Now Playing: Led Zep
One of an occasional series of entries in which I reveal what I'm reading and listening to in a given week.
Book: Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine: The Great Zeppelin and the Dawn of Air Travel by Douglas Botting.
Title says it all, really. It's an engrossing history of the development of the dirigible airship, from the first Zepellins through to the Hindenburg. Zepellins are big in SF (it's obligatory to have them in any alternate history) but it struck me that I really don't know much about them. This book provides a lot of answers,. and much more. Eckener was evidently a bit of a lunatic, but one of only a handful of men who could actually pilot a dirigible - a much harder task than I have ever imagined. The story of the Graf Zepellin encountering a line squall in the mid-atlantic is nerve-shredding stuff.
Music: my favorite CD of the week, and one I'm going to have to stop listening to, is Shining Brother, Shining Sister by Jackie Leven. I only own one other record by Jackie Leven, but it's also a very, very good one, and given that the first one has never outworn its considerable charms, I have high hopes for this as well. It's got a great spoken word piece by David Thomas which is really "worth the price of admission", as they say. But the closer, 1798 (Jackie singing the beautiful lyrics to a poem by Ciaran Carson) is quite wonderful as well.
Memo to self: get more Jackie Leven.