Books, Thoughts

Current Read, Current CD

I’ve been away for a bit, so a frivolous post while I get back into a proper posting mindset.  There are some fantastic books & CDs I’m enjoying now.  I’m typing up a review for Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland tonight, while Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites is up on deck for review & enticing me with some wonderful prose.  Musicwise, Hesitation Marks and The Harder Things Get, The More I Fight. . . have been my particular favorites.  (Not so indie or audiophile-darling, I know, but they make me happy.)

My joyful little stream of media was interrupted these past two days by two unforgettable works: Jo Nesbø’s Police and Matt Good’s Arrows of Desire.  I have officially been ecstatically traumatized.

When I began Police at the beginning of the week, I posted on my GoodReads account:

Oh yeah, I thought I was ready.
Oh yeah, I thought I was ready.

Little did I realize that within a day or so, I would be having my first serious reader’s quarrel with Mr. Nesbø.  One of the things I love about Police, so far, is that the oppressive isolation Harry faced in Phantom is fully balanced out with the focus on Harry’s friends in this new novel.  Those interesting people who Harry cares for, uses & ultimately leaves behind get some face time with the readers.  Finally.  Katrine watches Breaking Bad!  Beate plays board games with her kid!  Ståle regrets going into private practice!  Look, everyone, characters who aren’t Harry!

So I wasn’t ready for what happened in the exact middle of the story.  I’m going to take a risk & say that I don’t believe I’m spoiling too much when I mention that a significant character dies.  And the event itself is bad.  Thankfully I was alone in the house as I screamed louder & louder, “No!  NO!!  NOOO!!!!!”  When I finished the chapter, I picked up the book & slammed it down on my coffee table, terrifying my cat & tearing some of the binding.  Police & I went to bed angry last night.  Needless to say, we’ve patched things up & I’m made it to the last 100 pages of the book.  But the story is intense & we’ve had to take another break.  I’ve had to really think about what I’ve gotten myself into, ha ha.

As part of my time-out from Police last night, I downloaded Matt Good’s latest, Arrows of Desire.  (Yes, I called it a CD earlier, but I actually downloaded it.  Forgive my analog 90s brain.)  It’s amazing.  How amazing?, asks an Internet oversatured with superlatives.  I nearly cried at work a few times, I was so moved.  You doubt me?  Judge for yourself:

Arrows of Desire is a marriage of the moody, fatalistic sounds from Light of Endangered Species and the straight-up, rock-driven structure of the songs from Beautiful Midnight.  I was often reminded of The Cure’s Bloodflowers—not just because of the similar guitar sounds.  Bloodflowers was a specific instance of a band I loved doing new, interesting stuff while staying true to their distinctive sound.  Arrows of Desire is a similar moment for Matt Good & those moments remind you why you fell in love with something in the first place.  And, yes, that realization made me cry with joy.  If you’re new to this Matt Good guy, I would say Arrows of Desire is a great place to start.

So, that’s my quick write-up of my latest book & CD.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a real review to write.