The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

NEW READS, NEW SOUNDS
Earlier today, I bought myself a few books and CDs at a scholarship benefit sale. For a good cause, and it was under 20 bucks. Would you like to know what I got? Sure you do:

CDs:
- Baby Anne - Mixed Live: Ra Las Vegas: Baaaaad-ass techno DJ artist, from just up the road (Orlando).
- Aphrodite - Urban Junglist: Techno/house/and so on compilation.
- Bio Ritmo Salsa Band - New Mixes 2003 (sampler): Upbeat moderna salsa.
- Tommy Guerrero - Soul Food Taqueria: Blend of alternative, Latin rhythms and trip-hop, from a renowned skateboarding impresario (I'm not sure, but I may be too old to know that).

Books:
- "The Porno Girl: and Other Stories" by Merin Wexler: Short story collection from a first-timer, promoted as some sort of new-wave feminism. I actually read the first story out of this, and have already turned around and given it to a friend who I thought might enjoy it.
- "The Afterword" by Mike Bryan: This looks like a neat little one, from another first-timer. It's framed as a lengthy afterword essay about a non-existent best-seller. What really attracted me to it was the book and jacket design: Miniature and irregular shape, cool binding and typesetting (I'm a sucker for unique book design).
- "Junky" by William S. Burroughs: A bygone classic, delightful decadence. Another cool book design, for the 50th Anniversary Definitive Edition.
- "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen: Yeppers, this is the same book and the same author that gained infamy by snubbing the great Oprah. It's funny; just before that controversy broke, I remember I was browsing through a bookstore and came upon this book. It had a "Recommended by Oprah" tag on the jacket, and I gotta tell you, the fact that it had Oprah's seal of approval really turned me off, so I didn't buy it that day. I figured if it was recommended reading for the Oprah crowd, then it had to be utterly banal. Obviously, this is the impression that Franzen sought to avoid by disavowing the Oprah touch. But with the passage of time, and the fact that is was for sale so cheap, I decided to take the plunge.

I'll point out that I haven't heard or read any of the above. So I'm looking forward to experiencing them all. Hope they're all to my liking.