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January 17, 2017

Book Notes - Kathleen Rooney "Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk"

Eternal Sonata

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Kathleen Rooney's captivating novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is both smart and lyrical, and features one of the year's most unforgettable protagonists.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Rooney's delectably theatrical fictionalization is laced with strands of tart poetry and emulates the dark sparkle of Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Truman Capote. Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart, Rooney’s nimble novel celebrates insouciance, creativity, chance, and valor."


In her own words, here is Kathleen Rooney's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk:



Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is about a woman named Lillian Boxfish—formerly the highest paid female advertising copywriter in the world in the 1930s—who takes a 10.4-mile walk around Manhattan on New Year's Eve 1984, when she is either 84 or 85 years old (she lies about her age). One of my own favorite hobbies is flânerie, attentive yet aimless drifting through the urban streets, so it felt right to make Lillian a flâneuse as well. Women, especially old women, are frequently underestimated, so letting Lillian rove the city where she spent her entire adult life—her stratospheric rise and her painful fall—fearlessly meeting her fellow city-dwellers and having adventures let me add a heroic lady walker to the still largely male literature of flânerie. A former poet, Lillian adores New York City and the people in it, so this playlist is an audio ode to the pleasures of experiencing the urban environment on foot.

"Human Nature" by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis, performed by Michael Jackson (1982)

The way that this song starts captures perfectly, in both sound and lyrics, the inducement to walk that any city gives to a flâneuse or flâneur: "Looking out / across the nighttime / the city winks a sleepless eye / Hear her voice / Shake my window / Sweet seducing sighs." Lillian hadn't planned to make a 10-plus-mile drift, but she can't resist, so she puts on her mink coat and out she goes. The song itself and Michael's delivery of it—trembly and longing—describe the elements of restlessness and voyeurism that go with flânerie: "Reaching out / to touch a stranger / Electric eyes are everywhere / See that girl / she knows I'm watching / She likes the way I stare." This song gets the feast for the eyes and the thrill of seeing and being seen that city walking can offer.

"These Days" by Jackson Browne, performed by Nico (1967)

The novel has a split structure between the present-day of the elderly Lillian walking in 1984 and the past that she reflects upon as she walks, going all the way back to her arrival in New York City in 1926. The retrospective attitude of Browne's lyrics and the straightforward melancholy of Nico's performance fit the way the book unfolds.

"Unguided" by The New Pornographers (2007)

A true flâneuse never consults a map or uses GPS; she follows her instincts and intuitions. Hence the lyric "There's something unguided in the sky tonight" being apt for Lillian's evening. Also, the rhythm of this song and the inclusion of the idea about killing time match Lillian's stroll because flânerie can be a means of time travel. Lillian notes that, as a very old woman, she has so much past and so little future, but she observes this fact with acceptance and not sadness. There's something about walking that can help a person deal with time, no matter their age.


"Tinseltown in the Rain" by the Blue Nile

Obviously, Tinseltown is Hollywood and Lillian walks Manhattan, but this song still applies. It's about feeling wistful and thinking of loves past, and ultimately about the ephemerality of both the best and worst feelings in life. Paul Buchanan understands the paradox of feeling alone in an urban crowd: "Oh men and women / Here we are, caught up in this big rhythm." He also understands the sweetly doomed sensation of desiring that a person, place, or feeling will stay the same, even as you know that such permanence is impossible:

One day this love will all blow over

Time for leaving the parade

Is there a place in this city

A place to always feel this way?

"Cavern" by Liquid Liquid (1981)

There's a decent amount of music mentioned in the book, but this is the only song directly referenced—during a party scene—included on this playlist. The structure of the novel, with Lillian shifting from her past to her present, means that she is, in a sense, as the lyric says, "slipping in and out of phenomenon." And that's how a satisfying urban walk can work, too—if you walk long enough, far enough, through a big enough variety of landscapes, whole days and nights can seem to start over again. You fall into and emerge from forgotten pockets of history and architecture. Also, the bass line of this song is seductive and hypnotic, like the rhythm of the best kind of walk.

"Temptation" by New Order (1982)

Aside from the evident connection to flânerie in the lyric, "Tonight I think I'll walk alone / I'll find my soul as I go home," the peppy but introspective touchiness of the song calls to mind a motto of Lillian's: "Solvitur ambulando"—"it is solved by walking." Sometimes you have a problem and the only thing that's going to take care of it—not solve it, necessarily, but just make it bearable or give you some perspective—is to go take a walk. Also, the lyric "Each way I turn, I know I'll always try / To break this circle that's been placed around me" applies to how Lillian keeps connecting to the people she encounters on her walk, breaking through the stereotypes she might have of them—as limo drivers, security guards, bodega clerks, unwed mothers, etc.—and the ones they might have of her as an old lady.

"When I'm Walking" by Jonathan Richman (1983)

Lillian used to be a light verse poet in the vein of Dorothy Parker in addition to being an adwoman, and this goofy, rhyme-y walking song catches that silly/witty vibe. Other characters periodically tell Lillian that it's not safe for her to walk around the city and that she should go home or get a ride, and she unfailingly refuses. Like Jonathan Richman, she knows that if you love the world, then you're going to want to walk in it:


Well I love the world

So why sit still?



