The Grammys are the biggest night of the year for the music industry here in the United States. Except they’re hardly worth watching.
The Grammys are nothing more than a popularity contest. It isn’t about quality. For instance, Adele is nominated for several awards this year. The songs she’s released from her latest album are hardly impressive. And it’s the same for several superstars every year.
I won’t say this isn’t the case for other awards shows, but the Grammys are made out to be this night celebrating music. And it isn’t. It’s a night celebrating as many superstars as possible.
Have you ever thought about the same people being nominated and winning Grammys year after year?
One would expect bestseller lists to be compiled open and honestly, right? That if a book sells enough copies to land on a bestseller list, it should be on the list. Turns out that’s not the case.
The first problem is that bestseller lists use different metrics to compile their lists. It’s not much different from radio airplay charts. Everyone knows Billboard reigns supreme, but there are other organizations that release their own lists each week. One example is a countdown of the top country songs that plays on my local country station every Sunday. The list is not from Billboard.
Book bestseller lists seem to carry a ton of weight with authors, publishers, and readers. But these lists aren’t the same. I understand why an author or publisher would speak out publicly if a book is within a list’s top 5 beselling books, but doesn’t even make the list. In the same breath I won’t say any publication has a duty to include the actual beselling books on any bestselling list, but doesn’t it seem disingenuous if they don’t?
Do you think bestseller lists should display the bestselling books of the period or should they be compiled using whatever metrics the publication chooses to use?
I’ve written about listening to music while reading. But now I’ve reevaluated my position. The first time I wrote about the topic I was 100% against it. Why? I found it to be distracting from the real point of sitting down with a book. I mean, if I wanted to just listen to music then I’d turn the radio on.
That’s until a job interview in October took me to an office that was playing a Pandora station that I couldn’t get enough of. The station is called Classical Goes Pop and it consists of instrumental versions of pop songs. If you’re only listening to the station, then you’ll almost always know the song playing. But when you’re reading sometimes you identify the song and sometimes you don’t.
But then the holidays rolled around. I’m weird in that I love Christmas music but hate the idea of Christmas. Meh. I wanted to find a station of holiday instrumentals specifically for when I read. It’s Pandora. I found one instantly.
I can’t imagine I’d enjoy listening to singing while reading, but instrumentals seem to be quite enjoyable. I imagine I could also listen to nature sounds.
What is it that you listen to while you’re reading?
PS: I got an offer from that job interview and declined it.
It seems so trivial to write about books after what I’ve written about on here during the last week. But here I am.
Something I find rather odd is how books, movies, and music by or about celebrities sell extremely well immediately following their death. I don’t see why this always seems to happen. I mean, shouldn’t you already own that stuff if you’re that much of a fan?
It just makes me wonder. It makes me wonder if people really have any interest in these people or if they’re just trying to fit in with what everyone else is doing. Prime examples from recent memory are Harper Lee, David Bowie, Prince, and now Muhammad Ali.
Obviously people can do whatever they like, but at least be genuine. Eh. Maybe everyone is genuine and I have no idea what I’m talking about.
Have you ever rushed to the store to buy a singer’s music, an actor’s movies, or an author’s books immediately after their death? I haven’t.
Remember a little while back when Pharrell signed a multi book deal? Well the first book is out. And it’s not a book.
I understand that books written for young children usually focus on pictures rather than a million words on each page. But what’s been released looks like the publisher did the least amount of work possible. The book titled Happy after his hit song is nothing we haven’t read or heard. It’s the lyrics to the song spread over maybe 20 pages. With random photos of children to accompany them.
I mean, someone could make a YouTube video and it would come out better than this. Oh well. For once I actually have a problem with a celebrity book. Because there was no effort by anyone to actually write something new.
Am I crazy? What do you think of this new “book” just being the song lyrics?
I don’t use any of my local libraries. Not one. But I think they’re an important part of society. Recently I’ve seen more and more libraries adapting. What I mean is we’re not just talking books and computers with internet access. Libraries are offering movies, music, and books in many different formats besides the traditional borrowing many have grown used to.
I know some systems are offering on demand services for most things now. Movies on demand. Music on demand. Electronic books. But now I’m seeing people criticizing them for evolving with the changing times. Huh? Why? Because the libraries of today don’t look and operate like the libraries of the past? I don’t get it. They’re providing all the same items and services of the old version at an even greater convenience. They aren’t throwing out all the books. They aren’t charging cardholders a monthly fee to use the library. Heck, they’re doing everything they’ve done in the past, but now they’re doing more.
