Thursday, September 2, 2010

What do those songs in your head say about you

I have to address a few things from Jason's previous post about commercial vs literary success.
Why do we assume they must be mutually exclusive? I would think most writers want readers to appreciate their skills, for critics to laud their talent and for their work to actually reach a wide audience.
And I have read Jennifer Wiener's works (In Her Shoes, Good in Bed) and really enjoyed them. She's definitely a cut above in the genre. Her characters are well developed; her writing is solid; and her topic matter speaks to a lot of women.
To their concern about male writers garnering more critical acclaim than female writers, I haven't done any kind of analysis, but I wouldn't be surprised. I wonder how far we've come since the days of George Eliot and the Brontes.

And now for something completely different...

Do you like song lyrics? Do you like reading?
Me too.
So I was drawn to "The Song Reader" by Lisa Tucker.

The premise: By knowing which song lyrics a person find themselves fixated on, this young woman can help them get to the root of their problems.

Mary Beth believes her gift is helping people, even as she involves her younger sister and adopted son in her own problems.

Gets you thinking, though, about why it is that at certain times in your life you are drawn to a particular artist or type of music.

I am a big fan of the Smiths and adore lots of their lyrics "I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour, but heaven knows I'm miserable now." "There's a club if you'd like to go; You could meet somebody who really loves you; So you go and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own." Or "Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me; No hope, no harm, just another false alarm."

But, I gotta be honest: Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for such heavy lyrics, no matter how upbeat the music.

Perhaps there's something to this song reader after all.

Get a sense of what Tucker was thinking here.

- Tricia Ambrose

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