Twitter Facebook Tumblr Pinterest Instagram

June 20, 2017

Shorties (Roxane Gay on Her New Memoir, Super Furry Animals Covered the Smiths, and more)

Roxane Gay discussed her memoir Hunger with Fresh Air and Rolling Stone.


Super Furry Animals covered the Smiths "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side."


Amelia Gray discussed her novel Isadora with the Barnes & Noble Review.


Yusuf (Cat Stevens) played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The Believer interviewed author Donald Breckenridge.


Stream a new Lissie song.


The Brookings Institute recommended summer reading.


The Village Voice profiled singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.


The Millions interviewed authors Julie Buntin and Gabe Habash.


Stream a new song by Comedienne.


Sherman Alexie discussed his new memoir You Don't Have to Say You Love Me with Morning Edition.


Baeble share a beginner's guide to the music of Radiohead.


Paste recommended nonfiction reading for the beach.


Stream a new Sudan Archives song.


The Nervous Breakdown shared an excerpt from Jessie Chaffee's debut novel Florence in Ecstasy.


Greg Ashley shared three cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


VICE shared an excerpt from Teju Cole's new book Blind Spot.


Stream a new Tobacco song.


Literary Hub interviewed author Paul Beatty.


Stream a new song by the Yawpers.


Aspen Public Radio interviewed author Dani Shapiro.


Stream a new Fischerspooner track.


Lenny interviewed author Zandria F. Robinson.


Dave Weigel talked to the New Republic about his new book The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock.


Hobart interviewed author Wendy C. Ortiz.


eBooks on sale for $0.99 today:

A Father's Law by Richard Wright
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Across the Bridge by Mavis Gallant
Blind Ambition by John W. Dean
Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay
The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman
Finks by Joel Whitney
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
The Hippest Trip in America by Nelson George
History by Elsa Morante
Insurrections of the Mind by Franklin Foer
The Humans by Matt Haig
Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford
The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown
The Memory Place by Mira Bartok
Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
My Cross To Bear by Gregg Allman
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Pavilion of Women by Pearl Buck
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carole Oates

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Back to Blood by Thomas Wolfe
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Frog Music by Emma Donohue
The Group, The Company She Keeps, and Birds of America: Three Novels in One Collection by Mary McCarthy
Jackie Under My Skin by Wane Koestenbaum
Land's End by Michael Cunningham

eBooks on sale for $3.99 today:

And the Band Played on by Randy Shilts
Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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






June 19, 2017

Book Notes - Andrew Ervin "Bit by Bit"

Bit by Bit

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.

Andrew Ervin's Bit by Bit is an engaging and insightful exploration of video games as art.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"It's unusual for a history of video games to feature multiple quotes from Rilke, references to philosophy and Zen Buddhism, and comparisons to great works of art. But that’s exactly what Ervin serves up to support his compelling argument: video games can be art."


In his own words, here is Andrew Ervin's Book Notes music playlist for his book Bit by Bit:



I wrote Bit by Bit, my first book of nonfiction, because I wanted to understand how contemporary artists were using digital tools to tell and share stories. As a fiction writer, I find it enormously valuable to see how artists working in other media address some of the same questions I face on the page. To that end, I researched the history of video games from Tennis for Two (1958) to the present and learned that they developed within and alongside the military-industrial complex. That might explain why even today so many of us believe that the ultraviolent first-person shooter genre is indicative of all video games. That’s a common misperception, and it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Not all video games are artful, not by any stretch of the imagination, but in this book I focused my attention on the titles that expanded the creative possibilities of the medium. It’s written, I imagine, for people like me who are more comfortable holding a book than a controller, but who are also curious to know more about what the best video games have to each us about ourselves and our interactions online and IRL. I’ve come to love returning to some video games—Journey and Vib-Ribbon, Monument Valley and Passage—the way I love returning to some of my favorite novels. I haven’t brought myself to delete my World of Warcraft toon.

For the purposes of this playlist, it didn’t feel right to pull excerpts from my absolute favorite video game soundtracks. Ben Prunty’s music for Gravity Ghost (2015) and, in particular, Austin Wintory’s for Journey (2012) deserve to be heard in full. They are tremendous artistic accomplishments in their own rights and make their respective games even more fulfilling. Like Bit by Bit, the present Book Notes playlist is meant to be enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers alike. You can hear it on Spotify. Thanks for listening.


Andrew Ervin and Bit by Bit links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

Electric Literarure review
Publishers Weekly review
Washington Post review
Winnipeg Free Press review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Burning Down George Orwell's House
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Extraordinary Renditions
Tin House review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


Book Notes - Nicholas Bredie "Not Constantinople"

Not Constantinople

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.

Nicholas Bredie's novel Not Constantinople is a smart and moving debut.

Viet Thanh Nguyen wrote of the book:

"In spare, understated prose, our author captures the privileged aimlessness and corrupted romanticism of the contemporary white American expatriate. Bredie is a sly and unsparing writer for the post-Hemingway set, revealing a world of travel that is stripped of illusions and glamour."


In his own words, here is Nicholas Bredie's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel Not Constantinople:



"So it's sort of like House of Sand and Fog in reverse?" was one friend's reaction to the description of my novel Not Constantinople. "Maybe," I said. "But it's funnier, more political, and there's a romance/ break-up angle. And by in reverse, you mean it's set abroad?" So much for analogy. My uncle, a former Beirut correspondent, told my wife and I that we needed to abandon analogy when we moved abroad. Leave our preconceived notions about a place like Istanbul, and there were many, on the jet bridge. And if I had a dream request for readers of Not Constantinople, it would be the same. Yes there are strong themes of alienation and privilege borrowed from the tradition of expatriate adventures from For Whom the Bell Tolls through Leaving the Atocha Station, but also a conscious effort to undermine those themes. Yes there is a real estate plot, but its absurdity breaks more towards humor than pathos. Yes there's a love story, but the love that underlies the book is love for the city of Istanbul. It's moments like these when I'm grateful for music, happy home of negative capability. And so I've put together a little musical tour of the book. A notable, and intentional absence: no ‘They Might Be Giants,' no ‘Four Lads.'

