April 5, 2007

Just Choose One...Or Two

You guys know that, aside from Beth and Mia, I have two great loves in life. Music and books. I guess it's kinda weird that I don't write more about them isn't it? I'll try and work on that. But in the mean time - since I'm tied up in more meetings than you can shake a multi-directional heat-seeking stick at (or three) - I'm turning the microphone, such as it is, over to you. Yes. You. Wake up.

The challenge is simple - choose one book and one album, open the comments and write them down. See? Simple. If you feel up to it, you can tell me why you chose what you did. But it's not required. Maybe, for instance, you just bought a CD you love the hell out of and just want to spread the word. Maybe you have a dog-eared copy of On The Road that you kept shoved in a back pocket throughout your formative years. Maybe a certain passage of a certain song single-handedly got you through your parents' divorce. The reason, while interesting, isn't important. All that matters is that these things mean something to you.

I guess it wouldn't be fair if I didn't go. So, for the record...

The Book: The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
The Reason: Because Oprah told me to read it. No, I'm kidding, I swear. I just finished it. It's the freshest in my mind. It was one of the most viscerally disturbing novels I've read in a long time. The premise - the world's blown to hell and a father and son must survive - sounds like a second-rate science fiction film but the execution is utterly profound. Because it is about, quite simply, love. Something I think most of us can, in some way, identify with. McCarthy proves that a book doesn't have to be long to be big.

The Album: Born To Run (Bruce Springsteen)
The Reason: Anyone who knows about me and my long-standing musical tastes just got a big surprise. See, I've always loathed Bruce Springsteen. I don't know why. It's not like the guy doesn't have any talent. He just never did anything for me. Until I heard Jungleland, the album's eight minute closer, on the radio a few weekends ago. It is one of the more brilliant songs ever written. The rest of the album ain't bad either. I realize I'm preaching to the choir here. Born To Run is consistently ranked right up there with Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin IV. I'm just a little slow on the uptake.

With that, I turn it over to you. I'm curious what you come up with. What you read and listen to says something about you. And the people who read what I write say something about me.

Posted by Chris at April 5, 2007 7:01 AM

The Book: 19 minutes (Jodi Picoult). I think this book should be required reading for parents and teenagers. It's about a school shooting, but it's more about how bullying can change people so profoundly, and how mean children are to each other, and how adults let it happen. I hated the ending, but besides that it was one of the bet books I have ever read, and I read a lot.

I'm going to skip music, b/c pretty much all I listen to lately is the Sirius kids channel, or the Broadway channel if Michael is not in the car. I'm a huge dork.

Posted by: jodi at April 5, 2007 7:30 AM

The Kite Runner - this book has images that have stayed with me for the last two years. It also opened my eyes to this part of the world (Afghanistan).

Posted by: Debbie at April 5, 2007 7:45 AM

The Book (A): The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. It was fascinating to me how applicable a pre-Christian era Chinese general's guide could be to modern life.

The Book (B): The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie. Lost amongst the calls for jihad and hurt feelings and death threats is the fact that this is a really funny book if you know a little about the three predominant monotheistic faiths (Islam, Christianity, Judaism).

The Music: Empire Records Soundtrack. It just captures a period in my life really well, and has a lot of bands that weren't one-hit wonders but weren't terribly popular (like Better Than Ezra, Gin Blossoms, Toad The Wet Sprocket).

Posted by: SciFi Dad at April 5, 2007 7:55 AM

Ooh, Born to Run... I just discovered its greatness last year. Such good driving music.

The Book: Hard to pick just one, but probably Fluke or Lamb by Christopher Moore. More Serious? Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides.

The Album: Grace, Jeff Buckley. Or anything by Billy Bragg.

I'm really bad at choosing just one thing.

Posted by: Nicole at April 5, 2007 8:17 AM

Book: "The Lucifer Effect" by Philip Zimbardo. Why? Because I just saw the author on the Daily Show last week and I can't wait to read the book once amazon.com delivers it.

Album: "Say I am You" by the Weepies. Why? Because I don't usually listen to suck folk-y folk music, but I can't stop listening to that album this week. It's upbeat in a laid back sort of way. Pretty without being too soft and downright catchy. Just the sort of album to listen to when Mother Nature decides to send us snow in April.