I think it’s great to see libraries adapting. And I have a hard time listening to anyone who thinks otherwise. What do you think?
PS: Sorry for the ridiculously late post. The “distraction” I spoke of recently is becoming greater by the day. And no, there’s nothing wrong. It’s actually quite nice to have. Just means I don’t get my posts written on time.
I don’t see how someone would want to read while listening to music, but then I realized that my store is always playing music like any other business and people are obviously reading in there.
I mean, I guess any instrumental kind of music would be okay, but anything with words just seems like a distraction to me. You’ll be reading a sentence and then your favorite part of the song comes on and suddenly you’re book is on the floor and you’re standing on your bed singing like you’re some sort of rockstar. Oh, I’m the only one who might do that? *blushes*
Music can always be a distraction if you’re listening to something you know well and you’re trying to focus on something else. At least that’s what I think. Driving. Reading. Writing. Cooking. Anything, really.
I first saw this like a month ago and thought it was pretty creative and interesting. This girl decided to make video about two of the things she loves most. Taylor Swift and Harry Potter. I know you might not immediately see how the two can go together, but somehow she makes it work.
I don’t remember exactly why she did it or if she’s done any similar ones, but this is pretty awesome. And just entertaining to watch for a few minutes. Maybe you might want to watch a few times. Or a hundred. It’s nice and catchy. If you find yourself trying to learn the words, don’t worry. I’m sure you’re not the first.
Yesterday was my first day working at Half Price Books. Let me tell you about it.
First off, I’m pretty sure my store has ALL THE BOOKS. They’re everywhere. I’m not talking about on the shelves for people to buy. I’m talking about everywhere else! It’s kinda crazy and cool at the same time. And I never realized how much easier it is to find a particular book when you’re just shopping on your own than it is when you’ve got a dozen more to put on the shelf. Everyone there is a pro! Seriously. I felt like the rookie my whole shift.
Mostly I got to shelve some paperbacks and play around just a teeny bit on the computer. And I had a handful of customers ask me where to find items. I tried my best to help them, but I’m still learning the store and had to hand off a couple. I also realized that the store sells plenty of movies, music, and games that I hadn’t previously known about. Y’all know I love me some country music, TV, and books. This is the perfect place for me to be working.
The best part is that I had to ask the other workers a lot of questions and they were always eager to help. That probably doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not something everyone gets to have. Unfortunately, I don’t think I remembered all the names I learned today. But I’ll learn them. Hopefully.
And look at what I got today! So nice and shiny! Tell me about your most recent first day on the job. Unless it was horrible, then make something up you writer, you.
And if you think about that, then you realize I was only three at the time of her death. Everything I’ve learned and know about Selena came after her death.
Now I’d bet that most of you have no idea who I’m talking about. And I’m going to tell you why that is. Selena was shot by her fan club president and friend just two weeks before her 24th birthday. She was not a rising star, she was not up and coming…Selena was a superstar within the Latino community. Superstar. She brought tejano music to a more mainstream audience. But after accomplishing just about all she could accomplish, it was decided that she’d crossover into pop music with an English album.
See, Selena was Mexican-American. Just like me. She spoke perfect English and struggled a bit with her Spanish, but she’d always sang in Spanish. So her crossover was more about timing than about ability. She could sing. She could dance. She could perform with the best artists of her time, and she built up an enormous fan base that was ready for her to make the move.
But she never had that opportunity. Her crossover album was released just a couple of months after her death. But I want to tell you what I truly believe would have happened had she been able to continue an already extraordinary career.
You would absolutely know her name. She would have been one of the top selling artists of the 2000s. She would have dozens upon dozens of awards. And she’d have appeared on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World lists several times.
Oh, and Jennifer Lopez may not exist as we know her. The coincidence is that Jennifer Lopez got her break by portraying Selena in the movie about her life. If there’s no movie, who knows what might have happened. I honestly think Selena would have been the Jennifer Lopez we know today. She would have had her hand in everything.
Selena Quintanilla Perez is a LEGEND within the Latino community and Texas. She was named the top selling Latin artist of the 90s and the overall top Latin artist of the same decade. Her crossover album Dreaming of You debuted at number 1 and topped the Latin Albums chart for nine consecutive months. I imagine that most of you are unfamiliar with her music, so here are her two pop songs that you might just happen to know.
If you’d like to know more about Selena, I encourage you to go here.
If you haven’t seen the movie about her life, you can stream it on YouTube or Amazon for $2.99.
Selena, rest in peace. You’re impacting more people every single day.