A Reading Soundtrack: Part II

A Reading Soundtrack was one of my favourite posts to write ever, and I got some good feedback from my readers. I even introduced an American reader to a relatively obscure Canadian band, Wake Owl. I feel like the CRTC owes me some money for pushing the CanCon!

The Book: The Paradise Engine by Rebecca Campbell (my review)

The Song: Of Space and Time by City and Colour

The Paradise Engine Rebecca Campbellcityandcolour

My favourite line from both the book and the song feature crows, but this song is so atmospheric and moody, it would fit anyways. And it’s lonely. I feel like Anthea was desperately lonely and I think she would have liked this, when she got sick of listening to her vaudeville idols.

There’s a murder of crows,
Flying high over head,
On this desolate road,
Well I tend to forget,
About you and I,
And I’ll fight to survive
Through this thunderous life.
When we’re not side by side.

The Book: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

The Song: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke

Fifty ShadesRobin-Thicke-Blurred-Lines-ft-TI-Pharrell

I feel kind of gross giving either of these more publicity, but they’re so ubiquitous at this point, I don’t think I’m doing any harm. This article pretty much sums up my feelings about the song. My feelings about Fifty Shades are more complicated (who knew?) but both these pieces raise questions about consent. Both the book and the song put forth the image of   a “good girl” who needs to be – wants to be! – convinced to go bad. James uses an extremely lazy angel/devil on the shoulder device to do this – the much ridiculed “subconscious” (which, um, she’s aware of, so no, not subconscious at all) and “inner goddess” (aka down there *giggle*.) And lines, they do get blurry – despite Mr. Grey’s obsession with his consent contract, he continually plies Ana with alcohol and generally manipulates her, yet we’re supposed to think this is all above board. Mr. Thicke sings about “liberating” a good girl and well, we’ve all heard the repeated refrain “I know you want it.”

Ugh. This is all particularly galling to me now, as Edmontonians are being subjected to a “men’s rights” group spewing hatred through a “Don’t Be That Girl” campaign that undermines and cheapens the anti-rape and pro-consent “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign from a few years back.

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker

Click here for hashtags and boobs. NSFW, obviously

The Book: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

The Songs: Everything in its Right Place by Radiohead

Moby Dick coverradiohead-kid-a

Yeah, I know I already did one of these for Moby-Dick, but I think it deserves two, no? My last pick was quite literal, and this one’s a little more about the themes of taking things apart and putting them back together, and fate. A bit of a stretch for a song with four lines? Maybe. “Everything in its right place” makes me think about Ishmael’s obsession with taking the whale apart, and classifying whales into groups. It also makes me think about Ishmael’s fate (spoiler?) as he’s certainly the only one who was in “the right place” at the end. You’ve got to listen to the music to get this, but the beat is methodical, relentless, mechanical, building to a fever pitch… who does that sound like? As a certain one-person book club I know would say, it’s Classic Ahab!

Everything, everything, everything, everything..
In its right place
In its right place
In its right place
Right place



  1. Kristilyn

    LOVE Everything In Its Right Place … 🙂 And ha ha to you being “gross” and talking more about Fifty Shades and now Robin Thicke. Still, a fun post!

  2. Rory

    I like the 50 Shades pairing. I don’t love that song, but it doesn’t bother me (I don’t know why, that sort of stuff usually drives me up the wall – maybe because I think it ultimately pretty forgettable?). I did one of this lists WAY back and paired 50 Shades with the equally questionable Enrique Iglesias song ‘Tonight I’m F**king You’.

    And you can totally pair multiple songs with the same book! 🙂

  3. Pingback: A Reading Soundtrack: Part III | Reading in Bed

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