Of reading many books there is no end.
by Dave Skipper
What kinds of books?
The two broad areas of reading that are most directly pertinent to my research and writing are:
- Anything related to noise of any kind:
- Noise music and experimental music;
- Science and physics of sound and noise (acoustics, meteorology, psychoacoustics, signal processing etc);
- History of noise;
- Philosophy of noise;
- Social/political noise;
- Theology and the arts
- (Note that there are other areas of theology (such as hermeneutics, apologetics, and so on) which I am reading which are very helpful in my thinking and writing, but I’m focussing in this post on books that will be relevant for reviewing in this article series.)
Partial list of planned book reviews
Below is a list of some of the books I have already that I am planning to review. I am currently spending time on the side reading and thinking and making notes on these. If you have read any of these books I would love to know your thoughts on it/them! And I am especially interested in other book recommendations, so if you have read anything that fits into the categories above that you think might be of interest to me then please let me know!
I have opened the comments section at the bottom of this post, so please write there with any suggestions or feedback, or email me at reppiks(at)gmail(dot)com
- Books on noise (15 listed here so far, in alphabetical order)
- Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner
- Discord: The Story of Noise, by Mike Goldsmith
- Everything is Connected: The Power of Music, by Daniel Barenboim
- Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation, by David Novak
- Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening, by David Hendy
- Noise: The Political Economy of Music, by Jacques Attali
- Noise Matters: Towards an Ontology of Noise, by Greg Hainge
- Noise/Music: A History, by Paul Hegarty
- Not Your World Music: Noise in South East Asia, by Cedrick Fermont & Dimitri della Faille
- Resonances: Noise and Contemporary Music, edited by Michael Goddard, Benjamin Halligan and Nicola Spelman
- Reverberations: The Philosophy, Aesthetics and Politics of Noise, edited by Michael Goddard, Benjamin Halligan and Paul Hegarty
- The Art of Noise (Destruction of Music by Futurist Machines), Futurist Manifestos, by Russolo, Pratella et al
- The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World, by Trevor Cox
- The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, by R. Murray Schafer
- What to Listen for in Music, by Aaron Copland
- Books on theology and the arts (11 listed here so far, in alphabetical order)
- Art Needs No Justification, by Hans R. Rookmaaker
- Culture Care, by Makoto Fujimura
- Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts, by Steve Turner
- Music, Modernity, and God: Essays in Listening, by Jeremy Begbie
- Psalm 29 through Time and Tradition, edited by Lowell K. Handy
- Redeeming Transcendence in the Arts: Bearing Witness to the Triune God, by Jeremy Begbie
- Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture, by Makoto Fujimura
- Scribbling in the Sand: Christ and Creativity, by Michael Card
- The Divine Voice: Christian Proclamation and the Theology of Sound, by Stephen H. Webb
- Theology, Music, and Time, by Jeremy S. Begbie
- Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, by Harold M. Best
How long will the reviews be?
Basic book reviews will be around 1,000 words long (that’s not much longer than this post), so easily readable. The point will be to summarise the main thrust of the book, highlight some points of interest, and say why it is (or is not) worth reading. I’m aiming to write 50 basic book reviews.
Some books will warrant extended analysis, or deeper integration into my own thinking. These books will require additional more thorough reviews. Some books have particular chapters or themes that I will want to focus on and open up in greater detail, so they will also prompt additional articles. (Note that some of these supplementary articles may find their way into different article series, for example Noise Figures, or elsewhere as appropriate to the given topic.)
Finally, some books are sufficiently influential or crucial that even more in-depth treatment will be necessary. In some cases this will involve an extended critiquing of ideas. This is not a task to rush into or undertake lightly. To write a detailed critique that is both effective and worthwhile requires more skill and wisdom than I currently possess. Penetrating insights, cogent analysis, powerful rhetoric, systematic rebuttal of a well-presented perspective, and the ability to coax out the underlying themes and connections that hold the book under consideration together – all these and more take time, patience, experience, and expertise. Not for the rash or faint-hearted!
I plan to start posting basic book reviews in 2019. Why 2019? If the next post in this series is such a long way off, why write this introduction now? For one thing, I have more than enough topics to write on for 2018 as it is, and meanwhile I am reading and thinking about these books on the side. But the main reason is that I want to find out about other books worth reading and reviewing, i.e. I want book recommendations from you if you have any! Fire away!