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December 6th, 2014 03:00 pm - a book you loved that you didn't expect to and why
So for the record, I am totally going to finish liveblogging the bag of STUFF tonight. If you catch me not doing that, call me on it, pls. (Also thank you so much for actually, like, spending your Fridaay night reading my cleaning liveblog, which I did truly not expect anybody to do - the steady trickle of comments really did a lot to help me keep going.)

Anyway, December Meme Week 1 Prompt 2: [personal profile] the_rck asked for "a book you loved that you didn't expect to and why"

This was actually pretty hard to come up with an answer for! Because I have broad enough reading interests, and a long enough to-read list of stuff I know I'll like that I don't usually read books unless I've convinced myself, at least a little, that I will love them. Unfortunately this means I read a lot more unexpectedly bad books than I do unexpectedly good books.

(Occasionally I will hate-read through something that is a classic of its genre, even though I expect to hate it, just so I can say I've read it, but usually in those cases I know exactly why I will hate it going in, and usually I am right.)

So I am going to talk about something that is probably not quite what the prompter requested and answers the question via a lot of sort-of-off-topic rambling, in a pattern that will probably be very familiar to you by the end of the month. :P I could talk about some books that I expected to like and ended up falling in love with a lot more than I thought I would, but instead, I'm going to talk about Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Book One. (And to some extent ChordTime Piano: Classics.)

Because, as I think I've mentioned here a few times, for about the past year I've been semi-seriously trying to get back into learning piano, after not really doing anything but messing around since I stopped my lessons in elemetary school.

On Piano Lessons )

What I did come out of piano lessons with was a deep, deep hatred of a) having to play classical pieces on the piano, and b) any piano book that looked like it was intended as a lesson book, since in my experience that just resulted in boringness and not learning what I wanted to learn. So I'd play with a book of Pop Hits or Favorite Old Singalong Tunes but avoid the teach-yourself books and exercise books or anything classical (I don't have anything against classical music to listen to, but most of it's not well-designed to be played melody-line-only by a poor pianist, and I had bad associations from childhood recitals.)

But then three things happened at once: 1) I got tapped to fill-in as accompanist at our church (because 'can pick out melody line' was still better than the only alternatives in the congregation); 2) I bought a copy of ChordTime Piano: Classics for a quarter at a flea market; 3) I started to put all the songs from my increasingly ridiculous collection of piano music into a spreadsheet, for easy searching.

(also 0) Mom attempted but failed to give away our piano since nobody was playing it much.)

And suddenly I was really enjoying lesson books? )

So I'm still working through those three piano books - slowly and haltlingly, because let's face it, I'm still not very good at this, and I'm easily distracted (my sister just gave me Les Mis Easy Piano for Christmas, so that'll be nicely distracting for awhile, but I CAN SIGHTREAD IT WITH BOTH HANDS, which is so far beyond where I was this time last year, OMG,) and I'm really enjoying it.

Anyway I was going to close this post with a recording of me playing last fall and me playing now, but, uh, I'm not that much better yet. :P

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