Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Books

Full 2014 list here. Hit my target. Well off my century in 2012.

Books That Changed The WorldBooks That Changed The World

In "Books that Changed the World" Andrew Taylor sets himself the challenging task of choosing and profiling the fifty most important and influential books in the history of the world. He has selected books from every field of human creativity and intellectual endeavour - from poetry to politics, from fiction to philosophy, from theology to anthropology, and from economics to physics - to create a rounded and satisfying picture of how 50 towering achievements of the human intellect have built our societies, shaped our values, enhanced our understanding of the nature of the world, enabled technological advancements, and reflected our concerns and dilemmas, strengths and failings. In a series of engaging and lively essays, Andrew Taylor sets each work and its author firmly in historical context, summarizes the content of the work in question, and explores its wider influence and legacy. A fascinating and richly informative read, and a clarion call to delve deeper into the library of great books, "Books that Changed the World" is a thought-provoking and stimulating read, and the likely cause of many an impassioned debate.
Note: And one that didn't. Short overview of the contents of each, with an even shorter analysis of how each changed the world. The Bible? OK. Catcher in the Rye? Um...

Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies

Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies

A Tribe Called Quest • Beastie Boys • De La Soul • Eric B. & Rakim • The Fugees • KRS-One • Pete Rock & CL Smooth • Public Enemy • The Roots • Run-DMC • Wu-Tang Clan • and twenty-five more hip-hop immortals

It’s a sad fact: hip-hop album liners have always been reduced to a list of producer and sample credits, a publicity photo or two, and some hastily composed shout-outs. That’s a damn shame, because few outside the game know about the true creative forces behind influential masterpieces like PE’s It Takes a Nation of Millions. . ., De La’s 3 Feet High and Rising, and Wu-Tang’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). A longtime scribe for the hip-hop nation, Brian Coleman fills this void, and delivers a thrilling, knockout oral history of the albums that define this dynamic and iconoclastic art form. 

The format: One chapter, one artist, one album, blow-by-blow and track-by-track, delivered straight from the original sources. Performers, producers, DJs, and b-boys–including Big Daddy Kane, Muggs and B-Real, Biz Markie, RZA, Ice-T, and Wyclef–step to the mic to talk about the influences, environment, equipment, samples, beats, beefs, and surprises that went into making each classic record. Studio craft and street smarts, sonic inspiration and skate ramps, triumph, tragedy, and take-out food–all played their part in creating these essential albums of the hip-hop canon.

Insightful, raucous, and addictive, Check the Technique transports you back to hip-hop’s golden age with the greatest artists of the ’80s and ’90s. This is the book that belongs on the stacks next to your wax.
Note: Disappointing, and not because of the author's aim, or the albums covered (though there is room for argument. This is music I love, but the essays are too short, and I didn't learn much about anyone or anything.

My Salinger Year

My Salinger Year

Enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The literary agency is a picture of a bygone era, and the picture of life as a 24 year old in New York is especially poignant. Do I need to read Franny and Zooey again? I thought it was corny a year ago, but maybe I wasn't looking at it correctly.

Listen to This

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