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January 17, 2020

Jessica Andrews' Playlist for Her Debut Novel "Saltwater"

Saltwater

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Roxane Gay, and many others.

Jessica Andrews’ novel Saltwater is an audacious debut, an inventively told and intimate coming-of-age story.

The Independent wrote of the book:

"Jessica Andrews’ debut novel shimmers with promise: it’s one of those books where, from the first pages, you’re grabbed by a distinctive new voice."


In her own words, here is Jessica Andrews' Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Saltwater:



Growing up in Sunderland in the late '90s and early '00s, music was my gateway to art and culture. My parents weren’t big readers and people didn’t talk about literature very often, but music was everywhere. My mother was proud that I knew the lyrics to every song on Definitely Maybe by Oasis when the other kids at school were singing nursery rhymes.

When I was a teenager, music was my escape. Lots of boys (always boys) at school were in bands and we spent our weekends getting drunk at their gigs in working men’s clubs, dancing on the tables and snogging outside in the churchyard. I used to read Kerrang! and the NME, and if the bands inside name-checked artists or musicians, I would look them up.

Saltwater is a non-chronological novel and I used music as markers to locate it in a particular time and place.


Music in Saltwater:


20th Century Boy by T-Rex

Before I started writing Saltwater, I found a box of my mother’s old records in her garage. She had a lot of T-Rex, The Undertones and Depeche Mode. She told me she used to listen to Marc Bolan when she was going out. I loved imagining her getting ready, hairspraying her curly perm and dancing to "20th Century Boy," just like I did to her record, many years later. I used the image of her getting ready to T-Rex in my novel, because it felt like a shared strand of joy running through both of our lives.


The Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys

Saltwater is based on my parents’ relationship, and I asked my mother what songs came out around the time they met, so I could use them in my book. She said "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys was one of their songs, which breaks my heart. My parents had an intense, heady relationship but split up due to my dad’s alcoholism. It is such a tragic love story and I feel like this song encapsulates those feelings. It is about two people with different perspectives on the world; how they move through their lives separately, wanting different things.

I was living in Ireland when I was writing my novel, and this song often came on in the pub. It seemed strange to me that I was spending my days writing about this very '80s world, listening to that song often, and there it was, in my present. My protagonist, Lucy, has a relationship with a man in Ireland, in a mirroring of her mother’s past, and I wrote a scene where it is playing in the pub when she is out with the man, to illustrate the parallels and differences in Lucy and her mother’s lives.


Old Red Eyes is Back by The Beautiful South

Lucy’s dad loves The Beautiful South – as does my own father. When I was a child, he used to drive around Sunderland with his windows down, blasting this song, and we used to scream it out of the window together. Now that I am older, I realise my dad was singing it about himself.


Half the World Away by Oasis

Like my own mother, Lucy’s mam is proud when she sings Oasis songs at nursery, ‘while the other kids sang ditties about sheep and lambs.’ The Gallagher brothers were the first poets I knew and there’s such a sense of nostalgia in their music for me; the hopes and broken dreams of the north of England in the '90s, which became mapped onto my parents’ relationship.

When I was 18, I went to see Oasis play in Aberdeen and it felt like the culmination of lots of broken, precarious things I didn’t fully understand; the de-industrialisation of the city I grew up in and the love that my parents lost. I love the line, ‘You can’t give me the dreams that are mine anyway’. In a way, it captures how I feel about Sunderland in all of its complexities; the beauty and the sadness, how badly I wanted to leave and how much it is still a part of me. It questions to what extent we owe our dreams to our hometowns and our families; everything and nothing simultaneously.


Jilted John by Jilted John

In the novel, Lucy’s mother meets an art teacher, who burns her a CD of punk bands, which Lucy steals and puts in her Walkman. Lucy’s mother is going out with a man called Gordon at the time, and the song goes, ‘Gordon is a moron’ and so the CD is a coded message to her. I took that scene directly from real life – it really happened to my mother and I loved it so much I am still thinking about it 15 years later.


Oh Bondage! Up Yours! by X-Ray Spex

The same CD had X-Ray Spex on it, which was my first experience of them. As a 13-year-old girl, hearing Poly Styrene scream, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think, ‘Oh bondage, up yours!’” was revolutionary. My best friend used to come to my house after school when no one else was home and we would put it on and dance wildly around the kitchen– so I made my characters do the same.


Other bands that feature in Saltwater are: Orange Juice, Depeche Mode, Oasis, Bullet for my Valentine, Funeral For a Friend, The Arctic Monkeys, James, CSS, Kate Nash, The Libertines, The Fratellis.


Music that inspired Saltwater:


Girl in Amber from Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and You Want it Darker from You Want it Darker by Leonard Cohen

When I wrote Saltwater, I was living in a rural fishing town in Donegal, on the west coast of Ireland. I was alone for 8 months with no money, no car, no television and no internet, so music became very important. Both of these albums had just come out and I used to sit in the dark at night with lots of candles, or go for walks along the pier by the disused fish factories, listening to them.

Skeleton Tree is one of the most haunting and beautiful albums I have ever heard. Leonard Cohen died while I was in Ireland. Late that night, they played a French cover of So Long, Marianne on the radio and I cried my eyes out. I love his dark, gravelly voice on You Want it Darker, and the way he knows it will be his last album, and uses it to reflect on his life.


