31/05/2016

Reading - May 2016

Guitarist (June 2016 / Issue 407)
Interesting article about Zemaitis guitars.
The Week (23 April 2016 / Issue 1070)
The Week (30 April 2016 / Issue 1071)
Serious by John McEnroe (with James Kaplan) (2002)
An easy and interesting read, but a little repetitive. He downplays how much effort and practice it must have taken him to reach the standard he did (all autobiographies do this, though) and the recitation of match after match gets a bit dull, although in this it probably reflects the reality of a touring life. The book could do with an update, since it's 14 years old and McEnroe is still very active on the circuit, both as a seniors player and commentator. (edit: the follow-up, But Seriously, is due in June 2017, according to Amazon.)
The Week (7 May 2016 / Issue 1072)
Guitar & Bass (June 2016 / Vol 27 No. 09)
The Week (14 May 2016 / Issue 1073)
Private Eye Annual 2009 edited by Ian Hislop (er, 2009)
I found this at the "book exchange" at work. It's been fine for occasional dips into when I have a few spare moments (it's taken me over a month to finish) but reminds me why I stopped subscribing to Private Eye - it's very repetitive.
The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie and the 1970s by Peter Doggett (2011)
Well written, full of facts and insights ... and just a teensy bit dull.
Guitar Effects Pedals: The Practical Handbook by Dave Hunter (2013)
Effects pedals are a recent enthusiasm of mine (I had four at the beginning of 2014 and I now have sixteen, only one of which is one the original four). If you frequent the online forums, you'll see a lot of posts about Tube Screamer variants, specific op-amps and chips that supposedly contains the magic smoke needed to sound like SRV ... all very confusing to someone just finding out about these things. This book contains pretty much all you need to know to hold your own in these discussions - a history of how pedals came about, descriptions (including basic circuit diagrams) of the different types, in-depth discussions of classic pedals (like the aforementioned Ibanez Tube Screamer) and newer variants, and interviews with some prominent figures in the burgeoning world of "boutique" pedals. Great stuff for a guitar geek.
The Week (21 May 2016 / Issue 1074)
The Week (28 May 2016 / Issue 1075)
Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre (2013)
Third time around, this is really starting to grow on me. Also, I now own it (£3 at Fopp, thank you very much).
Guitarist (July 2016 / Issue 408)

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