Gaye Su Akyol :: "Uzat Saçını İstanbul"

The title of this track by the Turkish rock goddess translates roughly as ‘let down your hair, Istanbul.' It's a great image to begin with, an intimate request to be with the city. It reminds me of "The Maiden's Tower," a strange little lighthouse set in the southern mouth of the Bosporus. The tower is the mythical setting for the story of Hero and Leander, a seduction that goes wrong when Leander drowns trying to swim out to the tower to be with Hero. The tower is treated as a visual synecdoche for the city on t-shirts and such, but the tale of Hero and Leander might be more salient to understanding the city's charms and perils.

Fugazi :: "Cashout"

I've always dreamed of living rent-free. I think most writers who work other jobs to make rent share this dream, so real estate can be a bit of a preoccupation. I moved to Providence, RI just as the era of loft squatting was ending. Word was the daughter of a developer had attended a Lightning Bolt show, and told her father about all the kids living free in the abandoned factories of Olneyville. When I moved there, after living in a Brooklyn shoebox run by David N and the Brighton Beach mafia, the magnificent Fort Thunder loft had been reduced to a Shaws grocery. When I was in Istanbul watching magnificent old squats (I'd only later learn their owners were minorities driven from the city in mid-century pogroms) transformed to boutique hotels, I couldn't help think of the great unfairness tied up in real estate.

Beirut :: "Postcards from Italy"

Whoa, sonic whiplash. But imagine yourself being whisked away from your problems (fictional or otherwise) and on a road trip to Pomorie and Varna, Bulgaria. I'd highly recommend Bulgaria to anyone who likes a party, and pork products. In the novel it's a chance for the characters to breath a little freer, enjoy a little ‘travel,' a little ‘romance.' But of course it's going to end with someone pulling a knife on a prostitute.

Selim Sesler :: "Roman Lament"

Back in Istanbul, in 2008, the government demolished the neighborhood of Sulukule. Romni people had been living there, beside the Theodosian Walls, since the Byzantine era. An ‘urban development project' replaced their homes with ‘ottoman style townhouses,' another case study of rapacious gentrification. The Romani, always maligned for not settling down, were shipped to a distant suburb. A version of this event happens in the novel, and is memorialized here with this song played by the great Romani clarinetist Selim Sesler. I saw Sesler live at the roof-level club Araf in Istanbul, and I'll never forget hearing this looking out over the city lights scattered across the hillsides.

Tommy James & The Shondells :: "Crimson and Clover"

Just imagine listening to this song, stoned. You're in a garage owned by a Turkish motorcycle gang. But they are a cute motorcycle gang, I mean they are sitting around listening to Tommy James & The Shondells, drinking Efes beer and waiting for dusk to bbq some meatballs. Istanbul is a megacity, 14+ million people. Often this can feel suffocating, but it also makes spaces for all kinds of life to happen.

Erkin Koray :: "Yagmur"

This classic of Anatolian Invasion psyc-funk gives you a perfect taste of street level melancholy in Istanbul. Orhan Pamuk may have patented ‘huzun' as the feeling of sadness that might overcome you as you move through the Istanbul's back alleys, "crumbling buildings and phantom minarets," but Koray's bent notes and driving beat bring me back to that feeling that the city is a series of dead ends.

Pavement :: "AT&T"

There's a break-up in the book, whether Publisher's Weekly likes it or not. This is probably the second best break-up song in my humble opinion, after Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, it's Alright." It's a song that is, as much of the Pavement repertoire, emotionally all over the place: elated, regretful, uselessly self-conscious. In the end you just have Malkmus screaming and then saying, "The story it goes and a distorted ghost, distorted ghost." What more is there to say?

Iggy Pop :: "Fall In Love with Me"

If the alienated expat male had an anthem, this would be it. I can just picture Jake Barnes singing it just off stage to Lady Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises. "White wine and you/ A table made of wood/ And how I wish you would/ Fall in love with me." Pure Hemingway. Luckily in the hands of Iggy Pop, everything cuts both ways. Is he being serious? Is he making a joke of this whole seduction? Without giving away too much of the novel's twilight half, these are the kinds of questions a reader might ask too.

Les Mis Original London Cast :: "Do You Hear the People Sing"

From the personal to the political: sometimes an event can overtake a story even when that story is anticipating it. The story of the Taksim Gezi Park protests is a story of real estate and development with such a strain of absurdity it could only happen in Istanbul. The government gave license to a private developer to replace Gezi Park, a small, sleepy if central park in the city's downtown, with a shopping mall. But the developer could only get around the city's green-space preservation laws by appealing to the city's historical preservation laws, making the mall in the form of the Ottoman artillery barracks which the park had replaced in the 1940s. You can't make this stuff up. The park became a rallying cry for Istanbullus who had become tired and wary of the city's crazy development, which occurred hand in hand with increased political control. So in May of 2013 the park was occupied in protest of its development, and all the development bulldozing people's right to freedom of expression along with the urban space. About mid way through the occupation, a group of protesters sang this tune from Les Mis for the benefit of the BBC (see it here https://youtu.be/KGt0fsyTnRs). Unfortunately for Istanbul, and for Turkey at large, the Taksim protests turned out to have more in common with June Rebellion of 1832 as portrayed by Victor Hugo than anyone could have wished.

Aynur :: "Keça Kurdan"

Some folks say they don't like political art, whatever that means. But take this song by Aynur, ‘Kurdish Girl.' Simply by singing it in her native language, the song was treated by the Turkish government as a recruiting tool for the Kurdish separatists. The song was banned in the Kurdish regions of Turkey for a year. Listening to it is an act of defiance, a small one. I include it as the penultimate track as a way to foreshadow the novel's final turn, where the alienation and aesthetics of expatriatism melt away.

