Recent books I read : Part Two – Digital books!

Hugh… ; digital books? The work of the evil or on the opposite a great new way of reading ? Well, on my side, I guess I tend to consider my new Kindle possession as a great tool and I must admit I read much more since I have been the lucky owner of one of these kits. The thing is that when you have read it…well, that’s it ; you take it out from your machine and kind of lose the pleasure in seeing it once in a while in your personal library.

Anyway, let’s stop beating around the bush and let’s talk about these nice books. They have something in common : they have been written by “normal” people whose art career has been amazing.

  • David Byrne – Bicycle Diaries & How Music Works

We are talking about two different books here, both of them written by the former Talking Heads main leading force.

The first one (Bicycle Diaries) has been written a few years ago. David Byrne takes the excuse of putting on paper all good things he likes about discovering new places and cities through bike-riding. He goes far beyond this starting point as his love of biking leads to interesting thoughts about our modern age. You will learn many things about capital cities of the world and for instance that David Byrne was involved in a few NY projects as far as city-architecture is concerned.

His latest 2012 one (How Music Works) is an even greater reading as he manages here to summarize many things about music in general : career, production, money, projects but as well the way music is not perceived everywhere the same in the world. There are pages and pages on Talking Heads’ career as well and I was quite surprised about David Byrne’s honesty as he has sometimes the reputation of being a cold-blooded pure intellectual guy. This book has been voted best 2012 music book by many critics so do not lose time and buy it (…and I must admit the paper version is beautiful with pictures and everything…).

  • Tracey Thorn – Bedsit Disco Queen

You probably know Tracey Thorn’s voice but maybe not her name. She is the singer of married and wife duo Everything But The Girl and has put her fantastic voice on many cherished records from other bands, such as The Style Council or Massive Attack. I have always had a special relationship with this band as they have contributed to me being a music lover (well, more than this actually) with other bands such as The Smiths, The Style Council, Prefab Sprout, Echo & The Bunnymen, etc…

This book has just been published at the start of the year and is a very moving one. What makes it so special is the way Tracey Thorn very well describes her musical and non-musical life, showing us that she is a totally normal person. She does not even consider herself as a singer (you know, as in “singer with A voice”) but as someone who sings sometimes on records and on stage. Her style is full of humility and humour and I personally liked a lot all the parts when she explains so well her relationship with Ben Watt, her husband who is now mainly D-Jing and suffered a very rare illness in the 90’s.

Get this book and you will find moments of real happiness (and listen to the records – the four first ones have been reissued last year, each with a bonus CD).

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