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The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson



Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »

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Customer Comments

jraoul has commented on (14) products.

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman
The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee

jraoul, April 14, 2013

I wasn't a huge fan going in -- I laughed once (but very loud) during her movie -- and the book didn't change anything. It's got a couple of good, crude laughs; a lot of "yeah, I can see how that's funny" narrative; a surprising amount of tender confessions; not a whole lot of celebrity gossip or insights into how comedy or show business work. I did NOT hurl it across the room with great force; it held my interest through to the end, but didn't rock my world.
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The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook by Beatles
The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook

jraoul, April 14, 2013

This is not for everyone, but if you're one of the people it's for, it's perfect: all the lyrics and all the chords (and almost all of them correct -- I think Martha My Dear is in the wrong key, and I've found one or two other little errors) for all of the songs the Beatles wrote and recorded. Nothing from the post-group solo careers, and none of the covers, but it does include some of the oddities from Anthology. The binding makes it a little difficult to use, but you can take it to a xerox place and have them spiral-bind it.

It is NOT the same as a score or even a lead sheet -- there are no dots-and-lines notation, just words and chord symbols, and not even the rhythm is notated. So you kind of have to already know the songs for it to be really useful. That said, it's a great and compact reference and gig aid.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



Lunatics by Dave Barry
Lunatics

jraoul, March 6, 2013

I've never been a big fan of Dave Barry's columns, but I love his two earlier novels, Big Trouble and Tricky Business (which is not to mention the slew of Peter Pan prequels he's done with Ridley Pearson) -- both of them feature stupid people doing increasingly stupid things, and that's a genre for which I am a complete sucker. You may give up reading this review now, if you like.

Still with me? Barry's come out with a new book with the bizarre title "Lunatics and Alan Zweibel" ... or at least that's what it says on the cover and side-binding of the hardcover version I have. (The hardcover version also boasts the funniest back cover blurb I've ever read, which isn't saying much, but still.) Like Barry's earlier books, it features stupid people doing increasingly -- and incredibly -- stupid things. It also does the impossible, taking the basic template of "The In-Laws", a perfect comedy B-movie (I speak of the Arkin/Falk original, not the Steve Martin remake) and improving on it.

The laughs are plentiful, if mostly Rabelaisian, for at least half the book. Then they slow down a little as the story gets bogged down in plot, as I think Joe Bob Briggs used to say, but I found myself still happily turning the pages through to the end -- by that time, I felt the author(s) had already earned my affection and didn't need to work so hard.

I also like the fact that my friend David gets a completely gratuitous namecheck in the book, putting him in the same league as me, who got namechecked in Dave Barry's Book Of Bad Songs.
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Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel
Lunatics

jraoul, March 6, 2013

I've never been a big fan of Dave Barry's columns, but I love his two earlier novels, Big Trouble and Tricky Business (which is not to mention the slew of Peter Pan prequels he's done with Ridley Pearson) -- both of them feature stupid people doing increasingly stupid things, and that's a genre for which I am a complete sucker. You may give up reading this review now, if you like.

Still with me? Barry's come out with a new book with the bizarre title "Lunatics and Alan Zweibel" ... or at least that's what it says on the cover and side-binding of the hardcover version I have. (The hardcover version also boasts the funniest back cover blurb I've ever read, which isn't saying much, but still.) Like Barry's earlier books, it features stupid people doing increasingly -- and incredibly -- stupid things. It also does the impossible, taking the basic template of "The In-Laws", a perfect comedy B-movie (I speak of the Arkin/Falk original, not the Steve Martin remake) and improving on it.

The laughs are plentiful, if mostly Rabelaisian, for at least half the book. Then they slow down a little as the story gets bogged down in plot, as I think Joe Bob Briggs used to say, but I found myself still happily turning the pages through to the end -- by that time, I felt the author(s) had already earned my affection and didn't need to work so hard.

I also like the fact that my friend David gets a completely gratuitous namecheck in the book, putting him in the same league as me, who got namechecked in Dave Barry's Book Of Bad Songs.
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House of Holes: A Book of Raunch by Nicholson Baker
House of Holes: A Book of Raunch

jraoul, July 8, 2012

I'm not really sure who this book for -- it's way too whimsical and quirky and literary to be very effective as a stroke book, and it's way too dirty for just about anyone else. It is really, really dirty ... but it is also by turns funny, enchanting, romantic, playful, silly, and engaging. It's almost as if Baker is playing a game with the reader to see how many wrenching turns he can toss without losing our interest. He's a good enough writer to keep the game interesting. Whether that makes for a good book?... I'm still not sure. But it's a fun ride.
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