Two memes

I just remembered I was asked to do two memes. Maki gave me the music baton, and I said I am not very musical, but I have a guilty concience now (but this was in her main weblog, and it’s the foodie weblog I read).

The last CD I bought – this is difficult. Possibly Dialogues des Carmélites by Poulenc – love the guillotine scene.

Playing now: nothing.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or mean a lot to me:

Hermann Leopoldi, Die Novaks aus Prag, from Hermann Leopoldi in Amerika

Eva Cassidy, Tall Trees in Georgia

Cole Porter, Miss Otis Regrets – I was listening to Kirsty McColl, not realising she was the person who died in an accident some years ago – just to prove I don’t know what I’m listening to.

Ian Dury, There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards (from Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll)

(There ain’t half been some clever bastards
(Lucky bleeders, lucky bleeders)
There ain’t half been some clever bas-tards.

Van Gogh did some eyeball pleasers.
He must have been a pencil squeezer.
He didn’t do the Mona Lisa,
That was an Italian geezer.)

Biermösl Blosn, Bayernland-Lied
(Das Altmühltal, die Donauau’n, wie wunderschön is anzuschaun!
Ein Lied erklingt, man kennt es schon, gar lieblich aus dem Stahlbeton:
Es muß ein Dienstag gwesn sein, ein Faschingsdienstag obendrein,
es war ein Glücksfall ganz gewiß, daß auch die SPD dafür gwen is.)

Well, that’s my duty done. I can’t help feeling I’m more interested in the words than the music. I won’t pass this baton on, but any readers with blogs are invited to try it if they like.

The second meme is a book meme and it comes from Gail.

Number of books I own:
Many thousands, far too many. Must part with a lot I don’t need any more.

Last book I bought:
Jane’s The Beat Officer’s Companion, by Gordon Wilson: a quick reference book for officers on street duty. It has nice pictures and diagrams, and it has headings that are comprehensible for obscure legal language (e.g. kerb-crawling for ‘An offence is committed by a person if he solicits another person for the purpose of prostitution from a motor vehicle while it is in a street or public place or while in the immediate vicinity of a motor vehicle which he has just got out of or off persistently or in such circumstances as to be likely to cause annoyance to the person solicited or nuisance to other persons in the neihgbourhood’).

Last book I read:
This meme irritates me because it’s obviously biased towards literature – because it’s only things like novels and biographies that you start at the beginning and read to the end of. Most of my books aren’t like that. And I think it’s that perfective sense of ‘read’ that’s meant here. But it doesn’t say so, so I’ll say the last book I had my nose in was Harold McGee: McGee on Food and Cooking, which explains what things are and why things take the course they do – at least in the kitchen.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

I agree with Gail’s commenter that Ulysses is absolutely not the book I wish I’d written. In fact, I’d like to do a meme on books I can’t stand that most people seem to think are wonderful. However, that’s not what it says. ‘Mean a lot’? This is ridiculous. Here are some books I have enjoyed and read more than once:

The old chestnuts: Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Villette.
The Makioka Sisters, by some Japanese person, sorry, that should be Junichiro Tanizaki, War and Peace, Speak, Memory by Nabokov
Absalom and Achitophel, by Dryden. And the Goethe-Schiller Briefwechsel (correspondence).
That must be five! My duty is done.

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