Gloria by Patti Smith

Patti Smith is one of my heroes. I love the way she flits between genres and mediums, her disregard for convention, her raw, angry, dirty voice. Gloria was a hymn to me in my early twenties when I was trying to forge my own way as a writer and I had no money and nowhere really to live. It is a song that makes things feel possible.


Rock and Roll by The Velvet Underground

This is one of my favourite songs of all time. It is the parts of myself that I put into Lucy; the feeling when everything around you is falling apart, and you are so hungry for everything and you don’t know who you are, but there is a bar somewhere you can go and dance and for a few shiny hours none of it matters.


Rebel, Rebel by David Bowie

Like Patti, I love the way Bowie refuses to be categorised. His creation of different personas, his manipulation of gender binaries and his complete otherworldliness made my world bigger. Rebel, Rebel was a teen anthem for me, and inspired the Saltwater party scenes. It is a song about dressing up in whatever you want, going out covered in glitter and dancing without caring what anybody thinks of you.

When Bowie died, I was living in London. There was a street party in Brixton and thousands of people flocked there in leather and suede to pay tribute. The Ritzy Cinema had spelled out, ‘David Bowie, Our Brixton Boy’ on the listings board. A man with a guitar climbed on top of a van and started to play Space Oddity. The whole crowd sang along, waving their lighters in the air. I’ll never forget that moment, the man silhouetted in front of an orange street lamp, the city fog and the stars. There will never be anyone like Bowie.


Jessica Andrews and Saltwater links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

Guardian review
Independent review
Irish Times review
New York Times review

Guardian interview with the author
New Writing North 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

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






January 17, 2020

Shorties (An Interview with Jenny Offill, A Profile of Courtney Barnett, and more)

Weather by Jenny Offill

The Millions interviewed author Jenny Offill.


The Philadelphia Inquirer profiled singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett.


Largehearted Boy's list of "best books of 2019" lists has collected 1,430 year-end lists so far.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting year-end "best of 2019" music lists.


January's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale today for $1.99:

A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow


The New York Times examined the effect a Barack Obama mention has on book sales.


Uproxx ranked Bright Eyes albums.


The Strand Magazine recommended books about family secrets.


Stream a new song by Tiña.


The New York Times recommended three new books that help explain modern Russia.


Stream a new Best Coast song.


Jim Tomlinson discussed his memoir The Elephant in the Room with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Stream a previously unreleased David Bowie song.


Colm Toibin reviewed Garth Greenwell's new novel Cleanness at the New York Times.

Read an excerpt from the book.

The Paris Review and Electric Literature interviewed Greenwell.


Stream a song from Mitski's Austin City Limits performance.


Bookworm interviewed author Jonathan Blum.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed London band Shopping.


Shondaland interviewed author Carmen Maria Machado.


Stream a new song by Squirrel Flower.


The New York Times recommended the week's best new books.


Rolling Stone interviewed Destroyer's Dan Bejar.


The Rumpus interviewed poet Paulina Flores.


Pom Pom Squad covered FKA Twigs' "Cellophane."


Words Without Borders shared an excerpt from Peter Stamm’s new novel The Sweet Indifference of the World.



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


January 16, 2020

Shorties (An Excerpt from J. Courtney Sullivan's New Novel, Music Playlists for Pets, and more)

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan

Entertainment Weekly shared an excerpt from J. Courtney Sullivan's novel Friends and Strangers.


Music playlists for your pets.


Largehearted Boy's list of "best books of 2019" lists has collected 1,430 year-end lists so far.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting year-end "best of 2019" music lists.


January's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale today for $1.99:

Pictures of You by Caroline Leavittb


They Might Be Giants’ John Flansburgh reflected on the band's Flood album at SPIN on its 30th anniversary.


Paste listed the best horror comics of all time.


Noisey interviewed singer0songwriter Ambar Lucid.


O The Oprah Magazine recommended January's best books.


Stream a new song by Westerman.


Book Riot recommended graphic biographies and memoirs.


Rolling Stone examined the ongoing influence of the band T. Rex.


BookMarks recommended the most anticipated books by indigenous authors in the first half of 2012.


Stream a new Loose Buttons song.


The Southwest Review interviewed author Gary Lutz.


Stream a new Okay Kaya song.


Electric Literature recommended anthologies written by, for, and about disabled people.


Stream a new Torres song.


Anna Wiener discussed her memoir Uncanny Valley with the Atlantic.


Stream a new song by Lightning Bolt.


PBS NewsHour toured Louisa May Alcott's house.


Stream two new songs by Twin Peaks.


Historian Larry Kramer talked books and reading with the New York Times.


Stream a new P.E. song.


The Believer Book Awards longlist has been announced.


Stream a new song by Shell of a Shell.



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


January 15, 2020

Rye Curtis's Playlist for His Debut Novel "Kingdomtide"

Kingdomtide

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Rye Curtis's novel Kingdomtide is a surprising, powerful, and above all, entertaining, debut.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Gloriously unexpected...A deep and surprising debut...Cloris' survival narration is exciting, with devastating vistas and a mysterious savior in the form of a possible fugitive, but her musings on her past life and life in general are some of the book's very best moments"


In his own words, here is Rye Curtis's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel Kingdomtide:



Here is some of the music that I listened to while working on Kingdomtide. These are songs that may not be directly related to the thematic material in the novel, but songs that will for me always recall the time I spent working on it, and may have somehow found their way into the subconscious of the book. I wrote most of Kingdomtide during a particularly bleak and confusing time in my life, so much of the music here has some personal and dismal heft behind it, even the upbeat songs. But I always like how even a joyful tune can sound melancholic and menacing given the chance.


