- Paul Wilson, who wrote the beautiful ‘Do White Whales Sing at the Edge of the World’.
    And yes, the translated original title of ‘The Rabbit Yard’ is much more evocative. 😉

    @toms, oh, please, a song on deontic logic! You know you want to. 😉

    @atitlan, thanks for that link. Most interesting article.

    Thanks so much everyone for all the good suggestions/titles ('The Humans' sounds right up my alley). I’m heading for Portugal tomorrow. I might pick up one or more of the books at the airport. Or download them onto my iPad if they're available in Kindle version.
    (At this juncture in my life, I might be best served by starting with ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. 😉 )

  • @oddbod  Jan 2019

    I'm currently reading Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris who if you haven't heard of is a very funny essayist.
    Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was probably my favourite book from 2018.

  • @pcob1993  Jan 2019

    Yes, halfway through the Hidden Life of Trees, fabulous book, also a translation of Rimbaud's work, Bob Dylan Behind the Shades Revisited by Clinton Heylin, a real eye-opener on the realities of the early 'sixties music biz, some of it quite disturbing, and Vietnam 1945 to 1975 by Max Hastings, which chills me to the bone. Onwards and upwards fellow Fawmers.
    Hi Donna, ik omhels je..

  • @donna  Jan 2019

    Bedankt voor de omhelzing, @pcob1993. 😀 So pleased you're enjoying 'Hidden Life of Trees'. It moved me in so many ways. I love how the author describes the tree types' personalities. I don't know whether the original book in German was as exquisitely written, but the translator did a brilliant job.

    Meanwhile, I've just downloaded 'The Humans' and 'The Ode Less Travelled' to my iPad Kindle.

  • @fuzzy  Jan 2019

    I have also read "The Hidden Life of Trees". I kept thinking, "Of course. I already knew that.". Maybe it's from living in the forest with all my tree friends for over twenty years. And I agree with him; different tree types do have distinct personalities. Great book, though.

  • @scottlake  Jan 2019

    I started Hidden Life of Trees back in 2018 and stalled. I need to check that one out again.

  • @toms  Jan 2019

    For you, @donna , I promise to try. 😀

  • @kathym  Jan 2019

    I'm working through "Trauma Room Two" by Philip Allan Green, MD. It is fascinating, beautiful and at times heartbreaking. From the description … "In this collection of short stories, Dr. Green takes the listener inside the hidden emotional landscape of emergency medicine. Based on 15 years of experience as an ER physician, he reveals the profound moments that often occur in emergency rooms for patients, their families, and the staff that work there."

  • @kathym  Jan 2019

    I have also been through "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom again, which I seem to do at least once a year, often more on audio.

  • @scottlake  Jan 2019

    @kathym I have been told that I look like Dr. Green from the ER tv series. Of all the doctors, male and female, from that series, Dr. Green would be my last choice for lookalikes!

  • @cairobraga  Jan 2019

    I finished "The Art of Asking" by Amanda Palmer last month, it was lifechanging, for real. I'd recomend it to every artist out there.

    Now I'm reading "Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It" by Gabriel Wyner, because I'm an aspiring polyglot and language lover.

  • @johncrossman  Jan 2019

    Good stuff, y'all. I like to skim through here for recommendations.
    Thanks, @donna, for the annual list!

    Just finished Andre Agassi's autobiography, "Open" today. However, parts of it annoyed me enough that I cannot recommend it. Hm.
    I keep a P.G. Wodehouse going as often as I can. Psmith is currently cracking me up.
    Looking forward to starting Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom" tomorrow on audiobook during my commute.

  • @cts  Jan 2019

    I've been reading biographies as of late. I just finished Bruce Lee by Matthew Polly.

  • @scottlake  Jan 2019

    Forgot to mention that I just finished Chris Hadfield's: An Astronaut's Guide To Life on Earth. Good nerdy read.
    Thanks to @johnstaples I'm also now currently reading Robert Frost's New Hampshire collection, which just became public domain, and is available on Project Gutenberg for free. Easiest way to load freebie kindle books to your kindle, but not through Amazon.com is by e-mailing them to your kindle. Just tried it with the guidance from this CNET article - very easy. Works. https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817...

