Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

in which the author discusses five books he'd read, if time permitted.

1. Music, Radio and the Public Sphere: The Aesthetics of Democracy, by Charles Fairchild
This book was recommended by my cubicle mate at work. This cubicle mate didn't just recommend the book, but recommended it specifically for me (please excuse italics). So, if I like this book, that means my cubicle mate really has an appreciation for what I'm interested in, or at least got lucky, since there's about a 50 percent chance (at least) that I would like any random book. Then again, if I dislike it, it seems that my cubicle mate and I aren't on the same page, which doesn't really matter. Then again, the little-discussed cubicle-mate relationship is quite intimate, as cubicle mates spend hours in close proximity, overhear each other's personal telephone conversations, and know when one another eat lunch and what they eat. So I should probably read this book as soon as possible to see where I stand—or, rather, sit. In the cubicle, that is.

2. The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days, by Mark Hitchcock
I got a book from Readers' Digest when I was a kid called "Strange Stories and Amazing Facts." This book featured Nostradamus' prophecies — specifically, one about a "great king of terror" (please excuse about.com link) coming "from the sky" in 1999. So, I waited patiently for 1999 to roll around. But, when it did, no great king of terror came.

3. Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music, by Mark Baumgarten
Calvin Johnson has a really low voice.

4. Up Jumps the Devil, by Michael Poore
This book takes its title from the Robert Johnson song "Up Jumped the Devil" that I first heard in the early 1990s when some unnamed hero released the complete Robert Johnson recordings in a CD box set that I still own. I don't know how I found out about this box set—an article in Rolling Stone?—but it felt like a miracle.

5. 112 Greene Street: The Early Years, 1970-1974, by Jessamyn Fiore
The prequel to "112 Greene Street, the 21st Century," which is about Whole Foods and American Apparel.

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