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Book 18

  1. Meredith, Martin — The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (736 pages)
  2. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o — Wizard of the Crow (766 pages)
  3. Coetzee, J.M. — Life & Times of Michael K (182 pages)
  4. Saint-Exupery, Antoine de — The Little Prince (101 pages)
  5. Brunner, John — Stand on Zanzibar (661 pages)
  6. Dahl, Roald — Fantastic Mr Fox (79 pages)
  7. Walker, Barbara — TEENY-TINY and the Witch-Woman (29 pages)
  8. Shakespeare, William — A Midsummer Night's Dream (23 pages)
  9. Powers, Richard — The Time of Our Singing (631 pages)
  10. McEwan, Ian — In Between the Sheets (134 pages)
  11. Ishiguro, Kazuo — A Pale View of Hills (182 pages)
  12. Niven, Larry — Ringworld (284 pages)
  13. Anderson, Poul — Tau Zero (184 pages)
  14. Eisenberg, Bryan & Jeffrey, with Lisa T. Davis — Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results (273 pages)
  15. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels (205 pages)
  16. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels (197 pages)
  17. Niles, Steve and Ben Templesmith — 30 Days of Night (103 pages)
  18. Terkel, Studs — And They All Sang: Great Musicians Talk about Their Music (321 pages)

Page count: 4988.

Studs Terkel is probably best known for his eclectic Chicago radio broadcasts that lasted 45 years. Or perhaps for his efforts to preserve oral histories. But I hadn't heard of him until this book blipped my radar a couple of years ago.

Perhaps it isn't right to call Terkel the author of this books. Perhaps editor is more appropriate. While his personality certainly permeated the interviews and preface, he allowed his subjects to shine. And for the most part, shine they did.

And They All Sang is a collection of interviews with important people in the music industry, from famous opera singers such as Jon Vickers and Marian Anderson, classical musicians such as Alfred Brendel and Andrés Segovia, and composers such as Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein to jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie and folk/gospel/rock legends like Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie, and Janis Joplin.

Terkel's style seems to be to ask a question or make a suggestion, just enough to plant a seed, and then sit back while his guests tell their stories. And what stories! I found almost every interview to be utterly fascinating. Inevitably there were a couple of disappointments — Dylan didn't seem to have much to say (I think he was thrown in for name recognition and because of how important a figure he is), and Terkel told us about Mahalia Jackson and Big Bill Broonzy in the third person instead of using their own words as with everyone else — but they were easily outshone by the other interviews.

The love and devotion Terkel and each of his guests has for music is evident in each interview, and the many varied experiences and outlooks make for very rewarding reading.

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