HAPPY NEW YEAR, BOOKWYRMS!
First, a holly jolly shout-out to Sarah-Maree, who went above and beyond with her response to my Peppermint Mocha Book Tag! Behold: the Bubble Tea Book Tag! She not only answered each prompt with a fitting book, but also customized the prompts themselves with her own favorite drinks! I srsly need the recipe or location of that Calypso Blue Lemonade…
Today’s shenanigans are inspired by Leah @ Leah’s Books, and her responses to the OMG! That Song Book Tag (originally created by katesbookdate on YouTube). Because *invokes Disney’s-Mulan’s-hilarious-man-voice* I, too, enjoy fusing books and music! It’s very…cross-disciplinary…and tough!
And so, without further a-doo-wop…
The OMG! That Song Book Tag
A song you have to listen to no matter how many times you’ve heard it before…
Clannad’s “Dulaman” is my favorite version thus far. It’s not my first love (that honor goes to Altan), but it’s the one that gives me the fuzziest, most timelessly mythic feeling.
…and a book you’ll never get sick of:
You mean, besides a certain Medley of cheeky feminist remixed fairy tales? 😉
Or Sylvia Peck’s Seal Child? Or Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Changeling? Or Bruce Coville’s unicorn stories? Or the October Daye series?
A song that reminds you of the cringiest time in your life…
I can’t listen to “My Immortal,” by Evanescence, because it reminds me too much of my sophomore year of college. To put it vaguely, that spring semester was the worst, and the weeping tone of that song just evokes all the lowest lows of that time.
…and a book you read that you wouldn’t like if you were to read it now:
I also don’t think I would enjoy the Lost Voices trilogy, by Sarah Porter, as much on second read-through. Oddly enough, I was in a similar emotional place back in 2014 as I am now, but I think the suuuuper dark version of mermaid lore and the way some of the fictional politicians talk about them would feel too realistic this year. Like, I hope Luce and all her Twice-Lost soldiers get major long-term therapy after…everything.
A recent song that you have on repeat…
I’m still re-playing my Christmas Dreamland playlist most nights, and one of my favorite tracks is Ashley Davis’ “To Drive the Cold Winter Away.” I still love the Loreena McKennitt version, “In Praise of Christmas,” with its operatic notes that echo like the inside of a medieval cathedral. But Davis’ version is so soothing with its lower notes, her mellow voice, and that lovely mandola solo in the middle (yes, I looked it up ^_^; ).
…and a recent favorite book:
One of my recent bookish favorites is an in-progress re-read of Rosemary and Rue, the first October Daye book. I have theories, Bookwyrms. THEORIES. About future revelations that will circle back to this opening number. Oh rose and thorn, do I have theories.
A song that is literally me…
The instrumental piece “Sarah,” from the Labyrinth soundtrack, feels like all of my faery tale daydreams combined into one nostalgic theme. It starts with a sound like a silver, glittering waterfall (or maybe a Star-Trek-Next-Generation-style teleportation), and then meanders through 80s synthesizer chords that somehow sound timeless, a few variations on the movie theme, and two flute-like calls that sound like Tennyson’s “horns of Elfland faintly blowing.”
…and a book that is me in book form:
Right now, what feels most like an unintentional NeriSiren biography is every Jill scene in the BSC spinoff, California Diaries. As I said in the Netflix Book Tag, she absolutely deserved her own trio of diaries. She’s defiantly childlike and when her original group of friends grows away from her, she finds a new tribe that happily surfs on her wavelength.
Where are my fellow Jill stans? Raise your sparkly unicorn sneakers!
A weird song that you liked anyway…
So. One evening, back in 2014, I was driving home from Milwaukee and I turned to a local station that was broadcasting an interview with a kooky art pop band called tUnE-yArDs. They sounded cool enough, but then the station played the following song from their latest-at-the-time album (Warning: NSFW)…
…and I was like WTFisThisIloveItWhat’sItCalledAgain??? Apparently, “Water Fountain” was inspired by the California drought; hence the opening line, “No water in the water fountain.” It’s also one of the few songs in my regular playlist with salty language (along with a few sexual innuendos), which is normally not my jam, but the song is hilarious enough that I let those moments slide.
