Song of the Week: “Lífsins Ólgusjór” by Samaris

Another week, another recommendation for an Icelandic rock band.  “Lífsins Ólgusjór”  by Samaris is inspired by 19th-century Icelandic poetry and laid over a reggae beat.  Check out their recently released second album Silkidranga for more.

Book Review: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

Author: Dan Ariely
Title: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty
Narrator: Simon Jones
Publication Info: Harper Collins, 2012
ISBN: 9780062209320
Summary/Review:

This book is a psychological and sociological investigation into lying, with the emphasis on the ways in which all humans more or less lie and cheat throughout their whole lives.  Ariely notes that while big scandals like say Enron get headlines for their irrational amount of dishonesty, that these types of problems grow from the small actions of many people making cost-benefit analysis rather than high-level conspiracy.  Interesting anecdotes about lying are backed-up by tests and studies.  To be honest, I’ve allowed too much time from listening to this audiobook to writing about, so I’m now fuzzy on the details.  But I do recall it is a fascinating book entertainingly performed by Simon Jones.

Rating: ***

Song of the Week: “The Sticks” by The Budos Band

The Budos Band is a 9-piece instrumental Afro-Soul ensemble from Staten Island.  Their new album is called Burnt Offering and includes the track “The Sticks.”

You can hear more by The Budos Band and other artists on the great music podcast The Sounds in My Head.

Song of the Week: “FUNKNROLL” by Prince

Prince released two new albums at the end of September, Art Official Age under his own name and with the band 3rdEyeGirl, Plectrum Electrum.  Both albums contain a version of the song “FUNKNROLL.”  While the version below is from Art Official Age, overall Plectrum Electrum is by far the better album.

Enjoy the groove.

Song of the Week: “Aztec Chant” (Tessela Remix) by Pev

This week I just feel like zoning out, and  have found the relentless rhythms of “Aztec Chant” (Tessela Remix) by Pev to be the ideal soundtrack.

I learned of this through NPR Music’s Recommended Dose who have an excellent playlist of October’s top dance tracks.

Book Review: Jerusalem by Gonçalo Tavares

Around the World for a Good Book Selection for Portugal
Author: Gonçalo Tavares
Title:Jerusalem
Translator: Anna Kushner
Publication Info: Champaign [Ill.] : Dalkey Archive Press, c2009
ISBN: 9781564785558
Summary/Review:

This novel brings together several characters in one place for one event and then jumps back to show vignettes of each character’s life, building up to what all brought them there.  It is a well-written and structured work, but also very complex, and I admit that I don’t totally “get” it.  Themes of troubled relationships, mental illness, and the nature of evil.  If you’re interested in provocative fiction, you may like this.

Recommended booksThe Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder.
Rating: ***

Book Review: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

AuthorAyana Mathis
TitleThe Twelve Tribes of Hattie
Narrators: Adam Lazarre-White, Bahni Turpin, and Adenrele Ojo
Publication Info: Books on Tape, 2012
Summary/Review: This somber novel tells the stories of a woman named Hattie who migrates from Georgia to Philadelphia in the 1920s, and her subsequent life and that of her children.  The novel is a series of connected stories, each focusing on a different child from dates ranging from the 1920s to 1980s.  The family perseveres against poverty, racism, mental illness and internal strife.  I found it a well-written story that approaches family life and the African-American experience from different angles.  The audiobook is also well-performed with different narrators reading stories from the different children’s perspectives.

Recommended booksBailey’s Cafe by Gloria Naylor, Strivers Row by Kevin Baker, and Jazz by Toni Morrison
Rating: ***

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