What'cha Reading?

I remember liking those books. I think there were three of them? It’s been a while, but I do remember they all felt very busy, and I struggled remembering who was where doing what, especially since the names are all so similar. It was fun to try and pick out who was who the next time I re-watched The Phantom Menace though. The book Ahsoka by the same author, however, was pure excellence and I read it 3 or 4 times.

There also is Queen’s Hope that happens I believe during Eps II and III, but not sure I want to dive in just yet.

So, I’ll finally reading some Sarah Vowell stuff.

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…okay, that’s curious.

Last night I started reading Timequake, which will bring me to the end of my journey through all of Vonnegut’s novels.


Right now…

bb ds



I have heard very good things about that first book.

Or rather, the predecessor to that first book.

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Yeah, it’s actually a prequel to Legends & Lattes. I liked it well enough to back a Kickstarter of a special illustrated hardcover edition.

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And with the 2nd book, Charlie Stross hasn’t written a bad book yet. Both the Merchant Princes series and sequel Empire Games series (of which Dark State is book 2) are extremely good.

Stross is really good at the spycraft stuff, especially with a paranormal or sci-fi bent. I plan to start on the Laundry Files series after I finish this trilogy. (I’ve read The Atrocity Archives but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it.)


Oh interesting!

I think that’s the most recent novel of his I read. Loved his short stories and those lobster books but it just kind of got too dense and was kind of too much work. Same thing happened to me with Vernor Vinge and Neil Stephenson. If I work that hard to read something I want it to be history or a Loeb translation of something that was in Greek or Latin.

Give me a cozy mystery and take me to a beach

I was amazed that Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle was so readable, considering how enormous it is and how much it covers. (Then I tried to read Anathem and couldn’t do it. I will probably try again.)



Past few days been revisiting this little classic.

Truly, it’s a thirty-five page pamphlet, really, but as I’m rediscovering, a most entertaining book.

Sid Jacobs is an amusing writer, although most of the book is in the form of musical examples in written form. For example, “These big chords, favored by men on horseback, a variety of strummers…” And so forth. Yes, his basic idea is that you don’t want to use big cowboy chords most of the time when playing rhythm guitar. His focus is on jazz comping, but I find it’s a true statement for rock guitar as well, most of the time. Plenty of classic rock guitar tunes use those full cowboy chords, true, but IMHO while it isn’t necessarily wrong, 99% of the time you don’t need or want to use those. They can sound OK for just acoustic strumming, but I’d rather work on voice leading, and altering chords below the top note to taste.


And yesterday, I thought to slip this in my pocket while going to my doctor. You know, anticipating there would be some kind of a wait and not wanting to carry a satchel or a larger format paperback and such. Besides, leather-bound volumes are designed to slip into a sportcoat’s side pocket, and that is why many people favor wearing a sportcoat for regular occasions…no need for fussing about with places to store sunglasses, cell phone, small notebook, pencil and eraser, and such.

Sportcoat. A man’s purse. Won’t you?

It’s the “new” edition of Mallarmé’s works…first volume…(well, I think Bertrand Marchal had these out by the early 2000s, so it’s been a while) which includes a stupefying amount of commentary on the most noteworthy addition to this edition, Mallarmé’s astonishing and enigmatic project uncompleted, just sketched out by S.M. as “The Book.” Granted, much of the actual editing and establishment of “The Book” was published separately by Jacques Scherer sometime in the late 1960s/70s, which is valuable material, but while I don’t hold Marchal’s published commentaries on S.M. as the ultimate truth, he has had some intriguing interpretations, and it is nice to have in one fairly slender volume.

It is nice, anyway, to have the newer edition (compared with the older Mondor edition published in 1945 or so…I don’t care to reach over and find out when my copy of the Mondor was actually printed, but despite the leather binding, the pages of these are wafer thin and prone to some amount of damage when thumbed through any number of times). No, I don’t see anything of interest to me that isn’t already in the older edition in V.2 of the Marchal, plus it seems nobody online wants to sell the second volume of the Marchal edition alone…bunch of ricains or something.

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Mick Goodrick’s Alamanac of Guitar Voice-Leading.

Wow. Astonishing organization.


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I just read a Don Rosa Scrooge story about the search for the SAMPO! It does a much better job of explaining what a SAMPO is than our more familiar version of the story, so now I have a much better understanding of the SAMPO and its story.


Two new books were at my door when I came home this evening.

Chuck Wayne (one of the absolute OG bebop guitarists, you know, since the very beginning). I’m not finding what I want in there just yet, but I have a crude outline of his basic idea, supposedly, passed on from some absolutely ancient guitarists from forums.

I’ll get something out of this. Eight bucks too, something like that, so, you know, I don’t have to peddle my “wares” under the bridge for this one.

This is the second volume of Garrison Fewell’s “method.” I’m still working on his first volume, called *Jazz Improvisation for Guitar : A Melodic Approach."

For Fewell, I’m still on his first book: his approach is very much “here’s some exercises…and while I’m not going to say so, if you want to be a real player, you should be taking each idea, playing it in every possible way, using every fingering possible.”

So, I’m still on his first book, absolutely trying to master every possible way of making music, in a technical sense out of every snippet or idea he has. It’s slow going, but I think it’s the right way.

The second volume, I was just curious what else he had up his sleeves. Yeah, I’ll play through it, but considering Mr. Fewell (RIP) was also a bad mf on the guitar (not flashy, just solid, musical, tight, and swinging), I think it’s worth looking at.

And when I get there, studying the cr__ out of it! :slightly_smiling_face:

/*Small mini-reviews…The Chuck Wayne book does have a manner of presenting basic chords (from triads to really gnarly altered chords) that I’ve never seen before. However, I think I got more of his “system” (I don’t see much evidence of a system in this book) from taking a few notes from some forum posts and just working it out on my own.

The Garrison Fewell book is, in some ways, quite a departure from his first book in the two-part series.

No, he still breaks things downs almost exclusively in terms of triads…that’s his “method.”

I won’t be using much of the material here in actually playing (yeah, I know I’m desperately unhip, but I very rarely have any use for the Lydian mode (major scale with an augmented fourth)…it’s just too cool for me, and out of my bag of tunes I play…doesn’t really fit in with the more roots-oriented jazz or other music I play.

Similar with upper structures on dominant seventh chords…I feel I already know those inside and out from work at the keyboard.

However, there’s a wealth of material just to practice, almost like an étude book on guitar, which I most zealously welcome.

So, the ideas themselves don’t knock me out…I already know them or know what things I like to play…but this will make me a better guitarist, for sure. Not saying I’m a guitarist now, wouldn’t dare, but, you know, such as it is. */

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When on way to pharmacy to get HepB second shot, found these in my mailbox.

Yes, I kind of boxed myself into a corner with the KGilbert set of Scarlatti Sonatas a while ago, because, as one knows, DomScarl wrote only about a thousand million of them or whatever. But this is a nice binding, with spiral binding that doesn’t look like crap that will fall apart. I think I only have one more from the same publisher, but that was not even bound in signatures…likely after this if I want more Scarlatti, I’ll just go for the Henle editions of “selected” sonate.

The other I have not yet dived into, but like Ben Sidran (pianist, possible anagram of name of tune “Nardis”? No one knows! that is where I first heard of this book, though…in a thread which meandered into “Who actually wrote the tune “Nardis,” anyway?”), I go in head first like Pete Rose.

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