1. Leo Svirsky - “Strange Lands and People” from River Without Banks

I was fortunate enough that Leo Svirsky sent me some early mixes of his record River Without Banks a while back when I was working on the last pieces and editing for Kingdomtide. I listened to this album on repeat. It’s great. There is a lot in tone about this music that makes sense to me next to the novel. Often there are two very similar yet slightly different piano parts playing into and away from each other, stereo panned left and right. Makes me think of the two primary narratives in the book.

2. Enya - “Dan y Dwr” from The Celts

For a long while now I’ve been hooked on most everything Enya has done (particularly on the earlier albums, although Dark Sky Island from 2015 is a damn good album). There is something spooky and heavyweight to me about the high-wire sweetness in it. It can deliver me to such a particular mood. I listened to a great deal of Enya while writing Kingdomtide.

3. Jessy Lanza - “Keep Moving” from Pull My Hair Back

I listened to Jessy Lanza’s music a lot when I was low and putting together some of the more upsetting themes in Kingdomtide. It’s a great brain-sweeper when taking breaks from the work and going for power walks. Jessy is also a great friend of mine and my roommate, so I’m grateful that her music is prevalent in my daily life and is always getting me to move and shake about when I’ve ended up becoming too sedentary.

4. Cyndi Lauper - “Time After Time” from She’s So Unusual

This song makes an appearance in the novel’s narrative. I probably shouldn’t say anymore than that.

5. Eola - “Market” from Deos Gracias

All of Eola’s records are plenty great and it’s difficult to choose which song means the most in this instance being that I listened to all of them regularly back when writing this book. But “Market” makes me think specifically of a time I got locked out of my apartment in the snow and came up with a couple integral ideas for my story. The music is also reminiscent of old plainchants or even High Renaissance choral music, which I frequently listen to while working on something.

6. Josquin des Prez - “Missa Pange lingua: 1. Kyrie”

This is a good piece of some of the old choral music I like to listen to when I’m thinking over something tricky. This piece reminds me of the later portions of Kingdomtide. I imagine mountain tops now when I hear this song. For whatever reason I think it has something of the landscape about it.

7. Glen Campbell - “Galveston” from Galveston

I wrote a sizable chunk of Kingdomtide out on my family’s cattle ranch in Texas, and this album has been out there on a scratched up disk since I was a kid. I love this album (and others of Glen Campbell) but particularly this title song. Also the song has something to say about death as separation from a companion: “Galveston, I am so afraid of dying, before I dry the tears she’s crying…”

8. Jordan Romero - “Debbie Jinny Johnnie” from LAMB

This album just came out in 2019, but I’m lucky to have had early demos of the songs for a good long while because Jordan Romero is a great friend and gave them to me. All of his music means a great deal to me, but this little song especially reminds me of the Ranger Debra Lewis character in Kingdomtide. Partly because someone named Debbie is mentioned in the song, but also because there is something frantically inebriated about it.

9. Bobby Brown - “The Boy a Sailor” from Prayers Of A One Man Band

This is not the Bobby Brown who was in New Edition. This is someone else, a beach bum who put out some self-released records in the seventies and early eighties. Much of this album largely seems to be about searching for some crazy thing Bobby wants to find. This song is a good song of searching and anticipation, and I listened to it often the week I gave out a draft of Kingdomtide to have some friends read it.

10. Container - “Remover” from LP

Container is great to see perform, but sometimes I would put this on when I would do some late night editing.

11. Delegation - “Oh Honey”

This song has been a great help editing too.

11. Corona - “Rhythm of the Night” from Corona

This whole album is worth listening to, but of course this song is the star. I listen to this often and it has some kind of influence over me I’m sure. And it’s one of those upbeat songs that can show some odd gloom in it when played in the right place.


Rye Curtis and Kingdomtide links:

Booklist review
Guardian review
Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly 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

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 (Picture Books Based on Song Lyrics, New Music from Soccer Mommy, and more)

Don't Stop by Christine McVie and Nusha Ashjaee

LyricPop is a series of picture books based on song lyrics.


Stream a new song by Soccer Mommy song.


Largehearted Boy's list of "best books of 2019" lists has collected 1,430 year-end lists so far.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting year-end "best of 2019" music lists.


January's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale today for $1.99:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones


Paste recommended experimental bands who are redefining guitar music.


The 2019 NPR Music jazz critics poll results are in.


BuzzFeed listed this year's film and television literary adaptations.


RVA Mag interviewed Hiss Golden Messenger's MC Taylor.


io9 interviewed comics writer Scott Snyder.


Pitchfork interviewed Destroyer's Dan Bejar.


Anchor interviewed author Dmitry Samarov.


Stream a new Drive-By Truckers song.


Book Riot recommended literary magazines.


Stream a new song by Andy Shauf.


The Washington Post interviewed poet Joy Harjo.


Stream a new Pinegrove song.


PBS NewsHour interviewed author Terese Marie Mailhot.


Stream a new song by Lee Ranaldo and Raul Refree.


Steph Cha recommended books about trouble in Los Angeles at the Guardian.


Literary Hub profiled author Anna Wiener.


Literary Hub recommended 2020's most anticipated books.


