Most of My Book Reviews Are Problematic

The Problem With Calling Something “Interesting”:

Calling something interesting is the height of sloppy thinking. Interesting is not descriptive, not objective, and not even meaningful.

Interesting is a kind of linguistic connective tissue. When introducing an idea, it’s easier to say ‘interesting’ than to think of an introduction that’s simultaneously descriptive but not a spoiler.

I often use interesting in book reports.

I suppose it’s fitting, since the book reports are the connective tissue that holds this blog together. I go periods without saying something interesting meaningful except for the book reports that I post mainly so I can look back upon them on the blog to see what I thought about this book or what else I’ve read within the last two decades by the author or on the subject.

You, gentle readers, all ten of you every day, are only along for the ride.

And by “ride,” I mean “looking for a book report on The Sire de Maletroit’s Door on Google so you can cut and paste it for a paper tomorrow.”

“Do you run a lot?” the doctor asked.

I paused before I answered.

I hadn’t run that morning before going to the doctor, although I had stopped by the YMCA to listen to my iPod a while. The day before, I’d run a little over a half mile doing some intervals and ran a mile at about a 6mph pace for my triathlon class. A couple days before, I’d run a couple miles on a treadmill at a little faster than a 6mph pace. I’ve been doing some treadmill work off and on, and the interval runs as part of my regular workout. I’ve run a couple of 5k races in the last year with respectable times (although I only seem to medal or place when I’m walking the route with my youngest son behind only two runners in my age group).

But.

Is that a lot? I know a couple of serious runners and competitors who do marathons and real triathlons where the running component takes longer than the 20 minutes I’ll have on my upcoming indoor triathlon. I know people who run several times a week and who train for events instead of just showing up, plodding along, and getting a Gatorade and granola bar at the end. Not to mention hypermilers, crazy people who run like 100 miles at a time.

In my circle, I don’t run a lot at all.

I live in so many bubbles, although not political.

Contrary to how often I post about my gym playlist, I don’t go the gym that often. Once or twice a week at the most. Compared to some of the people there, that’s not a lot. I talked to another doctor about a shoulder issue I was having, and how it really hurt when I was doing burpee ladders. “That’s pretty intense exercise,” he said. “I hang out with a bad crowd,” I said. I know some guys who train every day in one form or another. The only thing I do every day is take a nap.

For three or so years, I have studied martial arts, and I can break wooden boards with martial arts strikes. So can everyone else at the dojo. So it sounds wild and cool to a person who doesn’t study martial arts, but it’s a normal part of life for a lot of people I know.

As you know, gentle reader of this blog, as I keep flogging it, I have written and published a couple of books (John Donnelly’s Gold and The Courtship of Barbara Holt, remember, and if you didn’t remember, buy them now before you forget!). To some people, this is a big deal, but those are people who have not written books. My Twitter feed is full of software testing thought leaders, whom I consider peers (but who might not consider me a peer), who have written and published books. I know several other self-published authors including the fellow who designed the cover of John Donnelly’s Gold, Miss Dalla Rosa, and a young lady who wrote and published a book in high school. I assume all of them have sold more than I have; my total is somewhere between 100 and 150, mostly Kindle editions. I read somewhere that this number is about average for self-published authors.

At any rate, this post reads a bit like a series of humble brags, but I don’t mean it as such; instead, I’d like to think of it as a musing on perspective. If you do something interesting or that seems laudable or whatnot, you might get to the other side of the accomplishment to find someone who has accomplished it better, faster, bigger, or harder than you have. You have to make your peace with that or you’ll be unhappy. Even if your making peace with it is to drive yourself harder to be better next time.

I’ve heard that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I like to think I’m applying that to the bubbles in which I live, but it’s not like I’m directing it that way. It’s just that I’m trying to do different things, and I’m not the best at any of them.

What was my point? I forget. Perhaps I ought to rename the blog Ramblings from Brian J. Noggle.

“You’re a big guy,” the old man said.

Book coverThe older gentleman has a grandson who attends school with my boys, and we occasionally exchange words about the weather or whatnot as we stand in front of the school awaiting the emergence of our respective progeny. Another topic of the infrequent exchanges is how fast the children are growing, and how big they will be soon. When speculating on it, he noted that his grandson is bigger than he is and that the lad will be pretty big indeed. He assessed my size and proclaimed my children would be tall, too.