Posted by: Hope at April 5, 2007 8:26 AM

Book: since I read about one a day, it's hard to pick just one. The first one I remember really reading and getting involved with as a kid was "Little Women". As an only (and abused) child, I craved the sisters and the loving mother and lived vicariously through them for months. After that I got hooked on Stephen King. Hmmm... what does that tell you?

Music: I love so many types! I think I'll pick all the albums of "October Project", just because it saw me through a very bad time in my life.

Posted by: sue at April 5, 2007 8:27 AM

Book: One Dead in Attic by Chris Rose. I can't even read the back cover without breaking down in tears. Every member of Congress should have to read this. It's a collection of Pulitizer Prize Nominee Rose's columns post Katrina. Its heart wrenching and beautiful at the same time.

Album: Sunflower City by Matt Perrine
It's musical genius. It's so amazing and showcases so many very talented, musicians. I can't stop listening to it. And if it doesn't make you get up and dance, you must be dead!

Posted by: Lisa at April 5, 2007 8:33 AM

The classic book: My favorite book ever and most-often read is Gone With the Wind. I read it the first time when I was 12 and I've probably read it 6 times since then.

The modern book: My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. She writes wonderful, touching books, but this one just broke my heart. And it made me think, and led me to seeing my children as individual little people, not just extensions of me.

I'm skipping the music question. I don't listen to much but the radio.

Posted by: Alissa at April 5, 2007 8:41 AM

Book: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenberger. This is the best (and most original) book I've read/listened to in a few years. And I spent 95% of the book hoping that what I knew was going to happen wouldn't happen.

CD: No One Is Really Beautiful by Jude. One of my favorite cds from college that I still listen to today. It was the most unusual thing I owned at the time. Remember that song "Rick James"? That was from this.

Posted by: jaime at April 5, 2007 8:47 AM

The Namesake was a terrific book. I related to his struggles with being Americanized while maintaining his own cultural identity.

Right now I'm obsessed with listening to Amy Winehouse. She's so soulful and makes me want to shimmy my hips all sexy like. Now, that's a good thing.

Posted by: nila at April 5, 2007 8:52 AM

Damn, only one????

Well, let's give it a shot.


Connie Palmen's the Friendship is one book I keep coming back to every now and then. It is the story of the friendship between two girls, who at first sight seem to be very different from each other. A coming-of-age tale at the surface, it is also a philosophical essay about relationships and addictions. Food for thought and heart warming.


Jamie Lidell - Multiply

One of the few albums that I have played at least once a week since I got it. Normally I get bored much faster. This one, no way.
It is soul/electronic/pop/rock that never fails to cheer me up and get me moving my hips.

And just to cheat, one last:

dEUS - The ideal crash

my favourite band and it is about bloody time they get some recognition in the US. The songs are avantgarde pop with banjos, guitars and violins. Every time you listen to it, you'll disover something new.

Easiest song in:

Instant street. starts catchy and then goes completely loose, no breaks whatsoever at the end. Perfect madness.

(In the US it might be easier to get their latest album "Pocket Revolution though.")

Posted by: mikkie at April 5, 2007 8:59 AM

Totally agree with Nila!

Amy Winehouse is absolutely worth all the hype!

Posted by: mikkie at April 5, 2007 9:00 AM

The Book: Virgins (Caryl Rivers)
The Reason: I read this book for the first time about a million years ago, and since have read it many more times. It is on its surface incredible pulp, but at the time I identified with all the characters in it, and it felt immediately like some alternate version of my own reality. It felt like home. It also has some genuinely funny moments that still to this day make me laugh. Now, every time I feel I need a warm blanket and a good friend, I breeze through this one in a few hours and feel like I'm not so alone after all.
The Album: Rockin' The Suburbs (Ben Folds)
The Reason: Because it's one of the best albums I've heard. It's rockin', funny, heartwrenchingly poignant, and ends with one of the nicest love songs ever written.

Posted by: martin at April 5, 2007 9:12 AM

Book? I got nothing.... I don't enjoy reading. The last "book" I "read" was an audio book, and was John Grisham's "Bleachers" which I think came out in 2003.

Music... here we go. This I can relate to. How about Justin Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds", which was surprisingly good. It stays in my CD changer in my vehicle (along with my Tonic, The Babys, Fergie, John Mayer and Daughtry CDs).

