Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Music

My Favorite Music References in YA Literature

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If there’s one thing I love as much as books and reading, it’s probably music. I was raised in a family of wonderful music nerds, and as a result, music has grown to be an integral aspect of my life.

And so, it always brings me a rush of joy whenever I find music references hidden inside books I love, and by proxy, authors with similar musical taste. I thought I might compile a few of my favorite books with music references in them, just for fun.

THE BLACK BEAST LIVES! - HalfGuarded

 

  1. The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, David Arnold

Amazon.com: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik ...

Artists referenced: David Bowie, brief joke about Wilco/Jeff Tweedy

I mean, one can sort of tell from the get-go that this book is very Bowie-centric; The title itself (a reference to a lyric from “Changes”), and the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt in the ‘I’ in “Fascinations”. (On another edition, it shows Noah with the bolt across his face, just like the Aladdin Sane album cover!) Other than that, there’s a continual respect for Bowie throughout the novel. Other than the general wondrousness of the novel, I’m just glad to see that someone else holds Hunky Dory as highly as I do.

Also, the mention of Wilco is very brief, but it was still pretty funny to see. Even if it was poking fun at them.

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2. The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert

Amazon.com: The Hazel Wood: A Novel (9781250297327): Albert ...

Artists referenced: The Beatles, Nirvana, T.Rex, (!!!), David Bowie

Though music doesn’t play (no pun intended) as big a role in The Hazel Wood as it does in some of the others in this post, there’s wonderful references aplenty in this one, from a minor character being described as reminiscent of David Bowie to a discordant, chaotic scene in which the main villain sings an off-key rendition of “Yellow Submarine”. Also, I’m frankly so impressed that Albert slipped in a T.Rex reference in there. COME. ON. That’s the deep cut to end all deep cuts!

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3. The Final Six and The Life Below, Alexandra Monir

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Artists referenced: Radiohead

Weirdly enough, though I’d heard Radiohead here and there before reading The Final Six,  but seeing the reference was ultimately what convinced me to listen to Radiohead! This is easily some of the best utilization of references I’ve seen in a novel, period. First off, in The Final Six, there’s a particularly chilling scene in which Beckett, the main antagonist, glimpses Naomi sneaking around, and after a tense conversation, he sings part of “Paranoid Android.” (“When I am king, you will be first against the wall/With your opinion, which is of no consequence at all…”) Already veeeery spooky, but the song’s title hints that Beckett knows more than what he let on. (No spoilers)

In The Life Below, Monir also uses “Sail To The Moon”–in particular, its musical structure–as the center point of one of the main subplots in the novel. And boy, it’s FASCINATING.

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4. The Looking Glass, Janet McNally

The Looking Glass - Janet McNally - Hardcover

Artists referenced: St. Vincent, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac (I don’t really care about the latter at all, but hey)

Another dip into the realm of magical realism!

Music plays a semi-important role in this one, as part of the novel is set on a road trip; there’s a running joke where Sylvie’s friend’s brother (I can’t remember his name for the life of me) listens to one specific artist in the car for the month. His pick of the month is Fleetwood Mac; there’s a line (which I can’t find) where Sylvie makes a remark something along the lines of “why can’t we listen to something good, like David Bowie?” to which the other character responds that he’d already listened to him for all of April. And though the St. Vincent reference was brief, McNally perfectly captures the nature of her music.

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5. Ziggy, Stardust, and Me, James Brandon

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon: 9780525517641 ...

Artists referenced: David Bowie, Pink Floyd

Again, another Bowie-centric book. I related to this one in particular because Bowie is Jonathan (the main character)’s hero; the book is set in 1973, so it’s at the heyday of his Ziggy Stardust era. As someone who similarly worships him, this novel hit the sweet spot for me. There’s also a wonderful scene where Jonathan and Web soundtrack a school presentation with Pink Floyd’s “Time”, easily my personal favorite of their songs.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

 

So what do you lovely people think? What are some music references in literature that you love? Tell me in the comments! 

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Since I’ve already posted today, head over to today’s Goodreads Monday to see today’s song.

 

Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Radiohead Book Tag (ORIGINAL BOOKISH MUTANT BOOK TAG!)

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Hi again, bibliophiles!

Sorry for being semi-ominous about the creation of this tag for the past; I had a few kinks to work out, and I wanted to make sure that nobody else had come up with the tag before I did. (Book tag plagiarism? That’s probably a thing, but I don’t know…)

Anyway…

Since I got into them about a year ago [cut to me last year, crouched in the entrance to the lunchroom reading Tennyson whilst blasting OK Computer through my headphones], Radiohead has quickly become one of my favorite bands. Their musical and lyrical prowess is almost unrivalled, and has managed to become instantly timeless. So, naturally, I decided to make a book tag about them. As one does. I hope you like it!