Selda :: "Dostum Dostum"

It's hard for me to write about this song, such that it could replace this entire playlist, or my entire book. It's a song of friendship and loss, written by the Alevi poet Pir Sultan Abdal in the Sixteenth-Century. A friend of mine in Istanbul would sing it after long evenings of drinking Rakı, the Bosporus flowing silently just out of sight. Here it is sung by the unmatched Selda Bağcan, condemned by the post-1980-coup government in Turkey to 500 years in prison for her political songs. To me it evokes all these things at once: friendship, loss, history, the politics of resistance, and ultimately the feeling of being in Istanbul. If my novel could do half that for my readers, I'd count it a success.

Bonus Track—Baba Zula and Brenna MacCrimmon :: "Cecom"



This version isn't on Spotify, which is a great excuse to watch it on Youtube. This is the last scene of the Fatih Akin's great Istanbul music documentary Crossing the Bridge: the Sound of Istanbul. The song is the perfect expression of the setting, a boat set in the middle of the Bosporus with the sun in the west. One lyric translates as "I would be a seagull," which is the perspective every Istanbullu wishes for. To take in the whole of the city's beauty from the air. Humans will have to settle for Akin's helicopter shots, which do a great job of showing the place off.


Nicholas Bredie and Not Constantinople links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


Shorties (Summer Reading Recommendations, The Continued Relevance of Radiohead's OK Computer Album, and more)

ELLE, the Village Voice, Iowa Public Radio, and the Irish Times recommended summer reading.


Salon examined the continued relevance of Radiohead's OK Computer album.


Emma Straub discussed books and food with Grub Street.


Rolling Stone, Paste and CBS This Morning profiled singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.


Beth Ditto discussed her new album Fake Sugar with Weekend Edition.


The Independent listed the best recently published short story collections.


PopMatters profiled the band The Drums.


Emma Cline discussed her favorite books set in California at The Week.


Paste profiled singer-songwriter Steve Earle.


NYLON talked comics with Margaret Atwood.


Salon interviewed Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz.


Electric Literature interviewed author Juliet Escoria.


Tiger Jaw played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The Rumpus interviewed author Tony Tulathimutte.


Noisey interviewed singer-songwriter Marika Hackman.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Eugene Lim's novel Dear Cyborgs.


BrooklynVegan listed the 50 best psychedelic rock albums of 1967.


BOMB features new short fiction by Sara Novic.


The Record and CLRVYNT interviewed the band Algiers.


Book Riot recommended literary graphic novel adaptations.


Stream a new song by Mark Kozelek and Sean Yeaton.


The New Yorker interviewed Andrew Sean Greer about his story in this week's issue.


Paste listed Jonny Greenwood's best film scores.


Literary Hub features an excerpt from Yuri Herrera’s novel Kingdom Cons.


Steam Mutual Benefit's Vashti Bunyan cover.


Writers remembered Denis Johnson at Longreads.


Noisey is streaming the new Lost Balloons album.


eBooks on sale for $0.99 today:

A Father's Law by Richard Wright
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Across the Bridge by Mavis Gallant
Blind Ambition by John W. Dean
Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay
The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman
Finks by Joel Whitney
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
The Hippest Trip in America by Nelson George
History by Elsa Morante
Insurrections of the Mind by Franklin Foer
The Humans by Matt Haig
Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford
The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown
The Memory Place by Mira Bartok
Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
My Cross To Bear by Gregg Allman
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Pavilion of Women by Pearl Buck
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carole Oates

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Back to Blood by Thomas Wolfe
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Frog Music by Emma Donohue
The Group, The Company She Keeps, and Birds of America: Three Novels in One Collection by Mary McCarthy
Jackie Under My Skin by Wane Koestenbaum
Land's End by Michael Cunningham

eBooks on sale for $3.99 today:

And the Band Played on by Randy Shilts
Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


June 18, 2017

Atomic Books Comics Preview - June 18, 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.


Ripple: A Predilection For Tina

Ripple: A Predilection For Tina
by Dave Cooper

As a publisher, Fantagraphics is no stranger to putting out great comics. And this new hardcover edition of Dave Cooper's Ripple is yet another comics art masterpiece that belongs on the shelf of greatest graphic novels. It is essentially the story of an artist and his muse - but it explores that thin line between repulsion and attraction and the eroticization of homeliness. Plus, Cooper's art is uniquely magnificent.


Shit And Piss

Shit And Piss
by Tyler Landry

For a graphic novel taking place in a sewage treatment plant and the creatures that exist within it, I can't think of a more fitting name. Landry's grosso art is terrific.


Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus Plus

Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus Plus
by Shannon Wheeler

Too Much Coffee Man is a stressed anti-hero. This sturdy omnibus collects the hilarious and odd antics of Wheeler's genius creation. For those unfamiliar, Too Much Coffee Man belongs in a oddball hero hall of fame alongside The Tick, Flaming Carrot, and Tank Girl.


Vague Tales

Vague Tales
by Eric Haven

Haven's stories are darkly absurd. His linework is beautifully bold and classically precise. And his stories are engagingly fantastic. This book is his long-awaited graphic novel debut.


You're Garbage Fired!

You're Garbage Fired!
by Adam Meuse

We're all working through this Trump mess in our own way. Here, Sad Animals cartoonist Meuse offers some insights to accompany his portraits of Trump and his cabinet. In a word, "cathartic."


This Is Revolting

This Is Revolting
curated by Allison Cekala

In the aftermath of the November election, Cekala made an open call for art exhibition. This full color collection of work encapsulates what many of the artists were and have been feeling. The title says it all.


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)


June 16, 2017

Book Notes - Nick White "How to Survive a Summer"

How to Survive a Summer

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.

Nick White's novel How to Survive a Summer is a timely and moving debut about growing up gay in the deep South.

The Washington Post wrote of the novel:

"Packed with story and drama … If Tennessee Williams’s 'Suddenly Last Summer' could be transposed to the 21st-century South, where queer liberation co-exists alongside the stubborn remains of fire and brimstone, it might read something like this juicy, moving hot mess of a novel."


