2004 review: in books and music

As compared to last year, I have read very, very little this year. In fact, though I may still have one or two books to finish by the end of the year, I’m guessing I won’t even break 40 for the year. The last book I finished was Farewell, my lovely, unless I’ve forgotten something. I’m in the middle of Tishomingo Blues at the moment, and I have Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell out from the library, but… I guess I’ve been finding other things to do with my time.

Anyway, so, it comes as no surprise that I have read only 3 of the books on the New York Times 100 New & Notable list this year (thanks, for the link — and also for pointing out that there are only 99 books on this top 100 list). The three I’ve read are all non-fiction: Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke; Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward; and The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind.

I have bought more CDs this year than I have in any other recent year. Case in point: I just got Trouble in Shangri-La by Stevie Nicks. I’ve never been a big CD buyer, but my easy access to the iTunes music store, Barnes & Noble gift certificates, and a wealth of used CDs for sale online have made it much more likely that I’ll buy albums these days. Oh, and two bands I love put out CDs I had to have, and ordered for the first day: Cake (Pressure Chief) and U2 (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb).

So, do I have favorites? Yes and no. If I had to (gun to your head) narrow it down to 5 of each, I’d say:
Top 5 New (to me) Books Read in 2004 (so far)
1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
3. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward
5. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Top 5 New (to me) CDs/ EPs purchased in 2004 (so far)
1. Sheryl Crow – The Globe Sessions & Sheryl Crow – C’mon C’mon
2. U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
3. Keane – Hopes and Fears
4. Cake – Pressure Chief
5. Ben Folds – Speed Graphic

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