The Rumpus interviewed author Garth Greenwell.


Read new short fiction by Lauren Groff.


The Reading Women podcast interviewed author Jami Attenberg.


Literary Hub recommended the week's best new books.



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


January 14, 2020

Jason Brown' Playlist for His Story Collection "A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed"

A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed

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

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

Individually, the linked stories in Jason Brown's collection A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed are compellingly told, but collectively they form a powerful, unforgettable narrative.

Marjorie Celona wrote of the book:

"Like the Patrick Melrose novels—but in miniature and in Maine—this wonderful and unusual novel-in-stories juxtaposes the downfall of the Howland family with the increasing disillusionment of one of its younger members, John. In laugh-out-loud prose, Jason Brown crucifies the esteemed Howlands, who consider themselves to be above all things (even life itself), as they struggle to understand their place in an increasingly unfamiliar world—one that is better for almost everyone except their family. What’s waiting in the wings, then, for John? A needle in the arm or a place at the table of the anointed? A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed is a staggering portrait of inheritance and identity from one of our very best writers."


In his own words, here is Jason Brown's Book Notes music playlist for his story collection A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed:



I wrote part of A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, where I frequently went to the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou—now owned by the Rankins, a well-known musical family from that area. I listened to people like Buddy MacMaster and Mairi Rankin play the fiddle and could listen to them forever and be happy. I grew up in Maine, not Cape Breton, but many of my Maine ancestors originally came from Scotland in the 1700s—chased off the land by the English and the new sheep lairds of Scotland. I imagined that the music and culture was somehow in my blood, though that was nonsense. I am a romantic, which is not generally cured by getting older.

Cape Breton is a place where people still know the language, the music and the step dances from the Highlands. The people there moved from the Highlands and the Hebrides to the small villages on the west coast of the island. During my first winter up there, my friend Paul introduced me to Scottish singer David Francey, whose albums Torn Screen Door and The Waking Hour I could listen to on repeat. Every Saturday night in the middle of the winter, people from all around got together and played and listened to music in the town hall. People played the fiddle, the spoons, the guitar, whatever they could play, and they drank, heavily. I didn’t drink or play music, but I was drunk on the music, and when I got home I could write. I had moved to Cape Breton because I was sick of America. I moved back to America because I couldn’t make a living in Cape Breton, but the place is still inside me.


Townes Van Zandt—“If I Needed You”

This was one of the songs I listened to when I was trying to find the right mood for A Faithful But Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed. I had listened to it so many times that I hardly listened to the words anymore, which is maybe why I can write to music with lyrics if I know the music very well. The words are not separate from the music—from the sound and the mood. The same is true for me in a short story I have read many times—often I’m not so much reading the story as listening to it again to find an emotional thread inside myself.


John Coltrane—A Love Supreme

I don’t understand jazz and I’ve never tried to. I’ve spent years trying to understand literature, and I am not sure it has helped my writing at all, so why would I try to understand a piece of music that feels right, that opens my chest and mesmerizes me? The intensity of the album sets the bar high for my own writing. When I sit down to write while listening to A Love Supreme, I feel that I have a guide to something that is true.


David Francey—“Torn Screen Door”

“Torn Screen Door” is all about nostalgia, and, if I am honest with myself, A Faithful but Melancholy Account is also all about nostalgia. Both my book and the song are about a particular kind of rural nostalgia that comes from a sense that the rural way of life is being lost. The characters in my book—especially the older characters—find the changes terrifying, and they don’t know how to respond. The melancholy captured in “Torn Screen Door” is one response. I think there is a temptation among urban Americans to denigrate this nostalgia, but the loss of livelihood, family, and community are real. When those things are gone, there is nothing left for people.


Townes Van Zandt—“Dirty Old Town”

Townes Van Zandt does my favorite version of “Dirty Old Town” (aside from my friend Paul in Cape Breton). This song is also about nostalgia, in this case for the tough industrial towns of America, Canada, England, and elsewhere. Nostalgia, not so much for a place that killed so many with soot, pollution, and labor, but for the families and culture that grew within the boundaries of such places.


Townes Van Zandt—“To Live Is to Fly”

This is a love song—probably the only one I like—and at a certain point I began to think of my book as a love song. A song to the complicated people like my grandparents who served as the basis for the grandparents in the book. I brought them to life as characters in part because I wanted to see them one more time. Now that the book is finished, they are gone again, at least for me.


Natalie MacMaster—Cape Breton fiddling

I could listen to Natalie play the fiddle for more hours on end than most Cape Bretoners. When she and her partner Donnell Leahy play, it doesn’t take long before heels tap the floor and one hears whooping from one of them or the crowd. Music like this is not the kind you sit back and listen to. Music of this kind, that comes from a long history, is a testament to the humor, grit and strength of the culture that created it.


Stan Rogers—“Barrett’s Privateers”

This is a song I sang with a bunch of neighbors in Iona, Cape Breton, as we stood around a campfire and they drank while I got drunk on the music. “I’m a broken man on a Halifax peer, the last of Barrett’s Privateers….” The song is a modern (1977) sea shanty—a work song sung on merchant ships to synchronize the deck work. When everyone around the fire went home and passed out, I went back to my falling-down farmhouse and wrote.


Jason Brown and A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Fiction Writers Review 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

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


January 13, 2020

Shorties (Recommended Books That Feature Women's Anger, New Music from U.S. Girls, and more)

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

The New York Times recommended books that feature women's anger.