In his own words, here is Nick White's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel How to Survive a Summer:



How to Survive a Summer centers around teenager Will Dillard's experience at a sleep-away camp in Mississippi hellbent on "curing" him of his same-sex desires. But it is also about this character's attempt in his adult life to face this traumatic experience and try to, in some way, work through it—forgiving the people who harmed him. As scenes from his childhood and the camp begin to resurface in his mind, he embarks on the long journey home to the Delta and, then, to the remains of the camp, itself, where he finds more than just memories waiting for him in the woods. Music is a necessary part in this story. Mother Maude, one of the founders of the camp, is a failed gospel singer, and it his her rendition of "Beulah Land" that jars Will back into his past. Throughout the book, there are other references to hymns, country music, folksy singer-songwriters, and Tina Turner (more on her later), and many of them find there way onto this playlist. I imagine many of these songs would have been on Will's iPod (as they are on mine).


"GRACELAND" by Paul Simon

This title track from Simon's 1986 album has always held a special place in my heart for its masterful use of simile and whimsy to describe a part of the world I know very well. I first became enamored with Simon's music when my mother introduced me to Mike Nichol's classic The Graduate. The movie was the first VHS my family owned, and at twelve, I watched it repeatedly, swept up in the sumptuous melodies Simon and Garfunkel provided for the soundtrack, and only halfway paid attention to the film's plot—something about love triangle with the lady from The Miracle Worker and that cute guy from Tootsie? Anyway, it wasn't until my early twenties that a friend of mind added this song to a mixed CD he'd made for me. I was leaving Mississippi for graduate school in Ohio, and my friend said that "Graceland" was at the perfect road-trip song. He was right. "Graceland" is about, among other things, a rueful pilgrimage to Elvis Presley's famous mansion. The first line immediately captures place and tone: "The Mississippi Delta is shining like a National Guitar." I love this image so much, and when I hear it, I think home and feel all the requisite emotions of happiness and gloom that come with longing for a place that no longer exists, or perhaps never existed at all. When I was drafting the novel, I would often take walking breaks, and this song was one that always seemed to put be back in the right headspace for evoking a geography where I no longer live.

"WHEN THE MASTER CALLS THE ROLL" by Rosanne Cash

Gospel plays an important role in the novel. The song "Beulah Land" is what first beckons Will back to the past. His aunt is a failed gospel singer, and her voice twined with this music have a profound affect on him. While not gospel, this song by Cash has the ethos of one: I've often thought of it as secular gospel/country ballad. The song tells of two lovers who come together when a woman puts an add in the paper, requesting a husband with "disposition sunny." Their relationship is cut short by the Civil War, and when they wonder if "this union can be preserved," we see at once the conflation of their romance with that of the fate of the country during one of its darkest hours. There's a certain cry in Cash's voice that I have always responded to, which you can trace all the way back to her biggest hit, "The Seven-Year Ache." "When the Master Calls the Roll" is one of my favorite tracks from The River & the Thread, which is, for my money, the best country album of the past ten years. Cash is so adept vocally at interpreting the drama of this ballad, and in the last moments, she is able to sound almost surprised by the sad outcome of this song, even if it may seem inevitable to us.

"HALLEY CAME TO JACKSON" by Mary Chapin Carpenter

From Carpenter's third album, Shooting Straight in the Dark, this song seems to be loosely-inspired by the closing passage in Eudora Welty's novel Delta Wedding. "Late one night when the wind was still," the song begins, "Daddy brought the baby to windowsill." As with Welty's fiction, I've long been in love with this bluegrass lullaby for its ability to capture place. Not much happens here: the Halley Comet is passing through, and a family in Jackson stands outside on the front porch to watch the fiery brilliance cut across the night sky. But the combination of guitar and fiddle, along with the whispery cadences of Carpenter, works to make this song into a lovely meditation. There's a delicacy here that deserves to be savored. "Halley Came to Jackson" is a celebration of family and tradition, and for those of us who are often cast out of these spaces for being different, this song becomes a necessary balm to a troubled spirit.

"Almost Home" by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Once upon a time, I drove to a winery in Kentucky to hear Carpenter perform. It was just her, a guitar, and moonlight. She was spectacular, giving life to her big hits "Passionate Kisses" and "I Feel Lucky," but it was this song that left the biggest impression on me. Surrounded by mostly lesbians in the finest denim wear on this side of Mississippi, I lifted my arms and swayed to and fro without shame for the big country sissy that I was (and still am). No one in country music sings more joyfully about no longer caring about what other people think than Carpenter does. For most of us queer people, this journey to acceptance is long and fraught, but once we get there, the happiness is real and earned. For me, this song captures that ecstatic feeling of no long giving a fuck.

"YOU'VE GOT A LOVER" by Ricky Skaggs

I doubt Ricky Skaggs will ever read this, but if HE does, he will perhaps take umbrage with my queer interpretation of this song. But, Ricky, there's so much in the lyrics that leads me here: the mysterious gender of the the "you" in the song, the use of the term "lover," the reference to clubs. Country music is changing, and there have been, here and there, queer country artists, and I think this particular song is ripe for covering by one of them. But until that sweet day, I must live with this version, and Skaggs, with his twangy sweetness, doesn't disappoint. Oh, the joys of cruising in Music City! Cowboys have always been a pet sin of mine. And I don't hold it against Mr. Skaggs that he is straight. Nobody's perfect.

"TILL I CAN MAKE IT ON MY OWN" by Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette has often been referred to as the First Lady of Country Music, and it is easy to see why with gems like this one in her catalogue. A good country song, according to me, can provide the listener with the catharsis of wallowing in one's own heartbreak. If How to Survive a Summer is ever made into a musical (a boy can dream), then I imagine Will would sing something like this about midway through the book, when Zeus has stopped returning his calls. Tammy left us too soon, but when I hear this one, I am able to conjure in my mind's eye the big wigs, the sequins, the splashy makeup. And underneath all that fuss, this woman who makes being an ex-partner's doormat anything but pathetic—nay, she retains her dignity throughout.