Well, in fact I don't want automotive help, thank you

I do fine just walking all by myself

"Tonight the Streets Are Ours" by Richard Hawley (2007)

Lillian comes through a lot of struggles over the course of her eight-plus decades, and she explains to another character that it's not an exaggeration to say that walking saved her life. This triumphant anthem suggests that feeling of pure potential you can achieve on an aimless walk—anything could happen if you just get out there. I love the part where Hawley sings:

Those people, they got nothing in their souls
And they make our TVs blind us
From our vision and our goals
Oh the trigger of time it tricks you
So you have no way to grow

Like don't look at your screens, look at people's faces. There are so many voices telling us to be afraid of the city and not to talk to strangers, but strangers are so interesting. Talk to some of them. Lillian would.


Kathleen Rooney and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk links:

the author's website

Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
Publishers Weekly review

Chicago Magazine profile of the author
Electric Literature interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Live Nude Girl
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for O, Democracy
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Oneiromance
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for René Magritte: Selected Writings
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Robinson Alone


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)





January 17, 2017

Book Notes - Jamie Metzl "Eternal Sonata"

Eternal Sonata

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Jamie Metzl's novel Eternal Sonata is a thought-provoking thriller set in the near future.


In his own words, here is Jamie Metzl's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Eternal Sonata:



Eternal Sonata, imagines a future global struggle to control the science of extreme human life extension. In the novel, a brilliant scientist working to honor the memory of his late wife by curing cancer develops a process for cellular reversion that unlocks the key to immortality. While he works tirelessly on his research, he fills his lab with a fictional Bach "eternal sonata," a metaphor for both his enduring love for his scientist/musician wife and for the human quest to live forever. Here is how the scientist describes an "eternal sonata" to the person visiting his lab:

"It's not a pure Bach sonata. It's an eternal sonata, a variation on all of the Sonatas de Chiesa, using Bach's same fractal formulas but extending the mathematical variation ad infinitum. If Bach had written his sonatas to go on forever, each melody embedded with the mathematical formula guiding the whole, this is probably what they would have sounded like, all thanks to the miracle of quantum computing."

In the run-up to the launch of the book, I wanted to see if it might be possible to actually create an eternal sonata and reached out to a Brilliant Bach professor at Julliard who, in turn, connected me with one of his students. The student, both a composer and a coder, volunteered enthusiastically and threw himself into the project.

A couple of months later, I received the following note from him:

I've been working on this a lot, and am starting to think the goal is less practical than expected (shocker, I know…). Not sure if you have leads on other musicians, but I might not be able to do this.

In any case, this is what I have as of now; maybe it's possible to imagine the result:

- It is most practical to write in three voices, rather like Bach's organ sonatas.

- The higher two voices imitate each other, with the lowest developing its own accompanimental motifs, and referencing the "head-motif" of the higher voices (this is tricky to implement).

- The movements alternate fast and slow tempos. The first movement is fast. All fast movements are in the home key. Slow movements are in the relative major/minor, or in major or minor V (the choice can be random).

- Not every movement ends in the home key. Maybe every other slow movement and every third fast movement ends in either V or V of the next movement's tonality.

- Slow movements are all of the same form, with the first and second half repeated. If the ending is not in I, there should be a second ending. Ornamentation follows the model of CPE Bach (this is also tricky to analyze and implement).

- Fast movements are in one of these two forms (chosen randomly): Same as the slow movements, though with less ornamentation; similarly bisectional, but without repeat, and not stopping after the modulation.

- There are some numerological items Bach was fascinated in, and they can be interpolated into the list of requirements (mostly, they concern the number of measures).

- What makes this piece a single sonata then, rather than a bunch of movements? There is a second layer of development, featuring the continuous variation and obscuration of a hymn-tune (perhaps the tune from Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit—God's time is the very best time, in which the tune is In you have I hoped, Lord). This provides seriousness, and links the whole as an outpouring of thoughts on death and time passing (this is very tricky to implement).

- As well, there is a sense of continuous development over the whole piece, which might be motivic.

Beyond these guidelines, I wanted to let the computer do the composing, which would take place bit by bit as sections are needed. The biggest problems as of now are:

- Getting the "composer" to work correctly. It's really a coding problem more than a musical problem, and as such is buggy. Because I don't code professionally, the code is clunky and inefficient, more about that in number 3.

- Getting the large-scale structure to "work". It would be nice if the piece sounded right at the end…

- Producing music quickly enough. This is the real trick; as of now, individual measures come laboriously. Eventually, I would need to produce music quicker than one listens to the music. I think this is impossible; with a long piece, one could simply push back a deadline, but I would need to push it back infinitely.

- Eventually getting the program to run itself, producing music forever, including once we're dead. I have no ideas.

Not sure if you have any ideas about these problems? I'm starting to run out of solutions.

