Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Changes, Books and Music

It's been a long time since I've been on a job interview, but I want to get closer in distance to my family, so when I saw a job at a university library in the same state where my sisters and father live, I applied for it. I didn't mention it to my husband because 1./I was mad at him anyway and 2./ it never occurred to me that they'd call. Well, they called and I had a phone interview with them. Then I just assumed that they wouldn't invite me there for an actual interview -- they did. So now I have an interview several states away with no clue if my family would even want to go if I were offered the job. I don't know what to think.


On Beauty by Zadie Smith: I tried and tried and tried to at least start White Teeth but was never able to. On Beauty instantly grabbed me and pulled me into its world. The Belseys are a mixed-race family trying to find their individual places in the academic community where they live. They are pitted against the Kipps , a black conservative family who hold beliefs antithetical to those cherished by the Belseys, especially Howard Belsey, the white father and Rembrandt scholar who has never been able to finish his book on that artist. On Beauty is as much a book about belief as it is about beauty. A central question posited here is "Can Howard really recognize beauty when he has no strong beliefs?" He doesn't even know or value the beauty that Kiki, his wife of thirty years, Zora, his daughter, and Levi and Jerome, his two sons, bring to his life. Smith's writing is beautiful and her characters seemed real to me. On Beauty had that quality I always look for in a book I'm going to re-read -- I hated to leave the characters' world. I may give White Teeth a fifth or sixth chance.


Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins. I don't know what possessed me to buy this album. It shows up in my amazon and iTunes recommendations all the time but I never bought it until a few days ago. I love it. Completely love it. Jenny Lewis' voice is in wonderful form here and the songs are funny, sad, reflective and memorable.

The Virginian by Neko Case and Her Boyfriends: I have other Neko Case music, including discs from The New Pornographers, but I really like the, I don't know, "friendliness" of this album. It has a similar feel to Rabbit Fur Coat, only it's not as polished but it's a lot of fun. It's very different, with its twangy songs and country feel, from Case's own Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (which I love) but if you can handle the difference and you like Neko Case, you'll enjoy the music she makes with Her Boyfriends.


sari said...

Oh my gosh - good luck! How exciting! You'll have to let us know how your interview goes, when is it?

Thanks for the recommendations. I, too, had a lot of problems reading White Teeth. I wanted to like it, I kept trying to read it, but finally I traded it in at my bookstore and got something else. I might try this one though, and the music as well!

Kristina said...

Rabbit Fur Coat is one of my favorite albums from last year. Glad you're enjoying it!

Katya said...

I love it -- I didn't know I would like it so much. It's my favorite recent purchase.

BabelBabe said...

i could not get into White Teeth. tried many times, esp. since Gina loves it. But maybe I will give On Beauty a try.

Is it my library? We are looking for a FT librarian. Ooooh, come work with me!