Kitchens would talk to my parents, who picked out their own records to take home. My brother was thoroughly bored with the entire experience, as there was very little of the type of music he enjoyed. There were piles of record albums, mostly uninteresting to me, but there was always Elvis.
On each visit I would choose a $2 dollar album to take home with me.
I was going through some old paperwork and found this in a card from my brother sent back in 2008. I imagine the original included a gift card for Amazon or Barnes & N0ble.
Shamefully, I didn’t read any of the books from my brothers list when he sent it to me. Even now, the only book on the list I have read is Henderson the Rain King. I didn’t read this book until I found out that it inspired Joni Mitchell to write the song Both Sides Now. Although I found the book to be a challenging read, I definitely wish I had attempted it when I first received the birthday card list.
I will take this opportunity to make amends for my negligence in the past. And in exchange, here are six recommendations for my brother:
Haruki Murakami, “A Wild Sheep Chase”
Clifford D. Simak, “City”
Leon Uris, “The Haj”
Vincent Lam, “Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures”
Dorothy Baker, “Young Man with a Horn”
Tomasz Jedrowski, “Swimming in the Dark”
I’m not sure if I could call any of these my favorite books. But these are the books that come to mind today.
Being from rural Tennessee, I definitely relate to Joe Buck’s outsider journey. From Texas to New York City, he is unable to make it. Finally, as they make their way to Miami, it is clear that Joe has dropped his expectations and is now focused on the only friend he has been able to make.
I wouldn’t recommend watching this if you are particularly sensitive. The main character’s trip to Greece to scatter his father’s ashes uncovers the dark story of a curse. The ending is especially poignant.