For those readers out there thirsting for more, try some of C.E. Alexander’s reviews of other books. The kind folks over at Fluid Radio agreed to lend him a mike, meaning these titles all have an eye on composing. But for a guy whose debut is titled The music and the spires, it’s all good:

6. Days That I’ll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, by Jonathan Cott, reviewed February 25. (Fluid link, Amazon link)

5. Richard Wagner: Composer of Operas, by John F. Runciman, reviewed February 24. (Fluid link, Amazon link)

4. How Music Works, by David Byrne, reviewed February 18. (Fluid link, Amazon link)

3. The Mozart Mystery, by John Drummond, reviewed February 12. (Fluid link, Amazon link)

2. Reinventing Bach, by Paul Elie, reviewed February 4. (Fluid link, Amazon link)

1. The First Four Notes, by Matthew Guerrieri, reviewed January 24. (Fluid link, Amazon link)

Coming soon: A Pianist Under the Influence, by Jonathan Biss.

PS: we use only the absurd #amwriting tag ironically. [Collective sigh of relief]

“30+ of the most beautiful abandoned places and modern ruins i’ve ever seen”


Francesco Mugnai, who blogs here, has mined Imgur, Flickr and the web at large for 33 exquisite photographs of places that are abandoned, ruined, or slated for renovation. Shown above is Hotel Del Salto at Tequendama Falls, Bogotá River, Colombia. Some other standouts are the old Bulgarian Communist Party headquarters, which the government cannot afford to maintain or demolish, and Il Cristo degli Abissi, a bronze statue sunk off of the Maltese shore, near the islands of St. Paul.

Related posts:
The covers that weren’t (7)
The covers that weren’t (3)

This is by far our most-visited post. Might we suggest a truly stark, abandoned place? The Amazon purchasing page for The music and the spires? *guffaw

Hello Australia!

If we’re going to be reaching out to readers one handful at a time, they might as well be big handfuls. To wit, today we’re looking at the island continent, listing our recent Australian favorites, both commonplace and unorthodox. Off we go:

1. Favorite electronic music (with cello) that indirectly references or necessitates Excedrin use: “Headache Music #1,” by raven. (listen)

2. Favorite literary snub involving a cyclist whose compounds use exceeded Excedrin: “Manly Library in Sydney, Australia has notified readers informing them all Lance Armstrong nonfiction titles will be moved to the fiction section following the cyclist’s doping confession.” (read)

3. Favorite French chef who lives in Australia and cooks the perfect steak: Who else? (watch)

4. Favorite Guy Pearce film we keep hearing about because it requires Robert Pattison to spend a few weeks without Kristen Stewart: The Rover. (IMDb)

5. Favorite wine: AC-DC’s Hells Bells Sauvignon Blanc. (what? think we’re making it up?)

Coming up next, Madagascar. Sample question: Favorite pre-simian?