  • @fearlessflight2014  Jan 2019

    Ohh.... What a great thread! I'm just doing some comfort holiday reading at the moment - Maurice and his amazing educated rodents by Sir Terry Pratchett. But I'm always looking for something good to read.

  • @donna  Jan 2019

    @johncrossman I adore P.G. Wodehouse, and have read everything he wrote. Several times. In fact, I've been thinking of downloading a couple of his books on my iPad Kindle. Will definitely do that.

  • @petemurphy  Jan 2019

    I'm currently reading Ulysses by James Joyce. Finnegan's Wake is next on the list, and I've heard it's even more challenging than Ulysses.
    I'm also regularly dipping into Leaves Of Grass by Walt Whitman, which was a Christmas present from a friend in the states.

  • @petemurphy  Jan 2019

    Oh, and hi Donna!

  • @leepat  Jan 2019

    I got Foucault's pendulum for Christmas but have yet to dive in.
    Reread White Teeth by Zadie Smith recently - still a favourite after twenty years.
    @petemurphy I love Joyce and although I've only read a page and a half of the Wake, it felt like a lifetime in a parallel universe 😀

    To any poetry adventurers out there, I recommend SKY WRI TEI NGS by a friend of mine - the perfect cure for fear of flights and cabin fever.

  • @sw1n3flu  Jan 2019

    Keith Floyd - Stirred not Shaken
    Sophie Sabbage - Lifeshocks and How to Love Them
    George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • @jonmeta  Jan 2019

    David Copperfield. Because i finally stopped telling myself i'd read it when really i'd only ever seen the film. This is my 8th Dickens novel in the past three years, and the best so far.

    A book by a famous American reporter about a certain White House administration that shall remain nameless.

    @darcistrutt Yes, Bird by Bird -- i'd recommend to every creative soul out there.

  • @hummingbear Jan 2019

    Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. A couple friends (in my age group) passed away this year, several others have serious problems. I've wanted to re-read childhood favorites, now is the time. Also read Chronicles of Narnia.

    The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel tells about a young man who simply walks away from his job/family/community without a word and takes up residence in the woods for ... 27 years. Wild.

  • @axl  Jan 2019

    I'm currently reading the David Lynch biography Room to Dream. Having been in love with (most of) his films for a long time, it's a pleasure to learn more about him as a person.

    @atitlan I've also read Bullshit Jobs, the book, as well as Debt - The First 5000 Years. Graeber is a great thinker as well as a very good writer.

  • @miltz  Jan 2019

    A suggestion for people who liked The Hidden Life of Trees (which I haven't read): The Overstory by Richard Powers. It's not my favorite Powers, but it is pretty good.

    @donna How modern are you looking for poetrywise? The only thing from the last decade (or two) I've read is Citizen by Claudia Rankine (well worth reading). Older stuff: Resort and Other Poems by Patricia Hampl I've read more than once. Have you read Richard Hugo? Here's one of his best: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem...

  • @guatecoop  Jan 2019

    I’m reading “Dear Mr Rogers”. Letters to him from kids and his responses.....GREAT! Not musical in topic, but very much the human experience, which is my perspective in writing music.

  • @pipewrench67  Jan 2019

    I recently picked up The Complete Stories Of Leonora Carrington. With the notion of reading it during FAWM for idea inspiration.

  • @standup  Jan 2019

    A Man Called Destruction about Alex Chilton, Trouble Boys about the Replacements, and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

  • @bradbrubaker  Jan 2019

    The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

    @axl - I recently listened to Room to Dream. Always a pleasure to hear Mr. Lynch's voice telling a story.

    @johncrossman - First off, hey! Secondly, I LOVED Andre Agassi's Open. Probably my favorite non-music memoir. Sorry it irked you.

    @donna - I always enjoy this thread.

  • @atitlan  Jan 2019

    @axl Yes, I've read the Debt book, too. Very thought-provoking.

  • @tcelliott  Jan 2019

    Heinlein's Strange In a Strange Land. I read Starship Troopers and The Cat Who Walked Through Walls earlier this year. And I read The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress last year (which is my favorite so far.)

  • @chrishope Jan 2019

    finally read Wuthering Heights ..and Moby Dick.... both bit amazing.
    Steppenwolf/Hesse ..first re read ever funny thing after 30 years and now the protagonists age, doing same with The Tin Drum atm

  • @jamesstaubes  Jan 2019

    I'm about 44% through with Infinite Jest. I'm not enjoying it and I want to quit but I'm not a quitter. But with FAWM on the horizon, I'm not going to be able to finish it until March.