"I MIGHT HAVE BEEN QUEEN" by Tina Turner

Recently, someone asked me what made a queer icon, and I admitted that I didn't know—as with queerness, itself, the taxonomy for our queer role models resists classification. But if forced to give one enduring thread that runs through many of them—your Judys and Barbaras and Dianas—I would have to say that they are all great survivors. For me, Tina been my guiding light. In high school, I first read her memoir I, Tina, which in addition to telling the abuse she suffered at the hands of her then husband Ike, also details her beliefs in buddhism, in particular reincarnation. This song, the first track on her landmark Private Dancer record, details that belief of have a soul strong enough to endure all the ages of man. The sound of this track seems influenced by the power ballads of 1980s, but about two-thirds into the song, the beat pauses unexpectedly, and Turner, in her trademark rasp, wails that she is a "soul survivor." This is a battlecry, and I swoon each time I hear it.

"A LESSON IN LEAVIN'" BY Dottie West

At Camp Levi, the boys first semi-bond over their knowledge of Dottie West, and if you don't know much about her, then this is perhaps the best song to begin your education. Unlike Wynette's aforementioned song, West's "A Lesson in Leavin'" is a spunky clap-back to the man who did you wrong. West is cheering on the effects of karma, for she knows, sooner or later, this heartbreaker of hers will get his comeuppance. In heartbreak, a good rule of thumb: you'll want to listen to Wynette when you are still in love with him, and West when you're ready to kick his ass. Also, if you have never watched the TV movie about her life, Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: the Dottie West Story, starring Knots Landing diva Michelle Lee, then treat yourself. Featuring cameos from the likes of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rodgers, her longtime duet partner, this movie will give you a good idea about the wild and messy life of this one of a kind country music maven.

"WALKING IN MEMPHIS" by Cher

Speaking of queer icons, Cher has been a fixture in popular culture since the 1960s, and her version of this song was never one of her hits, but I love it nonetheless. A good chunk of one chapter in my book happens in Memphis, and no song captures that city as well as this one does. Also, for a good time, I suggest you go to YouTube right now and watch her music video for this track. In it, Cher is dressed in Elvis boy drag, and I am here all day for that. Yes, ma'am.

"CLOSER TO FINE" by Indigo Girls

Again, in my dreams, I sometimes think of my book as a musical, a dark musical with slasher flicks and evil conversion therapy, but a musical still, and like to picture the sort of songs the characters would sing to one another. This classic queer anthem by the Indigo Girls would make a nice finale piece for Zeus and Will to sing to one another. The book, I think, supports this notion that telling our stories can be healing for the person who is telling the story because it pushes him to making sense of what happened. The novel ends with a hopeful note, that Zeus and the narrator spend their nights, before sleep takes them, telling each other stories from their lives. There comes a kind of strong intimacy with these tellings, along with—I hope—healing too.


Nick White and How to Survive a Summer links:

the author's website

Publishers Weekly review
Washington Post review

Jackson Free Press profile of the author
NewNowNext interview with the author
Reading Glasses interview with the author
Rolling Stone profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


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

Jason Isbell

Beth Ditto's Fake Sugar, Jason Isbell's The Nashville Sound, Palehound's A Place I’ll Always Go, and Ride's Weather Diaries are all new albums I can recommend this week.

Fleet Foxes' Crack-Up and Steve Earle's So You Wannabe An Outlaw are also available today.

Archival recordings include David Bowie's Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74).

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


This week's interesting music releases:

2 Chainz: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
Alex Chilton: Take Me Home and Make Me Like It [vinyl]
Alice Coltrane: Turiyasangitananda [vinyl]
Alison Moyet: Other
Arbouretum: Rites of Uncovering (reissue) [vinyl]
Arcadea: Arcadea
Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Louie Louie Louie
Big Star: The Best of Big Star
Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard (remastered) [vinyl]
Bob Seger: Transmission Impossible
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: Leonard/Carolyn [vinyl]
Broadside: Paradise
Can: The Singles
Carter Family: American Epic: The Best of the Carter Family [vinyl]
Chain and the Gang: Best of Crime Rock
Cheap Trick: We're All Alright
CHON: Homey
CKY: The Phoenix
Com Truise: Iteration
Danzig: Black Laden Crown [vinyl]
David Bowie: Be My Wife (40th Anniversary) (reissue) [vinyl]
David Bowie: Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74)
Depeche Mode: Songs Of Faith And Devotion (reissue)
Depeche Mode: Ultra (reissue)
Depeche Mode: Violator (reissue)
DJ Khaled: We Global
DJ Orange Julius: The Grove
The Drums: Abysmal Thoughts
Dustbowl Revival: Dustbowl Revival
Flaming Lips: The Flaming Lips Onboard the International Space Station Concert for Peace [vinyl]
Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up
Goldie: The Journey Man
Gretchen Wilson: Ready To Get Rowdy
Hundredth: Rare
Iced Earth: Incorruptible
Igorrr: Savage Sinusoid
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit: The Nashville Sound
Jason Loewenstein: Spooky Action
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: On The Echoing Green
Jimmy Cliff: Best Of Jimmy Cliff [vinyl]
Kevin Morby: City Music
King Crimson: The Elements Tour Box 2017
The Life and Times: The Life and Times [vinyl]
London Grammar: Truth Is a Beautiful Thing
Lorde: Melodrama
Matthew Sweet: Tomorrow Forever
Memphis Jug Band: American Epic: The Best of Memphis Jug Band [vinyl]
Mississippi John Hurt: American Epic: The Best of Mississippi John Hurt [vinyl]
Moby & The Void Pacific Choir: More Fast Songs About The Apocalypse
Nickelback: Feed The Machine
Palehound: A Place I’ll Always Go
Porcupine Tree: On The Sunday Of Life (reissue) [vinyl]
Portugal. The Man: Woodstock
Ride: Weather Diaries
Rolling Stones: Ladies & Gentlemen
Rolling Stones: Some Girls: Live In Texas '78
Rolling Stones & Muddy Waters: Live At The Checkerboard Lounge
Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark?
Royal Trux: Platinum Tips And Ice Cream
Sammy Brue: I Am Nice
Spinto Band: Nice And Nicely Done (reissue) [vinyl]
Steve Earle: So You Wannabe An Outlaw
Styx: The Mission
Sun Kil Moon: Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood [vinyl]
Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
Thin Lizzy: Collected [vinyl]
Tindersticks: Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith [vinyl]
Tombs: The Grand Annihilation
Various Artists: American Epic: The Best of Blues [vinyl]
Various Artists: American Epic: The Best of Country [vinyl]
Various Artists: Boombox 2: Early Independent Hip Hop Electro Disco Rap: 1979-1983
Various Artists: Music from The American Epic Sessions [vinyl]
Various Artists: Red Hot: A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records
Wendy & Lisa: Eroica: Special Edition
Young Thug: Beautiful Thugger Girls


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

weekly music release lists

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)
Shorties (daily book and music news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


Shorties (Margaret Atwood on Season One of The Handmaid's Tale, An Oral History of Radiohead's OK Computer, and more)

Margaret Atwood annotated each episode of season one of The Handmaid's Tale at the New York Times.


