Long Plane Ride: Our Reading, Listening & Viewing

Long flight from Vancouver to Paris via Montreal . . . here’s what Ryan & Ryan were reading, listening to, and viewing en route:


Ryan Wildstar was readingHomage to Barcelona by Colm Tóibín

Homage to Barcelona

Recommended by (and a gift from) our dear friend Brenda, Colm Tóibín’s Homage to Barcelona is a perfect introduction to the historical and artistic background of this beautiful city (arguably our favorite city after Paris). Extremely relevant to everything we’re about to see on our upcoming tours!

Next up on Ryan Wildstar’s reading listI’ll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones

Ryan the Greek was reading: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Cover of "Americanah"

I never say this, but I honestly believe that every single American needs to read this book. Spanning three continents, Adichie provides the reader with incisive, provocative, and revelatory social commentary about race, gender, class, education, politics, religion, economics and sex in the United States, Nigeria, and the U.K., all while telling an engaging love story that I literally could not put down (I read the entire novel in one sitting on this transatlantic flight). I daresay Americanah is one of the first great, truly important novels of the new millennium.

Ryan the Greek was also reading: Poems by Robert Hayden, Audre Lorde & Ai

After the epic powerhouse that was Americanah, I was in the mood for something shorter, so I perused through the Collected Poems of three of my favorite poets.

Next up on Ryan the Greek’s reading list: Bricktop’s Paris: African American Women in Paris between the Two World Wars by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting


Ryan the Greek & Ryan Wildstar both watched: David Bowie – A Reality Tour

This impressive live show features some of Bowie’s best songs from his vast career, including great renditions of “Rebel Rebel,” “All the Young Dudes,” “Be My Wife,” “Life on Mars?,” “Under Pressure,” “Heroes,” and a thrilling Ziggy-centric encore of “Five Years,” “Hang On to Yourself,” and “Ziggy Stardust.” Recorded live in Dublin in 2003, this would sadly be Bowie’s last tour, which makes several of the songs particularly poignant in hindsight.


Ryan the Greek’s Playlist:

I’m not going to review all of these right now, but I will say I was quite impressed with Air Canada’s music selection . . . here’s what I enjoyed while I was reading Americanah:

Saul Williams – MartyrLoserKing

Louis Lortie – Louis Lortie Plays Chopin, Vol. 4: Waltzes; Nocturnes

Hiromi (The Trio Project feat. Anthony Jackson & Simon Phillips) – Spark

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

Lost in Mali (various artists, including Nainy Koné, Barou Drame, Kabako Bourama, Mamoutou Dembele & more)

Stacy Garrop – Mythology Symphony: Orchestral Works by Stacy Garrop

Pablo Original Jazz Classics (varous artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Elllington, John Coltrane & more)

Saint-Saens: Complete Violin Concertos

Joey Alexander – My Favorite Things

Telemann: Violin Sonatas Frankfurt 1715

Arca – Mutant

Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution

Valery Gergiev – Scriabin: Symphonies Nos 3 & 4

Check out all of these excellent albums, which I will try and review when I have the time!


4 responses to “Long Plane Ride: Our Reading, Listening & Viewing

  1. What a great way to pass the time on a long flight. I’m looking forward to following your adventure in Spain.

  2. Sounds like an entertaining and thought provoking journey! It is not often that we are mandated to stay in one location for a few hours and a preloaded tablet should make that a very enjoyable experience. We look forward to joining you shortly in Spain.

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