LISTEN TO THIS

This weekend, I ran into a member of the orchestra at Powell’s Bookstore. Not surprisingly, I was chasing after Mathis, who likes to run around from room to room and re-shelve the books. I was actually surprised to see a student there. I don’t think I’m the only professor in the world who wonders if college students in the new millennium read books in their spare time. After all, it’s much more likely that Mathis or Kaia will run into a classmate than for me to see any of my students at Powell’s. Everybody is so busy these days that I never imagine students in a dorm room sitting down and reading a book. (This is probably not true at all, right?) In my first year teaching at PSU, I gave my conducting class a reading list. I don’t think I’ve done it since, because I guess there were other pressing needs. Also, I have to admit that most of my own reading these days tends to be either Dr. Seuss or Pippi Longstocking. Each summer since coming to Portland, I’ve gotten into the habit of reading detective novels. In the fall, I feel like I want to read something more serious, and I always have a hard time figuring out what to read. Just now, I picked up a really great book that I want to recommend: Listen to This by Alex Ross, the music critic for the New Yorker. If you want some fiction instead, here are two perfect reads for the fall of 2010: Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. You are welcome to post your own recommended reading below.

KS

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6 thoughts on “LISTEN TO THIS

  1. Maya Rogers says:

    Aw, yes there are still readers out there. Thank you for the suggestions, they’ve gone on my list. I’m currently reading (very slowly) Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis. It contains a nice amount of historical background and the stories are very entertaining.

    As someone who is returning to school after a long break, I do find it very challenging to fit everything I should do and want to do into my day. With that said, I try to make it a point to do a little reading each day because it really does make us smarter :).

  2. E.Oboe says:

    I actually read 2-3 books per week, mainly because I take a 1.5 hour MAX trip to and from PSU. (But that may just be me.) Currently my favorites are Jim Butcher’s “The Dresden Files” series, which is a mix of sci-fi and the classic Chicago detective story. Another one I recommend is “Brave Story” by Miyuki Miyabe, a Japanese fantasy adventure. (That may be one that the wee children like, as the protagonist is a fifth grader.)

    I’m really not trying to stay sci-fi/fantasy centric, but that’s what I’ve been devouring on those long MAX rides. 🙂 Oh, one more for the list: Will Thomas’ “Some Danger Involved”, a detective novel set in Victorian England. Very reminiscent of Holmes.

  3. stella says:

    I love Violin Dreams by Arnold Steinhardt, the first violinist of the Guarneri Quartet.

    Also, Now Is The Hour by Tom Spanbauer is beautiful, White Teeth and On Beauty by Zadie Smith are perfect, and Love in The Time of Cholera by Marquez was the last book off my ‘classics’ list that i finally read, and is definitely worth it.

    aaaah, i love books.

  4. Seth says:

    Hesse and Murakami, a man after my own heart. On the flight back from Boston I reread Demian, and I think it’s well worth reading for everybody. Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore is a must read, so is Norwegian Wood (almost as good as its name sake! if you can compare music and books directly?).
    Albert Camus’ The Stranger is one of my favorites. Currently rereading Crime and Punishment, which I love.

  5. Dan Adamson says:

    I second the reading of any Haruki Murakami novel. I’ve read all of his novels and short stories and they’re all worthwhile. I agree with Seth: Norwegian Wood. Being outside in Portland lately makes me reminisce about this novel.

  6. Madeline says:

    i’m always looking for exciting books about music: history, people- factual sort of things. but i have read a few music fictions, now and then.
    i’ll check out the violin dreams (i had been wondering if that was good, stella).
    any others?

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