“What are you, 200?” he said.

“190,” I said. I’d just been to the doctor and got an official ruling from a trained medical professional.

It is odd to think of myself as a big guy. I haven’t come to grips with it. The picture is from my high school graduation party in 1990. I was six foot tall and about 120 pounds. By the time I got out of college, I was a little bigger, but I still lied on about my weight when asked about it for my driver’s license because I was ashamed to only be 140 or so. I wanted to be bigger, but I couldn’t do it. I exercised a bunch and could lift some weights, but I never gained weight. I ate four thousand calories or more a day, including protein shakes at one point, but I still remained relatively thin.

My father weighed 180, or so I have been told. I’ve also been told he was 6’3″, but by the time I got to my adult height, his years in a warehouse and a couple of back surgeries left him shorter than I was. For much of my life, I never expected to be as big as he was.

But here we are. A couple decades’ worth of slightly slowing metabolism, doughnuts, liquor, beautiful wife’s cooking, and on again, off again, but mostly off gym membership and utilization, and I’m suddenly man-sized.

But I still don’t see myself as man-sized. From inside, looking through the little apertures of my eyes, I still see the world as I did then, when I was a young reed in the wind. I still call everyone “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and “sir” and “ma’am,” but so many of them are younger than I am these days, too. “Kid” to me now covers into the middle thirties, and my doctors and holy men are younger than I am.

Sometimes, I think I see the world the same way as I did when I was that kid. I guess I’m grown up now, too, and I know how to do taxes (send an email to my tax preparer), do small home and auto repairs, and be places on time. But occasionally, I think I’m still a young man. Generally, this comes when I’m facing some character flaw that has dogged me for decades, or whether I wonder whether behaviour I demonstrate appropriate for a man of my middle age (of course, some behaviours, like extraneous British Us thrown in for effect, are not appropriate at any age).

One of the things I’ve done my whole adulthood is overthinking and over-analyzing things, but even in the 21st century, I don’t bow my head to screens all my waking moments, which gives me a lot of time to turn over things in my mind. Like the question of identity. Are our selves only an illusion of different distinct people through time? (A link today on Instapundit leads to an article entitled “Personality CAN change dramatically: You’re a completely different person at 14 and 77, according to the longest-ever study into human character“).

So I guess I might not be that kid any more. I’m certainly not that size any more.

Book Report: The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout (1965)

Book coverThis book is the fifth, or the third, Rex Stout book I’ve read in the last fifteen or so years. The actual number is up for contention, as I read a three book omnibus edition and reviewed them separately (Too Many Clients, Might As Well Be Dead, and The Final Deduction) in addition to a stand alone book The Father Hunt. So is that two or four books? You decide.

At any rate, like the aforementioned books, this novel falls later in the Nero Wolfe canon. Stout started them in the 1930s and carried them on thirty years, so they might have seemed more antiquidated at the outset, but this book is relatively relevant to a modern reader who lived before computers. Within it, Wolfe and Goodwin are hired by a wealthy heiress who has sent copies of The FBI Nobody Knows to many influential people and who thinks she is now the target of FBI surveillance. She would like the impossible: For Wolfe to get them off her back. She offers an exorbitant sum to do it, so Wolfe accedes. As Goodwin and Wolfe try to get a handle on the problem, they find a murder where members of the FBI are suspects–and they come up with a plan to exchange the solution to that crime (and evidence of related FBI wrongdoing) to get the FBI off of their client’s back.

Even in the 1960s, as Spillaine and MacDonald were coming into paperbacks, the book is a bit of a throwback, but it’s still readable and enjoyable. As you know, I just bought this book, but it’s more a matter of last in, first out rather than my diving into this because I just couldn’t wait for a Nero Wolfe novel (although perhaps I was directed in this direction by the Wolfe entry in Madame Bovary, C’est Moi!).

It is noteworthy for its suspicion of the FBI as bad guys, though, but I suppose we were seeing the turning of the culture even then in the middle 1960s. But in a throwback novel, its presence might indicate the theme was already entering the mainstream.

