Monday, 24 December 2012

The Literary Life 2012

Quotation of the day ~ Anthony Powell: Books do furnish a room.

I'm a list freak. I keep track of almost everything, with the possible exception of my chequing account -- which could explain a few things. So here's a list of every book i read in 2012 (in chronological order):

Judy Collins – Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life In Music*
Ian Rankin – The Hanging Garden*
Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs*
Michael Westerfield – The Language Of Crows*
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Hobbit
Stephen Pile – The Return Of Heroic Failures
Nicolas Freeling – Those In Peril
Martin Amis – The Moronic Inferno
D.M. Thomas – The White Hotel
Arthur C. Clarke – Childhood's End
Josef Skvorecky – The Bass Saxophone
Ian Rankin – Resurrection Men*
Ian Rankin – Blood Hunt*
Michael Morpurgo – War Horse*
Tony Geraghty – Who Dares Wins: The Story Of The SAS 1950-1980
C.S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters
Maj Sjőwall & Per Wahlőő – Murder At The Savoy
Ian Rankin – A Good Hanging And Other Stories*
Richard Boston – Beer And Skittles
David Lodge – The Picturegoers
Keith Laumer – It's A Mad, Mad, Mad Galaxy
Ian Rankin – Beggars Banquet*
Ian Rankin – The Falls*
Levon Helm w. Stephen Davis – This Wheel's On Fire: Levon Helm And The Story Of The Band*
Ian Rankin – Witch Hunt*
Thomas Harris – Hannibal Rising*
Ian Rankin – Knots And Crosses
Ian Rankin – Hide And Seek
Ian Rankin – Tooth And Nail
Ian Rankin – Strip Jack
Gyles Brandreth – Great Theatrical Disasters
Gary Zukav – The Dancing Wu Li Masters
Ian Rankin – The Black Book
Ian Rankin – Bleeding Hearts*
Anne Enright – Yesterday's Weather*
Marcus Connaughton – Rory Gallagher: His Life And Times*
Ian Rankin – Rebus's Scotland: A Personal Journey*
Ian Rankin – Mortal Causes
Lily King The English Teacher*
Ian Rankin – Standing In Another Man's Grave*

(Books read for the first time are indicated by an asterisk.)

And what (i hear you ask) was my favourite of the new books?  

Let me begin with my least favourite while i ponder the matter. Lily King's "The English Teacher" was 100% tedious and a struggle to finish, but with the tenacity i'm notorious for, i completed it ... and promptly gave it away.

Most disappointing, i'm sorry to say, was Ian Rankin's "Standing In Another Man's Grave," his new Rebus novel. I'm a huge fan of Rankin's and in fact i've begun the process of re-reading all of the Rebus novels in their proper order. I hasten to add that there's nothing wrong with the new book, he remains an excellent storyweaver.  Perhaps i was expecting more.

Best book? Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs gets the nod, the much-coveted Spriggs Award. Jobs was a fascinating character, a marketing genius if not a computer wiz (it was his partner Steve Wozniak who built the world's first personal computer) -- a contradictory man, obnoxious at times, driven and demanding and occasionally living in what his colleagues would call a "reality distortion field." It's a compelling read.

And the playlist:
Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Messin'
Thunder -- Live At Donington '92
Melissa Etheridge - Brave And Crazy
Jethro Tull - The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
Steeleye Span - Winter
Rory Gallagher - Top Priority
Quintessence - In Blissful Company
Saga - Saga

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Coming Soon....

Quotation Of the Day ~ John Lennon: We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.

Hi, everyone.

It's almost that time of year again -- the time for the Spriggsblog "best of" posts.  So i've been looking at the lists (yes, i'm a list freak) of every book i read in 2012, every film i watched, every CD i bought.  It's gonna be a tough choice, but i'll have it up soon.

Meanwhile, all i have for you is a playlist:

Roxy Music - Viva!
Eddi Reader - Eddi Reader
Blind Blake - Ragtime Guitar's Foremost Fingerpicker
Thunder - The Rare, The Raw And The Rest
City Boy - Dinner At The Ritz
Sky - Sky
Rory Gallagher - Jinx
Various - Let's Move
America - Back Pages
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin (box set, disc 1)
Mike Oldfield - Amarok
Humble Pie - Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore
Joe Bonamassa - A New Day Yesterday
City Boy - Young Men Gone West
Maddy Prior - Live At Cecil Sharp House, 2008
Rory Gallagher - Calling Card
Thunder - Donnington 1992
Shooglenifty - Solar Shears
Big Country - Live In Newcastle
Rory Gallagher - Defender
Matchbox Twenty - North
Marillion  - Sounds That Can't Be Made
Joe Bonamassa - Black Rock
Jeff Beck - There And Back
Van der Graaf Generator - The Box, disc 3
Oh, and a new pic of the love of my life Andreea Raducan, who sent me two Christmas greetings this year 

The most beautiful woman i have ever seen, i think....

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Grey And Greene

Quotation Of The Day ~ Graham Greene: Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don't, why should we? They talk about people and the proletariat; I talk about the suckers and the mugs. It's the same thing.  

And, in my sartorial splendour today, i was dressed entirely in grey and green. I looked good (though i say it myself).  And i've been desperately trying to come up with some kind of wordplay that would bounce around grey and green and Graham Greene.  Unfortunately, i can't think of anything.

Probably lucky for you.

It was a nice idea, though....

Here's the playlist:

Sass Jordan - Get What You Give
Matchbox Twenty - North
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Saga - 20/20
The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues Outtakes
City Boy - Dinner At The Ritz
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Live!
Kula Shaker - Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts
King Crimson - The ConstruKction [sic] Of Light
Various - Lake Michigan Blues, disc 1
Steeleye Span - Cogs, Wheels And Lovers
Thin Lizzy - Still Dangerous
Sally Oldfield - In Concert
Fairport Convention - Acoustically Down Under
Various Artists - The Roots Of Paul McCartney
Sarah Fimm - A Perfect Dream
Fairport Convention - Angel Delight
David Gilmour - On An Island
City Boy - Dinner At The Ritz
Bruce Guthro - Of Your Son
Siouxsie & The Banshees - The Rapture
This Mortal Coil - Filigree & Shadow
Yes - Talk
Les Paul & Friends - American Made, World Played
Sandy Denny - A Boxful Of Treasures, disc 4