Tell me the pure, giddy energy in those battle cries of “WOO-ha! WOO-ha!” isn’t completely contagious! And yes, the music video is like the opening of Peewee’s Playhouse on ecstasy.
…and a unique book that stuck out to you for some reason:
I mentioned Allie Brosh’s new graphic memoir, Solutions and Other Problems, in my Peppermint Mocha tag, but I must give due props to her first book, Hyperbole and a Half. It gathers together some of the most iconic posts from her blog, like the various adventures of the Simple Dog and the terrifying tale of The God of Cake, as well as her incredibly relatable two-part essay on depression.
My only wish is that she’d included her epic 2010 Christmas special, “The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas.” It’s the greatest version of the Nativity story ever told and the absolute best representation, in my view, of Brosh’s gloriously surreal childhood persona.
Pick your best pump up song…
I will never not start bopping my head when “Yor Uzga,” by Karen Gafurdjanov, comes on. It’s from the Putumayo Gypsy Groove album, and that opening chorus of upbeat audience chanting (the only way I can think of to describe it is like when you see a crowd circled around a break-dancer, clapping and shouting encouragement) always puts a literal smile on my face.
…and a book that inspires you:
I mentioned these, too, in my Netflix Tag, but I’m going to give another shout-out to Austin Kleon and his trio of creativity manuals. I’ve gotten some of my favorite A-ha! moments from these guides. Like: limits are essential to creativity (Did you know Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a bet that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words?). Or: Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence and humility, not weak morals.
Your best relaxing song…
One of my favorite music therapy songs is “Miss Clare Remembers,” a piano piece by Enya. It has the soft, dreamy vibes; the slowly circling, rocking notes; the melody that sort of reminds me of the inside of the Deku Tree in Ocarina of Time… all guaranteed to slow my heart rate and pause my thought spirals.
…and a book you’d curl up with on a rainy day:
My bookish hygge list, lately, has included two books by Lithuanian scholar Marija Gimbutas. One delves into Baltic prehistory and archaeology, while the other explores the ancient mythologies of southern Europe from 7000 – 3500 B.C. They’re not page-turners, exactly, but they’re extremely insightful — I love her idea that you can tell how far Baltic culture spread throughout Europe by looking at river names — and the library copies I borrowed have those old brown Buckram-style covers and that faint, musty library scent that puts me in a very cozy mood.
A guilty pleasure song…
I have a few shower songs that have become such earworms that I half-cringe every time I find myself singing them around the house. Not because there’s anything off about the songs themselves (sooort of), but because everyone in my house probably has them stuck in their heads as well.
One of these songs is “The Trees They Grow High,” by The John Renbourn Group. It’s a lovely little ballad about a young maiden who learns to love the ten-years-younger husband her father arranged for her, only to become his widow after two years and left to raise their son alone.
No, really, it’s a lovely song! But everyone in my house probably groans inwardly every time they hear “Trees they grow high and the leaves they do grow green…” I also probably shouldn’t mention how young this Casanova is when he gets married, becomes a father, and then dies… ^_^;
…and a light, trashy read you can’t help but love:
Speaking of ad nauseumly repeated reviews, let me try very hard to think of a lovably trashy read that isn’t Sweet Valley…
Go ahead and listen to the epically thrilling 2020 Christmas episode of Double Love while you wait.
A throwback song you look back on fondly…
I recently rediscovered “We Are,” by Sweet Honey in the Rock, which I first learned at Choir Camp when I was thirteen (imagine 50+ middle-schoolers singing a very solemn version of a bouncy, jazzy Gospel song ^_^; ). It’s one of those songs whose lyrics stuck in the back of my head for years, and the band name is so memorably mythic it took no time for me to find them on iTunes.
…and a book you read and loved when you were young:
I have not, on the other hand, come across another copy of Little Red Riding Hood Goes Sledding since that one reading period I spent with it in third grade. Even my local town librarian at the time didn’t know what I was talking about. I’m beginning to think I may have imagined it into my classroom library hold on OhMyGodYouGuysItDoesExist!!!!!
Happy New Year, Bookwyrms!
It’s Always Sunny conspiracy meme from every corner of the 2020 Internet.
Hold My Coffee GIF from tenor.