25 Albums

This meme is naming 25 albums that had a profound effect on you, the ones you listened to again and again, and have worn out copies in a number of formats.

Being a big fan of music, lists and contemplating my own naval, here’s mine, in rough chronological order of when I became obsessed with them:

Abbey Road – The Beatles
Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
Louder than Bombs – The Smiths
LA Woman – The Doors
Dolittle – The Pixies
Full Moon Fever – Tom Petty
Bug – Dinosaur Jr
Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
Candy Apple Grey – Husker Du
Melt – Straitjacket Fits
Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth
Loveless – My Bloody Valentine
Parklife – Blur
Robot World – Bailter Space
40 oz to Freedom – Sublime
The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Underworld – The Orb
Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys
Velvet Underground and Nico
Mutations – Beck
Selected Ambient Works Part II – Aphex Twin
Revolver – The Beatles
Bressa Creeting Cake- Bressa Creeting Cake
Blue – Joni Mitchell
Everybody’s Talkin’ – Harry Nilsson
Dayglo Spheres – SJD

Read: To Have And Have Not – Ernest Hemmingway

Wikipedia says Hemmingway reckoned To Have And Have Not is ‘a bunch of junk’. I reckon he’s right. It’s a mish-mash of a couple of short stories.  One’s about Harry Morgan, a hard on his luck fishing boat captain forced to take increasingly desperate measures to feed his family. The other’s about a bunch of utterly charmless writers drinking and shagging about in the Florida Keys. Both stories are shoved up against each other in a fairly artless manner (Heh. A half arse blogger calling Hemmingway ‘artless’. that’s what the Internet was made for, team.). The best bits are the very start, with some enthralling writing about big game fishing in the Cuban gulf stream, and the last three pages.  The rest is fairly forgettable.

Wikipedia link

Read: Grapes Of Wrath – John Steinbeck

I’m doing a quick, one paragraph review of novels I read this year – so I’ve got a record, apart from anything else.

Like a roller coaster, the first bit was a bit flat, but when it started picking up speed… I haven’t had a *physical* reaction to a novel like this in a long time – my heart beat faster, my stomach churned, and I swore aloud on the bus. The story of the Joad families’ trip from Oklahoma to California to find work in the depression era is gritty, bleak and graphic. Again, like a roller coaster – just when you think everything’s going to be alright, that’s usually when things turn to shit just that little bit faster. Beautifully written, with characters you want to take home for a BBQ and a bath. Highly recommended.

Wikipedia link

Fav reads of 2008

I read embarrasingly little that was *new* in 2008. But I did get lots read – thanks, bus commuting and baby-enforced early nights. My best were:

East of Eden, with a surprising amount of sex and violence for a book written in 1952 and set at the turn of last century.
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote’s journalism / novel crossover. Mind bogglingly detailed and chilling.

Best of the rest were James Ellroy’s The Cold Six Thousand that made me. Want to. Write short sentances, Emily Perkins‘ Novel About My Wife made me want to live in London again, and I’m revisiting an old favorite in my holiday reading, Boy and Going Solo.