Book Report: On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957, 2007)

Book coverThis book is supposedly the novel that defined a generation, but to be honest, as that generation dies off, I imagine it will be less relevant in the vast history of literature.

For those of you who don’t know, it’s the semi-biographical novel about a veteran writer who lives with his aunt, but the book itself describes several cross-country trips (and one trip to Mexico) that the narrator takes alone or with a ne’er-do-well friend. Basically, they go looking for jazz, drink-and-drugs, and chicks. They find more of the first two than the latter. They visit Denver and San Francisco and friends there. Then they go to Mexico. Finally, the narrator grows up a bit and settles down.

Honestly, I don’t know how much the book celebrates the wandering lifestyle or if it is actually saying that it’s meaningless to wander looking for thrills. After all, the stories and incidents within the book tend to get repetitious. Only the florid presentations of the jazz music have any sort of appeal.

That’s not to say it’s not an interesting book to read. The narrative voice is interesting, and it pulls one along (to nowhere) effectively. If only there was a better story to it.

In the 21st century, it’s most interesting as a document of life on the road in the 1940s. Travel bureau trips and ride sharing. The tail end of hobos and jumping trains and hitchhiking. And so on.

But as a guide to how one should live? Meh.

The Meanest Swim Class Ever

So, as a mid-life crisis which I’m having three quarters of the way through my life (given that my family members have tended to conk out at 60), I’ve decided to do a triathlon. I mean, I’ve done a couple of 5K races last year and didn’t wholly embarrass myself (especially for someone who does not like to run). So I decided to amp it up and do three things that I do not like to do consecutively.

The YMCA of which I am a member has an annual indoor triathlon, which is a timed event instead of a true distance triathlon. That means you get to swim the pool for 15 minutes, ride a spin bike for 20 minutes, and run on a treadmill for 20 minutes, and ranking is based on how far you go.

Now, as the 5Ks have proven, I can run a distance, and I can not fall off of a spin bike with the best of them, so I am set there.

But my swimming leaves a lot to be desired. Unlike many amateur athletes and suburban kids everywhere, I never had a formal lesson; for the most part, my swimming was all about learning to survive in my stepmother’s parents’ small swimming pool and to get from the bottom of the Hyde Park water slides to the ladder out of the pool. That is, I learned to drown very slowly.

Before the annual Y Not Tri, the YMCA offers a triathlon class where a trainer gives the class drills to improve their biking, running, and swimming. I enrolled in the class, and the class is weighted toward the swimming, as most of the classes include swim drills

The first couple of times I attended class, I did not set the world on fire. As a matter of fact, the coach asked me if I had a medical condition that made me lose my breath easily, as I was coming up for air often. As the class has progressed, he’s taken additional steps to help me along, putting me in the group of the slowest swimmers and giving me fins to wear to help me learn to do the scissors kick.

Of course, the coach and the class are very affirming and encouraging, but the fictional class I’m taking is very mean. I’ve used the following quips on my wife and on Facebook from time to time to illustrate my lack of proficiency in the pool:

Everyone in my swim class calls meme Bob. I keep trying to tell them my name is Brian, but it’s still Bob.

My nickname in swim class is Troll. Because I’m motoring, but I’m not going very fast.

They call me Corky at the YMCA. I’m not sure if it’s because I swim vertically or because I look like something out of a Chris Kattan Saturday Night Live skit.

I’m making some strides in swimming.

Which is not really what you want. Because it’s not running, it’s swimming.

But I should survive fifteen minutes in the pool, which is more than I thought I’d be able to do at the beginning of the class.

UPDATE:

They call me “The Rock.” It must be because I resemble Dwayne Johnson when I take off my shirt.

Book Report: Five Themes of Today by Changde Chen (2001)

Book coverThis book is an interesting proposition: It is a number of philosophical arguments presented as poems, as lyrics. Although they do not contain imagery and particularly clever turns of phrase that makes for good poetry, the line-broken and metered presentation makes for easy reading of a philosophical argument.

The main piece within the book, “On the End of Technological Civilization”, presents a mathematical argument that technology is destined to fall because, basically, in a long enough timeline, all possibilities will come true, including the fall of the civilization. I don’t buy it because every moment brings new possibilities that did not exist the moment before, so the finite infinity projected might not apply to history as it does to mathematics.

