Today dear readers I am honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Music to Eat Cake By (Published 12th November 2020) By Lev Parikian. Happy Publication Day! A big thank you to the publishers Unbound for my copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the wonderful Anne for the invite to be on the tour, thank-you.
Music to Eat Cake By
Today’s reader has choices: books about love, about life, about death – and everything in between. The variety is overwhelming, bewildering.
But what if the reader could play a part in producing something different, something about everything, about nothing, about everything and nothing at the same time? What if the reader could tell the writer what to write about?
Lev Parikian asked his readers those very questions, gathered their responses and then set out to write that book. Music to Eat Cake By is the result, a collection of essays exploring everything from the art of the sandwich and space travel to how not to cure hiccups and, of course, his beloved birdsong. Lev considers each subject with his signature wit and warmth, inviting the reader to wonder: what might we ask him to write about next?
About The Author
Lev Parikian is a writer, conductor and hopeless birdwatcher. His first book, Waving, Not Drowning, was published in 2013, and his second, Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? followed in 2018. His numerous conducting credits include the re-recording of the theme tune for Hancock’s Half Hour for Radio 4.
This book is not like other books. Oh no, no, no dear reader. This book is something else. What if you could contribute and tell the writer what to write about? Think of the possibilities! Parikian experimented with this very idea. He asked his readers what they would like him to write about and collected their responses. And this is the finished product, a collection of essays exploring everything and nothing. This could have proven to be a difficult challenge as Parikian had no idea what subjects he was going to get, but that makes it that much more exciting. Alongside letting the readers chose subjects, Parikian also invited them to choose individual words for him to shoehorn into the text, so no pressure.
There are a few cheeky, mischievous subjects that make you think how on earth did Parikian manage to connect the dots and make that work? It’s genius how he researches and ties everything neatly together. It’s extremely clever and makes you appreciate the effort he has gone to, to more than satisfy his readers requests. That’s dedication right there dear reader.
There is a variety of subjects in this book which gives it a complete feeling. The subjects range from the art of the perfect sandwich, elephants, to second chances and space travel. There’s a broad range of interests for everyone to get stuck into. And what’s even more wonderful is that this book is one you can dip in and out of if you’re pressed for time or only interested in a few subjects. However, I warn you it’s difficult to do. From the moment you begin reading you feel an instant connection to Parikian. He’s likeable, intelligent and has a glorious sense of humour that keeps you chuckling from start to finish. His writing style made me feel at ease and I felt like I was having a conversation over tea and cake with a friend. He engages with the reader and has a natural, relaxed narration with quips about his life and personal experiences. It’s light-hearted whilst also being informative. A perfect combination in my opinion.
Parikian has put a lot of time, research and thought into this book. He approaches each subject tentatively with a dash of wit, but also a sense of duty to do right by his readers. One of the subjects that caught me off guard was Growing Old, Growing Older. As I read Parikian talk about how at some point in his life he will eventually lose his hearing and no longer be able to hear the song of the goldcrest. It made me think. We take a lot for granted in our youth yet don’t realise it until it’s too late. As Parikian points out ageing is stealthy and how ‘old’ is in some ways a state of mind. I know personally that I don’t feel like a mature adult and I have three children! But I digress. Parikian also discusses how instead of fearing old age we should see it as a privilege as a lot of people don’t get the chance. He suggests that he should probably stay fit and eat healthier but draws the line at things that will make him actively miserable. He leaves you with a striking message that the slow decline will come which is why we must savour life while we can, because when it’s gone, it’s gone. I found this inspiring advice that reminded me to not stress the little things and to enjoy the now.
My favourite subject to read has got to be The Intrinsic Link Between Chocolate, The Wombles and Musical Theatre in Post-Millennial Britain. As I read Parikian pull off one of the most ingenious moves I have seen for a long time, I couldn’t help but smile. You have got to admire his determination to hold true to his readers and write about anything and everything they sent him. It’s simply fantastic to read and makes you think how anything is truly possible. Who would have thought that Stephen Fry was the missing link.
I give Music to Eat Cake By: Essays on Birds, Words and Everything in Between By Lev Parikian a Five out of Five paw rating.
Hilariously witty and amusing this is the perfect book to indulge in with a glass of wine when you need an escape from the doom and gloom of reality. I had so much fun reading this book, my face still hurts from smiling and laughing.
I also annoyingly have the Wombles theme song stuck in my head for the 50th time this week! Right, time for a sandwich I think dear reader, a good one. Life’s far too short for a bad sandwich.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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