2017 was a tumultuous year that had a lot of people searching for meaning,
and that can be seen in this year-end selection. Classics like Orwell’s 1984,
and Atwood’s A Handmaids Tale are more relevant than ever.
Which of these books have you read?
There have been so many music biographies coming through the store lately that I couldn’t resist putting together a list some of the more interesting autobiographies that have come out this year. Some of these I’ve read, and some are still on my want list.
Girl in a Band : A Memoir – Kim Gordon
Who : founding member of Sonic Youth
What : a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll
Quote from the book : “Punk rock felt tongue-in-cheek, in air quotes screaming, ‘we’re playing at destroying corporate rock.’ No Wave music was, and is, more like ‘No, we’re really destroying rock.’ Its sheer freedom and blazing-ness made me think, I can do that.”
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir – Carrie Brownstein
Who : guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney
What : From a leader of feminist punk music at the dawn of the riot-grrrl era, a candid and deeply personal look at life in rock and roll.
Quote from the book : “It makes for an interesting performance, attempting to both find yourself and lose yourself onstage.”
M Train – Patti Smith
Who : musician, artist, and poet
What : Her personal meditations on her life. including polaroids taken by Smith
Quote from the book : ’Everything changes. Boy grown, father dead, daughter taller than me, weeping from a bad dream. Please stay forever, I say to the things that I know.’
Reckless: My Life as a Pretender – Chrissie Hyde
Who: front woman and songwriter of the Pretenders
What : a no-holds barred memoir
Quote from the book : ‘I regret half of this story and the other half is the sound you heard.’
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello
Who : English musician, singer-songwriter
What : memoir on the ups and downs of his music career over the years
Quote from the book : “I had barely received a hint of encouragement from the world outside, but knew that there was a jealousy and malevolence to the pursuit of fame that would not allow you to get any older once the deal was struck.”
Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me – Bernard Sumner
Who : Founding member and guitarist of Joy Division and the lead singer of New Order
Quote from the book : ‘The noises I was making must have sounded pretty horrible. But I kept at it, because music had become the biggest thing in my life. I’d listened to it, I’d bought it, I’d watched people playing it, and now I was determined to make it myself’
Anger Is an Energy: My Life Uncensored by John Lydon
Who : As Johnny Rotten, he was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols
Quote from the book : ‘Anger is the root core of why I write songs. Sometimes I barely think I’m in control of myself when I’m writing. If there’s such things as guardian angels out there – well mine’s a real bleeding’ piece of work.’
Words Without Music: A Memoir – Philip Glass
Who : A world-renowned composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores,
‘I don’t make music to go with the film, I write the music that is the film.’
Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone – Marky Ramone
Who : the drummer of the punk rock band the Ramones
Quote from the book : ‘There was such a thing as the American Dream, and there was also the American nightmare. The nightmare was to spend your entire adult life doing hard labor in return for a few golden years and then get shortchanged.’
Massive Pissed Love: Nonfiction 2001-2014 – Richard Hell
Who : Richard Hell may best be known as a punk icon, a founding member of seminal bands Television, the Heartbreakers, and The Voidoids, as well as an accomplished writer.
Quote from the book : ‘I saw some pieces were lengthy, some were angry, and many were thrilled or adoring : massive, pissed, love. So I had a possible title too.’
We just celebrated Canada Day, so why not delve into Canadian fiction and learn about some of our most important aboriginal writers. Here’s a short list to get you started:
Basil Johnston is one of the few speakers of the ancient Ojibway language who also writes in that language. Books: Crazy Dave
Thomas King is an award-winning novelist of Cherokee and Greek descent
Books: The Back of the Turtle; Medicine River, Green Grass; Running Water; The Inconvenient Indian
Richard Wagamese is Ojibway, from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario
Books: Indian Horse; Dream Wheels; One Story, One Song; One Native Life
Tomson Highway is a Cree from Brochet, in northern Manitoba. He wrote the plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Ought to Move to Kapuskasing. his nove Kiss of the Fur Queen was published in 1988.
Joseph Boyden is a Canadian writer with Irish, Scottish and Metis roots. He has a book of short stories titled Born with a Tooth, and two highly celebrated novels Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce.
Jordan Wheeler is a member of the Gordon First Nation. writes for children, for television, and gives workshops for Indigenous youth. His books are Brothers in Arms, Achimoona: Native Stories, Chuck in the City, Just a Walk
Sherman Alexie is an award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker. His work primarily focuses on contemporary Native American identity. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Smoke Signals, Reservation Blues, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, War Dances
Lee Maracle is an award-winning poet, novelist, performance storyteller, scriptwriter, actor and keeper/mythmaker. Maracle has given hundreds of speeches on political, historical, and feminist sociological topics related to native people. Her books are Sojourner’s Truth and Other Stories , Sundogs , Ravensong, Daughters are Forever, First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style, Celia’s Song
Louise Erdich grew up in North Dakota (Chippewa), so she’s not Canadian. She wrote a series of four novels: Love Medicine, Beet Queen, Tracks and The Bingo Palace.
Father’s Day is just around the corner, so here are some gift ideas for every kind of dad :
Thomas King – The Back of the Turtle
David Mitchell – the Bone Clock
Michael Chabon – Manhood for Amateurs
David Sedaris – Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Henning Mankell – Faceless Killers
Ronald Wright – What is America (or A Short History of Progress)
Merry Christmas Eve! Wishing you all a Happy Happy Holidays and a Merry New Year, from all of us at Zoinks.
I am currently reading Amy Poehler’s new book “Yes Please”. I love the savvy advice :
“When someone is being rude to you … call them out on it … act like they are an actor who has forgotten what part they are playing”
Guess what? Zoinks Music and Books is proud to be participating in Shop The Neighbourhood! So be sure to stop by and say hello.
We will be offering 20% off all books, as well as Buy 1 DVD get another FREE!
What is Shop The Neighbourhood?
A free event that supports small businesses by encouraging people to make local purchases on November 29, 2014.
If we all choose to make our next purchase locally, we’re helping to strengthen our small businesses and by proxy, the neighbourhoods where we live, work and play.