Not to be deterred, I send the student's note to a friend who works in one of the world's most high profile artificial intelligence projects in one of the world's most famous companies and asked for his suggestions. Here is what he replied:

I believe you and your Julliard colleague should think about the endless sonata use case as follows:

Input A: Julliard student's observations of each composition (structured and/or unstructured data sets)

Input B: Listener favorability of each composition (e.g., "who likes what")

Output A: Mathematical pattern/compatibility ranking of all possible combinations of compositions

Output B: Auditory quality ranking of all possible combinations of compositions

Insight #1: An endless sonata mathematically looks like....

Insight #2: An endless sonata sounds like....

Insight #3: A combined sonata ceases to become favorable when....

Insight #4: A combined sonata remains favorable if....

Armed with this additional information, I went back to the student and asked him to take another crack. Two months later, I received the following message:

Hi, I spent the weekend (more like a whole week, actually) with a small team of slave-laboring CS students at Columbia, trying to work out the code. We came to a few conclusions:

- The project is definitely possible, because we managed to get the computer to "play itself", and to write code without intervention (most people get really excited when a computer can write code itself, because artificial intelligence and all, but this is a very idiosyncratic intelligence, if in fact it has any. If you ever want to write a book about a robot takeover, this is probably not the droid you're looking for).

- We'd need maybe five years of nearly full-time work. This is really non-negotiable, because there is a lot of grunt work involved in defining musical parameters (musicians are taught in school "don't write with parallel fifths", "don't double a leading tone", et cetera. If you want to teach a computer those, you first need to find a mathematical way of defining the transformation, then codify all the manifestations, then allow for exceptions—you now need to define a stochastic tool for producing weighted random numbers, and "calibrate" it experimentally—and then pray that the computer doesn't get too smart and make an unpredictable blunder that a human wouldn't… which of course you can't check for until the end. There doesn't seem to be a simple way around this piecemeal work—if someone found one, they'd be making celebrity-professor-money at a big university. If the best classical music sounds "simple" or "logical", it's because human learning and music are so intimately connected; in the arts, the last person you want as a student is a completely logical robot, not because the field is illogical, but because defining it logically will break your head needlessly).

- The amount of code needed for a simple bit (few seconds maybe) of music is distressingly large. The demand on the RAM would be similarly distressing, and the practicalities of bandwidth and linking to the internet would provide a less than pleasant listening experience (the quality of sound would have to be lowered, and there would still be clipping, skipping, whole moments of silence, etc.)

In so many words, the killer really is the practicality, not the possibility, much like the individual steps are deceptively possible when you chase the moon around. So I need to apologize, and say it can't be done, at least for now.

It was very enjoyable to work with you! Very sorry we couldn't make something work,

PS, you might be happy to know that several people have adopted the tool to help them with their own pieces, so this work has served some use (though I have yet to hear those pieces). We have also developed a rather strange, yet practical tool for managing the load on the CPU during the playing phase; it has been named "Sonata", of course, and might be handy in other people's projects. Furthermore, we seem to have produced 10 new fans of your books! Thanks again for offering the opportunity to work with you, it's been a lot of fun, even as I pull my hair out.

So of course my music recommendations are Bach's three sonatas da Chiesa.

If your readers can help create a real-world Eternal Sonata, fame, fortune, and glory will be yours.


Jamie Metzl and Eternal Sonata links:

the author's website

Kirkus review

BBC World News interview with the author
The Leonard Lopate Show interview with the author
Wall Street Journal interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Barack Obama on Books and Writing, One Hundred Days of Anti-Trump Songs, and more)

Barack Obama discussed books and writing with the New York Times.


Our First Hundred Days will feature an unreleased song every day (by Mitski, the Mountain Goats, and others) for the first 100 days of the Trump administration.


35 "best books of 2016" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy Tuesday (bringing the total number to 1,624), including Forbes' best books on birds and birding and The Oklahoman's best graphic novels.

Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting "best of 2016" music lists


Ebooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times by Anne C. Heller
A Model World by Michael Chabon


NYCTaper shared a live performance by Jon Langford, Jean Cook and Walter Salas-Humara.


The OTHERPPL podcast interviewed author Vanessa Hua.


Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols talked to Rolling Stone about his memoir Lonely Boy.


Fiction Advocate interviewed author Eula Biss.


Stream a new Sloppy Heads song.


The New Yorker interviewed Elif Batuman about her short story in this week's issue.


Salon shared 2017's big music milestones.


Decibel interviewed Nathan Carson about his novella Starr Creek.


Ryan Adams and Liz Phair are collaborating on an album.


Meredith Alling on writing her story collection Sing the Song at Necessary Fiction.


Stream a new song by Tobin Sprout.


Autostraddle recommended the best feminist and LGBTQ books of early 2017.


Sharon Van Etten discussed her new acting career with All Songs Considered.


The Nonhuman Rights Project interviewed Thalia Field about her book Experimental Animals.


Stream a new Xiu Xiu song.


Author D. Foy discussed his tattoos at Clash.


Pitchfork examined the influence of Alice Coltrane's music.


HTMLGIANT previewed 2017's best indie press books.


The Talkhouse podcast featured Tommy Stinson and Wayne Kramer in conversation.


Ben Lerner examined the legacy of John Berger at the New Yorker.


Pitchfork reconsidered X-Ray Specs' Germfree Adolescents album.


