books, life

Preparing to move #3

I’ve been meaning to sort through my book shelves for aaages.

But it’s hard. I mean books. Even if you don’t read them, I just like the way they look. For the most part.

I have to face the facts though; I cannot be moving books I know there is no way I will not be rereading. I’ve enough stuff as it is.

This is where watching minimalist videos on YouTube comes in handy. The other day I watched Jenny Mustard who had the following brilliant tip: get rid of any book you’re just not going to read again. This is extremely useful advice.

First edit:

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I’m planning on a second edit closer to the date of the move; I’m keeping some of the books for now just so that my apartment won’t feel so empty.

In case you were wondering, hardback books can only be recycled if you remove the back, at least in Sweden. If you can’t be bothered to remove the backs, they go into bulky waste (again, at least in Sweden).

Paperbacks can go straight into the recycling bin for paper.

Since most of my books are old books from course reading lists, there’s no way I’d be able to sell them. Not even give them away. Otherwise that would be my first option.

And can I just say; the Keith Richards biography, it’s one of the worst bios I’ve ever read. Kim Gordon’s bio deserves the Nobel Prize by comparison. Thought that’s important to mention, seeing how everyone seem to be misinformed, thinking it’s not only readable but good.

It’s not.

Up next: sorting through my CDs. I want to and don’t want to at the same time.

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kim gordon girl in a band
books

A quite disappointing music bio

I’ve finally made if through Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band.

If you’re unfamiliar with Kim Gordon, she was the bass player of Sonic Youth, a fairly unmelodic band active between 1980 and 2011. No, I was never a fan, but that’s of no consequence when it comes to what music bios I choose to read. This one caught my interest because any female with even the slightest connection to 90s rock and you’ve got my attention.

I hate to say Girl in a Band seemed better in theory than it actually was. But it did and it was. Despite it being a quite thin volume it was such a long read.

Not sure where to start. I was so looking forward to this read and was so disappointed.

Let’s start here:

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Well, Examiner.com, I take it you have no read an awful lot of music biographies.

I have. This wasn’t one of the better ones.

I don’t blame Gordon. Apparently, publishers don’t really care about biographies by famous people much. It’s just an easy way to make money and it’s abundantly clear that someone has had a talk with Gordon and then just written it down. There’s especially poor writing towards the end of the book, just insane use of exclamation points and Haha. 

This is probably the main reason it’s not great; a lack of understanding that you can’t just write spoken word down and expect it to make sense unedited.

And it makes me so sad because I am v. v. interested in knowing more about events that Gordon was directly and/or indirectly involved in. Which is another problem, there is never more of anything really, it’s just a constant barely touching upon a subject, never going into anything in-depth or to any extent at all, just quickly moving on. Considering I’m rarely interested in any topic in-depth, you can imagine just how shallow and little any event is discussed at all.

In some cases, the lack of depth is just confusing. Like when she’s talking about Keller (apparently her brother, which I’m not sure why I should be interested in as a reader..?), and his schizophrenia – as if it’s something that’s common knowledge.

I wish they’d focused on a smaller number of events and just discussed them in more detail. I’m not saying tell us all! Just you know, something would have been nice.

I keep thinking about this Nico biography, Songs they never play on the radio, which is one of my favorite music bios ever. It focuses on the last years of Nico’s life, and it’s just this slim little book, and it really paints a picture. I keep wanting Girl in a Band to be like that. It’s nothing like that.

Now. If the publishers cared at all, this book would take its starting point in chapter 33, which is about when Gordon produced Hole’s Pretty on the inside (well, it’s sort of a little about that…without really telling a story at all). It’s obvious there is a story here:

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So much promise!

Another thing that could have been focused on, the Lydia Lunch connection, because Lydia is a madly fascinating character:

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Bit off topic; I loved the below observation. Because that’s my theory too, I don’t understand how you could possibly come from where I come from and not be into metal. But apparently, it’s quite possible (e.g. my brother). But to me, this makes sense:

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…PS. the girls were playing with Satan too.

A final thing the publishers should have made sure was more of a focus, was Gordon’s observations, opinions and thoughts about women in music. There are numerous examples of this topic in the book, and I’m so sure there was more to tell. I really, really would have wanted an expansion on this:

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It should be noted though, that whoever did the layout of this book did an excellent job. Visually, the text and pictures, how they work together, it’s just a joy for the eye.

But basically, I don’t feel as if I’ve read a book about Kim Gordon. It feels as if she’s not the main character of this story. It’s always someone else. Keller. Thurston. Courtney. It’s just really strange.

My rating: there are other bios to read. I’ve already mentioned Songs they never play on the radio. Beth Ditto’s Coal to diamonds – also a better read.

Now. I’m off to do some research, I’m hoping there’s a bio on at least one of the following:

Lydia Lunch
Diamanda Galas
Kathleen Hannah
Anyone beside Courtney who was ever in Hole

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scar tissue
books, challenge, music

The Popsugar reading challenge: an autobiography

I love spending time in the world of Antony Kiedis. No it’s not the first time I’ve read Scar Tissue. Maybe third? First time was when I lived in Largs (Scotland), first book I picked up from their little library – absolutely thrilled because I was in the middle of a raging Red Hot Chili Peppers obsession at the time.

I’ve since bought the paperback – which is why I’m pretty sure I’ve read this particular copy once before, making it a total of 3 reads. It doesn’t look like I’ve read it more than once anyway. I break the backs of paperbacks to let myself know which books I’ve read and which I haven’t.

I realize some people have problems with this book. There’s a whole lot of drugs in it. This is not a concern I have because a. it was clearly a great part of his life; what’s he supposed to do? Lie? Not that I’m against lying, as long as it makes a good story, but that’s beside the point, b. the drugs do make for an excellent red thread running through the book. Plus, I like stories about people who make choices that perhaps aren’t smart, that maybe isn’t the right choice, people who mess up, are messed up – and I don’t even care if things work out. I don’t want to read about people doing the right thing. Does anyone? Does that even make a story?

That being said, it does get just a little tedious when he still hasn’t gotten sober by Californication, but you know, that is his story. Deal or read something else. Actually, I always forget just how much drugs are in this book. What I, however, frequently think of is a much shorter passage where he goes to the jungle, and as you would imagine, things do not go well: 1468777628471

Neither of this is why I’ve read this book more than once. And it’s not because The Peppers are my favorite band, (they’re not, and that’s never a reason to love a book, as I’ve found out, unfortunately). I’m just a sucker for readability and good use of words, which I find this is. May be subject to taste I suppose.

In general, I am a fan of biographies, musician biographies in particular. Undoubtedly because I listen to a lot of music. Watch a lot of videos and interviews, and have been for a very, very long time now. I like it how these different media types give you a different perspective of the same story. It’s like consuming a very strange series consisting of a number of different media.

What I have a slight problem with, and what makes reading a bit of a struggle, in my opinion, is Kiedis’ view of women. Basically, his view of women is similar to my view of lipsticks. Oo. Pretty. Must have. That’s objectification for you. So tiresome and old. But then, what would you expect? Some things are just endlessly expected.

By the way, this isn’t a review, just a few random thoughts. If you want a review, there’s already more than enough. GoodReads is an excellent source, for example.

So that’s the second book of the reading challenge completed; I’ve started on the third book, which is the a book and its prequel category. I’m reading Johanna Nilsson’s Det grönare djupet (The greener depth), followed by Karin Boye’s Kallocain, because I’m being kinda liberal in my interpretation of what this category means.

 

Yours,

signatur 1

 

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