  • @fuzzy  Jan 2019

    Currently reading "Louie Louie" by Dave Marsh, a fascinating history of that song.
    It (along with YouTube) is helping me to remember lots of great music, especially some early 60's garage punk bands like The Sonics.

  • @silvermachine  Jan 2019

    @fuzzy Yeah the Sonics are bloody awesome, mate. Their version of Louie Louie is without equal in my humble opinion.
    I like a bit of reading, I've just finished Melmoth by Sarah Perry.
    I would recommend all her books: The Essex Serpent, and After Me Comes The Flood aswell. Real talented writer

  • @standup  Jan 2019

    Did y’all hear the NEW Sonics record they put out 2 years ago? Sounds like the same band!

    One of my early bands was a garage rock outfit leaning heavily on the Sonics and all of the Nuggets compilation material.

    And yap, the Sonics’ version of Louie Louie is The One as far as I’m concerned.

  • @silvermachine  Jan 2019

    @standup I heard about them touring but there was only one original member left cos the rest were too old to travel!

  • @hornesgiftshop  Jan 2019

    John Irving - Avenue of Mysteries. Good so far. I normally hate books where the protagonist is an author, but this is an exception.

  • @standup  Jan 2019

    @silvermachine I had tickets for that show, but it got cancelled. Vocalist Gertie Roslie was having heart issues I think. Who knows if another tour will be possible.

  • @johncrossman  Jan 2019

    Wondering if anyone here has read "A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet?" I keep picking it up at my library but I think it starts a series and I'm in the middle of about thirty already.

  • @popmythology  Jan 2019

    'The Healer's War' by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. It's a classic fantasy novel about a young American nurse serving in Vietnam during the war. It's like a magical realism version of that late 80s TV show 'China Beach.' Been reading it in bed at night while waiting to fall asleep and have been loving it. Depicts a lot of atrocities, as you might expect in a novel about war, but the viewpoint of a female nurse in a setting where the p.o.v. is usually of the male soldiers is incisive and much appreciated.

  • @timfatchen  Jan 2019

    Reading has gone out the window the last few weeks. Dipping back into The Silmarillion, Asimov's End of Eternity; Blainey's history of Victoria (Oz), Liddell Hart's WWI and WW2 history (again, dipping). I'm sure thee's something else but the mind is incapable of remembering...

  • @unpronounceable Jan 2019

    I’m reading “Braiding Sweetgrass” and loving it.

  • @tawny249  Jan 2019

    Just finished "Who Fears Death," which is a fantasy novel by Nnedi Okorafor. Pretty good book with interesting worldbuilding. Need to start reading "The Player of Games" by Iain Banks for a February book club, but haven't yet. Can you tell I'm a geek? 😝

  • @miltz  Jan 2019

    Kronstadt 1921 by Paul Avrich.

  • @konemake  Jan 2019

    @axl +
    @atitlan I really should read Debt - The First 5000 Years, I read some article about it sounded really interesting.

    Just finished:
    Ursula Le Guin: Powers

    Now on table:
    Jared Diamond: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
    Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
    Martin Ford: Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
    Cathy O'Neil: Weapons of Math Destruction
    Tommi Liimatta: Jeppis (in Finnish, a book about a musician)

  • @sunnymae  Jan 2019

    Totally hooked on the Outlander series. It's got everything for me. Scottish folklore, early American history, pageantry, Gaelic, historic fiction, romance and time travel. What else could I ask for!!

  • @mikedebenham  Jan 2019

    @miltz I recently finished 'Orfeo' by Richard Powers. Seemed like a promising mix - history of 20th century music, plus science and genetics - but it rubbed me the wrong way. Also weirdly boring. Representative of Powers, or should I give him another go?

  • @kanttila Jan 2019

    I recently finished Churchill, Hitler And The Unnecessary War. It was alright, the book starts very well detailing how all the World Powers collectively blundered into World War I. It gives a good perspective into how those making the decisions screwed everyone. By the end it turns into a complete one sided take down of Churchill, and there are some very good points, but it seemed overly biased and some parts where unnecessary in the book's narrative. It was an alright read but I wouldn't recommend it as the best look into the World Wars or anything.

