Books I Read in 2017

Stack of open books

I doubt I’ll have time this year to finish the next book I intend to read, so I’ve decided to go ahead and post this list of books I read or reread in 2017:

  • A Briefer History of Time (Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow)
  • Lord Foul’s Bane (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • Loving-Kindness in Plain English: The Practice of Metta (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)
  • The Illearth War (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The Power That Preserves (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The Wounded Land (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The One Tree (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ****: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (Mark Manson)

I didn’t expect to be reading any fantasy fiction in 2017, but when my brother told me that Stephen Donaldson had written seven more Thomas Covenant books after the three I’d read long ago, I went for it, starting from the first book. Expect a few more by Mr. Donaldson on next year’s list.

Mixing “Anna Marie” for New EP

Studio laptop for mixing

Mixing New Song for Upcoming Release by The Jerrys

I’ve begun mixing “Anna Marie,” the last track appearing on The Wind Cries Jerrys, a six-song EP to be released later this year. This one may be my fave song ever by The Jerrys. Once mixed and mastered, it will be the third song ready for the new EP.

A single, “Chicago USA,” has been released ahead of the EP. Listen to “Chicago USA.”

New Single: Chicago USA

Cover art for "Chicago USA" by The Jerrys

My new single, “Chicago USA,” is now available as a free download. The song is a tribute to two of my favorite childhood songs, “Downtown” and “I Know a Place” (both made popular by Petula Clark), as well as my contribution to songs about Chicago. I’ve nothing against “Sweet Home Chicago,” but it’s time for a new Chicago song, and this is what I think it should sound like:

 

Chicago USA

There’s a place I know
where you can go.
Every time you go there
you feel good.
It’s a real cool place to be.
It’s the kind of place for me.
It’s where I want to be–
always something
to be found
always something
going down wow!

Chicago
Chicago USA
Chicago U-S-A!

There’s a place I know
where you can be
anything you want to.
It’s all good.
It’s such a sight to see!
It’s just right for me.
It’s where I want to be–
always something
downtown
always something
going round wow!

Chicago
Chicago USA
Chicago U-S-A!

Music and lyrics ©2016 by Jerry Schwartz

Go ahead. Give it a listen!

2017 Summer Reading

I haven’t read as much as I’d like to this summer, but when I finish reading Beatles Gear and Stephen Donaldson’s The Power That Preserves, I’ll read two of these titles I bought recently at City Newsstand:

I’d already read the issue of Tape Op, as I’m a subscriber and read/save every issue, but my May/June issue was mauled in the mail and I wanted a clean copy. I look forward to reading the other two soon!

See For Yourself

“Question everything. Take nothing for granted. Don’t believe anything because it sounds wise and pious and some holy man said it. See for yourself. That does not mean that you should be cynical, impudent, or irreverent. It means you should be empirical. Subject all statements to the actual test of your own experience, and let the results be your guide to truth. Insight meditation evolves out of an inner longing to wake up to what is real and to gain liberating insight into the true structure of existence. The entire practice hinges upon this desire to wake to the truth. Without it, the practice is superficial.”

From Mindfulness in Plain English (Bhante Gunaratana)