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Michael’s Top Books of 2012 – the Also Rans

1st January 2013
by Michael

Michael’s Top Books of 2012 – the Also Rans

The First Time I Heard Kate Bush2012 was a good year for books.  My New Year resolution last year was to read more, and I successfully accomplished that.  Last year I read 33 books, up from twenty-something last year.  Of those 33 books, I have a top 16 that I will post about in the coming days.  For this first post in the series, I’m going to talk about some of the books that I really enjoyed that I just couldn’t squeeze onto my top books of the year list.

There were two books in particular that deserve a special mention.  The first is part of a terrific new series available in ebook only edited by Scott Heim called, The First Time I Heard…  I read the first in the series featuring the Cocteau Twins, which was a delight, but anyone who knows me knows that a later book in the series, The First Time I Heard Kate Bush, was tailor made for me.  Kate has long been my favorite musical artist, and it was really special reading the essays that Scott pulled together from various musicians, artists, authors and the like, all talking about the first time they heard Ms. Bush.  From those who were there from the beginning, fortunate enough to live in England during the late 70’s and the release of her first single, “Wuthering Heights,” to younger folk who first heard of Kate when she finally broke the Top 40 here in the U.S. with “Running Up That Hill.”  The First Time I Heard Kate Bush was ever so fun to read, and perhaps when I’m finished with this series about my top books of 2012, I will include a post about the first time I heard Kate Bush.

Kicking & Screaming

Also in the musical vein, another book that deserves special notice and gave me great pleasure to read this past year was  Kicking & Screaming: A Story of Heart Soul and Rock and Roll by Ann & Nancy Wilson.  Again, those of you who know me, know that aside from Kate Bush, Ann Wilson and Heart have had an incredibly profound impact on my life in music.  Ann and Nancy, with their co-writer Charles Cross, chronicle their lives from childhood, through the ups and downs and musical challenges face by that seminal and classic rock band, Heart.  Even though much of the story was known to me, after decades of following their careers (even a lengthy stint in their fan club – I was in Kate’s as well) there was plenty I didn’t, and their candor and insights proved to be terrific reading.  One of my greatest wishes is to one day meet Ann Wilson and thank her for the incredible music she has given us, and now, after reading their story, I feel I know her that little bit more.

Other books I really enjoyed but just didn’t make the list include:

The First Warm Evening of the Year by Jamie Saul
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Eviston
Live By Night by Dennis Lehane
Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne RayBeautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Canada by Richard Ford
Fantastic Four: Season One by Roberto Aguire-Sacasa
The Collective by Don Lee
Falling Backwards: A Memoir by Jann Arden

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 at 11:16 pm and is filed under 2012, Authors, Books, Kate Bush, Music, Year-end lists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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