Becca Reads


Dave Alvin--Not

I'm wondering why, in all the (ridiculous) discussion of whether the situation in Iraq has become civil war, nobody seems to be mentioning Orwell (one of the best essays ever--go read it now, if you never have; you will be a better person for it). Actually, I have no idea if nobody is mentioning Orwell, since I haven't read everybody. Mainly I was just shocked that Frank Rich didn't mention Orwell yesterday in his Times-Select-protected op-ed. So of course people are talking about Orwell, though not really a lot, which I still think is odd.

But that isn't what I want to write about. I want to write about why we love certain music. OK, really I want to write about why I love certain music. And really, if we get right down to it, I want to write about why I love Dave Alvin, which might, perhaps, offer some insights into the larger issues.

And, no, this is not an excuse of a post to make up for the fact that I haven't been reading so much. I read Frank Rich. I've decided to read non-fiction and I've started three non-fiction books, all of which I like, none of which are keeping me up late reading, which is probably worth considering, in the endless consideration of my novel habit. I've also been spending a lot of time reading this pattern, but the reading doesn't seem to be helping much, as I've already ripped it out seven times. I read Jenny's story which I quite liked, especially because I'm in it (can you find me? I'm subtle--or rather, Jenny is subtle, at least in her deployment of me) and, indeed, the whole story walks a lovely line between the real and the fictional, which is a good piece of its point, as well as one of Jenny's ongoing themes, and it also works the place where desire meets the literary, which is huge for Jenny, and quite relevant for me too, given that I spent much of my childhood wishing my books wouldn't end.

OK, out of time, I guess we should call this a reading update. More on Dave Alvin later, which is good, because it gives me more time to think about it, and also because I can figure out if "Fourth of July" skips on the CD player at home, not just the NEW CD player in the NEW car, because all this started with me wanting to hear "Fourth of July," which made me pull out Out in California and then listen to the whole CD and think about how much I love Dave Alvin, but then I got to "Fourth of July," which was the whole point, and it skipped. Luckily, I was driving at the time, not ripping out knitting, so I was not overly reminded of the futility of existence.


  • Thanks for the link to Jenny's story, which I just read in one gulp and must now print out and read again, because I love it, though it makes me feel as if I have to re-read Summerland, which I didn't much like and now I wonder if that means I'm just not very smart. (I used to think it meant I didn't truly care about baseball, which is a label I can live with.) Maybe it just means our tastes in novels are different, which is of course fine. But I loved the story and I got the Nigella-baking allusion.

    By Blogger Libby, at 12:12 PM  

  • I love baseball, Libby, and read about it for pleasure. But I still hated Summerland with a fine passion. Which is probably why my non-magical advance copy of The Wonder Boys is still sitting around unread more than a decade after I got it.

    I did enjoy Jenny's story, though. Very much.

    By Blogger Phantom Scribbler, at 1:57 PM  

  • Ack! What is the Summerland hate?? I loved it, and I don't care about baseball at all. Also loved Kavalier & Clay, but hated Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys.

    And yes, loved the story, and caught your choco-obsession in there too.

    By Blogger jackie, at 12:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home