I was gonna mention Wicked Tinkers, but I just listen to their music on the internet. They are totally cool and different though, if you like Scottish music.

Posted by: coolchick at April 5, 2007 9:15 AM

Too funny Jaime...I am reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenberger right this moment. **fingers in ears** Don't say anymore! :)

I love Tom Petty. Of course, 'American Girl' is my all-time favorite song. One of his old albums, "Southern Accents" is the best. I'm not fond of the 'commercial-ly' songs, but I heart these newer ones:
'Saving Grace', 'This Old Town' and 'Ankle Deep'.

Posted by: angela marie at April 5, 2007 9:33 AM

Book: how to choose? there are so many... At the moment it's "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle - It's speaking to my very intense need to live life in the moment instead of getting caught up in all the crap of the past and the worry of the unknown future.

Album: Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos. No question. There are many brillant albums by incredible artists out there, but this album was vital to my awakinging into adulthood, to developing my own tastes and beliefs and opinions outside of my parents, and my highschool self... I discovered this album at age 18 during my first year of university. It's still one of my favourites, 13 years later (eep?! has it really been 13 years since my first year of university...i feel old...)

Posted by: suze at April 5, 2007 9:33 AM

Book: Towing Jehovah. It's actually the first of a trilogy. It did more to get me thinking about ideas of spirituality and God than anything else in a long time. The basic premise without giving anything away: God dies, and people keep going.

Album: For some reason, The Mars Volta's "Frances the Mute" popped into my head. Absolutely amazing musicianship, it calls up all sorts of bizarre twisted images. It always reminds me of hearing Pink Floyd for the very first time.

Posted by: Holmes at April 5, 2007 9:34 AM

The Book: Dead Air (Iain Banks)
Because: I loved the voice of Ken Nott, the left-wing London shock jock who narrates.

The Album: March (Michael Penn)
Because: it reminds me of a particular sun-filled week at a cottage near Manitoulin Island where we played this tape (yes, tape. It was that long ago) so often it became the soundtrack to the swimming/fishing/sunbathing/eating/drinking.

Posted by: alison at April 5, 2007 9:36 AM

The Album: "Blood Money" by Tom Waits

The Reason: Because it's different. I do enjoy Johannes Brahms LPs as well as I enjoy Tom Petty. But when it comes to Tom Waits, it's not the Yet-Another-JazzBluesWhatever CD. And I sort of enjoy the looks of other people telling me "What the hell are YOU listening to??!" when I play this CD in my car...

Posted by: Alex at April 5, 2007 10:04 AM

Book: Hmm. Well, I never pass up an opportunity to talk about The Stand by Stephen King... so yep, that's my book choice. It's brilliantly written, the characters are down to earth, and the plot is huge. (It was this or the current book I'm reading by Barbara Hambly, which is terrible and I've been trying to decide if I thought her other books were good or that they were just about dragons and that instantly makes her good in my eyes. I have to dig those out to see..)

CD: Any of my Louis Prima cds. I love him and there is absolutely no better way to get in a better mood and want to groove than by listening to him.

Posted by: Phoenix at April 5, 2007 10:26 AM

The Book: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Reason: As a child, reading wasn't really encouraged in the home. I remember feeling that reading was boring. After reading this book sometime in high school, that all changed.

The Album: Brushfire Fairytales by Jack Johnson
The Reason: I first heard Jack Johnson at the start of a 2 1/2 year residency in San Diego. That album will always remind me of the wonderful times Josh and I spent together there. The beach, mountain biking through the canyons, or day trips to other beaches....it was like a 2 year vacation. Just awesome.

The album

Posted by: kim at April 5, 2007 10:35 AM

the book "imajica"(sp) Clive Barker...thoroughly warped but kinda nice.
Or the Fionevar trilogy by Canadian fantasy author Guy Gavrielle Kay
Or no wait The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
(or anything by John Irving)

the album, U2 the Joshua Tree. that album never gets old

Posted by: Pamalamadingdong at April 5, 2007 10:56 AM

Book: Anne of Green Gables
Reason: I don't know why this is my favorite book. I know that when I feel lonely or I am going through a realy tough time I pick this book up (and the rest of the series) and read it. It's kinda like a best friend in paper form.

