I’ve been reading Coin (the link is to the Amazon UK Kindle edition), by friend of the blog Ed Adams (who blogs over at Rashbre Central). It’s an espionage thriller set in the world of cryptocurrency and high finance, and might appeal to you if like me you enjoyed the BBC podcast series The Missing Cryptoqueen (BBC Sounds). Luckily, Coin doesn’t get too bogged down in how blockchains work, but it has an enjoyable ripped-from-the-headlines plot about nation states minting money out of nowhere and a student get-rich-quick scheme that attracts the wrong kind of attention. Ed has more books in the pipeline, which are in my queue to read. I like the way he’s gone for an airport-thriller cover vibe. If you’re about to self-isolate for seven days, you could entertain yourself with this.
Next on my list to read is the new Tim Powers: Forced Perspectives.
Meanwhile, over in my music library, I’ve been enjoying the new album from Brandy Clark, Your Life is a Record. I’d put this under the Country genre, but Apple have it filed under Singer-Songwriter on the iTunes. Is there still some stigma attached to the Country label? Seems weird. Anyway, it’s 11 tracks, 10 of them good, and the weak link is the one with Randy Newman on it; no amount of Pixar movies will help me warm to him. There’s some catchy numbers here, like “Who Broke Whose Heart” and “Pawn Shop”; and there’s some blue-eyed soul, like “Can We Be Strangers”. Overall, it sounds like a Brandy Clark album, which is a good thing.
Also downloaded is the new record from The Secret Sisters, Saturn Return, just released and produced by Brandi (with an i) Carlile, which is some pedigree. I think the title has something to do with astrological woo woo, so we’ll pass swiftly over that and focus on the songs, which are great (written by the sisters) and the sounds, which are, you know, pretty similar to a Brandi Carlile record: a good thing. I like “Late Bloomer” and “Nowhere Baby”, “Cabin” and “Tin Can Angel”.
I won’t review right now the new Ashley McBride, Never Will, which is slowly drip-feeding itself into my iTunes, as is the forthcoming Jason Isbell album, Reunions. The first two tracks from the latter are great, although I have hearing issues with the mix. More to follow when they’re released properly.