Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Saturday, September 5, 2015

An evolution of my music tastes … SNHU MFA stars shining bright …


A rough sketch of my tastes in music by memory. I’m sure I’m leaving out many, but I’m old and this is as good as it gets this fine day.

Al Jolson
The Shangri-las
The Beatles
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
The Temptations
Led Zeppelin (first 3 albums, couldn’t stand most of their stuff afterward)
Joe Cocker
Jeff Beck
Sinatra (again)
Benny Goodman (and swing in general)
Stevie Ray Vaughan
The Allman Brothers
Cream (again)/Blind Faith
Italian opera
Classical (Beethoven, Mozart & Mahler)
French opera
German opera
Rap (an appreciation of some of it)
Sinatra (yet again)
Dean Martin
Stevie Ray Vaughan (again)
German opera (for specific writing reasons)

I’ve always been a compulsive-obsessive person … from being a baseball fanatic when I was a kid (playing Strat-O-Matic up to 8 hours a day when it was raining outside and we couldn't play in the streets), to playing in 3 leagues (Canarsie Little League, the PAL and St. Jude's CYO league), to playing drums as a young teen, to weightlifting and running for football as an older teenager, to reading and writing through college and afterward ... the diets, the gambling, the drinking, the eating, the weightlifting meets, the writing, football, and of now hockey (many of my obsessions became wash, rinse, repeats).

These days, as far as music goes, I’ll listen to pretty much anything that feels right, except when I’m searching for something that will directly influence what I’m writing. This month, after finishing a screenplay I’m letting sit before I attack it with edits, I decided it was time to finish my first finished attempt at a literary novel, something with a Liebestod (Love-Death) theme, so I returned to Tristan und Isolde and the Tristan chord that continues to possess my interest.

Wagner was an anti-Semitic, so I don’t have to like him, but for my money he wrote the most beautiful musical passage ever with his prelude to Tristan und Isolde, wherein he introduced the famous Tristan chord. It is a long opera that can wear on one if you’re not into it, for sure. My wife once bought me tickets for Wagner’s, Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) and halfway through it, she said to me, she said, "Never again."
She meant German opera. She's attended a few Italian operas with me since.

I loved it.

Tristan und Isolde, on the other hand, I more than loved and have seen it performed a few times with Jane Eaglen singing Isolde. The Liebesnacht duet is one of my favorites in all of opera … and Liebestod is my single favorite dramatic music. A recent Youtube find from a Munich production featuring Waltraud Meier rocked me with a double casket ending. I suppose some might find it too obvious, but I found/find it haunting (in the best way).

And Waltraud Meier ... wow, just wow ...

SNHU MFA week of stars …
Richard Adams Carey (Booklist *STARRED* review) account of a horrific day of murder in a small town, In the Evil Day: Violence Comes to One Small Town
And then there’s been double **STARRED** reviews (Kirkus & Publishers Weekly) for Pratima Cranse’s debut novel, All the Major Constellations

Even the Pope likes Darren Rome Leo’s wonderful novel, The Trees Beneath Us

Get it here:

Kelly Stone Gamble’s novel, They Call Me Crazy, is still rolling thunder …

Get it here:

Let’s hear it for some of the many who’ve made it to the wonderful (and often frustrating) world of publishing out of the SNHU MFA program …

Liebesnacht …