Monday, July 18, 2011

Check out the latest concert review on my Concert and Clef Notes page...

click to read about Elvis Costello and more...

a new "Spin"dle on the Kindle...a bookless library ...Borders liquidation

While visiting my parents over the 4th of July, I was reminded of the tradition of book gifting. Books as holiday or birthday gifts, or perhaps handing down a book from generation to generation.
Thinking of this fond memory as I drove home, I wondered, how would parents or grandparents pass on a book and would it hold the same sentimental value or importance if a  kindle, nook or e-book were the only format?

Generations from now, where will this sacrament of book gift giving be?  How would a grandfather give a book to his grandson if the only format available is electronic?  "Here grandson, let me email you this book"  Not sure if the gesture would have the same meaning.  Given it further thought, how many times have you passed along a book and inscribed it to that special recipient? How would you inscribe it with only a Kindle or Nook?  Email the message?

Will book signings become a thing of the past? I've been to a few in my day and the pleasure of meeting your favorite author and listening to his/her thoughts on a book is a great experience.  Truly these traditions will stand the test of time?

If what we see today at Drexel University is the future, may be not.  A great friend and reader passed along a Time Magazine article, Is a Bookless Library, Still a Library?  In this article by Tim Newcomb, best selling author Michael Connelly  shares an inspiration of a kind  - the perusing of his campus' library and its stacks of books led to his writing career . Would or could one be inspired by e-books? Walking along a row of computers, looking for a book to read? If a library would no longer contain books, what would be the purpose of the library to begin with?  Catch more of the article in  last weeks Time:,8599,2079800,00.html

A further  sign of the times, Borders bookstores today announced the beginning of their liquidation. Although sources have revealed that Books a Million is in talks to purchase some of the stores, the big box book retailers are all but gone.  BAM and Barnes-n-Noble being the only true big box retailers now remaining.

So, will hardcover and paperback books cease to exist? Perhaps the fall of big box stores will lead to the rise in used books stores, such as Half Price Books. 

These hard covered bound, paper back covered treasures -  a signed book by a parent, grandparent, friend, author and those rare first editions - - are becoming more valuable then ever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From Key West to Cumberland Island

Key West, the home of Ernest Hemingway, Duval Street, Spring Break and Tuna, Wahoo and Marlin fishing. And the backdrop of James Patterson's latest novel, Now You See Her.

Now You See Her

Patterson is at his best in Key West; Now you see Nina Bloom and now you don't. Patterson puts you right in the life of the Keys, fun frolic and..and a spring break party that cascades into horrifying intensity.  Co-authored with Michael Ledwidge, Patterson again brings the hot ferocity he's best known for, so hop on your Vespa and enjoy the ride!

From one coastal paradise to another - Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia.   Generations collide in Stuart Woods' Palindrome.

Palindrome (Avon)
Lust, intrigue, mystery and...murder spun in typical Woods' style. Come along with Liz Barwick as generations collide, Liz escapes her brutal past only to have it roaring back like the subtly of a hurricane. An accomplished photographer, Liz tries to save herself and in doing so, saves others along the way.

This being the second book of Woods' that I've read, he brings to literal life the definition of a Palindrome!

 As with Key West, I've never been to Cumberland Island, after reading Wood's novel, I've added it to the travel folder of my internet bookmarks

Cumberland Island Map

What it's like to be a Dog, Day 47..

Back in May, (see previous post dated 5/25) I set out to explore and research a pet; a dog specifically. Well the dog days of summer are yet past us, but my research on dog life has temporary concluded. In reading, Alexandra Horowitz's Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know, I know more about dogs than I could imagine and I'm one of many steps closer to adding a four legged roommate to my humble abode.

Horowitz, clearly and yet scientifically helps dog lovers understand the various characteristics and behaviors of a dog as she spins her own dog' s life (Pumpernickel, Pump for short) throughout the book. After reading her book, you'll never look at a dog the same way again, and that's a good thing!

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.  - - Attributed to Groucho Marx

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Big Chill - 80's version

While driving over 1500 miles last weekend with the convertible top down all the way ( except for that gully washer of a downpour some where in Wisconsin), I had a lot of time to think and reflect. With my hopes of meeting some Yorkies for a long awaited reunion dashed, something kept pulling me to the 80's on the 8 of Sirius radio as I drove and drove and drove. Perhaps it was the great memories of college, the Yorkies and the friendships that have remained constant some 25 years later ( thanks facebook).

One memory in particular was the movie The Big Chill, released in 1983. The soundtrack is outstanding, so much so, that back then, a friend and I wondered what our Big Chill soundtrack would be.
The Big Chill - Deluxe Edition

So as the miles ticked away, the songs started piling up.  So many of the songs brought back vivid memories of the Hideaway, The Dugout, Jeremiahs, The Purple Crackle, Ragsdales and Rumours.

So here's my stab at the 1980's (1982-1987) version of a Big Chill soundtrack - double album.  ( in no particular order). To help jog my memory, most were taken from Billboard Top 100/200 lists:

Disc One, Side A

1) Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
2) Sister Christian - Night Ranger
3) Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer
4) 99 Luftballoons - Nena
5) We Are The World  - U.S.A. for Africa
6) The Boys of Summer - Don Henley
7) Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
8) Purple Rain - Prince
9) Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen
10 ) Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen

Side B

1) Pink Houses- John Mellencamp
2) When Doves Cry - Prince
3) Tainted Love - Soft Cell
4) Livin on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
5) Missing You - John Waite
6) St. Elmo's Fire - John Parr
7) Miami Vice Theme - Jann Hammer
8) You Belong To The City - Glenn Frey
9) Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
10) Rock Me Amadeus - Falco
11) You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi

Disc Two - Side A

1) What about Love  - Heart
2) Don't Dream Its Over - Crowded House
3) Wanted Dead Or Alive - Bon Jovi
4) Small Town - John Mellencamp
5) Drive - The Cars
6) In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
7) Life in a Northern Town - The Dream Factory
8) We Belong - Pat Benatar
9) Like a Rock - Bob Seger
10) Day by Day - Hooters

Side B

1) People Get Ready - Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart
2) On the Dark Side - John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band
3) Dancin' in the Street - Mick Jagger/David Bowie
4) Every Day I Write the Book - Elvis Costello and the Attractions
5) Your Love - The Outfield
6) Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar
7) The Warrior - Scandal
8) Never - Heart
9) I didn't mean to turn you on - Robert Palmer
10) Don't forget me (when I'm gone) - Glass Tiger