  • @miltz  Jan 2019

    @mikedebenham I'd say Orfeo (which I liked quite a bit) is representative of Powers, so it's hard to say you should give him another go. If you do, though, maybe try The Gold Bug Variations or The Time of Our Singing.

  • @lemonstar Jan 2019

    This last 12 months I diverted a lot of time to some hefty biology texts because, as a physicist I have never really understood how cells work at the lowest levels or the immune system or genetics... it's like a whole new field of understanding has opened up to me.

  • @metalfoot  Jan 2019

    Still reading my play script for The Matchmaker over and over and over and over and over....

  • @resonance  Jan 2019

    Finally started to work my way through Jimmy Webb's 'Tunesmith' - it's pretty hefty and a little more technical and traditional than the average songwriting book, but I intend to finish it before FAWM starts.

    I'm also in the middle of 'Antifragile' by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - purely for personal enjoyment and self-improvement. Highly recommended.

  • @torniojaws  Jan 2019

    Man, it saddens to say, but nothing. I simply don't have the time for reading anymore between my work, family and music 😞 I used to read a book per week, and my library has some 100 books and paperbacks. Mostly Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Robert Ludlum, Andy McNab...

  • @fuzzy  Jan 2019

    I've spent the last couple of days culling the herd; going through all my books and getting rid of some. There are just too many in the house. So far I've pulled about a hundred to take to the used book store.

    Anyway, I'm about to start "The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett. It's been sitting on my shelf unread for about 25 years, so I figure it's finally time to get to it.

  • @toms  Jan 2019

    @fuzzy you are going to love that book.

  • @fuzzy  Jan 2019

    Yeah, @toms, I'm a quarter way through it already; I'm loving the "knockout dames and hard-boiled detectives" vibe.

  • @looprication  Jan 2019

    I read Ohio by Stephen Markley last summer in about four days. One of the best books I've ever read. Every sentence was beautiful, even though it turned my stomach at times. Since then I've read Cured - The Story of Two Imaginary Boys by Lol Tolhurst and a few other things...

  • @fuzzy  Jan 2019

    Post removal!!
    You can't just delete these things!
    You gotta write something!

  • @guatecoop  Jan 2019

    @toms and @fuzzy i certainly love The Maltese Falcon. Actually, I like lots of California books of that era that had a similar flavor.

  • @quillwraith  Jan 2019

    I've developed the habit of reading two books in parallel - one I keep around at home, and the other I carry with me to read on the train. Most recently, The Girl In the Green Silk Gown (by Seanan McGuire), and The Universal Tone (Carlos Santana's memoir).
    Finished both today, as it happens. Not sure what's next.

  • @deathcab Jan 2019

    The Arm of the Sphinx, sequel to Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. Quite possibly one of the best series I've read this decade.

  • @crisp1  Jan 2019

    Just finished Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Lots of Scottish words, so I was constantly looking them up, but the writing is incredibly lyrical. I'm aiming for more poetic lyrics this year so it was inspiring.

  • @mikedebenham  Jan 2019

    Thanks for the recommendations, @miltz. Can't say I'll be racing back to Powers, but I'll keep those two in mind if I do. Probably doesn't help that I read Orfeo soon after The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross (not bad) so a lot of it felt like a retread.

  • @jcooper  Jan 2019

    Just finished John Cleese autobiography “so anyway” highly recommended. Interesting that he suffered from stage fright most of his life (what hope is there for me 😀) started now on “a new earth” eckhart tolle (and following Oprah’s weekly podcast on the book), I also plan on reading ALL of bob bylan’s lyrics (all 200 plus pages) for some inspiration.

  • @generalist Jan 2019

    SF&F in general with the occasional foray into Civil War history and 'How-To' books on gardening and sustainability. (I'm a tech type person who got bit by the ecology bug during the first Earth Day back in 1970.)

    Notable books read or reread in the last year would be Stephen King's "On Writing." When I first read it I took notes as if I were taking a class and that was the text. I filled three 3x5 cards with quotes while reading the first hundred pages. Then, with the last hundred or so pages I filled three HUNDRED cards with quotes.

    Reading first half wasn't a loss. It provides a very good idea of where King gets his ideas. Call it an insight to creativity.

