Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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37 Responses

  1. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I am reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to NewDealer says:

      I hope you’re carrying a dictionary.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Chris says:

        I am carrying a smart phone.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        The best thing about the Kindle is that you can just press on a word and get a definition.

        Have you read anything else by Eco?Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Chris says:

        I am old school and like my books but that is a nice feature.

        The Island of the Day Before. An attempt at Foucault’s Pendelum when I was fifteen or sixteen.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        When you were 15 or 16? Ouch. I read it in my early 20s and it was a struggle.

        The Prague Cemetery isn’t bad, even if it’s remarkably twisted.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chris says:

        I read Foucault’s Pendulum about ten years ago. Well, “read” is the wrong verb. I looked at all of the words in an English translation of it. I didn’t understand much of it but touched it out hoping the pieces would fall into place. Which, other than the shopworn Rosicrucian “mystery” stuff that I can’t imagine anyone cares about these days in modern, secular western Europe, it pretty much didn’t.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

        I preferred Michel Foucault’s Eco’s Pendulum.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        “I preferred Michel Foucault’s Eco’s Pendulum.”

        I go back and forth.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Chris says:


        “Which, other than the shopworn Rosicrucian “mystery” stuff that I can’t imagine anyone cares about these days in modern, secular western Europe, it pretty much didn’t.”

        that’s too bad, as it’s a lot more than that. it’s a little bit dense, i guess, but a crackin’ good read with a great payoff.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        It is a very good book, as is The Name of the Rose. Eco can be frustrating, because his prose is so dense, but he’s a great story teller. I recommend going back to FP, if you have the time (even rereading it, it will not be a fast read), because if you can find its rhythm, it really is worth it.

        Actually, now that I think about it, I’d recommend reading The Prague Cemetery, because it’s his easiest read, but will still help you get into his rhythm, and then reading The Name of the Rose, and finishing with Foucault’s Pendulum.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Chris says:

        Man, I dunno. I count Eco as one of my favorite authors, and I’ve read more of his books than I haven’t (hoarding the rest), and I just BOUNCE off the Pendulum. Hard. Although I’m always thinking maybe it’s time for that 3rd try…. but the other two went so poorly.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        I’ll reread it with you and anyone else who wants to read it. I’m not in a hurry, so if people want to, just let me know when you’re going to start.Report

      • Avatar Zane in reply to Chris says:

        I have read The Name of the Rose by Eco, but nothing else. It was a fantastic read, though. I loved it and think of it fondly.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        I also read FP in my teens or perhaps early twenties. I actually don’t recall much of it at all – except a vague sense that the author describes certain objects like furniture and room contents in great detail and wearyingly-extensive length? Am I misremembering that, or thinking of something else?

        Island was OK. Never read Rose (but saw the movie years and years ago).Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Chris says:

        is the film version of in the name of the rose any good?Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Two words: Sean fishin’ Connery.

        If he can play a Spaniard in 16th century Scotland with a Scottish accent, then he can play a 14th century English monk with a Scottish accent!

        Seriously though, it’s not bad.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

        The book really gets into the internal life of the monks as they’re doing their detective story. The movie only really gets into the detective stuff…

        I mean, spoiler, there’s a sex scene.
        In the book, there’s nothing but references to the Song of Songs and you can tell that the monk is using the only vocabulary he has at his disposal and it’s sweet and innocent and, dareisay, damn sexy at the same time.
        In the movie, it’s two people humping.

        Now, if you only have two hours, the movie is better than not watching the movie. But if you’ve got two weeks, the book is better.Report

  2. Avatar Maribou says:

    I’ve been reading an essay collection by Janet Malcolm and a book of shorts edited by Zadie Smith.

    Watching the first season of Nashville.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Maribou says:

      What do you think of Nashville? It’s sort of on my extended radar. I haven’t watched any of it, but I have considered it on occasion.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Maribou says:

      My wife dogs Nashville. Looks like a soap opera to me, except with higher production values and musical performances.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @will-truman @burt-likko Yes, that’s pretty much it. Plot: soap opera, SO soap opera. Writing: up and down. Acting: a few meh actors, but mostly it’s stellar (I watched it because I <3 Connie Britten with ALL the <3's, and it was designed to be a vehicle for her). Music: pretty solid with flashes of superb (Clare Bowen's voice! My god!) – and intellectually very entertaining if you are a particular sort of music dork (that I am), because you have the same person, T-Bone Burnett (who happens to be a favorite of mine), writing a huge crapload of songs (and picking others) to convey very specific, very different flavors for more than a dozen different ficitional performers, many of whom are trying out different styles during the course of the show. The sideplot with the hip-hop / EDM megaproducer (played by Wyclef Jean) trying to transform an alt-country kid into something completely different is HILARIOUS and intriguing at a musical level, even as it feeds into the ridiculous soap opera sex / violence / money / melodrama plots on a metaphorical one.

