Sunday, January 15, 2017


You cannot know how delighted I am to have my 45s back after their many years of wandering in the wilderness.

For the young'uns, this is a picture of coloured vinyl, specifically the domestic limited release of "Purple Rain" (backed with "God") in a picture sleeve:

Now to digitize ...

Sunday, January 01, 2017

2016: The textual roundup

Well, here we are in 2017. Let’s be hopeful for the year to come; it’s likely to be difficult, but remember that humans are resilient and creative, and light will always assert itself against the dark.

As I, and now many friends, too, have made a tradition, here is my roundup of music and books from the last year.

Music: Top 40 Most Played
“Uptown Funk” - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
“Brand New Lover” (single edit) - Dead or Alive
“An Everlasting Love” - Andy Gibb
“Hard” - Rihanna feat. Jeezy
“Get Lucky” (Razihel remix) - Razihel
“Run the World (Girls)” (remix) - Beyoncé
“Long Train Runnin’” - The Doobie Brothers
“Tiny Thing” - Jenson Interceptor
“You’re My Best Friend” - Queen
“Let Go the Line” - Max Webster
“Someday” - LP
“Machete” - Amanda Palmer
“Shadow Dancing” - Andy Gibb
“Seven Year Ache” - Rosanne Cash
“The Love of a Woman” - Klaatu
“Kiss You All Over” (album edit) - Exile
“Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” - The Jacksons
“Whenever, Wherever” - Shakira
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” - Beyoncé
“Dreams” - Brandi Carlile
“Get Lucky” - Daft Punk
“Killer Queen” - Queen
“Take a Chance on Me” - ABBA
“Summer in the City” - Lovin’ Spoonful
“Love Runs Out” - OneRepublic
“Running Up That Hill” (album version) - Kate Bush
“I Love You” - Climax Blues Band
“Hungry Like the Wolf” - Duran Duran
“Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” - Sophie B. Hawkins
“Run the World (Girls)” (album edit) - Beyoncé
“Samson” - Regina Spektor
“Burning Bridge” - Kate Bush
“Under Pressure” (single edit) - Queen and David Bowie
“Hush” - Deep Purple
“The Sound of Silence” - Disturbed
“Renegades of Funk” - Rage Against the Machine
“Magic Man” - Heart
“Moves Like Jagger” - Maroon 5
“Superstar” - Sonic Youth
“Fell in Love with a Girl” - The White Stripes

As always, many heart songs appear on this list, but also a good number of newer songs. It is impossible for me to keep track of all the new records being released in a year, but I do try to listen to some fairly current music. That said, commuting to work by bus has affected my listening habits. Perhaps next year’s tallies will make this change clearer.

As of today, using iTunes’ somewhat imperfect system, there are 15,131 tracks in my music library. That number was buttressed by the purchase of a few CDs last week. My library has also expanded thanks to Freegal, an online music service that allows me to download five tracks each week. But I definitely bought much less music in 2016 than in years previous.

My play counts have been reset once again, and we'll see what's what 365 days from now.

Once again, I got nowhere near my 200-book goal, but I did reach 158 books. How did I ever read so much back in my pre-sabbatical days?

Some of the books that stood out for me in 2016 were these:

100 Days of Cree by Neal McLeod with Arok Wolvengrey
Avid Reader by Robert Gottlieb
One Child Reading by Margaret Mackey
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny

Much of my reading continues to be YA novels as I continue to grapple with themes of mothers and daughters and the reproduction of ideology. I really don’t know how other academics read and write so much. Just teaching — and teaching much less than I did pre-2011 — is sufficiently exhausting. But I’ll hope that I can keep reviewing for my CV; that adds quite a few books to my totals.

I’m listening to the start of 2017’s play counts as I type this, and I’m eager to get back to the book I’m reading, so I’ll stop here. As always, if there are books or albums you’d suggest I check out, please let me know.

Here's to a happy 2017! Cheers!