BuzzFeed recommended books to read if you are going to the women's march on Washington.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

January 16, 2017

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - January 16, 2017

Chavez

Chavez released its first new music in twenty years, the Cockfighters EP.

The only other new music I can recommend is Corner Suns' self-titled album.

Archival radio performances by Bob Dylan with Tom Petty, Grateful Dead, Leonard Cohen are also available this week.

Reissues include a remastered and expanded 45 rpm vinyl edition Nirvana's Incesticide and vinyl reissues of four Prince releases (Cream, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Kiss, and U Got the Look / Housequake).

What new music are you looking forward to or enjoying this week?


This week's interesting music releases:


Band of Heathens: Duende
Beat Farmers: Heading North 53 N° 8° E: Live In Bremen
Bob Dylan with Tom Petty: Across the Borderline
Bonobo: Migration
Brandon Can't Dance: Graveyard Of Good Times
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Groove Is in the Heart [vinyl]
Bruce Springsteen & Bon Jovi: Live on Air
Chavez: Cockfighters EP [vinyl]
Chemical Brothers: Come With Us (reissue) [vinyl]
Chemical Brothers: Dig Your Own Hole (reissue) [vinyl]
Chemical Brothers: Exit Planet Dust (reissue) [vinyl]
Chemical Brothers: Further (reissue) [vinyl]
Chemical Brothers: Push the Button (reissue) [vinyl]
Chemical Brothers: Surrender (reissue) [vinyl]
Chet Baker: The Pacific Jazz Collection (4-CD box set)
Code Orange: Forever
Colony House: Only The Lonely
Corner Suns: Corner Suns
Crowded House: Time on Earth (remastered and expanded) [vinyl]
Danny Gokey: Rise
David Bowie: Legacy [vinyl]
Flaming Lips: Oczy Mlody
Flaming Lips: Space Oddity/Jest (There Is) (7" red vinyl) [vinyl]
Grateful Dead: San Francisco 1976
The Infamous Stringdusters: Laws Of Gravity
Jimi Hendrix: Stone Free/Lover Man (reissue) [vinyl]
The Killers: Hot Fuss (reissue) [vinyl]
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper: Tender Warriors Club [vinyl]
Leonard Cohen: Upon A Smokey Evening
Lilys: In the Presence of Nothing (reissue) [vinyl]
Lou Reed: American Poet (remastered and expanded) [vinyl]
Nirvana: Incesticide (2-LP 20th anniversary 45RPM edition) (remastered and expanded) [vinyl]
Old 97's: Too Far To Care (reissue) [vinyl]
Over the Rhine: Ohio (reissue) [vinyl]
Prince: Cream (reissue) [vinyl]
Prince: If I Was Your Girlfriend (reissue) [vinyl]
Prince: Kiss (reissue) [vinyl]
Prince: U Got the Look / Housequake (reissue) [vinyl]
Run the Jewels: Run The Jewels 3 (CD release)
Sepultura: Machine Messiah
Sly and the Family Stone: Anthology - Greatest Hits (180 gram audiophile translucent gold vinyl) (reissue) [vinyl]
Social Club Misfits: The Misadventures of Fern & Marty
SOHN: Rennen
Sun Ra: El Is A Sound Of Joy/Black Sky and Blue Moon (reissue) [vinyl]
Sxip Shirey: Bottle of Whiskey & A Handful of Bees
Tokyo Police Club: Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Parts 1 and 2) [vinyl]
Tom Petty: New York Shuffle
Two Cow Garage: Brand New Flag
Warpaint: Whiteout [vinyl]
The xx: I See You
You Me at Six: Night People


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

Essential and Interesting "Best of 2016" Music Lists

weekly music release lists

100 online sources for free and legal music downloads
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

January 14, 2017

Atomic Books Comics Preview - January 14, 2017

In the weekly Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights notable new comics, graphic novels, and books.

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. He also runs the Mutant Funnies Tumblr.

Atomic Books has been named one of BuzzFeed's Great American Bookstores, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.


Get Out Your Hankies

Get Out Your Hankies
by Gabrielle Bell

Any time there's a new book by Bell is a cause for excitement. This mini diary comic deals with subjects like technology, small towns, pickling, mushrooms, spider webs, and, of course, bears.


Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
by Damian Duffy / Octavia E. Butler / John Jennings

Here Butler's sci-fi masterpiece has been adapted into a stunning graphic novel.


Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead: Color the Ace of Spades

Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead: Color the Ace of Spades
by various

It's been over a year ago now that we learned that Motorhead's frontman Lemmy Kilmister was killed by death. This coloring book let's us all celebrate the life of a hard living rock icon.


Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail benn@atomicbooks.com. If there’s a comic I should know about, send it my way at Atomic, c/o Atomic Books 3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211.


Atomic Books & Benn Ray links:

Atomic Books website
Atomic Books on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Mutant Funnies


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Atomic Books Comics Preview lists (weekly new comics & graphic novel highlights)

Online "Best of 2015" Book Lists

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

January 13, 2017

Book Notes - Joe Halstead "West Virginia"

West Virginia

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Joe Halstead's debut novel West Virginia is a powerful and unsettling coming-of-age story.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"This tale of family ties without a falsely satisfying resolution introduces a powerful and authentic voice."


In his own words, here is Joe Halstead's Book Notes music playlist for his novel West Virginia:



When David asked me to do this playlist, it made sense to keep things close to home, which is two places for me: West Virginia and New York City. The songs collected here span the divide that separates the hallowed folk songs of West Virginia and the secular sounds of New York. Country standards, bubbly electronic tracks, and searching tributes to home. These are songs I listened to on repeat when I wrote West Virginia, if that helps you, or you can think of it as a short sampler for the events of the book.

In West Virginia, they sing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" at the end of every WVU football game, and here you'll hear the best "Country Roads" cover ever: the Yoko Honna version. Sandwiched in there is the comfortable Nineties track, "Hate This Place," which I considered for the opening, but my love for John Rzeznik goes all the way back to third grade in West Virginia, so it appears toward the middle. "The Heart That You Own" is my favorite country song on this mix, its title at least, and not only because my heart has been stuck in one of those hollers for decades. "Skin and Bones" came out in 2013 and, in theory, is what it's all about. Eventually, the mix ends where it should, with the Earth perishing and the Universe giving way. Below, dig into a sixteen track experiment in making a playlist.

"Kill For Love" | Chromatics

When I think of Jamie Paddock in West Virginia, I think of a passing ghost, moving through space and time, in search of a home he was born far away from, living this transient life. "Kill For Love" by Chromatics creates the context for this, like a ghost spaceship broadcasting sparkly transmissions into the void, calling you back through whatever wormhole you were blasted out of. When Ruth Radelet sings, "I took a pill almost every night/In my mind I was waiting for change/While the world just stayed the same," it opens a portal from New York City to West Virginia and you just have to embrace this transience like Dave Bowman in 2001 and get sucked into the current.

"Dream the Dare" | Pure Bathing Culture

Another astral-sounding track about wormhole cartography and finding your way home, something Jamie Paddock is in desperate need of in West Virginia. This song, to me, has always had a lot of yearning--you've got the beautiful-weird melody and the honey/dreamcatcher voice of Sarah Versprille singing, "Come down storm crow, find your way home." There's some kind of weird mysticism at work here, something ritualistic and out-of-time, and I become a crow myself when I listen to it sixteen times in a row.

"Mistakes of My Youth" | Eels

The first third of West Virginia is, in part, about looking back on your youthful follies and feeling like all the mistakes and bad choices you've made have led you to exactly where you belong--and then you start hyperventilating about it all. To say that choosing "Mistakes of My Youth" is a bit on-the-nose is an understatement, but, then again, it's my playlist, and this track makes me cry. When Jamie Paddock is called to rediscover his roots while living in New York City, he has to reflect on all the choices that led him to that moment, and whether or not he deserves where he's at.

"Despair (Acoustic Version)" | Yeah Yeah Yeahs

When I wrote West Virginia, I was in the worst depression of my life, but after one listen of the acoustic version of "Despair" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I just said fuck it and stopped wasting my time. With just an acoustic guitar, Karen O delivers a devastating recital of what is, in my opinion, her finest work.

"You Better Run" | Dr. C.J. Johnson

I've heard some say that God is dead. I don't know anything about that, but what I do know is that when you put on a track like this, it will lift you out of the darkness and kick your ass into gear. Johnson in particular is on fire throughout, using his choir's sturdy backbone as a jumping-off point to salvation. I like to imagine this or some other powerful gospel song playing during transitions in life, like when Jamie Paddock begins his journey by hopping on the Amtrak back to West Virginia.

"Skin and Bones" | Avett Brothers

Jamie Paddock is a shapeshifter, but this is what he's missing for the first third of the book. The twangy, country voices. The banjo. The parts of who he really is, his true self without the mask. With "Skin and Bones," the Avett Brothers hit refresh on Appalachian folk and Bluegrass, and end up with a song both timeless and vintage. A flawless and captivating track perfect for those moments when Jamie is still looking for the good in West Virginia.

"Hate This Place" | Goo Goo Dolls

This song is on here because, when I was in third grade, the new girl said, "Have you heard of this new band, the Goo Goo Dolls? Their lead singer is sexy." Ever since, I just wanted to be John Rzeznik.

"The Heart That You Own" | Dwight Yoakam

Confession: I love Dwight Yoakam, and "The Heart That You Own" is a prime slice of Appalachian hillbilly gospel from the Kentucky-born country star. That being said, it's undeniable that Dwight is also a Rhinestone/Hollywood cowboy. He's equal parts jangle and glitter, so comparisons to Jamie Paddock and other similarly fake hipsters are apt.

"We Don't Live Here Anymore" | Jakob Dylan

Ramshackle homeplaces, biblical flood imagery, haunting background singers, and an off-kilter vibe. Jakob Dylan makes music for going places and taking trips, the kind where you're unsure where you're going, or even if it'll be someplace you want to be, but it's also the kind where you discover something. Filtered through a T. Bone Burnett lens, "We Don't Live Here Anymore" is another trip to West Virginia's dark psychogeography.

