Don't Live A Bug's Life
by, Apr-30-2012 at 12:01pm (4216 Views)
Don't let the internet turn you into a mosquito, drawn by the uncontrollable lure of a bug zapper, ie., too much time online. I'm in the midst of preparing a summer reading list for our teenage daughter and one for myself as well. Goals? Read more, be online less. Play more music, spend more time with friends and family.
Don't get me wrong. No one loves the internet more than I do, but there's a healthy limit, and I'm troubled by those that can't resist the lure and spend too much time online and can't pull back, not unlike the poor mosquito in the movie A Bug's Life. It just can't help flying into the bug zapper. Around our house it's called screen sucking.
Don't screen suck. Get off the internet and get some exercise, read a book, be with those other humans living in your house as our last page on the internet has always advised.
And now that you know how I really feel about the web, let me recommend a few books we think might fit your summer reading list.
Have your own recommendations? I'd like to hear them. Doesn't have to be music related.
Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers - The story of the Louvin Brothers as told by Charlie Louvin with help from Benjamin Whitmer, finished shortly before Charlie's passing in 2011. We felt very strongly about this book and blogged about it recently. Our own copy has now circulated among several friends.
If you're looking for the kind of book that grabs you instantly and won't let you put it down start to finish, this is the one. Receiving wonderful reviews all over the web, and for good reason. And who can't dig that classic one-of-a-kind album cover? While you're at it, if you're not familiar with their work and the influence they had on bluegrass, rock, pop, all kinds of music really, you owe it to yourself to explore.
Haven't we talked enough about this book enough? Sure, but we'll continue on. This one folks, is a real gem that doesn't come along very often.
Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Festivals - Warning: most appropriate for hard core Bluegrass and history buffs. Whereas Satan Is Real has the kind of cross-culture popular appeal that will have it read by all types, Thomas A. Adler's book published by University of Illinois Press is less drama and more geared towards those looking for those interesting tidbits from the people that actually attended the early Bean Blossom festivals and have a keen interest in the life and times of the Monroe family and early bluegrass festival history.
Side note: University of Illinois Press is a terrific source for specialty books in the kinds of music of interest to people that frequent the Cafe. A search of mandolin or bluegrass turns up many great well known books we won't necessarily be recommending here because they've been around a long time. Don't be afraid to check out the resources they've published. In the music community we can use more publishers like this.
The Inner Game of Music, by Barry Green, principal bassist for the Cincinnati Symphony and W. Timothy Gallwey. One look at the overwhelmingly positive reader reviews from amazon.com should be enough--4.6 out of 5 stars in 32 reviews. For pros or amateurs looking to take their music to the next level, you can't go wrong with this one, but be prepared to wade into the deep end of the pool. Discussed on our forum as long ago as 2005.
We picked the brain of Ted Eschliman of JazzMando.com for some recommendations and he concurred. Great book. Ted also recommened--though not necessarily music related--Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking which we've also read and recommend.
Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War - and finally, one non-music book that will have you falling over laughing. We've recommended it before. One of our all-time favorites. A look into the hard life in West Virginia, or as the author says: the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks.
And now that we've listed a few of our favorites, do us a favor by sharing some of yours and a link it if it pleases you. We'll try to pluck one or two from the list to read.