Favorite Writer

What are you all reading?

R.E.M. - related or otherwise? What’s everyone’s favourite book on the band?

I usually have a book in front of me (if not reading online, that is :roll_eyes::smile:)

I tend to lean towards non-fiction and, if anything, read a little TOO much about music and its myriad delights, to the detriment of other subjects.

Atm I’m reading ‘The Man Who Recorded The World’ by John Szwed - a bio of the late, great Alan Lomax.

(apologies for the dreadful quality of the pic, lol, my only camera is on my phone and I really need a new phone as the

screen is marked and won’t clean up)

I just finished “Devil House” by John Darniell (of the Mountain Goats). I read his first novel, “Wolf in White Van,” last year after hearing him talk about his writing on a podcast and I was blown away. “Universal Harvester” will be next.


I’m not familiar at all, one to check out!!

I’m (prob like most people) terrible for having so many unread books, physical or digital :roll_eyes::laughing:

I go on a rec and then take, idk, YEARS to actually get round to reading it!!

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I am usually an avid reader but have lost interest in it as well as other activities such as writing and painting. I’m told it may have something to do with the pandemic and will eventually pass. I purchased the long awaited book about Drive By Truckers called Where the Devil Don’t Stay by Stephen Deusner that was published last September but it is just collecting dust. I thought for sure it would help break the spell but it hasn’t.

A few years ago, I was digging into Southern writers such as Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty which somehow led me to Carson McCullers. At the time, I was reading Peter Guralnick’s Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock n’ Roll when I briefly set it aside to check out Carson’s The Member of the Wedding. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I tried to return to Guralnick’s book but was unsuccessful. I proceeded to get a hold of every Carson book I could find. Even though I may have read it somewhere before, I had forgotten that Stipe had cited her as an influence on his songwriting. Not a stretch as I’ve seen him mention Flannery before as well. I was reminded of the Carson influence when reading a reprint of an old Melody Maker article that was included in an issue of one of Uncut magazine’s History of Rock special editions focused on one year from the 80’s that had a feature on R.E.M. Around this same time, I was also writing a lot myself. To say that her style influenced me as well would be a massive understatement.

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I just this very minute finished “Reveal The Story Of R.E.M.” But I’m the same way! What are the odds!!!:rooster:

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Yeah, I totally get you about loss of motivation and enthusiasm over things that is poss due to the fact we’re living thru a pandemic. I think a number of people have felt how you have.

I haven’t read any O’connor nor McCullers, altho always mean to :smile:

I’m quite a fan of the Southern US (not just cos of R.E.M. as I also have family and friends in GA) and a lot of the artists etc.

I have a copy of this, highly rec it if you haven’t read


Oh, we can NEVER have enough of books about R.E.M.

When I purchased a copy of “Party Out Of Bounds” (about R.E.M. and the Athens scene) one of my friends said to me - you got ANOTHER book about R.E.M.??? What else is there to know…

Respectfully, I completely and utterly disagree with him :laughing:


That may be my favorite book about the Athens scene. I love how it is written, so poetic and lyrical but not in an overbearing way. However, I haven’t made it a point to pick up every single book that’s ever been written about R.E.M. Yes, there probably is always something new to learn but by the same token, a lot of the info in the books I have read gets repetitive after a while, at least to me. I also must mention how much I’ve learned about them over the years through fan forums such as this that I’ve never read in books.


Oh, I get you. You can glean more info and find out something unique and original from the fanbase, as opposed to some of the books :+1:

I have had party out of bounds for years now, it in line I’ll get to it hahaha, just what we’re talking about! There is a small pile under my bed. It is getting smaller. The read pile in the closet is bigger for sure :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::rooster:

I should have said the already read pile in the closet :slightly_smiling_face:

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I used to hit the used books stores in the Triangle region of NC all the time when I lived there. I have a small stockpile of books I’ll most likely never get to. There is also a space limitations dilemma I’m going to have to deal with sooner rather than later that will likely result in me having to part with all my books, magazines, vinyl, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. That is a day I’m not looking forward to and will try to avoid if I can.

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Afraid my “unread” pile is, much larger than my read. I come across something and I’m like - I didn’t realise I owned this book :roll_eyes::joy:

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I feel ya :laughing:

I have disposed most of my music magazines (cept R.E.M. on the cover ofc :nerd_face:) but I’m planning on keeping hold of my physical albums, as I tend to listen to an entire album if I actually buy the thing to hold.

Which I don’t really do with Bandcamp, as I cherry pick tracks (don’t stream, not a fan)

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I gave in to the ebook thing a while ago for this reason. Now get all my library books that way (no late returns, and it was a godsend when the physical libraries shut down in 2020), but I still find myself buying actual books. Having a virtual unread “stack” is just not as satisfying as having the actual books on the shelf, even if they are crowding everything else out.


I am currently enjoying The Lockdown Interviews: Interviews with music’s biggest stars by Richard Blade.

Richard Blade, the famous Los Angeles radio DJ at KROQ-FM who played a big part in ushering in synth-pop and new wave to these shores during the early 1980s, took advantage of the COVID lockdown to conduct long conversational interviews with band members from Duran Duran, Culture Club, A Flock of Seagulls, OMD, The Fixx, Devo, The Go-Go’s, Berlin, etc., since these artists were not touring, and had time on their hands as well.

With regard to books about R.E.M. and Athens, I love Party Out of Bounds, especially since my love for The B-52’s rivals my love for R.E.M.

Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture is currently languishing in my unread stack. Soon.


The Lockdown Interviews looks good! I’m not aware of Cool Town… but looks intriguing :+1:

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Read this last year and would highly recommend. Very funny. Especially if you think Britpop was a pile of overly-stylised, derivative, pretentious shite. (I fucking lapped it up at the time mind you…)

I’ve just bought tickets for Luke Haines/Peter Buck in Glasgow so am about to start his second book…

As an aside, it’s well known that Peter Buck is very well read. And his liner notes and interviews are always brilliant. I would LOVE it if he wrote a book. I wouldn’t care what it was about, I’d read it.

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Haines is always amusing, if a little acerbic, isn’t he…

I agree with you about devouring a book written by PB, even if half of it may be filed under “poetic licence” :smirk:

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Chuck Palahniuk.

He writes in a weird, fucked up, you know it wouldn’t happen, whimsical, anti-lullaby sort of way.