Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for June 5, 2020

[World Destruction] -- I'm posting one song, and one song only, today: "World Destruction" by Time Zone featuring John Lydon & Afrika Bambaataa. 

Flashback"This is a world destruction, your life ain't nothing."

I first shared this song as part of a Flashback post on 9/10/2010. In September 2010, I felt the song was an appropriate choice considering the then upcoming 9-11 anniversary. I shared this track again in September 2017 as part of my 7 year Flashbackiversary. And what I wrote at that time regarding this song:

When I reflect upon the state of the world this very week, I still find this particular song to be a prescient choice. On paper, the collaboration called Time Zone just shouldn't work. The lead singer of the Sex Pistols teaming with a founding member of a Bronx street gang? Ridiculous! A punk rock icon with a pioneer of hip-hop? Blasphemy! Ah, but in the studio, it was like capturing the proverbial lightning in a bottle! "World Destruction" (and its many remixes) conveyed the energy and angst of a generation coming out from under the clouds of the cold war, but still very aware of their conflict-ridden world. All these years later, it still strikes chord with me.

Here is the music video from 1984:

Here is a Video Re-Tracked version:

That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

Book review by Dangrdafne:

Evan Roskos is the brother to one of my good friends. As soon as she told me about the book I pre-ordered it. That was awhile ago. I just never got around to actually reading the book. Now just last week, she sent me the trailer for the movie version of the book! I was hooked. It looks amazing! So I pulled out the book and read it all in one day.


“She perches on the power lines of my thoughts.”

This books is incredible. It shows mental health issues in the best light. I know that might sound odd but it really does. As I read it I knew exactly how James was feeling and I have been in his spot many times as hard as it is to admit or want to admit.

James is trying to figure out his place in the world and why his sister, Jorie, was kicked out of their house and school. It has all the makings of a high school young adult novel but hidden inside is the mystery of what really happened with Jorie. James never feels like he gets a true response to his questions but then maybe he doesn't really want the answers he will find.

James has a best friend Derek and a "love interest" Beth. I love that these two people are his strength and his sounding boards, I am grateful that they are there for James and that they stick with him through all the ups and downs of teenage life...and so much more.

The book also houses a real and true talk on mental health. We have all felt that we were broken, that we were wired differently, that we were invisible... in James's case he is correct in these feelings. We go through all his motions and emotions as he winds his way through his life and his story.

Dr. Bird is just that, a pigeon that James talks to and gets advice from... and yes, it really is just James talking to himself but it is so poignant and makes you wish for your own Dr. Bird.

4 paws

I find it interesting that I read two very different books in the past week: one being female centered and the other male centered BUT they both had a mystery about them, they both had mental health issues as a main point and they both made me laugh, cry, yell and feel sooo good about myself at the end of them. Good authors are very special indeed. It is not something I could do but it is definitely something I can appreciate. And I hope that by posting these reviews, I will send them some more readership and recognition.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for May 29, 2020

[Sun City] -- In December 1985, Steven Van Zandt and Artists United Against Apartheid released "the most political of all of the charity rock albums of the 1980s" (per AllMusic). I wrote about it on the record's 30th anniversary, and revisited it in September 2017. And in the wake of the past 24-48 hours, I think now is a good time to revisit it once again. At any rate, it's a fair reminder of how far we've come ... and how much further we still have to go ... as a society.

That record was Sun City (1985), a protest album driven by Van Zandt (perhaps best known for his affiliation with  Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) in partnership with Artists United Against Apartheid. The name pretty much tells you what the they were all about. They recorded two versions of the song, "Sun City," and other material for this album. The personnel assembled by Van Zandt reads like a who's who of popular and critically acclaimed artists of the mid-80s. For example:
  • Little Steven (Van Zandt) – vocals, guitar, drum programming
  • Kool DJ Herc, Peter Wolf, Pat Benatar, Joey Ramone, Jimmy Cliff, Daryl Hall, Lou Reed, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Nona Hendryx, Kashif, Peter Garrett, Malopoets, Gil Scott-Heron, Afrika Bambaataa, RubĂ©n Blades, Bono, George Clinton, Peter Gabriel, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Bonnie Raitt, Run DMC, Bruce Springsteen, John Oates, Michael Monroe, Darlene Love, The Fat Boys, and others – vocals
  • Zak Starkey, Tony Williams, Ringo Starr – drums
  • Sonny Okosuns – talking drums
  • Keith LeBlanc, Benjamin Newman – drum programming
  • Pete Townshend, Stanley Jordan, Keith Richards, Ron Wood – guitars
  • L. Shankar – double violin
  • Clarence Clemons – saxophone
  • Miles Davis – trumpet
  • Herbie Hancock, Richard Scher, Robby Kilgore, Zoe Yanakis – keyboards
  • Doug Wimbish – bass; Ron Carter – acoustic bass
  • Jam Master Jay, DJ Cheese – scratches
Sun City didn't achieve great commercial success, but it did peak at #31 on the Billboard 200 pop albums chart. It did, however, receive critical acclaim in abundance, reaching #5 on the Pazz & Jop Critics Poll (yes, that's really the name) for albums for that year. What tracks will we highlight this week? Read and hear more after the jump!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Internet Famous by Danika Stone

Book review by Dangrdafne:

If you have ever belonged to a Fandom then this book might be for you. And even if not.