Music: I don't have one album I have a person. Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty
Reason: This is harder than I thought. I don't normaly think of the why. I just go with the flow kinda. His music always makes me feel. If he is singing about breaking up I end up feeling like it's me going through this break up. I guess I just get sucked in. I feel the emotions in the songs, and I kinda live them. *shrug* or something. I just love him.

Dude. Looking at the book and the music I soooo appear to be a dork. And yeah I kinda am.

Posted by: Tc at April 5, 2007 11:00 AM

Book: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell- one of the best books I've read in the past year. Sort of Sci-fi but much more.

Music: I've been obsessed with Shakira and Wyclef Jean's 'Hips Don't Lie'. It's pretty much in the pop-music genre, but man! If you check out the video from the Grammy's and from last years World Cup finale, you might become obsessed too...

Posted by: sarah at April 5, 2007 11:08 AM

Book...s: Harry Dresden series. Any of them. We were fans of HD long before the SciFi Channel butchered it. (The show is okay...but nowhere near the books.) Harry's character has a good back story to him and it only gets more complex as we go. He is witty as hell. Other major characters are also interesting. Chemistry between him and his cop friend is GREAT. Jim Butcher takes his characters and story seriously but he has fun with them too. Like the fact that Harry will get his ass kicked more than once in the book is a given. Anyways. I'm in the middle of #9 "Proven Guilty" and #10 "White Knight" just came out. So...yey!

Music: Sheryl Crow Musician's Choice Compilation. Just picked it up from Starbucks a week ago and love the songs on it. Sheryl remakes 4 songs, "You can close your eyes", "Blue eyes crying in the rain", "I never loved a man (the way I love you)", and "The Few That Remain". The rest is a great mix of music.

Posted by: oakley at April 5, 2007 11:17 AM

Book: I'm reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins at the moment, with a rereading of children's classic Ballet Shoes for light relief.

CD: Bonnie Prince Billy's last CD. Because it's good.

Posted by: Katherine at April 5, 2007 11:31 AM

BOOK: a series, really - the 'Outlander' series by Diana Gabaldon. It's got it all - Scottish history, time travel, lusty sex, violence, intrigue, and fantastic writing. After reading this series, I'm not only proud of my heritage, but I've also developed a bit of a 'thing' for men in kilts.

MUSIC: how can I pick just one? At the moment, however, I'm loving John Mayer's 'Continuum.' The boy has talent. Perennial favorites are Radiohead 'The Bends,' Miles Davis 'Kind of Blue,' Smashing Pumpkins 'Siamese Dream,' and Willie Nelson 'Red-Headed Stranger.' I could list a hundred more though. :-)

Posted by: fw sunshine at April 5, 2007 11:37 AM

I'm still reading The Road. I had to take a big ol' sissy-break because it was creeping me out, but it is so very well written, I'll have to put on my big girl underpants and keep going!

album: Rogue Wave, Descended Like Vultures
if you like The Shins, and I know that you do, you'll enjoy this album.

Posted by: pagalina at April 5, 2007 11:53 AM

Books: Hard to pick just one so I won't. From youth, a book called "Mrs. Mike" 5th grade teacher gave it to me and it made me a life long lover of books, I still pull it out and read it occassionaly. Recent books that have touched me "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" was a haunting story of one family's struggle with parenting, mental illness, homelessness, just stayed with me. Also enjoyed "The Kite Runner"

Music: Probably an album by the Stones. Sticky Fingers. My father always listened to them in my childhood so I became interested in music because of them. I also remember the album having a pair of pants on it with a real zipper and if you opened it you saw a man's pair of underpants. That seemed interesting to me back then. My sisters and I would sneak peeks.

Posted by: stacie at April 5, 2007 11:57 AM

Book: Ghost Girl by Torey Hayden. Torey was a teacher for years, working with emotionally disturbed children, and has written several books about her classroom experiences. This book is pretty disturbing, but I still read it over and over.

(If I want something light and fluffy I'll pick up any of the "Arrows" series by Mercedes Lackey. I'm on copy number 2 or 3 of all three books because they've fallen apart from being read so much.)

Album: The Best of Simon & Garfunkel. Beth has effectively exposed my folk roots in a couple of her recent posts and I dug this out and have had it in near constant rotation for about a week. I grew up listening to them, and this CD has all the big hit favorites I'd sing along to in the car with my dad, and therefore have loved for as long as I can remember.

