By Bruce ‘The
Boss Babe’ Springsteen
File this under “Books I’ve Been Meaning to Read for a Really Long Time.” Long time meaning 2016, when this autobiography came out. As I write about the song “Born to Run” for a side hustle project, now seemed like the perfect time.
I love Springsteen’s lyrics and it’s no surprise this book has been enjoyable for me, though a lot of the recounting of technical musicianing and craftsmanship is over my head—so over it I skip. Here’s one of my favorite passages thus far (it’s a chunky lil tome… he has had quite a life and quite a story, after all). In this quote, he’s talking about writing the song “Born in the USA,” which he also said “remains one of my greatest and most misunderstood pieces of music”:
“I knew it was one of the best things I’d ever done. It was a GI blues, the verses an accounting, the choruses a declaration of one sure thing that could not be denied… birthplace. Birthplace, and the right to all of the blood, confusion, blessings and grace that come with it. Having paid body and soul, you have earned, many times over, the right to claim and shape your piece of home ground.”
Chew on that. Damn.
By Nova Jacobs
Oh la la! A novel that’s billed as “a novel in clues”!
The Severys are a family of genius mathematicians and a few normies, like Hazel, our main protagonist and the adopted granddaughter of the title’s Isaac. After his mysterious death, Hazel gets a letter in the mail from him, with a message that he was murdered and the directive that he’s counting on her, of all people, to destroy the last of his work.
This book is turning out to be more about family drama and the brokenness inherent in the bonds of love more than a murder mystery. But it has its pros, despite, I think, its brain-teasey marketing pitch: Nova Jacobs writes lovely descriptions and there are bits of wisdom—non-mathematical, praise be—woven throughout. As the estranged, bitter Aunt Paige says:
“Your generation could stand to live in the pursuit a bit more. You’re all rushed to get to the end. To succeed. … It’s an empty way to live, in constant pursuit of the trophy.”
By Columbia College Chicago
I picked this up at the Chicago Women in Publishing conference at the end of March. Columbia College Chicago was there recruiting for its MFA in writing program. You can read Punctuate. (as well as author interviews, book reviews, and other writerly goodies) here.
What pages are you turning this April?