  • @donna  Jan 2019

    Just got back from Portugal - mainly Lisbon and Porto. Fabulous!

    I visited the famous - and gorgeous - Livraria Lello bookshop in Porto (its stunningly beautiful staircase was recreated in the Harry Potter movies), and bought a book featuring 28 Portuguese poets. I'm hooked!

    @miltz I was thinking in terms of poetry over the past couple of decades. I think the forms/structures have changed drastically over the last two or three decades.
    I came across Ted Kooser a couple of years ago, and like his work. I'll check out the names you gave me. And the poetry foundation site looks excellent. Thanks for the link.

    I downloaded a volume of three novels by P.G. Wodehouse, and read them on the plane to Portugal, and at night before sleeping. Though I know the stories almost by heart, I still found them hilarious, and the same lines & bizarre situations cracked me up as much as they did when I first read them years ago. 😉

    @generalist, I agree with you about King's book on writing. I have it as well, and was surprised at how interesting and helpful it was.

    @petemurphy, wonderful to see you! I love Walt Whitman. His 'Leaves of Grass' is on my bookshelf.

  • @keithcuts Jan 2019

    Unbeatable Mind by Mark divine. It’s good. But Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins which I read earlier this month was PHENOMENAL

  • @miltz  Jan 2019

    How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

  • @miltz  Feb 2019

    Plays by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

  • @candle  Feb 2019

    Just started Vol 3 of Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman's Death Gate Cycle. Read it years back, re-reading it again for the thrid time (I think).

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @howthenightcame Feb 2019

    Just finished Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, now reading Borges for my FAWM compositions

  • @howthenightcame Feb 2019

    Some fantastic writers and books on this list: Dostoevsky, Whitman, Bronte, Melville...

  • @haim  Feb 2019

    Paulo Coehlo - Hippie!

  • @billwhite51 Feb 2019

    Provocations by Camille Paglia, The Criminal History of Mankind by Colin Wison

  • @artpaul Feb 2019

    I know it's a kids book but I enjoyed reading Judge Judy's book Never Judge a Book By It's Cover

  • @donna  Feb 27

    I know none or few of you will be reading at the moment, but thought I'd bump this anyway. 😉

    I'm looking for a couple more books to download onto my iPad.
    I've just finished two of Matt Haig's books (I think one - 'The Humans' - was mentioned here. Most enjoyable.)

    I'll take another look through the list here. There are several promising contenders. I'm veering at the moment towards 'The Criminal History of Mankind'.

  • @scottlake  Feb 27

    Oliver Sacks’ “The River of Consciousness”. Finished Anthony Doerr’s “Grace” which was a disappointment after “All the Light We Cannot See”.

  • @scottlake  Feb 27

    We should form a FAWMer Goodreads group, if that’s possible on Goodreads

  • @donna  Feb 27

    I'll have to look into that, @scottlake.

    I love Oliver Sacks. I thought I'd read all or most of his books (I have three on my shelf), but I'm not familiar with 'The River of Consciousness'. His book 'Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain' is fascinating.

  • @donna  Mar 10

    Anyone begun reading again? 😉

  • @chrishope Mar 11

    The autobiography of a super-tramp, w h davies
    a welshman in the good ol U S of A pub:1908

  • @misterd Mar 14

    I just finished a great book called ‘Digital minimalism ‘ by Cal Newport . I thoroughly recommend it . It’s a book about freedom . The other book I’m reading is called ‘The courage to be disliked ‘ by Ichiro Kishimi and fumitake koga ( translated from Japanese ) . It’s a very interesting philosophy book -an enormous best seller in Japan . I also bought a book called ‘Zen guitar ‘ by Philip Toshio Sudo - which is a guide to unlocking creativity and harmony in your life and your instrument through zen awareness . It’s very cool ! I love books -I noticed someone mentioned the ‘hidden life of trees ‘ by Peter Wohlleben -I really liked it very much too ! Love books -I reckon that Reading is just so good for us as songwriters and musicians & human beings -it helps creativity enormously and is so preferable to mindless scrolling here , there and everywhere for hours on a digital device !

