We used to rent a renovated barn-like house on Douglas Lake in Michigan for a summer vacation and there were a ton of paperback books downstairs in th...moreWe used to rent a renovated barn-like house on Douglas Lake in Michigan for a summer vacation and there were a ton of paperback books downstairs in the "livingroom." I had rarely seen paperback books, as my parents had hardback books in their library as did my grandparents. We went to the library and, again, there were no paperbacks, so this was exotic to me.I was absolutely drawn to these small, yellowed or well-worn books stacked up in a tall bookcase. They had covers with men and women and some looked rather forbidden to a 10 year old. My mother looked at them and told us, to leave them alone as they were not books for children. She should NEVER have said this -- she literally dipped them in chocolate at that point. I would sneak down and grab one and then read it under the covers upstairs with flashlight in hand. I read many cheap novels that summer and learned about sex, deceit, lying, and lowdown men and women. I learned from those books a entire encyclopedia of do's and don'ts in life, but my mother would have died a thousand deaths if she had known her sweet little red-haired girl was reading this in the sixties! I 've always wondered who in the world had collected these awful things -- even I knew the difference, but they were like forbidden fruit. Over the years, vacation meant sleazy literature, avoiding a sunburn and lots and lots of batteries! By the way, I didn't like this book at all -- it seemed forced, but that is my memory as a child reading - perhaps I should read this again!
What schlock. Meh, feh, eh. Someone gifted me this book and I was too embarrassed by it to regift it. It went to Goodwill with some of my husband's ol...moreWhat schlock. Meh, feh, eh. Someone gifted me this book and I was too embarrassed by it to regift it. It went to Goodwill with some of my husband's old shirts. Perhaps I am too practical, but I doubt that. I just don't believe in magical bicycle dreams. (less)
I was so excited that a book was being written about so new an artist - Joanna Newsom is one of the quirkiest, creative, and highly challenging new ar...moreI was so excited that a book was being written about so new an artist - Joanna Newsom is one of the quirkiest, creative, and highly challenging new artists on the music scene. My son introduced me to her work while I was doing laundry. Her voice, especially on the older CD's, sounds like Lisa Simpson trying to sing. I was so annoyed that I told him to turn it off. Being a typical young person, he played it whenever I was around and also put it in my car. (little imp) I grew to like her. I grew to love her - especially her lyrics. Have One On Me is an ambitious new offering and yes, yes, yes, she has matured (maybe Lisa Simpson grew up?) and I find her voice interestingly unique. I am now a fan. Big fan. Now my son tells me to turn it off because I now find delight in putting it on all the time. He smiles. So, after that longwinded explanation, I was so excited to receive this book of essays and ephemera about Joanna. I was truly disappointed. It is dense, scholarly, more dense and hard to read. I read it, but it was a slog. Did I learn more? Yes, but it was hard going. The pretty cover pretty well describes the torture inside -- slice and dice to academic pieces. If you are a Joanna Newsom fan, well go for it, but know in advance this will be a slow read. I found it indulgent. I like Joanna Newsome because she writes poetry first and could give a flip about being commercial. She reminds me of Joni Mitchell in that way. There are some great insights- Shayne Pepper writes well about her and it is worth reading. Also, explanations about the artwork were helpful and I was enthusiastic about taking out all the CD's and examining them again. In conclusion, am I glad I read this? yes. Did I enjoy it? Meh. I prefer having my own image, my own understanding, and my own clear appreciation for a wordsmith of the highest order. I do like the fact that she came to light through word of mouth - much like Devendra Banhart (another of my likes through my son's influence.) The power of a grassroots growth of an artist is heartening in this world and I like that Joanna Newsom remains true to herself in spite of this microscopic examination of an early metamorphosis of an emerging artist. Thanks to Brad Buchanan for even undertaking this, but lighten up a little or at least make it an engaging read as the twists and turns occur. I just found this a difficult read through a Medieval fairytale forest full of thorns and then . . . a clearing. . . and then more thorns. (less)