The other ‘themes’ are longer musings on the logic of love and marriage, reason and religion, the war between equality and liberty, and the dead weight of democracy. They’re followed by some shorter little riffs on more topical subjects. I found all of them engaging, but although I did not agree with much, I did enjoy the presentation of the arguments. I would have expected the bits, particularly the one on reason and religion, to be a little more informed by the Chinese perspective, but it focused on Western religion instead of the Chinese beliefs, for example.

An interesting bit about this particular volume.

This appears to be a copy inscribed by Chen to his Oxford colleague, poet Bernard O’Donoghue. The sticker indicates it was a charitable donation at some time, and fifteen or so years later it ended up in Springfield, Missouri. Man, I feel for Chen here: A personal gift of his book with an inscription put in the Goodwill pile. I remember when I saw a copy of John Donnelly’s Gold listed on Amazon by a used bookstore in Indianapolis, and I knew which copy I’d mailed off that got there. I feel you, brother.

At any rate, like I said, a good intellectual read and an interesting presentation and easily digestible presentation of the material. It led me to wonder if I could make a philosophy book completely out of bullet points or ordered lists for modern audiences to understand. Perhaps someday.

Mean Republicans Might Cut Corporate Welfare, Leave Poor Developers To Starve

The Springfield News-Leader featured this violin-backgrounded, heartstring-tugging story: Developer: Plan to renovate Springfield’s historic Bailey school up in the air:

A Springfield developer who recently bought the Bailey school with the intention of turning the historic building into urban lofts said the project is now in jeopardy.

Jason Murray, the Bailey Lofts LLC developer, blamed the uncertainty on a shift in the political climate at the state and federal levels. Not long after Murray finalized the sale — paying Springfield Public Schools at least $305,000 for the property — talk intensified about the possibility of scaling back or eliminating tax credits available to renovate historic properties.

Murray, who owns 11 other buildings in the downtown area, was counting on tax credits to help finance up to 45 percent of the $2 million renovation. He planned to apply for the maximum tax credits allowed, 20 percent in federal and 25 percent in state.

If the project cannot be profitable without special government deals, it should not be done.

Scientists Discover New Government Money Sink

Suddenly, presidential executive orders cost money!

Executive orders have been a hot topic in the last year or so. Often, an executive order (or “EO” for those of us who dig acronyms) is touted as a quick and decisive tool used by the president to influence or enact policy without the time, expense and inevitable conflict of creating law more traditionally through the legislative branch. But when executive orders wind up in our court system, the expense of the process can quickly become enormous and taxpayers are the ones funding both sides of the fight.

How big of a problem is this suddenly? An attorney is writing an op-ed against executive orders.

Suddenly.

Eydie vs. Herb: The Ultimate Head-to-Head Musical Throwdown

As you might know, gentle reader, I favor the music of Eydie Gorme, and when she does a song that someone else does, I think Eydie does it better. (see this and this).

I also favor the stylings of Herb Alpert (as you can see how often his name appears on my Good Album Hunting post list and whatnot). As a matter of fact, I might own more Herb Alpert albums than Eydie Gorme.

So what happens when they do the same song?

Continue reading “Eydie vs. Herb: The Ultimate Head-to-Head Musical Throwdown”

The Source Of That Thing Daddy Always Says VI

We’ve got about a hundred feet before the driveway where we’re going to turn, and a bicyclist is ahead of us, going bicycle speeds. So I say, “Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill!” as I often do when encouraging some part of traffic to accelerate

Strangely enough, I don’t say that because I’m a fan of the film of that name. I think Assault of the Killer Bimbos handled the same themes more effectively.

You should know me better: I am a fan of the band named after the movie (but incompletely), Faster Pussycat.

Swimming at the YMCA: Slightly Less Serious Than Love

South-side YMCA pool closes due to parasite:

The pool at the YMCA in south Springfield has been closed after an individual who used it tested positive for the parasite cryptosporidium.