Posted by: Judy at April 5, 2007 12:06 PM

The book: Atonement, by Ian McEwen. It was on my "to read" pile for more than a year, languishing, because I kept thinking I wasn't in the mood for deep. Damn. I could not have been more wrong. This book is a masterpiece. Such incredibly beautiful, insightful, haunting, magical writing and a powerful moral story. It was tremendous.

Music: I can't pick just one, that's impossible. But I tell you, Paolo Nutini's "These Streets" has been in heavy rotation on the ipod. Folksy, not-too-poppy, great songwriting and execellent melodies.

Posted by: huberama at April 5, 2007 12:13 PM

Book: "Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer. Being someone who cannot turn off their brain and is constantly challenging the universe, this book tapped into me with an intense force. The courage, insight and depth of the main character, Oskar will blow your mind; and put a spurr in your brain to accomplish the outlandish ideas you invented as a child. Also, the way Foer writes relationships is genuinely real and truly touching.

Music: Coral Fang by The Distillers. The lyrics have a harsh exterior, but if you can get into the metaphors the lyrics are poetry. I love music sung with a passion. The lead singer, Brody belts it out the way you wish you could through love-ache, joy and hardship. (Even if you're not a fan of punk/rock, I think it can tap into you.)

Posted by: smoness at April 5, 2007 12:18 PM

I'm sorry, I am temporarily unable to read this post as I am about 3/4 of the way through "The Road".

I also started it before Oprah said to read it (I know, it shouldn't be taking me this long to read it, but things take way longer when you read four or five books at a time).

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at April 5, 2007 12:38 PM

Too hard to pick my favorite of all time but my picks lately would be;

Book: Marley & Me. LOVED it!

Music: Paolo Nutini - These Streets, I have been spinning this CD almost daily.

Posted by: Jenn at April 5, 2007 12:41 PM

book? a clockwork orange
reason? i can't think of any other books at the moment.

album? kings of leon's because of the times reason? i think it's an awful album but it seems like everyone on metacritic (except pitchforkmedia, who are like the Simon Cowel of record reviewers: harsh, but usually right.) loves it.

Posted by: Denise at April 5, 2007 12:43 PM

Book: The Color Purple
Reason: Because it was the first novel I ever read that was for Mature readers, and wasn't an assignment for a lit. class. I was 12. I bawled my eyes out.

Album: This is actually a tougher one for me.. I'm going to say.. the Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Reason: Its a really good Album. :)

Posted by: Molly at April 5, 2007 12:50 PM

The Book: The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins)
The Reason: I would call this book the atheist bible. I learned so much about my (dis-)faith and myself by reading this book. I regularly suggest it to my friends and family. It changed my life.

The Album: The Sufferer and The Witness (Rise Against)
The Reason: It's so hard to pick one album that changed my life, but it's easy to tell you what I keep coming back to. This album hits on every different aspect of music that I love and just listening to it makes me feel energized. If I had to choose one album that changed my life I guess I would pick Violence by Nothingface, because it introduced me to heavy metal with talent.

Posted by: Adam at April 5, 2007 1:12 PM

Book: Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema
My good friends uncle wrote this books and it is totally awesome. I could hardly put it down.

Music: Well I mostly listen to the radio or to cmt on tv so I don't really have an album.

Posted by: Adi at April 5, 2007 1:39 PM

I'm just going with what I'm reading/listening to right now, because I'm not sure I can pick all time favorites right now.

Book: I am currently making my way (somewhat obsessively, but not scary obsessive) through the works of SM Stirling, after he left a comment on my site. I just finished the Peshawar Lancers, which I liked. He tends to write sci-fi/alternate history stuff and he does it well.

CD: John just played me some Arctic Monkeys songs yesterday and I decided that I must hear more of their music.

I can't believe you didn't like Bruce Springsteen! Born to Run is so good. Have you heard his post 9/11 album? Also very powerful.

Posted by: bad penguin at April 5, 2007 1:48 PM

The Book: The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
The Reason: It's all about chance.

The Album: Carnavas by the Silversun Pickups
The Reason: They rock.

