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January 21, 2018

Atomic Books Comics Preview - January 21, 2018

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.


Fifty Freakin' Years Of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

Fifty Freakin' Years Of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
by Gilbert Shelton

It's been 50 years of head comix! To celebrate one of the most popular, best-loved, stoner funnybooks, Shelton offers fans this gift - new strips, interviews, and a gallery of Freak Brothers parody strips. Right on!


God Dammit Kyle MacLachlan

God Dammit Kyle MacLachlan
by Maureen Sullivan

It takes a special kind of jerk not to love Kyle MacLachlan, and this fanzine celebrates his awesomeness.


Shadows On The Grave

Shadows On The Grave
by Richard Corben

This is a one-man horror comics anthology tour-de-force by a master of the medium. Short stories, longer tales, gothic, fantasy and mystery, plus Corben's magnificent art.


Strangers In Paradise XXV #1

Strangers In Paradise XXV #1
by Terry Moore

It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since Francine and Katchoo first worked their way into the hearts of comics readers. Moore celebrates with an all new series of intrigue.


Three Rooms In Valerie's Head

Three Rooms In Valerie's Head
by David Gaffney / Dan Berry

This is a clever and dark comedy about the romantic dysfunction of Valerie - who struggles with relationships as she also spends time dragging the corpses of her exes out of the the basement (of her mind) and poses them, dresses them up and makes them say things like how big a mistake they made by breaking up.


The Twist

The Twist
by Billy Roberts

Everything you need to know about the song and dance that took the country by storm - in an economical mini-zine package.


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)






January 19, 2018

Book Notes - Will Dowd "Areas of Fog"

Areas of Fog

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.

The lyrical and evocative essays in Will Dowd's collection Areas of Fog are inspired by New England weather, literature, and history.

Deborah Landau wrote of the book:

"A lyrical meditation on literature, history and the weather quite unlike anything I've ever read. Will Dowd has a gift for subtle observation and the book is richly evocative and nuanced ― his intelligence, wit and warmth make for good company in a cold season."


In his own words, here is Will Dowd's Book Notes music playlist for his essay collection Areas of Fog:



“Heroic Weather Conditions of the Universe, Part 7: After the Storm” by Alexandre Desplat

I love this tongue-and-cheek riff on Britten’s “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” It’s a narrated orchestral storm and the perfect inversion of what I tried to do in Areas of Fog—that is, turn the weather into music.


“Slush” by Jarvis Cocker

The former Pulp frontman returned from a 2008 Arctic expedition to the aptly named Disko Bay (off Greenland) with this melody in his head. See, good things can come from the winter wasteland.


“Fading Sun” by Terje Isungset and Lena Nymark

Terje Isungset is a Norwegian musician who crafts his instruments from ice. We’re talking ice horns, ice xylophones, ice guitars, ice harps. He doesn’t just find beauty in the frozen breath of winter, he creates it. He’s like Wallace Stevens’s Snowman come to life.


“Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers

Greil Marcus famously called this "the most obvious song in the world, and the strangest." It’s the only song that celebrates the suburban outskirts of Boston where I grew up and returned to write this book. (I actually penned one of the March essays in a Stop & Shop parking lot.)


“300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues” by The White Stripes

During the year I spent chronicling New England weather, I only escaped the region once when I fled to Florida with some friends. For no conscious reason, I found myself listening to this song on repeat while getting sunburned. My friends and I visited Cassadaga, a town inhabited exclusively by mediums, where I may or may not have had a spectral encounter with a dead relative. Either way, the incident was spookily presaged by Jack White’s lyrics.


“Easy” by Commodores

I wrote these essays on Sunday mornings when I should’ve been sleeping in. Or at church. Or at brunch. Somehow I felt off the social grid and off the literary clock—always best time to write.


“It Never Rains in Southern California” by Albert Hammond

My book takes a brief detour to Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles to discuss the bedeviling Santa Ana winds, so this song seemed appropriate. I’ve always loved it. It’s happy and sad—like a cheerful suicide note.