Rolling Stone shared an oral history of Radiohead's OK Computer album.


Paste interviewed Gabe Habash about his impressive debut novel Stephen Florida.


Musician Thomas Dolby discussed his favorite books at the Daily Express.


Signature recommended soccer books.


Stream a new song by Maneater.


Poets & Writers interviewed author Victor LaValle.


Stream a new song by the Clientele.


Signature recommended books with fierce female protagonists.


Stereogum interviewed Keigo Oyamada, aka Cornelius.


The Rumpus interviewed author Sarah Gerard.


Stream a new Arcade Fire song.


The Los Angeles Review of Books podcast interviewed author Amelia Gray.


Independent Weekly profiled singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.


The Guardian examined the books inspired by Twin Peaks.


Stream a new Baio song.


Beth Ditto discussed her new album with Paste.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed poet and translator Robin Myers.


Stream Shelby Lynne and Alison Moorer's cover of Bob Dylan's "Not Dark Yet."


Electric Literature features new short fiction by Elizabeth Crane.


Alison Moyet broke down her new album Other track-by-track at Drowned in Sound.


The Paris Review interviewed author Percival Everett.


Stream a new Mudhoney song.


LitReactor interviewed author MP Johnson.


Kevin Morby broke down his new album City Music track-by-track at All Songs Considered.


eBooks on sale for $0.99 today:

A Father's Law by Richard Wright
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Across the Bridge by Mavis Gallant
Blind Ambition by John W. Dean
Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay
The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman
Finks by Joel Whitney
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
The Hippest Trip in America by Nelson George
History by Elsa Morante
Insurrections of the Mind by Franklin Foer
The Humans by Matt Haig
Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford
The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown
The Memory Place by Mira Bartok
Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
My Cross To Bear by Gregg Allman
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Pavilion of Women by Pearl Buck
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carole Oates

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Back to Blood by Thomas Wolfe
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Frog Music by Emma Donohue
The Group, The Company She Keeps, and Birds of America: Three Novels in One Collection by Mary McCarthy
Jackie Under My Skin by Wane Koestenbaum
Land's End by Michael Cunningham

eBooks on sale for $3.99 today:

And the Band Played on by Randy Shilts
Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


June 15, 2017

Book Notes - Paul Cohen "The Glamshack"

The Glamshack

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.

Paul Cohen's novel The Glamshack is an inventive and intense debut.

Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book:

"In his debut novel, Cohen manages the impressive feat of memorably documenting obsession without surrendering to it."


In his own words, here is Paul Cohen's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel The Glamshack:



Once, bloodied by love and money, I lived in a borrowed pool house on a mountainside estate in California. It was an El Nino year, hard rain day in and day out. Heat came from a wood stove and all the wood was wet. Oak leaves floating on the rain-puckered pool struck me as a painfully lonely sight. Outside my windows at night, coyotes clicked their bunny-stained canines. I found refuge in writing, and running and listening to music, all of which I did in a fever, and wound up with The Glamshack.

Writing and running's rhythmic friction generated the first draft. Music, particularly jazz, helped shape it. That slow, steady, mad, rapturous build I didn't know I was after was revealed by music. So was the eerie ability—on the part of both Henry and Her--to hold incompatible truths. How so-called foreign elements can amplify and clarify. The way the world, in darkness, coughs up its own essence. That beauty is breath.


Pat Metheny, "Are You Going with Me (with Maria Jopek)"

In a café, She places a flower in a plastic cup on his table, and sits down. Her smile is an event. Her hardhoney thighs, shy lioness eyes. A table opens and She removes Herself, no hint of misgiving. She's reading a scholarly book on the mind and motivation of the torturer. So he later learns. So it begins. Sweetly, softly. In the too-bright distance, thunderclouds. Faintly he hears their bass-tones, feels their prick. Or is that Her, or him, or them? They've melded like claythings, like he's always dreamed. Is it a problem that he no longer recognizes himself? Silly Henry, into the storm, that drenching booming shrieking beast, no relation to the flower in the cup. Her smile, as they are washed away, is an event.

Dire Straits,"On Every Street"

Brokenhearted, southbound, on Mexico's Baja peninsula, the ocean a thousand feet below, everywhere the setting sun. At the wheel of his '68 baby blue Cadillac convertible, my six-four 300-pound best friend. We met in 2nd grade, at the school bus stop, when he discreetly alerted me to the fact that my shoes were on the wrong feet. In the decades since, I have decided he retied them. I passed him the tequila. He drank while slipping in a CD. On every street, the slurry-voiced lover searches for Her. Where most songs begin their fade, a muscular, plaintive build kicked in. “Turn it off,” I said, reaching for the bottle. My friend pressed Pause. The crimson Pacific drained to green. To black. I drank, and hit Play.

Pat Metheny, "Offramp"

Mention The Unbearable Lightness of Being to Henry before May 3, 1999 and he may envision fine women, cushioned seats in the dark, ringed fingers grazing his thigh, unexplained turbulence in the chest. After that date the unbearable lightness manifests as a hawk's talons sunk into selfsame chest, the terrible bird lifting him into a fogged expanse bearing a wire-attached tag that reads, White Sky. Below, crimped to a retreating tree, another tag reads Growing. Once composed of God Particles (as the physicists say), the world now runs on bits of madness.

Mention The Purple Bloom of New Orleans to Her before May 15, 1999, and She'll see madness bits everywhere except inside that 700 sq. ft. Love Nest She shares with the fiancé. After that date, the bits—moving as a purple bloom-- infect even the Love Nest. For the first time since Dad's demons alighted on Her, She is not Her own conductor. She finds Herself striding New Orleans at night in monster truck boots and a breakaway miniskirt. Backstreet darkness, like inky hair, leaves its mark on flesh. Back at the Love Nest, Her fiancé sits on the floor, exploded. Yellow petals in his lap. Time lies in shards. Hello, Henry?

Weather Report, "A Remark You Made"

Henry thinks he's mastered the trick of hearing only what he wants to hear. He's wrong. Often he travels to understanding's underworld. Once, standing in plants, She takes one particularly lovely plant in Her no-nonsense fingers and tells him it only blooms every third year, which would be next year, and says, “Promise me you'll visit then,” and he hears, “Promise me we'll visit then,” and all the while he's burrowing through blackrock tunnels, into vast chambers lit with dust angels, past corridors riven with seams of emerald and coal, searching for the deepspot from which all hope of return to light is futile.

Amos Lee, "Windows Are Rolled Down" (Live at Red Rocks with Colorado Symphony)

Day 12. With sun in his throat Henry looks down upon brass buttons imprinted with eagles ripped from their moorings, a squaw's grieving finger, bloody Ghost Shirts imprinted with thunderbirds, blue marble on white snow, world's most perfect fist, and into this carnage She pilots one-handed Her slick convertible, skips with lit cigarette past Henry's borrowed pool, dodges the shot from the robot that lives at the bottom, and onto the Glamshack's porch She sprawls in pieces--hardhoney thighs and snaketaut belly and brutish pores and orange toes and big toe drawing, redrawing, . . . S.


Paul Cohen and The Glamshack links:

the author's website

Heavy Feather Review review
Kirkus Reviews review
Shelf Stalker review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


Shorties (David Grossman Awarded the Man Booker International Prize, A List of Essential Shoegaze Tracks, and more)

David Grossman has been awarded the Man Booker International prize for his novel, A Horse Walks Into a Bar.


Stereogum recommended essential shoegaze tracks.


David Sedaris discussed books and authors that have inspired him at the CBC.


Stream RIPS' debut album.


Book Riot listed the best audiobooks of 2017 so far.


Stream a new Sad13 song.


Don Lee on novel writing at Literary Hub.


Stream a new Julia Jacklin song.


Jillian Cantor talked to CarolineLeavittville about her new novel The Lost Letter.


Stream a new See Through Dresses song.


VICE interviewed author Souad Mekhennet.


The Nashville Scene and Morning Edition profiled singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.


Signature interviewed author Victor LaValle.


Nick White discussed his novel How to Survive a Summer with Rolling Stone.


Book Riot recommended June's best small press books.


+972 shared Ala Hlele's essay from the anthology Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation.


SPIN listed the top emo revival albums.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed poet Tommy Pico.


Stream a new Frankie Rose song.


Janet Capron talked to Playboy about her new book Blue Money.


Paste profiled singer-songwriter Kevin Morby.


Remezcla recommended books by Latino & LatAm authors for summer reading.


Stream a new song by the Fresh & Onlys.


Civil Coping Mechanisms interviewed author Scott Esposito.


Ani DiFranco visited Paste for an interview and live performance.


Sarah Perry talked to All Things Considered about her novel The Essex Serpent.


Stream a previously unreleased Beach House song.


Wyoming Public Radio interviewed author Nina McConigley.


Forbes on the new musical inspired by Alanis Morissette's album Jagged Little Pill.


BuzzFeed shared an excerpt from Jeremy McCarter's book Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals.


Stream a new Chelsea Wolfe song.


eBooks on sale for $0.99 today:

A Father's Law by Richard Wright
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Across the Bridge by Mavis Gallant
Blind Ambition by John W. Dean
Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay
The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman
Finks by Joel Whitney
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
The Hippest Trip in America by Nelson George
History by Elsa Morante
Insurrections of the Mind by Franklin Foer
The Humans by Matt Haig
Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford
The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown
The Memory Place by Mira Bartok
Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
My Cross To Bear by Gregg Allman
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Pavilion of Women by Pearl Buck
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carole Oates

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Back to Blood by Thomas Wolfe
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Frog Music by Emma Donohue
The Group, The Company She Keeps, and Birds of America: Three Novels in One Collection by Mary McCarthy
Jackie Under My Skin by Wane Koestenbaum
Land's End by Michael Cunningham

eBooks on sale for $3.99 today:

And the Band Played on by Randy Shilts
Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


June 14, 2017

Book Notes - Don Lee "Lonesome Lies Before Us"

Lonesome Lies Before Us

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.

Don Lee's novel Lonesome Lies Before Us lyrically examines the intersections of heartbreak and art.

The Washington Post wrote of the book:

"If Lonesome Lies Before Us isn’t the best American novel of the year, it’s one of the most American American novels. It's intensely concerned with the civic institutions that shape everyday lives, and with who’s affected when they disappear. That's too much weight for the average country song to bear, but Lee’s novel carries it just fine."


In his own words, here is Don Lee's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Lonesome Lies Before Us:



My new novel, Lonesome Lies Before Us, is about an alt-country singer-songwriter who never quite made it. He's now working as a carpet layer in a small California town called Rosarita Bay. He's losing his hearing to Ménière's disease, and he wants to self-release one last album.

I listen to a lot of alt-country music in general (referred to these days as Americana or roots), and while I wrote the novel, I had music playing in continuous rotation—mostly albums by men, as I was looking for models and inspiration for my protagonist.


"Just to Know What You've been Dreaming" by Will Johnson

Will Johnson was the frontman for the band Centro-matic, and is mostly playing solo now. His latest album is Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm. The solo acoustic version of this song—filled with yearning and melancholy—is the reason why I ended up approaching Johnson for help with the lyrics of the songs in the book. I cold-emailed him, not really expecting that he would respond. I was thrilled when he did. I was even more delighted with what he did with the book's songs.