  • @howthenightcame Mar 14

    @misterd couldnt agree more!! I tend to use literature as my source of ideas. About to start a new musical project based on Roman mythology (Ovid's "Metamorphoses")

  • @donna  Mar 14

    @misterd and @howthenightcame, absolutely! I never read a book without pen and paper at hand. A line or a certain turn of phrase will often inspire a lyric.

    Yes, Wohlleben's 'Hidden Life of Trees' is positively magical. It certainly fulfills Aristotle's criteria of what literature - though I believe he was referring to theatre - should do: Educate, Enlighten, Entertain.

  • @fuzzy  Mar 14

    Just finished "The Butlerian Jihad" by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, a supposed "prequel" to Frank Herbert's "Dune". While"Dune" may be one of the best SF novels ever written, "The Butlerian Jihad" is absolute trash. Dumb ideas, one dimensional characters, obvious plotlines, etc etc.
    Not recommended, especially if you enjoyed the original "Dune" novels.
    Sorry to be a downer, but I had to warn you folks! 😀

  • @donna  Mar 14

    @fuzzy, thanks for the warning. The word 'trash' also - in my opinion - pretty much applies to the abysmal 1984 movie that was made of that amazing novel.

  • @fuzzy  Mar 14

    @donna, what?!?
    I will not tolerate a bad word spoken about David Lynch! 😉

  • @donna  Mar 14

    @fuzzy, I figured SOMEone would defend him. 😉

    (Just that 'Dune' wasn't IMHO his finest hour. 😉 )

  • @franniezest Mar 14

    the second song i ever wrote was inspired by the book 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. it's called "Aomame/Tengo" (the names of the characters in the book who have an interesting connection.). i wouldn't necessarily recommend the book it's rather weird and slow to get into at first! i think Seveneves by Neal Stephenson is a FANTASTIC book though very long. i'd love if it would inspire me to write something about it but no such luck (yet).

  • @donna  Mar 17

    I've just finished a marvellous novel: 'Descent' by Tim Johnston (his first novel).

    It's classified as a crime thriller, but it's so much more. Masterful use of language and details. Mainstream literature for sure.

    @franniezest Perhaps your luck will change by this summer's 50-90 or next year's FAWM. 😉

  • @donna  Mar 20

    Just need to share this.

    Be sure to check the author I mentioned in the above post - Tim Johnston.

    I'm in the middle of his second novel, and the writing is just as compelling as in his first one. Intriguing story, great dialogue, well-drawn characters.

    Some of the phrasing and descriptions (in both books) could certainly generate a few song ideas for the next Challenge. 😉

  • @franniezest Mar 29

    @donna what is the summer 50-90?

  • @donna  Mar 29

    @franniezest, the 50-90 Challenge is basically a 3-month-long FAWM (though with its own website & forum). It begins on July 4th and ends on October 1st. The challenge is to write 50 songs/lyrics/instrumentals in 90 days. Many or most FAWMers take part in this one as well.

  • @billwhite51 Mar 29

    the criminal history of mankind by colin wilson

  • @ustaknow Mar 29

    @billwhite51 - ewww, good one.

    -- And, not much has changed as per the mouring-morning news feed 😝

    Wow, >700pp, - so, Twitter doesn't do much for you then? 😀

  • @franniezest Apr 10

    50 songs in 90 days!?!!?!?!? yikes.that's too much for me for now 😀

  • @billwhite51 May 1

    jules verne..voyage to the bottom of the sea,,,,,,,complete version

  • @bootlegger May 3

    I just finished the unauthorized biography of ezra maas which was really cool and mind bending.

    I also recently finished the familiar volume 3 and have started on volume 4 by Mark Danielewski of House of Leaves fame.

  • @donna  May 19

    Working my way through a series of crime thrillers by Sharon Bolton. I especially like the ones featuring the aloof and quirky detective Lacey Flint.

    Nothing highbrow or profound about the books, but a good read, with interesting plots and characters, and well written.

  • @nikke88  May 20

    12 Rules of Life by Jordan B. Peterson.

    I can't really see, why this is so "influential" book. Basically nothing new in self-help-genre.

  • @kalcedonka 1 week

    Verne and Lovecraft 😀

  • @sonia98 17 hours

    High Five! Just finished "Journey to the Center of the Earth".

  • @andygetch  13 hours

    Patti Smith - M Train (just finished)
    Vera Mattlin Jiji - Cello Playing For Music Lovers

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