Happy Birthday Bluesday

Since today is B. B. King’s 89th birthday, here’s a YouTube clip of his song Happy Birthday Blues from the 1979 album Take It Home.

And just because, here he is performing on his 85th birthday at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in September of 2010.

The B. B. King/Eric Clapton collaboration Riding with The King came out in 2000, which is about the time I started to add some blues to my otherwise uninspired listening habits.

Happy Birthday, B. B.!

The Bluesday Brothers

Thanks to Saturday Night Live and the comedy genius of both Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, my awareness of the blues increased with the release of the movie “The Blues Brothers” in 1980. While Jake and Elwood were on a mission from God to save the orphanage where they were raised, Belushi and Aykroyd were on a mission to bring their love of the blues to a wider audience while making one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes from the movie, with Ray Charles and the Blues Brothers Band jamming to Shake Your Tailfeather.

My August Reads, 2014

Book StackI have definitely been in catch-up mode this past month. In addition to falling behind with all of my reading, I actually let my Clarkesworld subscription lapse! Once I took care of that oversight I’ve been spending time bringing myself up to speed with the latest issues.

Now the question is whether or not I’ll be able to meet my goals of reading 52 books and 200 short stories this year. I suspect that I’ll be sneaking in an anthology or two before the year is out in an effort to maximize my reading efficiency!

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 91, Edited by Neil Clarke

I read the first two stories of this issue back in April and finished it in August.

  • Water in Springtime by Kali Wallace (8/11/14)
  • The Cuckoo by Sean Williams (8/11/14)
  • Going After Bobo by Susan Palwick (8/11/14)
  • Shining Armor by Dominic Green (8/11/14)

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 92, Edited by Neil Clarke

  • The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye by Matthew Kressel (8/12/14)
  • A Gift in Time by Maggie Clark (8/12/14)
  • Migratory Patterns of Underground Birds by E. Catherine Tobler (8/12/14)
  • Night of the Cooters by Howard Waldrop (8/13/14)
  • Beluthahatchie by Andy Duncan (8/13/14)

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 93, Edited by Neil Clarke

  • wHole by Robert Reed (8/14/14)
  • Pepe by Tang Fei (8/14/14)
  • Communion by Mary Anne Mohanraj (8/15/14)
  • Lambing Season by Molly Gloss (8/18/14)
  • Have Not Have by Geoff Ryman (8/19/14)

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 94, Edited by Neil Clarke

  • The Contemporary Foxwife by Yoon Ha Lee (8/19/14)
  • Stone Hunger by N. K. Jemisin (8/22/14)
  • Soul’s Bargain by Juliette Wade (8/22/14)
  • The Halfway House at the Heart of Darkness by William Browning Spencer (8/22/14)
  • Gold Mountain by Chris Roberson (8/22/14)

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 95, Edited by Neil Clarke

  • Five Stages of Grief After the Alien Invasion by Caroline M. Yoachim (8/30/14)
  • Bonfires in Anacostia by Joseph Tomaras (8/30/14)
  • The Saint of the Sidewalks by Kat Howard (8/30/14)
  • The Rose Witch by James Patrick Kelly (8/30/14)
  • Seven Years from Home by Naomi Novik (8/31/14)
  • Nevermore by Ian R. MacLeod (8/31/14)

That’s it for August’s short fiction. I’m looking forward to reading much more in September!

Tuesday Is Now Bluesday

MeAnd_the_DevilThe first blues album I ever owned was a gift from my aunt and uncle, way back in the day. It was called “The Anthology of British Blues: Me and the Devil” by Tony McPhee and Friends. It was way above my musical tastes at the time, and it wasn’t until recently that I started to appreciate the blues.

My original vinyl was lost long ago, but I was able to track down a re-release on CD on Amazon.com last year. Track eight was the title track of the album, a cover of the Robert Johnson classic “Me and the Devil Blues,” shortened to “Me and the Devil.”


My Summer Reads, 2014

Book StackSpecifically, my May, June, and July reads. Unfortunately, there isn’t much here to see since I haven’t done any reading since April. The last book I started has been sitting on my bookshelf unread since then, and my “To Read” pile seems to be spreading out like untreated dandelions on the front lawn. According to Goodreads.com, I have 39 books to read in the next five months if I’m going to reach my goal of 52 books read before the end of the year.

It’s time to pick up a book and start reading. The Nook is charged and the bookshelves are beckoning. Now, what looks interesting?

My April Reads, 2014

Book StackIt’s been a while since I’ve read much of anything, but I’ve finally started to crack open a few tomes. It won’t be long before the second anniversary of Rad Bradbury’s passing is here, so I’m trying to finish the Barnes and Noble collection before it gets here. And with the announcement of the Hugo Award nominations on Easter weekend, I want to get caught up on as much reading as I can.

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

I started reading the Barnes and Noble Ray Bradbury Collection, which includes The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and The Golden Apple of the Sun, shortly after Bradbury’s death in 2012, long before I began to keep track of my short fiction reading. I finally finished reading The Illustrated Man in September of 2013. Last month I began The Martian Chronicles, and was actually able to finish it!

  • Rocket Summer (4/19/14)
  • Ylla (4/19/14)
  • The Summer Night (4/19/14)
  • The Earth Men (4/19/14)
  • The Taxpayer (4/19/14)
  • The Third Expedition (4/19/14)
  • -And The Moon Be Still As Bright (4/19/14)
  • The Settlers (4/19/14)
  • The Green Morning (4/24/14)
  • The Locusts (4/24/14)
  • Night Meeting (4/24/14)
  • The Shore (4/24/14)
  • Fire Balloons (4/24/14)
  • Interim (4/24/14)
  • The Musicians (4/24/14)
  • The Wilderness (4/24/14)
  • Way In The Middle Of The Air* (4/24/14)
  • The Naming of Names (4/24/14)
  • Usher II (4/24/14)
  • The Old Ones (4/24/14)
  • The Martian (4/24/14)
  • The Luggage Store (4/24/14)
  • The Off Season (4/24/14)
  • The Watchers (4/24/14)
  • The Silent Towns (4/24/14)
  • The Long Years (4/24/14)
  • There Will Come Soft Rains (4/24/14)
  • The Million Year Picnic (4/24/14)

* This story is a depiction of racial prejudice in America. It was eliminated from some editions of The Martian Chronicles (including this one), and was replaced by the story The Wilderness. I found a copy of the story online and read it.

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 90, Edited by Neil Clarke

  • Morrigan in the Sunglare by Seth Dickinson (4/21/14)
  • Human Strandings and the Role of the Xenobiologist by Thoraiya Dyer (4/23/14)
  • Suteta Mono de wa Nai by Juliette Wade (4/23/14)
  • The Egg Man by Mary Rosenblum (4/24/14)
  • Mountain Ways by Ursula K. Le Guin (4/24/14)

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 91, Edited by Neil Clarke

I started the April issue and hope to finish it in a day or two.

  • Passage of Earth by Michael Swanwick (4/29/14)
  • Autodidact by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (4/30/14)

Until next month, read more!

My March Reads, 2014

Book StackMarch came in like a lion and went out like a lion this year. The long, hard winter continued to make me miserable. I mentioned my fall on the ice in February’s update; I’m seeing my doctor for some issues related to that. I have just not been in the mood to do any reading at all. February 7th was the last time I finished a short story and I finished my last novel on February 9th.

The weather is finally starting to turn around, so I’m hoping to get out of this reading funk that I’ve been in the last two months. My books aren’t going to read themselves after all!

Until next time…