Listen: Sylvia Patterson’s “I’m Not With the Band”

Listen: Sylvia Patterson’s “I’m Not With the Band”

Im-Not-with-the-Band-FINAL

I’m just gonna come right out and say that this memoir, by longtime music journalist Sylvia Patterson, is one of my books of the year. Patterson has had an incredible career, spanning over thirty years and some of the most influential music magazines of all time. Whether writing about Bros, Britpop or her tough childhood, she is never less than witty, compassionate and engaging. The woman has a way with a killer sentence and a bonanza of wild experiences. You can listen back to my review on RTÉ Radio One’s Arena here.

Listen / Read: The Antidote to January

Listen / Read: The Antidote to January

Prague Charles Bridge

The dream of living in one of Europe’s old cities is one I have harbored for a very long time. I’m not picky. I’ll take Paris (of course) but Amsterdam and Berlin have their charms too. My longing becomes particularly pronounced at this time of year, when festive celebrations have given way to the bloated gloom and deflation of January. This year, fortuitous timing had me reviewing the latest travel memoir by Dublin-based Australian author Rachael Weiss, entitled The Thing About Prague, for radio and print. Weiss, a brave romantic soul, casts off her old life in Sydney with the aim of creating a new one in the picturesque Czech capital, a place she vividly depicts with large servings of warmth and humour.

Life being what it is, things don’t go according to plan but nevertheless, one has to admire Weiss’ chutzpah in a world were so many drift through life without ever truly seizing it. After finishing The Thing About Prague I haven’t quite backed my bags and renounced my present life just yet but who knows what lies ahead, dear reader. Who knows.

You can listen back to my review on RTÉ Radio One’s Arena here or read my piece in the Irish Independent here.

Image: Prague: Charles Bridge in the Mist by Roman Boed on Flickr. Creative Commons License.