It's the end of the semester, so now I have some free time and I can really get after it and read some books.
I recently tried to quantify all the translated books I've read, and they pretty much fell into three categories: European, Latin American, and Murakami.* But there were no African writers and very few Asian writers (not even African writers writing in European languages).
This past month I listened to Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag - translated from Kannada (spoken in India) - it was a very short, but very well constructed family drama, with an undercurrent of violence.
And this month I'm picking up Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo. This is the first Malagasy novel that has ever been translated into English. Madagascar is already so strange and interesting, so I'm excited to see what the book is like.
So I've been expanding my reading in that direction, what have you all been reading?
* one notable exception was Han Kang's The Vegetarian (from S. Korea)- which is hallucinogenically great.
Our little guy has really been excited about music over the last few months. We've had a whole bunch of discussions about what is or is not music. So we've watched STOMP, found some hambone solos, listened to some ambient compositions, and some harshly modern classical stuff. Almost everything gets judged as "music".
I've been really surprised at how much he's into the atonal, non-melodic things. The kid loves all the KidzBop stuff as well, but pretty consistently he requests "that one where it sounds like nature" (John Luther Adams - The Wind in High Places).
Anyway, what music (or not music) are you listening to?
I heard a recording of this piece about eight years ago and loved it. It's been released on a couple of albums (including one by Eighth Blackbird), and every time I come across it, I like it again. It weaves between disjointed percussive notes and the full melodic totalist sound that Mazzoli does really well.
(4 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10) You must be a WGOM Citizen to rate WGOM Videos.
Jace Clayton did an album where he applied his electronic manipulations to music by Julius Eastman - The Julius Eastman Memory Depot. I couldn't find any live performances from that album, but if you read this, you should give that album a listen. Every time I do, I realize again how much I like it.
Eastman was a queer black radical in NYC in the '70's, so his piece titles tend to be provocative. Fair warning.
(3 votes, average: 6.67 out of 10) You must be a WGOM Citizen to rate WGOM Videos.
So far, 2017 has turned out to be the year of the comic book for me. Here's five series that I've been reading.
This is my favorite new discovery of the year. It's kind of steampunk, kind of high fantasy with definite Asian influences and a dash of Elder Gods thrown in for good measure. It's a little gory, and a lot convoluted, but I've really enjoyed it. I've read through issue #10, and I'm struggling over whether to wait for the collections, or buy the issues as they become available. The art is really really good. Although the story seems like something you've heard before (orphan girl struggling against forces much greater than herself), there are plenty of factions and intrigue to keep it interesting.
It's sparse and a little funny and a little sad. A policeman on the moon drives through his patrol. The moon is emptying out, but still there are just enough people around to create small stories.
It's not a big book, but you will be pulled in.
I didn't really know of Warren Ellis, but reading this and the next series on the list, he has a pretty incisive way of world-building. Trees are alien spaceships landed without explanation that seemed benign until the end of volume 1. Volume 2 gets a little bit more into how governments and other systems are reacting to a threat they don't understand. Volume 1 was very good. Volume 2 I hope is building toward something else that's as good.
Another Warren Ellis book. Another fantastic introduction to a new world. In an attempt to spur more global innovation, The Injection occurred, and now it has taken on a mind of its own. It sounds like its the singularity, but probably not in a good way. I was really into the first few issues of this, and I have another 3 or 4 sitting on my bookshelf to read soon. Ellis loves a dystopia that's not quite a dystopia yet, and he does it pretty well.
I have only read the first issue of this one, but it seems very cool. Set in the 80's, a group of four newspaper delivery girls are defending their routes from Halloween pranksters when they find a ... time machine? maybe? I don't really know yet, but when I get the chance I plan to keep reading.
So, what have you all been reading? Comic book/graphic novel or otherwise?