        Jaybird watched it for like five minutes and said, "Oh, so it's like Ugly Betty only with country music," and that's not so far off either.

        Will, I think you might appreciate that it is set in the South, most of the characters are from Tennessee or Texas, and the show never treats that as a lesser thing. There are some jokes about various regional things, but for the most part, all the jokes about the South feel like in-jokes rather than someone making fun from outside. The showrunner was raised in Texas and Kentucky (and wrote the script for Thelma and Louise), which may have something to do with that.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Burt Likko says:

        This song clip / scene from one of the earlier episodes is pretty representative of the show – I mean, all the dialogue’s been edited out, but I think even without knowing who the people are, you get a feel for it (watching it is what got me interested, actually)

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Dramas are hit and miss with me. I tend to like them when they’re dramas wrapped up in something (the law, politics, etc.) but not when it’s just drama squared (Felicity, Dawson’s Creek). I am trying to figure out if the country music angle is enough to keep me interested.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I am the same way, for the most part – though acting trumps all for me.

        Anyway, I’d say the music focus is huge (not just the songs themselves, but all the drama of touring and making records and getting deals and gigging and writing and etc in a town that’s full of musicians), and there’s a corrupt-city-politics side-focus, too. The pilot’s pretty indicative, so you might want to just try that one and see what you think?Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Burt Likko says:

        It’s weird too, because sometimes two shows can be superficially very similar but the focus is just different?
        Like, Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life and Dawson’s Creek were all “high school dramas” and yet the first two were ABOUT high school (and F&G also had a music angle) in a way that Dawson’s Creek just wasn’t.

        Maybe it’s the analytical / wonky piece that I really want? So like, I like Downton because they are all “ooh, the war” “ooh, estate management”… even though those aren’t my favorite parts of the show AT ALL, I wouldn’t enjoy it without them.Report

  3. Avatar Major Zed says:

    Reading “Killing Floor,” the first Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. Discovered a whole raft of them available to borrow to my tablet through LibraryConnection. Watching season 2 of Deadwood from Netflix. Next movie coming in is Bullitt – been a while since I’ve seen that!Report

  4. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I had a Breaking Bad marathon on the five hour plane trip. It turns out that while Clancy and I generally prefer direct flights, it’s better for Lain if we have layovers.

    Listening to Angel’s Flight, a Harry Boesch novel. Thinking of switching to Grisham next.Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I’m reading “S.” by Doug Dorst. Which means I’m also reading Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka, a bunch of marginalia, and playing with a decoder wheel, all to delightful frustration. We should do a book club.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I just got back from The Grand Budapest Hotel. I think I know what Anderson’s intention was, and it works, but the constant, sometimes violent changes in tone were distracting. Great performance by Ralph Fiennes.Report

  7. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Reading The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner and the letters of Abelard and Heloise. Haven’t watched anything in a while.Report

  8. Avatar rexknobus says:

    Weird Combo Day — Reading Machiavelli’s “History of Florence,” took a break with a Marvel trade PB called “Secret War,” going to see “Grand Budapest” in a matinee on Monday, and binging on “Fringe” (via Netflix) after FemRex’s bedtime. Not usually this divergent.Report

  9. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Attended the closing performance of Shakespeare’s Will at the Jungle Theatre in Minneapolis. It’s a one-woman fictional play about the life of Shakespeare’s wife, informed by his will. The play posits that he egregiously stiffed her, leaving the house in which she raised his children in Stratford while he cavorted and created in London to his sister, and leaving her only his “second best bed” out of anger over the death of their son. The actress is a family friend of my girlfriend’s family. Even though it’s fictional and I doubt much of what’s posited, it was still unsettling to think of Shakespeare as vindictive and bitter toward the mother of his children in death. Cathy’s performance was compelling in the way she brought a mix of (what I imagine was meant to be) Elizabethan and modern sensibilities to the text. (But of course I’m biased.)

    I’d be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on this play who’s familiar with it. Do you buy its interpretation of this marriage at all? (Not that historical accuracy is the point of the play.) Did it change your view of the Bard? Is Anne Hathaway a compelling historical character in this interpretation?Report