Stream new music from U.S. Girls.


Largehearted Boy's list of "best books of 2019" lists has collected 1,430 year-end lists so far.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting year-end "best of 2019" music lists.


January's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale today for $1.99:

Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins
White Fur by Jardine Libaire


Longreads shared an excerpt from Alice Bag's book Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story.


The Guardian profiled William Gibson.


Paste listed the best albums of the 1980s.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Troy James Weaver.


The Dallas Observer listed St. Vincent's top collaborations.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Meg Pokrass.


Stream a new song by Emily Yacina.


Anna Wiener discussed her memoir Uncanny Valley with Weekend Edition.


Paste recommended the week's best new albums.


BuzzFeed recommended the best recently published and forthcoming small press books to read.


Stream new music by Melody English.


Book Riot listed 2020's most anticipated books.


Stream a new Dan Deacon song.


Jason Reynolds has been named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.


Chefs recommended cookbooks at the New York Times.



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


January 10, 2020

Shorties (Ocean Vuong Profiled, The Best Jazz Albums of the 2010s, and more)

On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

The Los Angeles Times profiled author Ocean Vuong.


Stereogum listed the best jazz albums of the 2010s.


Largehearted Boy's list of "best books of 2019" lists has collected 1,430 year-end lists so far.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting year-end "best of 2019" music lists.


January's best eBook deals.


Read a new Helena Fitzgerald essay at Good Beer Hunting.


NPR Muisc examined the surprising of the pedal steel guitar.


The New York Times wants to hear about when your life was changed by a book.


All Songs Considered listed the week's top new albums.


Stream a new Jenny Lewis song.


Paste previewed January's best books.


Legendary music website Tiny Mix Tapes is taking a hiatus.


The New York Times profiled author Garth Greenwell.


The Growlers visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Entertainment Weekly recommended January's best comics.


Stream a new song by Colin Stetson.


William Gibson talked books and reading with the New York Times.


Stream a new song by Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan.


Entertainment Weekly shared images from a forthcoming graphic novel adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune.


Stream a new Caspian song.


Bookworm interviewed author Ben Lerner.


Stream a new song by Wasted Shirt (Ty Segall & Brian Chippendale).


The Guardian profiled author Carmen Maria Machado.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from the book Raising Hell: Backstage Tales from the Lives of Metal Legends by Jon Wiederhorn.


The Rumpus interviewed poet Molly Spencer.



The Maris Review interviewed author Leslie Jamison.


The Paris Review interviewed author Anna Wiener.


Literary Hub recommended December books you might have missed.


Jacket2 interviewed author Sarah Rose Etter.


Ada Calhoun recommended books that speak to the lives of middle aged women at Literary Hub.


Comic Book Resources recommended honest depictions of mental illness in graphic memoirs.


The finalists for this year's Story Prize have been announced.


Jenny Offil wrote about climate change at Greenpeace.


Pitchfork listed 2020's most anticipated albums.



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


January 9, 2020

Sadie Hoagland's Playlist for Her Short Story Collection "American Grief in Four Stages"

American Grief in Four Stages

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

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

Sadie Hoagland's brilliant collection American Grief in Four Stages is filled with stories of loss and its subsequent trauma.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"A captivating debut collection probes the trauma of being human."


In her own words, here is Sadie Hoagland's Book Notes music playlist for her short story collection American Grief in Four Stages:



When I started American Grief in Four Stages, I didn't actually set out to write a book about grief, but rather a few stories that dealt with traumatic losses and the way we have a hard time, or an impossible time, putting a narrative to something like suicide. As I wrote, I became more interested in the lack of support our culture offers the bereaved, and the creative ways in which people try to find a healing story around a traumatic event. But I also didn't want every story to be dark, so while some stories hit those heavy notes of grief, many others conceived of loss as more subtle, or as a slow unfolding over and through time. When it came time to put the collection together, I actually thought of the stories as songs on a mixtape and tried to change up the moods. This is a little funny in that while I never read a collection in order, I was apparently imagining a very dutiful reader.

Here, then, are the songs I would select as theme music of sorts for some of the stories.


Mike Patton, "Snow Angel" for the story "Cavalier Presentations of Heartbreaking News"

This song for me is Edward Scissorhands meets The Virgin Suicides meets Donnie Darko. A dark picture of suburbia, and the surrealism that seems to bleed at the edges of normalcy is hugely important to this collection. The first story, "Cavalier Presentations of Heartbreaking News," in particular, embodies this tension between the way things look, and the way they really are.

Black Sabbath, "Planet Caravan" for the story "Fucking Aztecs"

If there's a funny story in this collection, it's this one. Inspired by Wells Tower's story "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned," I wanted to place someone who thought and spoke in contemporary terms and language in the setting of one of the more fascinating groups in history. At one point in Aztec history, and in my story, the other cultures lived near the Aztecs. My narrator is not an Aztec and shares my own fascination with this poetic and violent culture, and at one point he waits in the dark in the newly built Aztec temple drunk on chocolatl. If it were a movie I would select this song for the soundtrack, to match the "drunken alertness" he feels as he waits to see what the Aztecs will do next.

Cat Power, "Sweedeedee" for the story "In July Flags Are Everywhere"

While there are lots of songs in this story, the one I would pick for the story is this cover of a Michael Hurley song by Cat Power: "I know that everybody has a little hard luck sometimes/I know lately I've been having mine." The simple guitar and Power's vocals give the song a mellow, melancholy feeling apt for a story about a narrator who must take control of her house while her parents mourn the loss of their own parents.

Simon and Garfunkel, “Sound of Silence” for the story "Father/Writer"

This song for me transcends time, and Father/Writer is all about looking up and realizing 18 years have passed by since you last looked up. This song seems both new and old, and the line "Hello darkness my old friend," is so perfect for this story: "He remembered the darkness beyond the warm walls of their house all those nights."

Sacre's version of "Edelwiess" for the story "The Crossword"

There's something simple and haunting about this song that's both timeless and stuck in time. By that I mean I locate this song always elsewhere, in some nostalgia that's not even mine. The eerie version used by the series Man in the High Castle seems to speak to that same kind of simultaneous echo the song produces. "The Crossword" is about an old woman doing a crossword, each clue points to a signifier, a word, but rather than stop there she goes sideways, into other meanings she attaches to the clue. She lives in memory, is steeped in it, even as she sits very still and alive in the present moment. The echoes of the past are everywhere, both haunting and soothing, existing equally with the present moment in her kitchen.

Arcade Fire, "My Body Is a Cage" for the story "Frog Prince"

"My body is a cage, that keeps me from being with the one I love." Not only does this lyric apply to the original tale (until that final kiss), but to both protagonists in my story as well. Best friends, the girl loves her gay best friend, who loves her platonically, and who struggles with his sexuality. She keeps trying to transform him, not into her lover, but into accepting himself. Her final kiss doesn't succeed in this, but rather acknowledges her tragic failure.

Michael Andrews’ version of “Mad World” for the story "American Grief in Four Stages"

"I find it kind of funny/I find it kind of sad/the dreams in which I am dying /are the best I've ever had." The speaker in this song finds the people running in circles to be part of a "mad world." The narrator in this piece tries to process her sister's murder by speaking her way through it, hypothesizing ways in which everything is all right, when it is so clearly not all right. Her madness is only appropriate for the mad world that has put her in this situation where she finally must deal with her grief one day at an IHOP: "and even though it was the kind of day when you couldn't leave a dog or a baby in the car for more than two minutes, I stayed in there for a long time and no one broke the window to save me."

PJ Harvey, "Down by the Water" for the story "Origins"

The punky beat and Harvey's assuredness felt rebelliousness to me as a preteen; it coupled a female voice with an authority that seemed new and raw to me. The main character in this story goes from girlhood to womanhood via engaging in darkness, and by way of a misshapen fairytale. There's something edgy, authoritative, but ultimately infertile in her own search for lost children.

Antlers, "Hospice" for the story "Extra Patriotic"

This story to me is the hardest piece in the collection, and in a book about grief, that might be saying a lot. It's a piece about trauma, trust, and a broken love story between an Iraqi war vet with PTSD and a woman whose parents died violently. This Antlers song, with its relentless chords and sad lyrics implying a struggle between the speaker and the "you," emblemize the mood of the story for me. The song is not redemptive, just sad, but in a way that feels somehow cathartic and when I first heard it, I had the same desire to stay in that song as I did to stay in the story and write through it.

Jenny Lewis, "Bad Man's World" for the story "Dementia, 1692"

The narrator of this story is a child during the Salem witch trials and lives through them, and for many years after. As her mother dies of what we now call early onset dementia, she frames her mother's illness and her own isolation in terms of her guilt. This song by Jenny Lewis seems apt to me-- the Salem witch trials were a real bad man's world, one in which they were killing women that were outsiders. And what my narrator discovers is that she isn't stopping this, she didn't stop it, and so she must indeed be a "bad, bad girl." There is power in that, but the narrator never ceases it, too afraid of her own self.

Daniel Johnston, "Story of an Artist" for "Time Just Isn’t That Simple"

This piece is perhaps the most surreal in the collection; there is a thin line between metaphorical and literal, and time in the piece doesn't make sense, strictly speaking. Johnston's song begins with "Listen up and I'll tell a story/ about an artist growing old." The story begins, "When the kids come by with their research reports, I start by telling them about the excruciatingly long car ride to school." As the narrator tells them an oral history of sorts, the listening children refer to the "artist" down the street whose door they throw coins at. The artist acts as a double for the "writing" narrator, and like in Johnston's song, is some kind of indecipherable but tolerated person. In some sense, I think this song and this story get at some of the complicated feelings, and the doubts, I had in writing this collection about the uneasy place of grief, loss, and trauma in our current culture.


Sadie Hoagland is the author of American Grief in Four Stages, a collection of stories that the explore the inability of our culture to communicate grief, or sympathy, outside of cliché. Her novel, Strange Children, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. She has a PhD in fiction from the University of Utah and an MA in Creative Writing/Fiction from UC Davis. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Alice Blue Review, The Black Herald, Mikrokosmos Journal, South Dakota Review, Sakura Review, Grist Journal, Oyez Review, Passages North, Five Points, The Fabulist, South Carolina Review and elsewhere. She is a former editor of Quarterly West, and currently teaches fiction at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she also lives with her family, and they do their best to eat beignets whenever they can. You can visit her online at sadiehoagland.com.


