I read a lot of books and I can’t stand a few, am indifferent to some and love others, but something new and strange happened to me while reading this book. Okay, so I’m predisposed to like Canadians. Not because I traveled with Cirque du Soleil in Europe for over a year (which I did, tis true) but because The Drake hotel sells my novel on their room service menu. Okay, also because of the people and the designers and painters and musicians. If I didn’t love my siblings, nieces and friends so much I would move to Toronto. My therapist would have to relocate, but we’d work out the specifics, don’t you worry.

Carl Wilson wrote a brilliant book on the culture and history of taste using Celine Dion as his bullseye, punching bag and paradigm. He investigates the origin of schmaltz, the over-commoditizing of impersonal music and dissects the conduits of empty vessels – Celine Dion – being the prime, who may, surprisingly, be less empty than we think, realize or want to acknowledge. It’s a truly thoughtful, engaging and surprisingly funny book that takes you through your own unconscious views, explains your conscious views and has you reassessing what, if anything, taste means. Buy it. 33 and a third is the publisher. They do great one-off books on music. This is the best introduction to their series a person could have. Of course, it’s my only introduction, so I’m speaking from a fairly naive and primitive viewpoint, but when that’s all you’ve got, it’s all you want to believe. It’s always the truth.

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