Posted by: ::c:: at April 5, 2007 1:48 PM

Book: "The World of Pooh"
It includes both "The House at Pooh Corner" and A.A. Milne's original "Winnie the Pooh". I loved the stories when I was a kid and I still read from it occassionally. Everytime I do, it's like going to a safe, comfortable place. I'm a voracious reader, but no other book has kept its hold on me for as long as this one.

Album: "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got"-Sinead O'Connor
The songs on this album are beautiful and moving. You can tell she really poured herself into every one of them. Besides...if Winnie the Pooh is my book, it's seems too great a leap to list "Ride the Lightning" by Metallica as my album (although it IS super awesome-tastic).

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at April 5, 2007 1:50 PM

book: A Good Yarn - Debbie Macomber
It's what I'm reading now. A very easy read. Second book in a series. It's about all I can handle right now... I wish I had more time to concentrate on reading something with a bit more substance.

album: Travis - The Invisible Band
It's just what's playing now.

Posted by: Colleen at April 5, 2007 3:21 PM

Book: Watership Down (Richard Adams)

Album: Trinity Sessions (Cowboy Junkies)- This could change daily!

Posted by: Regina at April 5, 2007 3:36 PM

I also love, love, love the Hitchikers Guide to the Gallaxy books by Douglas Adams, but i call those my mindless reading...

sorry for the second post i just couldn't help myself!!!!!

Oh and not my favorite album but my favorite song is "Leaving on a Jet Plain" i don't care if John Denver or the Mommas and the Pappas sing it they are both great!

Ok i am done now.. i think...

Posted by: Regina at April 5, 2007 3:43 PM

choosing one of each is tough, so I'll just list the most recent

book: Sea Glass, Anita Shreve

cd: Neon Bible, Arcade Fire

Posted by: Kathryn at April 5, 2007 3:46 PM

Book: Angels and Demons
Reason: I think I may be one of the few who still like Dan Brown. So much of what he writes makes sense to me.

Album: Gordon by the Barenaked Ladies
Reason: Great Canadian music. I saw them for the first time in a very small venue. The best live show I have ever seen, hands down.

Posted by: Kari at April 5, 2007 4:27 PM

I'm reading The Road right now, too. It's hard to read because it's so visually stunning, utterly desperate, and poetically beautiful at once. But it's incredible.

Book: The Watchmen by Alan Moore. If you haven't read the grandfather of graphic novels before the movie comes out you'll have missed out on something special.

Music: Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis. New solo album from the frontman of Pulp, and it's fantastic.

Posted by: CroutonBoy at April 5, 2007 4:30 PM

The book: Forever
The reason: I've NEVER read a book I wanted to read twice, this one I will read again. It takes you down many roads and at the end, I said "dang". It's an awesome read IMHO.

Posted by: been there, done that at April 5, 2007 4:34 PM

first and foremost...p'shawwwww to all those people that can't come up with one book to talk about. tsk tsk....

The Book

Light of Day – Jamie M. Saul

The review I wrote back in August of 2006.

This book was heartbreaking and so well written it was impossible to remain sad having read it. The characters come to life, the gut-wrenching loss that the father feels throughout the novel. The struggle to understand why his son would commit suicide. So so real.

The how of how this man’s son killed himself is beyond me. I think it’s the one blaringly wrong portion of this book. No one would kill themselves in such an agonizing painful way. I just didn’t buy it. I don’t want to give anything away..judge for yourself.

The ending, the finding out….after the father wanted to know “Why why why would my son kill himself” was brutal and kept me up for hours that night mulling it all over. What would I as a parent do? Feel? Believe? It was so real I wanted to call Jack Owens. (the father and main protagonist of this novel)

This book gets five stars from me. Mr. Saul, I had never heard of you and picked up your book because of it’s crisp clean cover that led me to believe there really was a story within. Thank you for such a great read. Loved it!

The Music

The Replacements – Don’t Tell a Soul Because if you haven’t heard this CD you need to run, buy it, devour it and then sip it like a fine wine forever after. This album changed the way I thought about lyrics and music and writing them both collectively well forever after. Paul Westerberg is the great unknown musical God.

Posted by: Kristy at April 5, 2007 5:45 PM

The book: I have an awful lot of books in my house, but if I had to chose one, it would be Leonard Cohen's Stranger Music. How can you not love a book that starts with this?

"I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.

If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumors on our lips
it is because I hear a man climb the stairs
and clear his throat outside our door."

