Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book of the Month, Dec. 2010

I love books. They're fun, educational, and they are very rarely the site of a Black Friday stampede.

After a two-week stretch where I read five books for work, I decided to read for fun. I'm currently in the middle of Rob Sheffield's "Talking to Girls About Duran Duran," which examines his teenage and young adult years through songs from the 80s. Like Sheffield's previous, heartbreaking memoir and December's BOM, "Love is a Mix Tape," it warmly demonstrates the soundtrack of one man's life.

This got me to thinking. There are a ton of books where music provides a catalyst for revelations and personal stories. There's "High Fidelity," "Fargo Rock City," "But Enough About Me," etc. But, to my knowledge, there are no books where movies provide the same kick. David Gilmour's "The Film Club"--when critic Gilmour educates his young, rudderless son by watching movies together--is the only one I can think of that comes close.

A big reason for this discrepency, I think, is exposure. Music is a communal experience. There's karaoke, dances, drives with the radio blaring, the soft hum of the AM/FM radio at work or by the pool. Movies are individual acts that don't have the same presence in our lives that music does. I guess that's why so many people who enjoy music can write about life with such gusto.

I will say this. Anybody who writes about film must have a personal connection to films; they must feed his or her soul. (That's a big reason why I write this blog.) If you don't, you're just wasting everybody's time.

P.S.--My brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law got me an autographed copy of "Talking to Girls about Duran Duran." They explained to Sheffield that I was a writer and what I did. His baffling inscripton: "Hi, Peter!"

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