Rebecca Mead, My Life In Middlemarch (2014)
Middlemarch is one of my favorite books, and as such I periodically re-read it. I certainly want to do it again before reading Mead’s book because I want: a) a full immersion experience, and b) I want to remember some of the details from the book so that I can see how my approach to it clashes/agrees with Mead’s. Yes, I’m a nerd. And yes, I’m actually reading two books for a single entry.
The book has been a lifetime companion to Mead, and she’s taken to analyzing it from a subjective, semi-autobiographical viewpoint, which in itself merits a read if you ask me.
J.R.Ward, The King (2014)
In complete contrast to the high-brow reference above, I’m a big fan of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance series (I’d never read romances before), and as such I’m eagerly awaiting the latest installment, which I plan to follow up with a post reviewing the whole series so far. Nerdy in a sexy way, no?
Music: Neneh Cherry, Blank Project (2014)
I’ve always liked Neneh’s work. Back in February I read an interview with her in The Guardian about her upcoming album release (the first one in 18 years) and listened to the album stream, which blew my socks off. I think this could easily be the best album of 2014 for me, and I’m usually not wrong about these things.
Dhafer Youssef, Digital Prophecy (2003)
I really enjoy Middle Eastern music and the oud is one of my favorite instruments. I thought I’d been made aware of pretty much every artist of note from this niche, but it turns out I hadn’t. Dhafer Youssef came recommended on a desert-island-top-10-music-albums list recently compiled by Kenan Malik on his Pandaemonium blog.
Speaking of oud music, let me use this opportunity to promote the work of a dear friend’s husband, a very talented Croatian oud player, who currently has a new record out:
And just because the word ‘wishlist’ triggered a bunch of memories for me, I’ll let Eddie Vedder do my send-off: