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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Favorite Things- 2009

Favorite Books-
Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente. This gorgeous story about people finding a place they belong was hands down my favorite fiction out of the 400 or so books I've read in the last year. It stands out strongly. I really envy anyone who hasn't read it because they will get the chance to read it for the first time and I never will again.

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey. A definite change from the Kushiel books, this book is about a young girl who is the child of a genetically altered soldier, she was born utterly without fear in a "safe zone" town between the US and Mexico. It's got a somewhat comic book feel to it and is very well written. As much as I like the new Naamah series, this was my favorite book by her this year.

The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book, don't be fooled by the clean cut girl on the cover. This is a re-release of an old hippie how to make your own clothes book. It's non-technical very easy to make simple clothing and just a lot of fun.

Cookin' With Coolio, a book I'm actually surprised made the list, but it's laugh out loud funny with some great easy recipes including some good vegetarian ones. I'm thinking of buying a copy of this for my sister.

Favorite new albums-
Marian Call's Got to Fly- Marian Call is a local singer I really love in a big nearly fangirl way. Our whole family enjoys going to her live shows. Last year for Christmas Mike got me a copy of Vanilla and I was hooked. Got to Fly is her Browncoat inspired album. I'll Still Be A Geek After Nobody Thinks It's Chic could be a geek anthem and it's lovely to listen to, It Was Good For You Too is her Saffron song and my best friend's favorite song on the album. Mike's favorite song is It's Good To Have Jayne On Your Side. Vera Flew the Coop is an imagined back story for the woman the gun is named for. I love the whole album.
Street Sweeper Social Club Boots Riley from political hip hop group The Coup (also very worth checking out) and Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave released this album earlier this year. It's "music for the revolution". Tom wrote the music, Boots wrote the lyrics. Very political, very anti-establishment sung by Boots to Tom's driving hard rocking music. I love this album.  Two of the songs were previously released in the NIN/JA tour download if you got that when they went on tour.
Who Killed Amanda Palmer? alternate release. I don't know if this still available or not, but the original album is for sure. Hey, it's Amanda F****** Palmer working with Ben Folds. Favorite songs off the album- Ampersand and Blake Says, but the whole album is wonderful. If the alternate release is still available, there was a song on that was co-written with her boyfriend. I love his songs. I have the LaM songs he wrote and they are constantly on my playlists. Hopefully he'll write more songs with Amanda.
S.J. Tucker's Quartered- Songs of Palimpsest, the album stands alone I think, but if you've read the book.. favorite songs- The Girl With the Lion's Tail, We Are Shangri-La and November.

E's favorite new artists- Auriplane. She puts everything up for free, and E loves her music. E's favorite is Dancing Mad, and Marian Call.
William's favorites for the year are Voltaire, Street Sweeper Social Club and Tom Smith. Tom Smith's albums are on sale until the 3rd. Tom Smith is a filker who sings about all sorts of geekdoms William is a fan of.

Tom Smith, S.J. Tucker, Amanda Palmer and Auriplane links are to their sites. All other links are

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