Sadie Hoagland and American Grief in Four Stages links:

the author's website

Foreword Reviews review
Kirkus review

Booktimist interview with the author
Pub Crawl essay by the author
Women Writers, Women['s] Books essay by the author
Writer's Digest 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

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 (Courtney Maum on How To Get Published, A Forthcoming Bad Religion Autobiography, and more)

Before and After the Book Deal by Courtney Maum

Courtney Maum discussed her new book Before and After the Book Deal with Literary Hub.


Bad Religion and Jim Ruland will release the band's autobiography, Do What You Want, in August.


Largehearted Boy's list of "best books of 2019" lists has collected 1,282 year-end lists so far.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting year-end "best of 2019" music lists.


January's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Make Trouble by John Waters
Moving Mars by Greg Bear


Stream a previously unreleased version of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World."


Peggy Orenstein discussed her book Boys & Sex with Fresh Air.


Stream a new song by Mush.


Actor Lupita Nyong’o discussed her favorite books at Vulture.


Fucked Up covered the Tragically Hip's "In View."



Stream a new song by Disq.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Myla Goldberg.


Stream a new Summer Camp song.



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


January 8, 2020

Nancy Davis Kho's Playlist for Her Book "The Thank-You Project"

The Thank-You Project

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

I have long admired Nancy Davis Kho's Midlife Mixtape blog, and her book The Thank-You Project impressed me as well. Deftly examining the power of expressing gratitude in writing, this book is empowering.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Blogger Kho debuts with this heartfelt and empowering memoir and treatise on the power of gratitude and the joy of conveying it in written form."


In her own words, here is Nancy Davis Kho's Book Notes music playlist for her book The Thank-You Project:



For my fortieth birthday, I celebrated big. I threw a dance party in my living room, served a signature cocktail, and wore a gold dress. I also painstakingly curated a four-hour playlist dance on the iPod nano (complete with a big sign that said DO NOT TOUCH THE MUSIC.) It took me three months to create that playlist and it was sublime. People who hadn’t danced in years threw off their shoes and danced until the hardwood floors were slick with sweat. Someone lost their underpants. Two women played air pan pipes to Shakira.

But ten years later, approaching fifty, I felt far more introspective about the approaching milestone. What I realized as I rounded the bend into that year was that I had only reached that point in my life with the help of others: my family, friends, mentors, bosses, etc. I decided the way to celebrate my birthday that year was to send a thank-you letter each week of that year to someone who had helped, shaped, or inspired me to that point.

That “thank-you project” became a profoundly helpful practice when that fiftieth year turned unexpectedly rocky, an effective way to remind myself of the support network I had, the hard things I had overcome in the past, the goodness that surrounded me even in difficult times. The Thank-You Project: Cultivating Happiness One Letter of Gratitude at a Time is my effort to give readers the tools and the motivation to undertake their own letter-writing projects, whatever their age.

Much of the book is devoted to suggesting to readers the type of recipient to whom they may want to send a letter. Because of the way I am wired, I asked my editor early on if I could include a playlist for each chapter. I mean, who writes a letter to a friend and DOESN’T hum, “Thank You For Being a Friend” by James Taylor, or “Best Friend” by Queen? I am told those people exist, but I have never met them.

When my editor waved the checkered flag, I finished the first draft of the book and sent if off to her. Then, while I waited for her comments, I sat down to create my chapter playlists.

In subsequent editorial revisions, I probably spent as much time finetuning the playlists as I did polishing the narrative arc and excising superfluous prose. The reason is simple: there are so many songs in the world that I just don’t know about, and each one of them might be the perfect song to accompany a chapter about writing letters to a favorite teacher, or a doctor who has been kind, or to your soulmate.

I mean, just when I thought I had the perfect song list for the “Lessons from Loves” chapter, which encourages readers to acknowledge the positive aspects of past relationships instead of just dwelling on why they ended, Ariana Grande releases “thank u, next” and oh my god what if I had published The Thank-You Project without that perfect song in the book? Each time I sent back edits, the playlists were a mess of new song additions and rearrangements.

Eventually the editor called a halt to further edits. She said the book was ready for the world; maybe she just saw that I’d never stop shuffling the song order on the drawing of the cassette listing for Chapter 6.

But I will never feel done with the playlists. I read so much music writing that I have a clear-sighted understanding of just how much I don’t know about music. When this book hits the shelves, smarter music-heads than I will say, “why didn’t she include X?” or “how could she have missed out on Y?” and I will say, “I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW.”

So consider this an addendum to my book, the embodiment of playlist perfection that is always just over the horizon. A book may be done, but a playlist never is.


The Playlist That Never Was


1. “When You Were Mine”: Prince

I’m throwing myself under the bus right from the jump. I failed to put this song onto the playlist about ex-loves, a song with a title that speaks directly to the topic and is by one of my all-time favorite artists. I blame the fact that I had already included a song with the same title by Night Terrors of 1927 that has possibly the best lyric ever about a doomed relationship on which we nonetheless look back with real affection: “when you were my waste of time.” Still! Does that beat Prince? Nothing beats Prince! What was I thinking?

2. “One of These Days”: Neil Young

Oh, it’s a song about sitting down to write a long letter to all the friends you’ve known, you say? Released in 1992, so I don’t have the excuse that it came out too late? By one of the best known musicians on the planet? Super. In my defense, I have a long-standing No Neil Young rule in my house, because my husband loves his music, and it give him something over which to try to persuade me. After 27 years of marriage, you have to find ways to keep things interesting.

