Friday, 16 September 2016

Sky's Musical Corner - Books Including Music 3

It’s time for the third and last post about books including music/about music. This is all part of my musical feature „Sky’s Musical Corner (see schedule at the end of this post). So in this post I introduce you to some books that are about music. Some I have read, some I haven’t.

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan

It’s Tiny Cooper’s turn in the spotlight in this companion novel to New York Times bestseller Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Jazz hands at the ready! Tiny Cooper (“the world’s largest person who is also really, really gay”) stole readers’ hearts when he was introduced to the world in the New York Times bestselling book Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-authored by John Green and David Levithan. Now Tiny finally gets to tell his story—from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends—the way he always intended: as a musical! Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, the novel is told through the full script of the musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

The Rise and Fall oft he Miraculous Vespas by David F. Ross
When a young Ayrshire band miraculously hits the big time with the smash hit record of 1984, international stardom beckons. That’s despite having a delusional teenage manager propelled by a dark, malign voice in his head. Can Max Mojo’s band of talented social misfits repeat the success and pay back the mounting debts accrued from an increasingly agitated cartel of local gangsters? Or will they have to kidnap Boy George and hope for the best?

The Last Days of Disco by David F. Ross

Early in the decade that taste forgot, Fat Franny Duncan is on top of the world. He is the undoubted King of the Ayrshire Mobile Disco scene, controlling and ruling the competition with an iron fist. From birthdays to barn dances, Franny is the man to call. He has even played 'My Boy Lollipop' at a funeral and got away with it. But the future is uncertain. A new partnership is coming and is threatening to destroy the big man"€™s Empire ... Bobby Cassidy and Joey Miller have been best mates since primary school. Joey is an idealist; Bobby just wants to get laid and avoid following his brother Gary to the Falklands. A partnership in their new mobile disco venture seems like the best way for Bobby to do both at the same time. With compensation from an accident at work, Bobby"€™s dad Harry invests in the fledgling business. His marriage to Ethel is coming apart at the seams and the disco has given him something to focus on. Tragic news from the other side of the world brings all three strands together in a way that no one could have predicted. The Last Days of Disco is a eulogy to the beauty and power of the 45rpm vinyl record and the small but significant part it played in a small town Ayrshire community in 1982. Witty, energetic and entirely authentic, it"€™s also heartbreakingly honest, weaving tragedy together with comedy with uncanny and unsettling elegance. A simply stunning debut. 'Full of comedy, pathos and great tunes' Hardeep Singh Kohli 'Warm, funny and evocative. If you grew up in the Eighties, you"€™re going to love this' Chris Brookmyre

2000 Tunes by Karl Drinkwater

“He started to sketch a face. A random face. With dark eyes and hair. Just any old face. He made the chin too small and drew over it, but then it looked like a double chin. That wasn’t appropriate for...
Ah. He had been drawing Sam.”

Mark Hopton’s an outsider obsessed with Manchester music. He knows the dates, facts, band members, lyrics, histories and places. He can join them in complicated webs of association because he knows the secret: everything’s connected. Music’s his escape into a better world.

Oh man, he needs that escape. His dad’s in prison, his psycho brother’s only one step away, and they’re twisting his melons trying to make him risk his freedom by smuggling drugs. It ain’t easy saying no when family and their shady contacts can be bone-breakingly persuasive. Heaven knows he’s miserable now.

The summer sun does bring one ray of light: he secretly admires Samantha, a beautiful Welsh girl at work. Watching her is like listening to music, it strengthens him, she’s his wonderwall of true faith. He’s happy with that. Love is fool’s gold.

Meanwhile, Samantha’s been caught up in a hedonistic lifestyle of cigarettes and alcohol with the 24 hour party people but now she’s had it up to here with Mancunians. Cheaters, weirdos and two-faced scummers, the lot of ’em. When the drugs don’t work it’s time to grow up but no-one’s going to take her for granted again. Don’t look back in anger? Screw that. She’s never been one to walk away.

2000 Tunes is a meditation on life, family, friends, growing up, and following your dreams.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom creates a magical world through his love of music in this remarkable new novel about the power of talent to change our lives

This is the epic story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings

Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town, until war rips his life apart. At nine years old, he is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings. His amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with his stunning playing and singing talent affecting numerous stars (Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley) until, as if predestined, he becomes a pop star himself.

He makes records. He is adored. But Frankie Presto’s gift is also his burden, as he realizes the power of the strings his teacher gave him, and how, through his music, he can actually affect people’s lives. At the height of his popularity, tortured by his biggest mistake, he vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, having finally healed his heart, does Frankie reappearjust before his spectacular death—to change one last life. With the Spirit of Music as our guide, we glimpse into the lives that were changed by one man whose strings could touch the music—and the magic—in each of us.

A lifelong musician, Mitch Albom’s passion shines through on every page. Written with an ear for rhythm and cadence, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a classic in the making. Heartrending and inventive, Albom’s latest is infused with the message that “everyone joins a band in this life”—and that music, like love, has the power to affect us all.

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
Barrytown, Dublin, has something to sing about. The Commitments are spreading the gospel of the soul. Ably managed by Jimmy Rabbitte, brilliantly coached by Joey 'The Lips' Fagan, their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from the parish hall to the steps of the studio door. But can The Commitments live up to their name?

PS: Today is our premiere, so wish me luck ;)

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