Madi runs a blog called MadLibs and basically this books tells her life story. 
It is a young adult themed book but I had no trouble identifying with the characters as it is about a family and growing up in these challenging times.

My favorite aspect of the book is Madi's sister. She is on the spectrum and I really appreciated the realistic coverage of her. I know some people just like her and it was nice to see them in this book and see them have real stories told about them. She is not just a side note or a passing fancy in the book she is an integral part of the story, one that lends so much heart and truth to the story.

I loved that the book brought out all my emotions. I was so angry at times with what was happening to Madi that I wanted to throw the book down. Then I would be so happy that I would just smile from ear to ear. But my favorite parts were the kisses. Oh the kisses. Danika has some special magical power to writing kissing scenes. My heart just melted every single time. 

I learned a lot of online lingo too which was unexpected. From the definition section in the front of the book to just the use of the lingo throughout, it was kind of hard to miss but I liked it. It made it more realistic and definitely of the times (man I sound old). It is a high school setting but I am serious when I tell you that I had no trouble identifying and understanding what was happening. I am also really happy that I do not have children. What these kids have to go through these days, it is at times so much worse than anything I had to live through. I have bullies but they were only in person. These days you get them both in person and online. It is never ending and all encompassing.

The hidden joy of the book is that it is also a mystery. There is a who dun it and it is quite the twisty turny situation that may have you guessing the whole time. I did not expect this mystery and that just added to my joy reading this book. Maybe it was just so different from any other books I have read that I just went in head first and ended up taking in my heart too.

I highly recommend this book. 

4 paws

Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for May 22, 2020

[Birthday Train] -- I am observing what would have been my father's 74th birthday. Unfortunately, he breathed his last in May 2013, about two weeks shy of his 67th solar return. Anyway, Dad loved trains, particularly those involved in logging railroads. His favorite locomotive was the Shay. And he would often celebrate his birthday with a visit to the Cass Railfan Weekend which is run by the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association (you can donate in Dad's memory at their website, So, this confluence of the Flashback falling on Dad's birthday made me decide to focus on 80s songs about trains and railways. There's a whole slew of potential tracks, across a wide variety of genres, but I had to narrow it down to just three tunes. And I tried, really tried, to ensure I didn't pick anything my classic rock and jazz loving father would hate. Wonder what made the cut this week? Read and hear more after the jump. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for May 15, 2020

[Give Me Ten Good Reasons] -- Already a soap star in his native Australia, Jason Donovan embarked on a music career when his first single, "Nothing Can Divide Us," dropped in 1988. Donovan's subsequent debut album, Ten Good Reasons, dropped in May 1989. It was the biggest selling album in the UK that year, and it did pretty well in other European countries. It also peaked at #5 in Canada. It did not chart in the US. In the UK, the album yielded two #1 singles, making Donovan the first Australian male to simultaneously hold both a single and an album in #1 positions. Do you remember him? Do you have a favorite from his debut album? Can you guess which tracks I'll feature this week? There's more after the jump!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for May 8, 2020

My own mother passed unexpectedly in October 2017. So, I'll take the money I would have spent on her Mother's Day cards and gifts, and I'll make a donation to A Woman's Place.  Also, in place of a new Flashback post, I am re-running my Mother's Day post from May 11, 2012. This post is largely, but not entirely, unchanged from its original incarnation.

[Word to the Mothers - Redux] -- This weekend we in the U.S. observe Mother's Day. I don't know if you've ever looked for "mother" songs before, but there are many, many songs with some variation of "mother" in the title or lyrics (mother, mama, mom, etc.). However, the subject matter of the vast majority of those tunes, particularly in the 80s, was not exactly fodder for Hallmark. And, on top of that challenge, two songs that I thought were perfect for the holiday were not recorded or released in the 80s. They both came out in 1991. So, I had to scramble a bit to fill out this week's playlist. I think I have successfully crafted a flashback set that honors mothers, recognizes folks who have less-than-perfect relationships with their mothers, and gives a nod to something that most mothers believe about their offspring at one time or another. So don't just sit there and wonder what three songs I have for you this week. Read and hear more after the break!