"Dreary Moon" | Big Black Delta

There's a line in West Virginia: "There are times we all imagine ourselves as someone else, somewhere else, and this perfect world has no logic except, of course, that it's perfect, and then we forget the perfect world we live in isn't the real one, but by then it refuses to let us go." There are ghosts in both Jonathan Bate's voice and synths that seem to know this idea well. The aching melody and rich soundscape of "Dreary Moon," coupled with Bates's lyrics, "A heavy burden/A holy way/I can escape anything/But loving you," make this message forever applicable.

"The Wuthering Heights" | Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto's unsettling composition is the song I've always imagined myself dying to, so, if you believe that Jamie Paddock froze to death when he fell in the New River, then you can probably bet this was playing in his head as he entered into the Underworld. I hear The Wuthering Heights on the wind every time I drive over the New River Gorge Bridge.

"Can't Find My Way Home" | Blind Faith

You've been rambling into unknown territory, maybe wasted, maybe crazy, and you can't find your way back home. We've all been there. I had no particular tracks in mind when I wrote West Virginia, but "Can't Find My Way Home" by Blind Faith wormed its way into my subconscious at some point during the process. Accompanied by a light guitar, Steve Winwood sings of a yearning for home that Jamie Paddock might appreciate.

"Runaway" | Mr Little Jeans

You know when they find a squirrel or something frozen in ice and it starts running around real quick once it's been thawed? That's how Jamie feels when he finally breaks free of the shackles of home and blood toward the end of West Virginia. "Runaway" by Mr Little Jeans rides a cathartic beat and floats with a free-spirited weightlessness that forces us to ask, Is there sometimes freedom, even redemption, in running away?

"Say Goodbye" | Fleetwood Mac

"Say Goodbye" is a séance that evokes a feeling of saying goodbye to...well, everything that ever mattered to you. It's the song that ushers Jamie Paddock through the gates of West Virginia and back to the city. The old sound of folk married to the personal, delicate vocals of Lindsey Buckingham, illuminate the unknown future Jamie's about to enter.

"Even the Earth Will Perish and the Universe Give Way" | Sufjan Stevens

At the end of West Virginia, Jamie Paddock gets stuck on a train and is forced to briefly withdraw into his faith, whatever that is, before forever letting go of who he once was. The folky drone of Sufjan Stevens's "Even the Earth Will Perish and the Universe Give Way" is an introspective and truth-seeking track that makes for a poignant expression of Jamie's final transformation.

"Take Me Home Country Roads (Violin version)" | Yoko Honna

"Like Her Majesty" by The Beatles, here's a hidden track. While I've come and gone from West Virginia more times than I can count, I now feel forbidden to go back. Today, I live there only through the whines of the violin and the cries of Yoko Honna in this cover of "Take Me Home, Country Roads," as if it exists in some speculative mirror world.


Joe Halstead and West Virginia links:

the author's website

Chicago Review of Books review
Publishers Weekly review
Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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Book Notes - Laurie Blauner "The Solace of Monsters"

The Solace of Monsters

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Laurie Blauner's novel The Solace of Monsters is an innovative modern interpretation of Frankenstein.

Helen Phillips wrote of the book:

"The Solace of Monsters is courageous and innovative and mesmerizing, Frankenstein for a new age. Laurie Blauner never shies away from the grotesque, or from the beautiful."


In her own words, here is Laurie Blauner's Book Notes music playlist for her novel The Solace of Monsters:



My new novel, The Solace of Monsters, is about the adventures of Mara, a young woman, and the fifth version of a daughter created by her scientist father from other body parts. It's an updated Frankenstein story as seen through Mara's eyes. Memory and dreams play a large part in her story. And there is always the question as to whether pieces come together as a whole or does the whole disassemble into its parts? My musical interests include all kinds of music. I don't listen to music when I write but sometimes it is a reward after writing well. A playlist that evokes my book in some way includes:

1) Leonard Cohen - if I need to pick a particular song "Suzanne" whose lyrics, "And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind/ And you know that she will trust you/ For you've touched her perfect body with your mind." Which is about caring, communication, and traveling but it's the way his music and lyrics move, undulating like a river. It also brings up mind versus body themes, i.e., what is a perfect body? What is a perfect mind? How do emotions affect these? A journey reminds me of Mara. But it is his growling, deep voice that, somehow reminds me of Mara's voice and her grinding laugh.

2) Pink Martini - "Let's Never Stop Falling in Love" only because Mara falls in love with the world. And I enjoy the way Pink Martini take diverse and a variety of classical songs and do them in their own fashion because I never like writing the same book twice. I want to write something different every time but in my own way like Pink Martini.

3) Adele - Yes, she encompasses everything for everyone, sadness, joy, contemplation, declaration, life. "Turning Tables" with its lyrics "I can't keep up with your turning tables/under your thumb I can't breathe." This describes Mara's relationship with her father and the difficulty of loving and hating someone.

4) from Wicked - the song "Defying Gravity" because "Something has changed within me/It's time to trust my instincts/I think I'll trying defying gravity." With the wizard as a father figure, this is also true of Mara's story and her need to seek out the world and see what's in it. It's also true for anyone changing anything.