The album: Wow. That's really tough. At the moment, I am simultaneously enjoying three new CDs: Bombay Dub Orchestra, Slowdive and Slow Motion Crash. You should check 'em out.

Posted by: krystyn at April 5, 2007 6:26 PM

I'm kinda laughing at you...."I do what Oprah tell's me too." Ok, I've bought it too but I haven't read it yet. Ok, so my book in the moment is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soilder by Ishmael Beah...because I do what Starbucks tells me too. And it's amazing and gut whrenching all at the same time. Makes me love every second of my life, for sure. Hmmm also I was given this book for Nata which just came out called Someday by Allison McGee or something close to that. I haven't been able to read it without crying, but it's a great kids book. I bet Beth would love to get one for Mother's day. :)

And CD wise, well Corrinne Bailey Rae is the only one that stays in the CD Changer these days. We all like it. All the rest filters thru, but that one may be there for awhile.

Posted by: Melissa at April 5, 2007 6:28 PM

The book: Time Traveller's Wife.
The Reason: Because a bunch of people kept saying it was FAB. And, it was. Most powerful book I've read in a long time. Also about love. In fact, love is like a character of it's own in this book....

The Album: Justin Timberlake's new one.
The Reason: I like all the new songs and I wanted to get me a gifty that would make me groove in the car (and, thus, keep me awake on long drives to the monkey's program!). Not loving it, though....

Posted by: Haley-O at April 5, 2007 7:03 PM

Book-- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Album-- Achtung Baby by U2

There are others more recent and more intellectually challenging, but those both helped me get through my senior year of high school, and still hold a warm place in my heart.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at April 5, 2007 7:16 PM

I can't do favorites because that's just too hard to pick.

For music, I went to three awesome shows last month, so these are my favorite albums by those artists:
Ole Tarantula by Robyn Hitchcock
Four Thieves Gone by The Avett Brothers
Dissent From the Living Room by Matthew Ryan

For books, I'm currently reading:
The Joke by Milan Kundera
The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
And I just finished Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Posted by: fauve at April 5, 2007 7:23 PM

Reading: The Fabric of The Cosmos, by Brian Greene. Light reading - string theory, the 10 dimensional Universe, Einsteinian spacetime.

Listening to: The Arcade Fire, "Neon Bible". Bubblegum pop about religion and death.

I'm great fun at parties.

Posted by: Jason at April 5, 2007 8:47 PM

America: The Book - Don't look at me like that. Sure it is humorous, but it is also chillingly accurate at pointing out a lot of the real problems we have in this country at the present time.

Born In the U.S.A. - yes it is difficult to live in New Jersey and not worship at the altar of Bruce. But even so, I was a bit late to the party, and this was the one that first reeled me in.

Posted by: JayMonster at April 5, 2007 11:44 PM

Book :: As a Man Thinketh :: James Allen
One of my favorite quotes from this book is "circumstances don't make the man, they merely reveal him" or something like that. Great book, quick read.

Music :: Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes :: Jimmy Buffet
What more can I say, if you have ever sat an listened to the words and felt the rhythms - you will find yourself on the beach, Corona in hand - just smiling and tapping your feet.

Posted by: Arnie McKinnis at April 6, 2007 12:05 AM

The book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
The reason: I could read it over and over. What woman isn't in love with the Mr. Darcy that emerges toward the end of the book.

The album: Most recent album by Dixie Chicks. Can't remember the name but its in my car cd player.

The reason: My hubby bought it for me recently cause he thought it was something I'd like. (Awww.)

Thanks for the backround on that book. If you liked it, sounds like something my hubby would like too.

Posted by: motherofbun at April 6, 2007 12:13 AM

suze, little earthquakes had a similar impact on my life, except it was more the soundtrack for my last two years in college, not my first years. my first year of college the album that had that effect on me was sinead o'connor's "i do not want what i have not got." i need to go back and listen to those albums.

the album i pick, though, is bob marley's legend. i was just thinking about it yesterday after hearing the fugees cover of "no woman no cry" on the radio. this album just meant a lot to me in high school and played a huge role in my life as i "found my identity" or whatever it is high schoolers are doing. also, when i heard the fugees song on the radio i remembered that the marley version of "no woman" always makes me cry. (not the fugees version though.) another one i need to go back and listen to after all this time.

the book i pick is "a sport of nature" by nadine gordimer. i loved this book when i read it in high school and again when i re-read it last year. i picked it because it was the book that had the most impact on my life last year. it basically changed my outlook on life.

