Music Biographies

February 22, 2015

By coincidence got three music biographies from library recently

Prince Biography

Prince Biography

What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong Biog

What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong Biog

and

Morrissey&Marr_The Severed Alliance

Morrissey&Marr_The Severed Alliance

Read the Prince one over the weekend and it was much better than I thought, especially on the last 10/15 years. Now onto the Louis Armstrong one. Riccardi’s thesis is that Armstrong was unfairly popped at by critics in his later years and that critics either hadn’t followed his career or were wilfully using their ennui to have a go. The Morrissey/Marrs one I saw when I was returning the Prince one. Never a Smiths fan but it looked good so figured why not.

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Latest Library Books

April 19, 2014

Anne Boleyn Book Cover

Anne Boleyn Book Cover

Walsingham book was a difficult read. The format read very list-y so found ir difficult to get through, as I did Alison Weir’s book on Anne Boleyn.

Read a number of her books and I think with this one the short three week, pretty much, structure didn’t work for me.
Now reading her book on Elizabeth first.

Elizabeth The Queen Alison Weir Book Cover

Elizabeth The Queen Alison Weir Book Cover


Moving on to Napoleon next


Pig iron by Ben Myers

April 6, 2014

After my David Peace marathon of reading all of his work (just finished Tokyo Year Zero the last one of his works that I had yet to read) and finishing off the latest draft of my play 57 Images Of My Father (in readiness for the Inside Out festival, taking place at the Curve Leicester from Thursday this week) I’m now reading Ben Myer’s Pig Iron.

Pig Iron Book Cover

Pig Iron Book Cover

Just started reading it but it’s shaping up to be a good read from the few pages into it that I am.


Blitz Kids

January 2, 2014

Just finished Blitz Kids by Sean Longden.

Blitz Kids Book Cover

Blitz Kids Book Cover

Really good read. The focus is how ww2 affected UK kids. I guess there’s a good number of books already about the Hitler Youth and I would be interested to read one from the Russian perspective.
What is striking is the experiences of the kids, after signing up at 14, which they could if signing up for the Navy, had gone through by the age of 18. Fighting, being shipwrecked, the world of working men, growing up, leaving home.
Book didn’t really focus overly on longer lasting consequences other than discussing the sense of liberation felt by the country as a result winning the war, NHS, home building, career aspirations for boys, girls, men and Women. Again this is covered by lots of other books so it was a good editorial decision to focus this book on the experiences of numerous named individuals.
I’m now reading 1974 by David Peace. Read Damned United a few years ago, around the time of the film I guess, and his most recent book Red or Dead. Saw parts of the adaptation of Red Riding but don’t know much about this book. I think it’s part of Red Riding Trilogy isn’t it?


Techniques of The Photoplay

April 18, 2013

in preparation for my Avanca Cinema presentation (hopefully) in July I’m reading Techniques of The Photoplay written by Frederick Palmer. This book was published in 1924.
In the Dramatic Construction chapter the following elements are listed:

Drama-Characterisation-Motive-Action-Conflict-Suspense-Contrast-Incident-Situation-Crisis-Sequence-Climax-Ending-Significance-Theme-Unity-Illusion of Reality-Probability- Coincidence and Preparation-Human Interest-Love Interest-Comedy in Drama-Heroic Values-Picture Values-Novelty

I’ve read a few scriptwriting books in my time, though tend not to make notes and therefore don’t really remember the points which of course is deliberate and I like and I was struck by how little has changed in 90 odd years. It made me think that McKee, Truby, Seger et al are all somewhat redundant.
I’m awaiting Epes Winthrop Sargent book on the same subject written in 1912.
Reading these books written in the silent movie era is really cool. The Palmer book makes a reference to its student readers remembering The Great Train Robbery of 1897!

I think this book is available free via the Gutenberg Project so check it out online if intrigued.


The Rain Before It Falls

December 10, 2012

Reading Before The Rain Falls by Jonathan Coe. I’ve heard good things about Carve Up but I’d not read any of his work before reading Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim a few weeks ago. Before Rain was bought for me because of the similarities with my stageplay 57 Images of My Father in that it is built around 20 photos that one of the characters appears to be going to describe. Only 40 pages in but Intriguing so far.


reading material

June 6, 2012

Talk about contrasting reading material at the moment!
One in preparation for Paper I’m delivering at a conference in Chicago early July, the other due to me being a biography nut. Don’t read a lot of fiction. Might have to cleanse with either Tolstoy or MLK biog I’ve got my eyes on. Ordered HalfMan, HalfBike the Merckx biog from the local library also. Hope it gets here soon.


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