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Recent Activity #2

An irregular series of posts about stuff I am currently liking. In this edition, books and music.

Reading

Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin
The Morning News was one of the first websites I made friends with on the internet when I started diskant and I still read the site regularly. Andrew and Rosecrans have introduced me to tons of great writers, not to mention the stuff they write themselves. I read a few excerpts from this book and had to buy a copy – being able to justify supporting kind of sort of internet friends as a reason always helps too. It’s a personal memoir of Rosecrans’ year-ish in Paris working for a big advertising company and describes, hilariously, his issues with the language, his colleagues, the French bureaucracy and American expat society. While the general tone is bemused frustration, his love of Paris comes across and it never stops being entertaining. A must-read for anyone who’s ever considered moving to another country.
Buy at Amazon.

100 by Bill Drummond
Could just as well have been called ‘how to be interesting’. Bill Drummond is something of a hero of mine because he is always doing something interesting. I might not agree with it, but it almost always intrigues or amuses me. This book collects together 100 questions (and their answers) from various people who were only allowed to ask 4 questions he’d never been asked before. Whatever the question, he usually manages to turn it into whatever he really wants to talk about – the point of art, the important places of his past, how music has become a spectator sport and all his odd little projects like his choir The17 and getting people to bake a cake and personally deliver it to a stranger’s house. Anyway, the whole thing is amusing and interesting and beautifully made. Sadly for you, it’s sold out now.

Adorkable by Sarra Manning
In the hands of any other author, I would probably detest this, since the protagonist is a Tavi-style schoolgirl blogger media sensation, but Sarra is the best teen writer and it has enough snark and actual plot to get along fine. Obviously as a blogger/Tweeter/serial entrepreneur/loser, I enjoyed this a lot. Buy at Amazon.

Wheel of Time recaps at Tor.com
I started reading these recaps so I could jump back in at book 10 and finish this series off, but they are so awesome I think I’m enjoying them more than I enjoyed the actual books. Possibly because you lose all the repetition and re-explaining stuff that happened in the last book and blah blah blah endless meandering. Also, I understand so much more – when an author has about 5 billion characters, only kills about 10 named characters in as many books and brings half of them back to life with different names/genders, it can get just a little confusing. There is still some great writing in the books so I’m not sure I would recommend the recaps over the full experience but if you only have a passing interest or want to catch up before the final book then these are A+. The same writer is also doing an unspoiled read and recap of A Song of Ice of Fire, which is both interesting and hilarious.

Listening

All my favourite bands, bringing out new records. Mogwai album soon and even Girls Aloud are making a comeback.

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MQmsHPwLvU” width=”500″]

The new Saint Etienne album has been on repeat since I got it a couple of months ago. This track is my exact walking speed. Good video too.
Buy at Amazon.

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/L1rrsxLF238″ width=”500″]

I wasn’t initially impressed with the new Pet Shop Boys album but it’s a real grower.
Buy at Amazon.

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDeJ0eoMIJk” width=”500″]

And I’m not 100% stuck on the new Errors mini-album either but, from previous experience, it just needs a listen outdoors in headphones. Also, props for releasing it on VHS too. Luddites.
Buy at Amazon.

I just realised I never set up Last.fm on my new laptop so I’ve missed a few months. You can friend me here, or just nose into my listening habits.

 

Disclaimer: Amazon links are affiliate links. Feel free to buy from somewhere else!

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