Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

On Never Being Bored

I can understand how a person could be overwhelmed with this life; how one could be harried, hectic, awed, fearful, dizzy or elated with life. However, I will never understand people who get bored. There are too many foods to taste, books to read, games to  play, and things to do. Also, for those of us who are married, a spouse is an endless source of mystery and interest. You can spend years with a person and still barely scratch the surface of their unique and wonderful depth. In fact, every new subject or endeavor is a world in itself, and there's no way a person can experience even a fraction of the wonder of God's created order.

Case in point: a week or so ago, I decided to dip my toe into jazz just to have something to listen to while grading. Now I find myself over my head in a rushing river. I never knew how much there was to explore. Better be careful when you go out on the road, I suppose. As Bilbo said, you never know where it will take you.

So here's a list of what I've been listening to lately. Give it a try if you're so inclined. Since I don't pretend to any knowledge of jazz beyond a week or so acquaintance, I can't promise these are "the best". Just what I've found and liked.

Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (1957) (hard bop) THIS IS GREAT! LISTEN TO IT NOW!
Thelonious Monk: Monk (1954) (bebop)
Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (1961) (bebop/free jazz)
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (1957 compilation) (cool jazz)
Joe Lovano & Us Five (live 2011) (post bop)


Erica said…
I was sorely disappointed in how little time we spent on jazz in Music Appreciation.
Joshua Avalos said…
That was an excellent article! I enjoyed it immensely