Posted by: jen at April 6, 2007 6:53 AM

Book: A Wrinkle in Time
Reason: The book is aimed at young adults, but the ideas are beyond most adults... I read this as a kid and it blew me away...

CD: This Desert Life - Counting Crows
Reason: Even though once I flung it like a frisbee to the back of my car (during a particularly bad time), I keep coming back to it... Also, because it contains my all-time favorite song...

Posted by: KT at April 6, 2007 7:48 AM

Oh and I totally agree on The Time Traveler's Wife...

Posted by: KT at April 6, 2007 7:53 AM

The Book: Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts
Why: Well, I saw the movie before I read the book, which almost never works out. In this case, though, the movie is very true to the book and gives it extra character. The story is simple - a young, uneducated, pregnant Tennessee girl gets left in Oklahoma by her boyfriend, gives birth in Wal-Mart, and finds an amazing support group of strangers that help her through that experience. It's a little unrealistic, but it's a damn good book.

Album: Red Letter Days by The Wallflowers
Why: So many times there are CDs that I can't listen to all the way through because one or two songs suck. This is not one of those CDs. The best song is "Three Ways," which describes different ways to get out of or get off of things/situations. It's a few years old (2002) and I just discovered it this year, and I highly recommend it!

Posted by: Stephanie at April 7, 2007 12:54 PM

OK, good start, now may I suggest you give a listen to "Darkness on the Edge of Town?

Posted by: Lena at April 7, 2007 1:41 PM

adding my love for the Time Traveller's Wife...

But, my book choice is "The Learning Brain" by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore. I just re-read it for a presentation I'm working on. It's one of the best books about cognitive neuroscience in children I've ever read (and I've read a ridiculous number of books about neurology in children).

Album is Taking the Long Way by the Dixie Chicks. I bought it when it first came out, but I can't seem to listen to anything BUT recently. The song "Silent House" made my cry so hard when I first heard it that I had to pull my car over. It's about Natalie's grandmother and Alzheimers:
And I will try to connect
All the pieces you left
I will carry it on
And let you forget
And I'll remember the years
When your mind was clear
How the laughter and life
Filled up this silent house

Posted by: kara at April 8, 2007 5:16 PM

The Book: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

I could read it over and over.

The Album: If I have to pick just one it would be U2 The Joshua Tree.

Every song on the album is fantastic.

Posted by: MammaLoves at April 8, 2007 9:23 PM

Book - It Takes a Worried Man/ Donorboy (Brendan Halpin) - I love this guy's writing style, both in his memoirs and his novels (It Takes is a memoir about his wife's diagnosis with breast cancer, Donorboy is an epistolary novel about a girl who must live with her sperm donor after her lesbian moms are killed). His voice is one that I feel is truly genuine, and the fact that he manages to be funny in a time where the only way to be funny is to point out the stupidity of others is truly exciting.

Music - The Sounds (self-titled album) - just good.

There are some AWESOME books/music listed here!!

Posted by: susannah at April 9, 2007 11:25 AM

oooh - tough one....

Book: The Stand by Stephen King...

Album: The Joshua Tree - U2... most of the songs on this one still can stop me in my tracks.

Posted by: Sue R. at April 9, 2007 11:31 AM

Book: White Oleander
Reason: I love this book, it could be 'cause I relate vaguely. Oh and the oprah bookclub sticker helped too.

CD: Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man Soundtrack
Reason:It's amazing, the songs of an old legend, re-created by legends, I don't normally like these cd's where other artists redo their catalogue, but this one is good. Nick Cave, The Wainwright's, Beth Orton, Jarvis Cocker, and more. It's worth a listen.

Posted by: Toni Marie at April 11, 2007 12:46 AM

Book: Any of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser books by Fritz Leiber, aka Swords Against Deviltry, Swords in the Mist, etc. Great sword and sorcery action mixed with very funny parts.

Album: "Moondance", Van Morrison. A perfect album. All of the songs have the same mood, and they all just flow.

Runner-up album: "2112", Rush. A theme album that works.

Posted by: Steve Boyko at April 11, 2007 11:34 AM