The Pat Jones YMCA, located at 1901 E. Republic Road, said on its Facebook page Tuesday that it received word of the positive test from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. The facility said the individual used the pool as recently as Feb. 1.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the play The Courtship of Barbara Holt, the protagonist puts the ailment somewhere closer to love than to the flu:

RICK What’s wrong?
MARK I don’t know. It might be the flu or something. I have a pounding head and I’m rather sick to my stomach.
RICK Could be gastroenteritis.
MARK I don’t think it’s that serious.
RICK An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis.
MARK No, no. Could be more serious.
RICK More serious than crypto in the water?
MARK It could be love.
RICK Oh, that.

This kind of started out as an in-joke for my fellow Marquette University students after the 1993 outbreak in Milwaukee.

Did I survive that outbreak? Yes. Have I been in the YMCA pool since February 1? Yes. So far, so good.

Good Book Hunting: Hooked on Books, January 31, 2017

So my oldest son had an orthodontics appointment last Tuesday, which meant I had to pull him out of school early. After the appointment, we had a little time to kill before picking up his brother, so we stopped at Hooked on Books. If you go through the annals of this blog, you’ll find a lot more mention of Hooked on Books. Every time I came to Springfield, I stopped there. Now that I go into Springfield daily, I don’t stop there quite as often. More recently, I’ve been visiting ABC Books more often because I know the owner and because I’ve been dabbling in theological books, of which they have aplenty.

I didn’t get much, but the red dot (discounted) books always seem to attract me.

I got:

  • Love by Danielle Steel, a collection of poems.
  • The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout, a Nero Wolfe novel.
  • Manifold Space, a science fiction novel by Stephen Baxter. Whom I confess I confused until just now with Steven Barnes, the Larry Niven collaborator. ONLY NOW IS THE TRUTH OF MY FOLLY REVEALED! Well, the proof of the pudding is in the reading, so perhaps it was not folly after all.

It’s not much, but if you’re keeping up with the book reports this year, you’ll see I’ve read eleven. I’ve bought three. I AM AHEAD. Until, of course, the spring book sales. But that’s a couple months away.

Lobbying Legerdemain

Tech giants have united to make noise about President Trump’s travel moratorium:

A total of 97 companies — including Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Facebook (FB, Tech30), Google (GOOGL, Tech30), Intel (INTC, Tech30), Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30), Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) and Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) — filed a court motion Sunday night declaring that Trump’s executive order on immigration “violates the immigration laws and the Constitution.”

Only the cynical amongst us, which should include all of us by now, would suspect that the tech companies are making a lot of noise about this policy not because of a principled stand but because they want to disrupt Trump’s other plan to curtail H1-B Visa abuse by tech giants. You know, the ones who have so Bravely Opposed An Unjust Policy.

The longer and louder we talk about the first, the less chance for the second, they hope.

(Second link via Instapundit.)

In Missouri, You Cannot Overlook The Possibility That The Town Does, Indeed, Have A Tank

This weekend, my beautiful wife and I were schlepping our oldest son to a basketball tournament in lovely Piece City, Missouri. We took the two lane US 60 south out of Republic and through the town of Monett. After we passed through Monett, we came upon a piece of military equipment in front of the VFW.

“Look, boys, a tank!” my beautiful wife said. Maybe she didn’t actually say the exclamation point. Perhaps I am embellishing.

“That’s not a tank; that’s mobile artillery,” I said. (Upon further review, it looks to be an M110; my brother was the spotter for anti-armor, so he could hopefully have told you that without having to Google it.)

“Well, it’s the closest thing that the boys will see to a tank today,” she said. Fortunately, she did not ask me how I know such things (as she once asked me how I knew a revolver did not eject its shells, and I was flabbergasted–I do not exactly where I learned revolvers do not eject their shells, except that a revolver does not eject its shells because it is not a semiautomatic pistol). If she would have asked me how I knew, I would probably have tried to be mysterious instead of acknowledging that I own both the GI Joe Slugger self-propelled cannon and M.O.B.A.T. battle tank. Yes, own, not owned. But she did not ask, and I did not volunteer my information source because it might have diminished my authoritative declaration.

“Unless Pierce City has a tank,” I said.

Well.

Continue reading “In Missouri, You Cannot Overlook The Possibility That The Town Does, Indeed, Have A Tank”

Bilingual Humor

I can leer as much as I want.

Sorry, that’s incompletely translated.

Yo puedo leer tanto como quiero.

You see, leer is Spanish for “to read.”

