Book Haul: The Remains of the Day

Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

I was thrilled to find Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day at one of the charity book sales a couple weeks ago. I recently read one of his books for the first time (you’ll find out which one when I post a review sometime in the next 50 years) and it was great. But this is the famous one.

Again, a great example of how book sales can be a source of fun older editions, for a fraction of the cost of a new one. I’m always on the lookout for old Penguins.

Also, my browser has been changing “Kazuo” to “Kazoo” which I think is also a good name for a writer. Pynchon would approve.


On Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan records

When the Nobel Committee announced on Thursday that Bob Dylan would receive the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, he became the first songwriter to ever win the prize. This interesting trivia may inadvertently suggest that there were other songwriters in the running. Of course there weren’t. Continue reading “On Bob Dylan”

3. The Song Machine

John Seabrook The Song Machine

John Seabrook


I saw the sign
And it opened up my eyes
I saw the sign

Early in The Song Machine, John Seabrook describes what must be the defining feature of pop music today. He opens with a scene involving “the Boy,” his fifth-grader son who has begun to listen to Top 40 stations as he rides with his dad to and from school every day. Stirred by his child’s new palate, Seabrook starts listening to Top 40 as well (which, he immediately corrects us, is properly called Contemporary Hits Radio, or CHR). He reluctantly abandons his dad rock for Flo Rida and the like, as a sort of bonding exercise with his son.

Seabrook’s initial reaction to modern pop is that of anyone as highly cultivated and deeply refined as he. He asks himself:

Is this music? Continue reading “3. The Song Machine”