5) Camille Saint-Saens - "Danse Macabre" because I take ballet classes at an older age, which is insane. This song is a bit creepy, haunting, lively, and lovely at the same time (which describes my book) and also makes me want to dance to it. Instead, I imagine all the Maras dancing excitedly at the same time to this song.


Laurie Blauner and The Solace of Monsters links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

Kirkus review

Necessary Fiction essay by the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (The Tournament of Books Shortlist, Slowdive's First New Song in 22 Years, and more)

The shortlist and judges for this year's Tournament of Books has been announced.


Stream Slowdive's first new song in 22 years.


35 "best books of 2016" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy Tuesday (bringing the total number to 1,624), including Forbes' best books on birds and birding and The Oklahoman's best graphic novels.

Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting "best of 2016" music lists


Ebooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times by Anne C. Heller
A Model World by Michael Chabon


Stream a new Wolf Eyes song.


GQ interviewed Marlon James about the fantasy trilogy he is writing.


Phantogram covered Radiohead's "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi."


Signature recommended books by and about Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Stream a new Allison Crutchfield song.


The New Yorker profiled author Ayelet Waldman.


Stream a new GEMS song.


Bustle recommended 2017 books by Indian authors.


Kevin Devine covered Elliott Smith, Pinegrove, and Leonard Cohen.


The Millions interviewed author Leland Cheuk.


NPR Music is accepting entries for its 2017 Tiny Desk Concert contest.


Bookworm interviewed author Lynne Tillman.


Drowned in Sound reconsidered Slint's Spiderland album.


Electric Literature looked back on Barack Obama's literary moments as president.


Garden & Gun shared two new Son Volt songs and interviewed Jay Farrar.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

January 12, 2017

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - December 1, 2017

In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.


We Told You So: Comics As Art

We Told You So: Comics As Art
by Michael Dean and Tom Spurgeon

Congratulations to our pals at Fantagraphics on reaching the 40 year milestone! The legendary comics publisher was founded in 1976 by a bright, young group of men and women with the belief that comics could be art. Four decades later, comic books are reviewed positively in literary publications and are held in similar esteem to their prose counterparts, a striking resurgence of a medium that was once all but discredited. We Told You So is the oral history of a true trailblazer, and traces the lineage of modern comics through interviews with over 200 cartoonists (including Robert Crumb and Daniel Clowes), editors, critics, and more.


Difficult Women

Difficult Women
by Roxane Gay

Acclaimed essayist, powerhouse talent, and twitter icon Roxane Gay has delivered on the hype once again. Difficult Women collects previously published stories, and with them it collects evidence that Gay’s writing deserves the superlatives. Her remarkable language feels raw as an exposed tooth root, and as the reader burrows through these thematically linked stories, one finds that the harshness of the subject matter (violence, rape, desperation, etc.) is negated by Gay’s engrossing prose. There is particular care in depicting the body, in experiencing the world through the body, which adds a clarity, an immediacy.


Kubrick Red: A Memoir

Kubrick Red: A Memoir
by Simon Roy, translated by. Jacob Homel

Simon Roy teaches literature at Collège Lionel-Giroux, and has seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining over forty times. Translated from the original French by Jacob Homel, Kubrick Red is a difficult book to describe, but, as Kubrick himself pointed out in 1995, what good book isn’t? Simon Roy’s novel fuses film theory, thriller, and reflections on his troubled childhood to create an unsettling and often brilliant debut.


Homesick For Another World: Stories

Homesick For Another World: Stories
by Ottessa Moshfegh

A regular in the likes of The Paris Review and The New Yorker, Ottessa Moshfegh’s fiction is incredibly alluring. The unsentimental depravity from her acclaimed novel Eileen is kicked up a notch in this collection of short stories. Do not let the exterior fool you, these are not tales of sci-fi fantasy, these are stories of the down-and-out dancing in the ditch with two left feet. Her stories are often brutal and outrageous, but Moshfegh truly excels when she works in moments of tenderness and compassion; hers is a craft of startling emotional complexity.


Blood of the Dawn

Blood of the Dawn
by Claudia Salazar Jiménez, translated by Elizabeth Bryer

Claudia Salazar Jiménez, professor and founder of literary journal Fuegos de Arena, is one of the most recognized Peruvian writers of her generation, and is now available to English readers through the translation of her stunning debut. Blood of the Dawn is teeth-bared tale of three women’s lives during the “time of fear” in Peru, when the Shining Path rebel insurgency was at its peak. This incendiary novel manages to pair an honest look at a social and national trauma with an intimate portrayal of the personal tragedies within.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's blog
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Facebook page
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Tumblr
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Twitter


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Paul Auster on Books And Reading, A List of the Best Punk Albums of the 2000s, and more)

Paul Auster discussed books and reading with the New York Times.


Paste listed the best punk albums of the 2000s.


35 "best books of 2016" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy Tuesday (bringing the total number to 1,624), including Forbes' best books on birds and birding and The Oklahoman's best graphic novels.

Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting "best of 2016" music lists


Ebooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times by Anne C. Heller
A Model World by Michael Chabon


Beach Slang covered the Adverts' "Bored Teenagers."


