Best Of 2012, Guest Editors: Christopher O’Riley On Stephen Graham Jone’s “All The Beautiful Sinners”

As 2012 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

Perhaps best known for the NPR series From The Top, musician Christopher O’Riley is far more in-tune with music than most of the world. Not only does he host and mentor young musicians, O’Riley also transcribes and arranges songs by Radiohead, Arcade Fire and more for the piano and, more recently, the cello. O’Riley has just released a new album with cellist Matt Haimovitz, Shuffle.Play.Listen. (Oxingale), a tribute to contemporary composers and some of the most modern musicians. Owing to his virtuosic abilities and interesting outlook, we invited O’Riley to guest edit this week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

O’Riley: I read more than anyone I know. I enjoy it, and I spend a lot of time on planes and on the StairMaster. I made a vow that everything I bought, I would have to read before putting on the shelf. Result: a five-tier (with additional overflow) multi-shelf pile underneath my piano, arranged so that I can read something demanding and take instant relief in crime or sci-fi. I am voracious. One book/author will immediately send me chasing after a new suggestion, and as in the case with Stephen Graham Jones, I’m thus rewarded with a new author obsession. Chuck Palahniuk is another writer I’ve read comprehensively, and his website featured a forum and workshop environment online, with Jones prominent among them. All The Beautiful Sinners was my first experience with Jones’ work, which is wide-ranging and prolific, but is always marked by a sense of serenity amidst surrealism, intimately and instinctively characterful and colloquial, and always written to the quick. Less than 10 years old, All The Beautiful Sinners is being made available as an e-book, having long since passed into the collectable category. (Thankful for my hard-sought hardcover.)

Video after the jump.