09 February 2010

Line by Line

Listening to: Pekka Pohjola, "The Madness Subsides." DJ Shadow sampled this for one of his songs. I think I like the Pohjola version better. It's moodier. If you like to know what samples what, this site has been blowing my mind (and sucking up my time), "Who Sampled."

Lara Zielin, of Donut Days fame, asked me for three winter book reading recommendations for my alma mater's online magazine. When giving book recommendations it's always difficult without knowing who the audience is but I had no problem recommending these three. The first is "Breathing" by fellow Deb Cheryl Renee Herbsman, which I'm rereading right now actually. So, get it and let's read together! Check out my other recommendations at "Fireside Reading."

While we're on the topic, I've been trying to read more in 2010. I kept a monthly "Stuff I've Been Reading" column for 2008 and might have to bring it back because I liked going back to see what I'd read for the year. Or I could just Goodreads more I guess. I can't get into the habit of using that site though, for some reason. Reading a book a week shouldn't be that difficult with my schedule, but I find myself online or watching television much more often. I think I lack a good reading spot at the house. I need to find one of those. My old favorite spot was lying out across the elevated crosswalk on our second floor, while the sun came through the skylight, but that just makes me fall asleep nowadays.

So far I've actually been too caught up in school reading to finish any other books. In short fiction we've been using The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction as a guide, while narrative non-fiction class has given me Modern American Memoirs, which offers snippets of a few authors I need to look into more deeply. The theory class has me wading through stuff like Feminist Perspectives on Sustainable Development and Jacques Derrida. The latter ain't no breeze and I'm having difficulty working through the language, the concepts, and the denseness of the writing. But hey, that's what learning's about right? Amusingly, our liveliest class discussion so far has centered around Twilight. I didn't say anything, because I never say anything in class (it's a problem, I'm working on it), but the general consensus was split between "This is a gutter book!" or "Whatever makes people read!"

Recently I've been talking to my friend about the Harry Potter generation, and if those books made people get into books. Like if that was a launching point into other genres, allowing them to broaden their reading horizons, or if they just kept in the same sort of Harry-sphere. I'm sure there are people who've had experience with both but I'm curious if such an overpowering series creates a new generation of readers or if it just pulls people in temporarily. The same question probably exists around Twilight, on some level.

I obviously didn't come of reading age with the Potter books and grew up reading anything put in front of me so I can't even recall what might have inspired my reading habits initially. I just picked something up -- Encyclopedia Brown, T.A.C.T., Hardy Boys, Beverly Cleary, all those horse books, swords and fantasy, etc. -- working through a series until I got tired and moved on.

Speaking of Harry Potter, who else is psyched about the upcoming Lego game? I mean, besides me.