Never mind, if you have to explain it and include a foreign language, history, philosophy, geology, or geography lesson in it, it’s probably not funny, but it quite likely is one of my jokes.

Book Report: Buddhism Through Christian Eyes by Alex G. Smith (2001)

Book coverThis book is a brief (64 page) primer for Christian missionaries headed to southwest Asia to try to convert Buddhists there. It was written by an Australian missionary with many years’ experience in Thailand, and many of the chapters of the book originated as articles in various religious publications in the region.

The first part of the book talks about Buddhism and how it came to predominate Asia and how it makes its inroads in the West: It does not seek to replace the native religions per se, but rather it complements and then absorbs them. The book then puts into some stark relief differences between Christian scriptures and core Buddhist doctrine (as well as Buddhist scholarship). The stark differences don’t receive a lot of emphasis when you’re reading popular Buddhist books (like Start Here Now), but, then again, you don’t get a lot of the heavy duty Christian scholarship in most church services, either.

At any rate, an informative bit of counterpoint to straightforward Buddhist-themed literature, but a bit apocalyptic on the march of Buddhism to take over the world.

Book Report: Hellbinder by “Don Pendleton” (1984)

Book coverThis book is the first Executioner novel I’ve read in 2017, and the last published in 1984. By 1984, I had recently arrived in Missouri for the first time and lived in the basement of my “rich” relations, whereas “rich” meant “richer than us” but in retrospect was not that rich at all. I digress.

This book is a bit of a globe-trotter: Bolan starts out investigating a KGB camp in the United States, but it’s just a staging area for an attack on a government chemical weapon storage facility. When Bolan gets there, he’s too late: The KGB has already hit the storage facility and steals six canisters of a deadly chemical weapon. Then, they’re off to El Salvador, where a Soviet rogue agent uses one of the cannisters on a rival guerrilla camp for a propoganda stunt that blames the US for the attack. Then the rogue agent sells the other five to a Syrian faction that’s going to use them on Israel. So we jet off to the Middle East after our excursion in Central America. In Syria, Bolan hooks up with a beautiful Mossad agent and reveals the plot to them, where he helps to neutralize the threat and helps Mossad steal the five canisters from Syria.

It’s an odd book, in that Bolan is sort of passive here. He’s late in the attack on the chemical factory, he’s tied up and powerless during the attack in El Salvador, and then he’s only part of the attack force in Syria. The globe-hopping is different, too, as many of the previous books have been limited to a single area or mission. The insertion of the standard Bolan boilerplate musings on His War and stuff are just kind of stuck in there, a bit clunky and a bit out-of-place. Although Bolan does not smoke in this book, he does carry cigarettes–just to share with soldiers he wants to talk to. So it’s a bit of an outlier–or perhaps a change in direction that I’ll see more of in the year to come.

At any rate, not necessarily a bad read, but a bit different from others that precede it.

I Feel Like A Traitor To Ella, But…

I prefer Linda Ronstadt’s rendition of “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”.

Here is Ella Fitzgerald’s version, which I’ve enjoyed for decades:

Back when I was filling my evenings with eBay doings and then writing a book, an Ella Fitzgerald compilation featuring this track was in the 6 disc CD changer in my office, so I heard it nightly.

But I recently (December) got the last record in the Linda Ronstadt/Nelson Riddle trio, For Sentimental Reasons, which features this song as well:

Ella’s presentation is a little more seasoned, a little more knowing, which puts the emphasis on again. Ronstadt’s is younger, a little more emphasis on the bewildered. I dunno why, but I prefer it.

Eydie Gorme did not do a version of this song that I can find. Otherwise, as you can guess, it would probably be my favorite.

I was excited to see a cover in the Ronstadt video for something called ‘Round Midnight, which I thought might be a different record, but it’s actually a compilation of the three Riddle/Ronstadt collaborations. Although I already own them on vinyl, I thought to buy them on Amazon, but it’s $40 (but free to stream–wouldn’t you rather spend $10 a month streaming subscription instead of $10 on a CD, son? Amazon would prefer it for you!). Eesh, I think I’ll look for it in person. I did learn of her two Spanish albums and her recent (2004) jazz record (also extortionally priced on Amazon) to look for.