Sunday, August 13, 2006


Just went to a Jasper Fforde reading/book signing last Tuesday night, which was enjoyable. I'm currently bogged down in the third of the Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots). Though I picked it up again this afternoon and hit the chapter where all the characters of Wuthering Heights undergo anger management counseling, and am enjoying it again. Fforde was reading from his most recent book, which is the second in another series, The Nursery Crime series. This meant I had to buy the first book in the series and the latest (which was in hardcover), but I got him to also sign my cloth bound copy of Lost in a Good Book (which had been slightly nibbled by my Scottie). The Nursery Crime series consists of The Big Over-Easy (a murder mystery, arguing that Humpty Dumpty was murdered) and The Fourth Bear (about the mystery surrounding the three bears and a missing reporter, "Goldy").

Also currently teetering on the nightstand:

Steven Johnson, Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter
Steven Johnson, Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life
Neal Stephenson, The Confusion (seriously bogged down halfway through this, the second volume of the Baroque Cycle series. Halfway in, at page 459).
Michael Farr, TinTin: The Complete Companion

[revision: oh, and Gerard DeGroot, The Bomb: a Life]

If I had time to blog, I'd provide more links.


Sun was behind an approaching thunderhead. I liked the colors and am glad they showed up when I took the pictures. I suspect there's some technical name for this (besides rainbow, which it's not really).

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I Like Jazz!

Apparently, white people like jazz!

Or at least, white people from Central Casting like jazz.

Elise ran across this album in a bargain bin in a coffee shop the other day; I was just struck by the complete absence of anyone of color on the cover. The purpose of the album seems to be to educate/market jazz to mainstream audiences. The back cover has a long history of jazz and its variations ("From the music of the churches and fields, the American Negro developed the blues...") and the selections are meant to be a survey of these types. It includes performances by Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Eddie Condon, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, and Dave Brubeck (among others). I believe the album is from 1955 (side question: why is it so hard to find a date on LPs?), it's Columbia Records, JZ 1.

[Jeez! Time to paint the baseboards, eh?]