Kirk’s suggestion for summer reading
May 15, 2014
If you’re looking for some books worth checking out, you might want to consider the following.
“The Accident” (Crown) by Chris Pavone is a new spy thriller by the author of the much praised “The Expats.” It’s the story of a mysterious manuscript, which purportedly documents the goings on among a group of powerful people and the novel opens with a literary agent combing through the anonymous author’s book manuscript.
Meanwhile in Copenhagen, a CIA agent has decided that this is a story that must remain buried and the author of the mysterious book is hiding in deep cover in Zurich. The fast-paced narrative blends the lives of these three protagonists over the course of a single increasingly dangerous day.
Lies and duplicitous acts start piling up and the characters—from those in publishing and politics to those in film and espionage—start to have to deal with the consequences of their actions and motives most of which they thought would never see the light of day. People start dying and things spin out of control in multiple locales from Copenhagen to Hollywood. Once you start, Pavone’s twist-filled plot will keep you turning those pages.
On the non-fiction front you might want to consider “Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening” (Ecco) by David Hendy.
This book is the “companion’ to the acclaimed thirty year BBC radio series of the same name. Presenting itself as a “soundtrack to history” the book explores, in some detail, various human exploits that have centered on sound over the last 100,000 years or so. Music, speech, gunfire, drumming, laughter, the rise of recorded sound and eavesdropping are all included in Hendy’s expansive definition.
Some stops along the way include sounds that may have occurred at the moths of Paleolithic caves, the role of oratory in ancient Greece, the sounds of bells and religion, the rise of machines and that amplified thing called radio, the crowded and noisy world of coffee bars and the hushed environments of office cubicles.
An original take on human evolution, it is also an affirmation of composer John Cage’s assertion that “wherever we are what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.” Which is exactly what this book is.
There will be a reception for artist Sharon Maczko, whose watercolors are currently on view at the Art Center, on May 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. and we’ll have more info on this in the coming weeks.
Kirk Robertson covers the arts.