Let’s lay down some rules:

RULES:

  • Thank and tag the creator (yours truly, The Bookish Mutant)
  • Answer all of the questions to the best of your ability
  • Tag as many people as you want
  • Have fun!

 

Here we go…

PABLO HONEY: The debut novel of an author you admire 

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Image result for half bad sally green

Half Badthough not nearly as masterful as Green’s Smoke Thieves series, was certainly a brave debut, to say the least.

 

THE BENDS: A book that brought you to tears

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Image result for a monster calls book

Not only did A Monster Calls give me a MAJOR book hangover, there were buckets of tears shed…veritable BUCKETS…

 

OK COMPUTER: A book that changed your life

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Image result for the search for wondla

I know I keep going back to The Search for WondLa a lot, but this novel/series will always hold a special place in my heart–not only for introducing me to the wide world of sci-fi literature, but for inspiring me to be an author someday as well.

 

KID A: A book that’s a different genre from the author’s previous works

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(on an unrelated note, this album’s my current desktop wallpaper…so pretty…)

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Before Carry OnRainbow Rowell mostly stuck to realistic and historical fiction. I’m glad to say that she’s equally adept in both genres. 💗

 

AMNESIAC: A book with grim or dark imagery

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(I mean…okay, most of Radiohead’s stuff is pretty dark, but I’m just trying to make these questions make sense…)

Image result for bprd hell on earth

All of B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth would fit the bill to a T. Y’know, just your garden-variety apocalypse, plus the added Fun™️ of frightening creatures laying waste to the Earth. Good times.

 

HAIL TO THE THIEF: A book with a clever title

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(I just…really like this album title? I really don’t know why, but it’s really cool to me…)

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Though I’m not sure if this is *completely* true (I think it’s been tested, and Bradbury was probably wrong about it), Ray Bradbury named the novel Fahrenheit 451 because it was (supposedly) the temperature at which paper burned. Right or wrong, I find it quite clever.

 

IN RAINBOWS:  A book with a colorful cover

Image result for in rainbows radiohead

 

Image result for the strange fascinations of noah hypnotik

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik. Enough said. [squints at cover through 3-D glasses]

 

THE KING OF LIMBS: A book you found to be strange, but loved all the same

Image result for the king of limbs radiohead

 

Image result for the order of odd-fish

The Order of Odd-Fish was an absolutely wild, Monty Python-esque ride that got weirder and weirder with every passing page…in the best way possible.

 

A MOON-SHAPED POOL: A dystopian novel that you adore

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Image result for the scorpion rules

I just finished The Scorpion Rules up a few days ago, and though my expectations were fairly average, I was blown away at how well-done it was!

 

Let’s stay on topic for today’s song…

I still can’t quite decide if this is my favorite Radiohead song, but it’s up there with “Fake Plastic Trees,” “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”, and “Airbag” for me. 🙂

 

For now, I can only think of one other fellow book blogger who likes Radiohead, so I tag Emer @ A Little Haze Book Blog to take part, if you want! Otherwise, anyone who would like to participate, feel free! Have fun! 

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That’s it for my first original book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Holidays, Movies, Music

2018

Whew.

The past 2 or so years have both been dumpster fires, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Mostly 2016, but you know what I mean.

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And this year?

Weeeell…I wouldn’t quite go so far to say that it was good, but it was less of a dumpster fire. You get my drift?

I’d be lying if I said that 2018 was easy. I had to face many daunting obstacles, make some difficult transitions, and come to terms with some truths about myself. But you know what? I managed to overcome those challenges, and I bet that you were able to do the same with yours. But if we look past all that we’d like to forget about this year, parts have been pretty awesome. I got to have so many new and wonderful experiences (Chicago, Sequoia National Park), discovered LOADS of new and spectacular books (some notable 2018 releases included Heart of Iron, Thunderhead, Honor Among Thieves, A Conspiracy of Stars, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, and a few others), some amazing films (Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, The Crimes of Grindelwald, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Antman and the Wasp, and I haven’t seen Aquaman but I’ve heard that it’s great), incredible music (Lush, Twin Fantasy, etc.) and much more. Of course, we’ve had some not-so-great moments in those respects (The Light Between Worlds, Venom, etc.), but overall, it’s been alright. And regardless of what kind of year we had in 2018, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2019.

I saw a meme the other day that was kind of hopeful, however silly it was.

 

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Fingers crossed. 

 

And I’m really hoping that this will be the way things are. If it gets too bad, I’ll just remember that Dark Phoenix, Avengers: Endgame, Soul of Stars, Honor Bound, King of Scars, and An Anatomy of Beasts are in our futures. So let’s try to make 2019 the inverse of 2016, everyone. Make it good. 🙂