Thursday, August 28, 2008

Worducopia: the soundtrack

The title of my most recent review inspired me to add a playlist to my sidebar. A song for every book, was my thought, though I skipped some for lack of time--there are places to go and books to read. I'll give you a moment to press play.

Ready? Oh, you hate Freeze Frame? Sorry--go ahead and skip that one. Thanks to Ayarbe's title, it was constantly stuck in my head as I was reading the book. Authors should consider this. You don't want your reader to be thinking, "Thank God I finished that book! I can finally stop picturing the J. Geils Band throwing paint at each other in that stupid '80s MTV video!" Not a problem for the typical YA reader, I guess.

Father and Son (Cat Stevens)/The Film Club: I've loved this song since I was a kid, for how it captures that painful letting-go time in the parent-child relationship--a bittersweet time that David Gilmour also encapsulates perfectly in his memoir.

Annie's Song (John Denver)/Just Do It: What better song for Doug and Annie Brown's 101 days, than this sappy love song by the classic Colorado singer/songwriter?

Hands (Jewel)/The Shiniest Jewel: I couldn't resist seeking out a Jewel song for this title. I don't listen to her much, but I do like this one, and the lyrics fit this memoir of a mother bringing her child home from a Russian orphanage, to meet her ill father:

Poverty stole your golden shoes
It didn't steal your laughter
And heartache came to visit me
But I knew it wasn't ever after

The Big Country (Talking Heads)/Wife in the North: The song is very clearly American and Judith O'Reilly is very clearly not, but the sentiment is the same: I wouldn't live there if you paid me.

Destroyer (The Kinks)/When We Were Romans: Paranoia, the destroyer... Need I say more? Hope that's not a spoiler.

Ten Cents a Dance (Ruth Etting): Like the book, this vintage jazz song gives us the story from the taxi dancer's perspective.

This is pretty much where I stopped, but I just had to have a song for each of my featured authors, so for Michael Cunningham we have This Must Be the Place (Talking Heads) the perfect song for A Home at the End of the World. And for Ron Carlson, Blue Spanish Sky (Chris Isaak), as a tribute to his most recent novel, Five Skies, which takes place in Montana instead of Spain, but I think the melancholy style fits Carlson's story well. Plus, I love this:
It's a slow sad spanish song,
I knew the words but I sang them wrong.
The one I love has left and gone,
Without me.
Now she's gone, a world has changed.
Watching a blue sky, thinking of rain.

My plan is to add a song for each book I review. This will be a challenge for my next book: Any suggestions for songs that relate to using diet to treat your health problems?

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