Book / music blahg

Three books.

1) The Last Chairlift. I have read maybe five of this acclaimed author’s books and have an on-and-off relationship with him. I enjoyed a lot about this long family saga. Problem? It was too long? 1000 pages on my phone. Although I can mostly say I never got totally bored, I wished for more editing. This novel deals with a “non-traditional” family (and ghosts) and I loved the family (and most of the ghosts) but sometimes it just went on and on. I was intrigued to read it because I was a downhill skier as a kid (decent amateur). The skiing references rang true. Blue runs and black diamonds. I could manage black diamond runs albeit not elegantly but I was really more of a blue run skier. And the chairlifts… “Number 1” totally reminded me of the one and only 2-seater chairlift at Mission Hill. Clankity-clank. Stem Christie anyone?

2) Of Women and Salt. To contrast to The Last Chairlift, this family saga could be expanded into a much larger book. I’m not sure how to even describe this book. Cuba, El Salvador, immigration… 1800s through the Trumpian Bombasty although the Orange Baboon is never mentioned by name. I did like the book and think the author wrote sparingly for reasons. I just wanted more.

3) I Cheerfully Refuse. Lake Superior. Yes yes yes. My home lake! Plus I love this author. Set in a semi-dystopian version of the shores of Gitchee-Gumee. I think. I’m not very far into the book and still figuring that out. That’s me and some friends frolicking in some big waves Gitchee-Gumee threw at us when we were kids. (Photo from the Sherman Archives.)

Music. It’s Saturday evening and I sooooo miss the locally produced Cuban Fantasy NPR show that used to run at this time. But they have replaced it with some decent jazz and folksy type stuff. Tonight something interesting came on that took me a bit of time to process. Disclaimer: YouTube links ahead that may come with ads. It turned out to be Neil Young and Crazy Horse playing Oh Susanna. At first I didn’t get that it was Neil Young even though I probably listened to the original Harvest album umpteen bazillion times when I was an angsty young college student. But. It also sounded like this Shocking Blue song. I’m not sure if Neil Young was “quoting” this song or not but they sound a lot alike to my ears. And yes, “quoting” other people’s music compositions is a *thing* although I don’t think I can begin to describe it.

2 Responses to “Book / music blahg”

  1. Pam J. Says:

    All three of those books sound good, especially the John Irving. I need to read more of his novels. Thanks for the ideas. And wow, you got me on the Music paragraph. The Shocking Blue song — which I remember very well — is indeed a different version of the original Stephen Foster Oh! Susanna. And yes, Neil (one of my all-time favorites — saw him live not that long ago in DC) also recorded it with Crazy Horse in 2012 on his album Americana. The album Harvest is great. I’ll have to dust it off and put it in my car — which is old enough to still have a CD player, sadly gone from many new cars, which is one reason why I don’t want to replace my 14 year old Honda. No complicated airline-like dashboard and a CD player.

  2. jane Says:

    I love that picture so much!