3. “Locked Up”: Avett Brothers

As I considered my rubric of “who has helped/shaped/inspired me?”, I knew that my physical therapist would be getting a letter. Since that 40th birthday hootenanny over a decade ago, Dawn has helped me get over plantar fasciitis, knee pain, and a fun case of frozen shoulder in which my arm was so locked, I couldn’t get plates out of the kitchen cabinet for a year. Who released a song that includes a frozen shoulder lyric, just after I submitted my final draft? My favorite musical brothers from North Carolina.

4. “Teacher, Teacher”: 38 Special

I racked my music library and the internet and my network looking for songs appropriate for the chapter playlist about writing to teachers and mentors and other inspirations, and all I found was songs I’d be mortified to associate with Mrs. Green, my stellar AP English Teacher: “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen, “Teacher Teacher” by Rockpile, “Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd. Last week, I mentioned the dearth of G-rated teacher-themed songs to my brother, who took all of 0.05 seconds to come up with this one. Well, now ya tell me. (It’s not perfect, but it’s less skeevy than my other choices.)

5. “Message to My Girl”: Crowded House

This would have been a two-fer. First, it’s by my favorite songwriter and someone to whom I wrote one of my fifty thank-you letters, Neil Finn. Second, I co-opted this song as a lullaby when our daughters were infants, and sang it approximately eight million times in the darkness of the nursery. At its heart it’s about giving in and letting love overwhelm and overpower your defensive instincts - and if that’s not the definition of mothering, I don’t know what is. Would have been great to include in the chapter about writing thank-you letters to our closest family members. Key phrase is “would have.”

6. “The Rising”: Bruce Springsteen

While my experience, and actual science, show that writing gratitude letters will make you feel happier in the long run, sometimes revisiting memories from current and past relationships can feel uncomfortable. Maybe you want to write to someone who is no longer around to read your letter, or maybe you realize you could have treated someone in your life better. That’s ok and normal and once you get past the sadness, the gratitude can really settle in. I wish I’d included this song that makes me cry every. Single. Time. I hear it. Sometimes we need a little push to get the waterworks out of the way.

7. “Calypso”

My mom, who received the first letter I wrote in my Thank-You Project, is in her 80s and has significant memory challenges. I write in the book about the durability of her devotion to John Denver - not the real JD, but to a John Denver impersonator who performs in her town occasionally. When he’s not around, she sometimes bosses her kids and grandkids to do John Denver sinaglongs with her, and I feel like "Calypso" is really where I shine (hint: it’s all about the yodel.)

8. “Soulmate”: Lizzo

One of the sneaky things about writing gratitude letters to all the people who love you is that, at the end of the process, you are reminded that you are a person deserving of all that support. The songs on my playlist called “Now, It’s Your Turn” could all double as baseball walkup music, telling the world that you believe in yourself and they ought to, too. Lizzo, if you had just released this song a smiiiidge earlier in my writing process, “Soulmate” would have been a grand slam.

9. “Thank You”

Finally, even if Matt the Electrician had released this beautiful song with its fitting title before the book went to print, I’m not sure I would have included it. Because it’s the TL;DR version of my entire book, about thanking people who’ve given us a hand up and helped us along the way, sung with a sense of gratitude and humility. It’s pretty much perfect.


Nancy Davis Kho and The Thank-You Project links:

the author's website
the author's blog

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review

Edit Your Life interview with the author
Greater Good essay by the author
Live Happy interview with the author
The Mom Hour interview with the author
The Simplifiers 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

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 (The Best 100 Books Written by African American Women, New Music from Destroyer, and more)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

The ZORA Canon includes the best 100 books written by African American women.


Stream a new Destroyer song.


Largehearted Boy's list of "best books of 2019" lists has collected 1,282 year-end lists so far.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting year-end "best of 2019" music lists.


January's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
Orchid and the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes


Paste listed the best albums of the 1970s.


Stream a new Bonny Light Horseman song.


BuzzFeed recommended 2020's most highly anticipated books.


Rolling Stone listed 2020's most anticipated albums.


The Canada Reads 2020 longlist has been announced.


Stream a new Algiers song.


Town and Country listed winter's must-read books.


Stream a new song by Forever.


R.I.P., Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation.

Deborah Copaken remembered Wurtzel at the Atlantic.


Stream a new Wire song.


The Guardian recommended books about toxic masculinity.


Stream a new Six Organs of Admittance song.


Willamette Week interviewed author Shea Serrano.


Stream a new song by Susanne Sundfør.


Publishers Weekly reports that a graphic novel adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five is coming in September.


The New Pornographers visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Entertainment Weekly interviewed author Isabel Allende.


Stream a new Caroline Rose song.


The Washington Post previewed 2020's graphic novels.


Stream a new Wolf Parade song.


BookMarks recommended the most anticipated books by LGBTQ authors in the first half of 2020.


Angel Olsen covered Hand Habits' "wildfire."


Jennifer Baker made the case for reading more Zora Neale Hurston at Electric Literature.


Stream a new song by Wednesday.


Book Riot recommended January's best books from indie presses.


Stream a new Mukiss song.


The Millions previewed the best books of 2020's first half.


Stream a new song by The Innocence Mission.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Chuck Palahniuk's new book Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different.


Stream a new Mura Masa song.


Reading Women interviewed author Sarah Moss.


Stream a new Gladie song.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Sean Beaudoin.



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


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