Anna Pitoniak discussed her debut novel The Futures with Flavorwire.


Aquarium Drunkard shared a compilation of outsider psych music from the '60s and '70s.


Literary Hub interviewed author Samanta Schweblin.


Stream a new Grails track.


Stream a new Minus the Bear song.


The Rumpus interviewed poet Dawn Lundy Martin.


Stream a new Tall Tall Trees song.


Literary Hub previewed 2017's best indie press books.


The Allegedly NYC podcast interviewed ANOHNI.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Lynne Tillman.


NPR Music is streaming Austra's Future Politics album.


Elle shared a short story from Roxane Gay's new collection Difficult Women.


CLRVYNT shared an excerpt from Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. From Bad Brains.


Electric Literature interviewed author Mary Miller.


Drowned in Sound interviewed PWR BTTM's Liv Bruce.


BuzzFeed, The Week UK, Cultured Vultures, and The A.V. Club recommended 2017's best new books.


Stream a new song by Pavement's Spiral Stairs.


IGN listed the most anticipated comics of 2017.


Drowned in Sound interviewed Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

January 11, 2017

Book Notes - Joshua Mohr "Sirens"

Sirens

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Joshua Mohr's memoir Sirens is a fascinating account of recovery, writing, and love.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"By turns raw and tender, this book not only chronicles a man's literary coming-of-age. It also celebrates the power of love while offering an uncensored look at the frailties that can define—and sometimes overwhelm—people and their lives. An entirely candid, compelling memoir of addiction and the long, fraught road of recovery."


In his own words, here is Joshua Mohr's Book Notes music playlist for his memoir Sirens:



Music is always a huge part of my writing process, as is coffee—so much coffee!—but with my new memoir, music played a more intimate role: It supplied the book's biorhythm.

In my novels, I use music to channel certain characters, maybe listening to PJ Harvey exclusively, while I'm writing a ferocious/cerebral woman, etc, but with the memoir, I tried to use music as a literal soundtrack.

What the hell does that mean? A literal soundtrack? That's a good question. I'm glad you're paying attention.

A literal soundtrack means that not only was music playing while I wrote the source material, but I revised this memoir compulsively out loud, reading it like 100 times to myself to dial in the book's time signature, its unique sound, and while I read aloud I always had music playing. So when I'm reading a chapter maniacally, pacing and ranting, scaring my neighbors, super disgusting and lovely punk rock blared to help me lock in and keep the proper sonic assignments for certain scenes.

Here's a selection of tracks that played huge roles in that aural intermingling of music and my out loud rantings.

Kim Gordon – "Murdered Out"
7 Year Bitch – "Hip Like Junk"
Bad Brains – "The Regulator"
Operation Ivy – "Knowledge"
Parquet Courts – "Stoned and Starving"
Karen O – "Native Korean Rock"
The Cramps - "Garbageman"
The Kills – "Weedkiller"
Savages – "I am Here"
Fang – "Invitation"

Go ahead and find these songs on YouTube or Spotify. Turn ‘em up loud—and I mean loud—and try to read to it. It will feel weird at first, but don't stop. You might go hoarse. You might find yourself fighting with it a bit, and that's a good thing! They are screaming and you are screaming and after a few minutes, your different kinds of music will dilute.


Joshua Mohr and Sirens links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

Kirkus review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Damascus
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Fight Song
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Some Things That Meant the World to Me
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Termite Parade
LitReactor interview with the author
Los Angeles Review of Books interview with the author
Rare Bird Radio interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Marlon James' New Fantasy Trilogy, Roxane Gay Interviewed Madonna, and more)

Marlon James is writing a fantasy trilogy.


Roxane Gay interviewed Madonna at Harper's Bazaar.


35 "best books of 2016" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy Sunday (bringing the total number to 1,624), including Forbes best books on birds and birding and The Oklahoman's best graphic novels.

Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting "best of 2016" music lists


Ebooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times by Anne C. Heller
A Model World by Michael Chabon


Lambchop's Kurt Wagner discussed his favorite British albums at The Quietus.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed Joshua Mohr about his new memoir .


Stream a new track from Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood.


Rolling Stone listed David Bowie's most unforgettable onscreen moments.


Stream a new Cloud Nothings song.


J. David Osborne interviewed author Troy James Weaver.


Stream a new Temples song.


Read the writings of a young Jane Austen.


Stream a new Mark Eitzel song.


The Guardian previewed 2017's Brexit-inspired fiction.


Stream a new Karen Elson song.


Stream a 2009 BBC documentary on Neil Young.


Literary Hub recommended short novels.


David Byrne on his Joan of Arc musical.


Stream a new song by Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble.


Huck Magazine interviewed Kim Gordon.


Junot Diaz discussed the works of Octavia Butler with Salon.


The Creative Independent interviewed musician Thor Harris.


Bustle listed the most anticipated feminist books of 2017.


Stream a new darkDark song that features Haley Bonar.


The Chicago Reader previewed 2017's best books.


Stream a new Laura Marling song.


All Things Considered interviewed Shanthi Sekaran about her novel Lucky Boy.


Stream a new Japandroids song.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

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