"What's Up Is Down" by Doug Paisley

This is a knockout of a song that features The Band's Garth Hudson playing the piano, but I think what I admire most is Doug Paisley's clear, fluid acoustic guitar playing. He has sort of a bluegrass flatpicking technique, and plays a 1954 Martin D-28 that's left-handed, which is rare to find.

"Me Wanting You" by John Fullbright

Here's another really good acoustic guitar player (I think he plays a Martin D-18), John Fullbright. He uses a thumbpick, interestingly. He's 29 now but still looks like a baby. He's from a little town in Oklahoma called Bearden with less than 150 residents, and its only claim to fame is its proximity to Okemah, Woody Guthrie's birthplace. There's a lot Guthrie's populism in Fullbright's songs.

"Love Don't Let Me Down" by Hayes Carll

I love the acoustic version of this song that Hayes Carll performs as a duet with his girlfriend, Allison Moorer. Everything about Carll—his looks, his voice—says weary. The song's from his album Lovers and Leavers, produced by Joe Henry.

"Cherokee" by John Moreland

John Moreland's another Oklahoma singer-songwriter who plays a Martin (000-18). He's got a deep boomer of a voice. How can you not love a guy who says about his first album: "When I was writing that record, I was like, 'I want to wreck people. I'm going to make all these motherfuckers cry.' "

"Watch Over Us" by The Lone Bellow

This band sounds like they're from the South, but they're from Brooklyn. I love the trio's harmonies, especially in this song, a gut-wrencher. They ask themselves a good question during their songwriting process: "Is this going to be worth singing every night?"

"Clover Tune" by Mandolin Orange

The duo of Andrew Marlin (guitar, mandolin) and Emily Frantz (violin, guitar) was formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 2009, and they've produced four standout albums, the most ambitious being a double LP called Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger, on which "Clover Tune" appears. Their music has a bluegrass tilt to it, and it's extremely listenable.

"Mutineer" by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

After leaving the Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell has established a stellar solo career, with three solid albums in row. This song, though, appears on a digital-only two-song EP, Sea Songs, featuring covers of Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers" and Warren Zevon's "Mutineer." Instead of with his band, the 400 Unit, Isbell is accompanied only by his wife, Amanda Shires, on vocals and fiddle, and the result is intimate and romantic.

"Hold On Magnolia" by Songs: Ohia

This is a traditional gospel song, but oh, man, does Jason Molina put some hurt in it, making it one of the saddest, heartfelt things I've ever heard. Of course the tragedy of Molina's life, dying at 39 of alcohol abuse–related organ failure, colors everything about his music now.

"Inn Town" by Whiskeytown

Uncle Tupelo is widely credited as the progenitor of alt-country, but I think Whiskeytown, which Ryan Adams formed in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1994, was equally influential. The band released three albums together, and Strangers Almanac was as brilliant as they come. My novel arose largely because I read that Adams had contracted Ménière's disease and had believed for a couple of years that he'd have to quit music altogether.


Don Lee and Lonesome Lies Before Us links:

excerpt from the book
video trailer for the book

Kirkus Reviews review
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review
Paste review
Shelf Awareness review
Washington Post review

Booklist interview with the author
Interview magazine interview with the author
Narrative interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


Shorties (Tracy K. Smith Named U.S. Poet Laureate, Beth Ditto on Her Favorite Albums, and more)

Tracy K. Smith has been named U.S. Poet Laureate.


Beth Ditto discussed her favorite albums at The Quietus.


The Black Aether interviewed author Victor LaValle about his new novel The Changeling.


Daniel Wolff discussed his book Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913 with Paste.


The Brooklyn Rail interviewed author Paul Auster.


Stream a new Chris Forsyth song.


Julia Fierro discussed her new novel The Gypsy Moth Summer with the Chicago Review of Books.


The 2017 longlist for Canada's Polaris Music Prize has been announced.


Laurie Penny examined the present state of science fiction at the Guardian.

"I happen to think the very best books being published now are by science fiction writers who happen to be women."


Austra covered Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth."


Bookworm interviewed author Yiyun Li.


Lizzy Goodman discussed her book Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 with Rolling Stone.


Signature recommended books to understand Cuba.


Stream a new Kevin Morby song.


Who should write the books inspired by the television series Black Mirror?


Stream a new song by Amy O.


Literary Hub recommended works of "labrynthine literature."


Rolling Stone interviewed singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle.


The Rumpus interviewed author Jess Arndt.


Stream a new song by SOAR.


The Lambda Literary Award winners have been announced.


Stream a new Exit Someone song.


The Academy of New Zealand Literature recommended books by Maori and Pasifika writers.


Stream a new song by the Horrors.


The New Yorker shared an excerpt from Teju Cole's new book Blind Spot.


Baeble interviewed members of the band Warpaint.


Paste interviewed cartoonist Simon Hanselmann.


Stream a new Lee Ranaldo song.


The Guardian recommended modern epistolary novels.


Michael Chabon on the band Carsickness.


The CBC interviewed author Scaachi Koul.


eBooks on sale for $0.99 today:

A Father's Law by Richard Wright
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Across the Bridge by Mavis Gallant
Blind Ambition by John W. Dean
Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay
The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman
Finks by Joel Whitney
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
The Hippest Trip in America by Nelson George
History by Elsa Morante
Insurrections of the Mind by Franklin Foer
The Humans by Matt Haig
Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford
The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown
The Memory Place by Mira Bartok
Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
My Cross To Bear by Gregg Allman
Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Pavilion of Women by Pearl Buck
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
A Widow's Story by Joyce Carole Oates

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Back to Blood by Thomas Wolfe
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Frog Music by Emma Donohue
The Group, The Company She Keeps, and Birds of America: Three Novels in One Collection by Mary McCarthy
Jackie Under My Skin by Wane Koestenbaum
Land's End by Michael Cunningham

eBooks on sale for $3.99 today:

And the Band Played on by Randy Shilts
Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


Google
  Web largeheartedboy.com   


1 | older