May 31, 2017

Play(list) By the Book: American Gods

Hello, everyone! When I picked up American Gods I was certain that a playlist would be needed. Indeed, there are so many song and artist references in this novel that I didn't face any trouble to fill it. The edition of American Gods I own also includes an interview with Neil Gaiman, an essay by the author himself called How Dare You?, and an American Gods novella, named The Monarch of the Glenn. These three bonus materials added some songs of their own to the playlist. The result is quite lengthy, so sit back and enjoy!

The rules are, as usual, simple. Songs and artists mentioned in the text belong to the playlist. Also, when an album is mentioned I pick a song from it. Sometimes, when there are lyrics in the novel, I try to find to which song they belong.

Nottamun Town, the song that begins the playlist, is a town that Shadow visits, and since there is a well-known song I couldn't leave it out. San Francisco was included because Wednesday used it in order to describe their visit to this particular city ("The flowers in your hair are optional"). Lastly, Glass by Bat for Lashes was included because of its opening lines: Bilquis is reciting verses from the Song of Solomon, and this particular song begins with the same particular verses (I will rise now/And go about the city/In the street's/Broadways I seek/Him whom my soul loveth).

In the beginning of the second chapter, there are some lyrics of an "old song" that I don't recognise. My research didn't bear fruit, so if you happen to know which song this is I'd really love to know! The lyrics are:
They took her to the cemet'ry
In a big ol' Cadillac
They took her to the cemet'ry
But they didn't bring her back

If you want to dig in a little deeper you can also listen to the albums that are mentioned. Those are the following three: Dream Cafe, by Greg Brown, 69 Love Songs, by Magnetic Field, and King of America, by Elvis Costello.

Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

May 5, 2017

Play(list) By the Book: Heart-shaped Box

Hello, everyone! Another novel, another playlist. This time the novel is none other than Heart-shaped Box, written by Joe Hill. Its protagonist is an aging rock star, so don't be surprised that the vast majority of the songs that are included belong to this particular genre. If, by any chance, you are a fan of rock music, like myself, then you are sure to enjoy it. 

As per usual, the rules for this Play(list) by the Book were simple: songs and artists mentioned in the novel were in. But Heart-shaped Box had its own difficulties, because the protagonist was a rock star. As it would be expected many songs that were mentioned were imaginary, written by himself. Nevertheless, the playlist turned out to be quite lengthy even without those imaginary songs. 

Another thing that troubled me, while creating the playlist was the fact that many band members, from groups that were already included in the list, were mentioned. Some of them, in fact, have their own solo careers. Names like Kurt Cobain, Trent Reznor, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Bonham, Joey Ramone, and David Grohl. For this one I need your suggestions: Should I include them or not?

Finally, the names of some music publishers, record companies, and generally types of music appeared in Heart-shaped Box. This was exceptionally hard for me, as on the one hand I didn't have extensive knowledge on any of them, and on the other hand they include many artists, records and song. If you want to dig a little deeper, you can search for Folkway Records, Tin Pan Alley, and music of the Ozarks.

P.S. When I found out that Ramones would be one of the bands that I would be the one to pick the song for the playlist, I couldn't resist the temptation to include Pet Sematary. What more fitting than to include a song inspired by the book written by Joe Hill's dad, Stephen King?

Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

March 20, 2017

The Reading Book Post, March 20th

The Reading Book Post - literary news

Happy First Day of Spring, everyone! You might have guessed, but this is my favourite season and so I'm happy! Anyway, my reading this week was mostly manga (I can't resist), but I've also started digging in Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Besides, March is the month when I have to read a horror novel. Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • Beyond James Bond, who is first literary spy that comes to mind? It's none other than George Smiley, the famous spy created by John LeCarré. Well, after 27 years, the well-known spy will return! John LeCarré's new book will see the return of Smiley, and I'm so excited about it. The book will be called A Legacy of Spies and is due on September 5, 2017.

  • Love audiobooks, and love Stephen King? On top of that, do you love James Franco? Well, then you 're going to love this: James Franco will narrate Stephen King's The Dead Zone. The audiobook will become available on April 25, 2017.

  • This is a collaboration that I never guessed that could happen. I'm talking about the collaboration between Black Eyed Peas and Marvel. Yes, a new graphic novel, called Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles, will hit the shelves in July. The story was written by none other than 

  • Many of us have struggled to read James Joyce's Ulysses. But now there is hope! A new game, Joycestick, is developped by Boston University in order to expose this difficult work to broader audience. What's most is exciting is that this is a virtual reality game!

  • Really sad news. Bernie Wrightson, the well-known horror comic artist, has passed away at the age of 68. 

  • The sad news have no end! Derek Walcott, the poet who was awarded with the Nobel-prize in literarure, has passed away at the age of 87.

  • Can You Identify The World Famous Author By A Book Title? Take the quiz to find out! It's mostly classics, so I'm sure you'll do great!

March 6, 2017

The Reading Book Post, March 6th

Hello, everyone! Spring is finally here, and we are officially just a little less than 2 months away from The Handmaid's Tale and American Gods tv series. I can't wait! Also, this month there are some pretty interesting books coming up, such as The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engels, Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor, and Hunted, by Meagan Spooner. Well, March seems to be a promising month! Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • We've known for some time now that Stephen King will collaborate with J.J. Abrams for a new tv series, called Castle Rock. Not much has become public. We only have a cryptic teaser. What is your guess?

  • Looking for new comics? IMAGE has just announced 15 new series! I certainly have set my eyes on a couple of them! 

  • See the beautiful cover and read an excerpt from the upcoming YA novel Things I'm Seeing Without You, written by Peter Bognanni. The book will be released on September 26, 2017.

  • Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Donald Trump is impressive. So, what more natural than co-writing a satirical novel about the new President? The book will be called You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump. The famous actor will co-write it with Kurt Anderson and it will hit the shelves on November 7.

  • How we all love Dr. Seuss' stories! Here are some stories behind some of his most popular once of them.

  • It turns out that there are books that teach you how to be an adult. Yes, you've read that right! You can here the comedian Andy Richter narrate one of them, that deals with The Hangover. I need this full series! 

  • Are You A Realist Or An Idealist Based On The Synonyms You Pick? Take the quiz to find out! It turns out that I'm an Idealist, what about you?

February 28, 2017

February Wrap-Up

Hello, everyone! It's been a while, but I've finally decided to post a monthly wrap-up. In this post I'll let you know of my reading and the progress on my reading challenges. February was a good month, as I read some pretty interesting books. I only hope that my luck with the novels I'm reading will continue.

First of all, let's see what I posted in February:

Now let's see how my reading progressed:
  1. Finished
  1. Currently Reading

Secrets of a Summer Night is a historical romance novel, the first instalment of the Wallflowers series. In my reading challenge February was the month that I had to read a romance novel, and so I have successfully completed it. As for the main challenge, this month I've checked out the collection of short stories by reading the book Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman.

Reading Plans for March

In March, I plan on finishing Ethan Frome, the book that will check out the classic book  from my reading challenge. As for the monthly challenge, the theme is horror, and I've decided to read Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill.

As for future posts you'll have to look for in the blog, are reviews of The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman, and Ethan Frome. You can also expect some Weeckies, one of which will most definitely be Story of Your Life, by Ted Chiang. 

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