“Cherry Blossoms” by Night Beds

I picked this song ostensibly because the book contains a page-long sentence about the travels and travails of a cherry blossom. But really I can’t imagine a playlist without a Night Beds track. I’d sell my soul for this guy’s voice. In fact, I’d set up a little soul-kiosk at the crossroads every midnight for a month if that’s what it took.


“Walcott (Insane Mix)” by Vampire Weekend

To my knowledge, this is the only song about the existential horror of Cape Cod traffic.


“Red Moon” by The Walkmen

Personally, I think Thoreau was bluffing. There’s no way he lived alone in the woods for that long and didn’t get a little scared in the dark, especially on nights when branches clawed at his cabin windows and the moon rose blood-stained. There’s just no way he didn’t get a little lonely.


“Fourth of July (Live)” by Sufjan Stevens

I love Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens’s sun-dappled, death-drenched 2015 album. It’s full of gemlike hymns with Dickinsonian lyrics. In concert, the restrained “Fourth of July” gets a new thanatonic climax that feels like stained glass windows exploding in a storm. Isn’t that the effect all sermonizers secretly strive for?


“7:PM” by Yann Tiersen

In one summer essay, I mention the fact that Emily Dickinson couldn’t read a clock until she was fifteen. She must have relied on her intuition as to the time of day. Doesn’t every hour have its own texture and grain? It’s own specific chord?


“1959” by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam

In the book, I muse about the Apollo 11 astronauts and how each came back to Earth utterly changed. This ethereal song could be the soundtrack to that strangest of all possible returns home.


“The Rain Falls and the Sky Shudders” by Moby

With its morning gloom and evening mist, the fall was my favorite season to write about. Autumn doesn’t burn or blind or freeze. Like this song, it seeps into you.


“Someone’s Missing” by MGMT

In one wintry essay, I speculate about “The Third Man syndrome”—the well-documented phenomenon in which adventurers on the verge of death are encouraged to keep going by a benevolent apparition that evaporates once they’ve reached safety. To my mind, this song evokes the mysterious presence/absence of the Third Man.


“Peter Pan” by Arcade Fire

I picked this song because it reminds me of the book’s penultimate essay, which not only references J. M. Barrie but also reveals the secret to immortality (all yours for the approximate price of two Frappuccinos.)


“It’s Hard to Get Around the Wind” by Alex Turner

In New England, we’re required to enter a kind of psychological hibernation in the lead-up to winter. It’s a highly melodramatic process that usually involves taking one last walk along the beach in November. If, around this time of year, you encounter someone staring pensively at the Atlantic, crying and throwing broken shells at seagulls, keep your distance. Do not approach.


“Old Stepstone (Later Live…with Jools Holland)” by Cold Specks

Authors rarely say goodbye to their readers, probably for good reason, but I do on the last page of my book. I can’t think of a better musical farewell to listeners than this bittersweet a cappella performance by Cold Specks.


Will Dowd and Areas of Fog links:

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

Hippocampus Magazine review

The Drunken Odyssey interview with the author
Give and Take interview with the author
OTHERPPL interview with the author
Patriot Ledger profile of the author
WBUR 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


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - January 19, 2018

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

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


McSweeney's 51

McSweeney's 51

Everyone's favourite eccentric literary compendium has released their newest issue McSweeney's 51. It contains letters to the publication from swoon-worthy artists and writers, eighteen brand-new stories from authors like Etgar Keret and Nadja Spiegelman, and more! All bound together by Jesse Jacobs spacey mechanical-turk-ish illustrations.


Little Reunions

Little Reunions
by Eileen Chang

Set in Hong Kong and Shanghai during the Japanese occupation of WWII, this NYRB-released novel is a romance and family saga with winds of social critique. Glamourous and brilliant Eileen Chang wrote here about how privilege twists, contorts, and often betrays in the face of war.


The White Book

The White Book
by Han Kang

Reminding me of the poetic attentiveness of Maggie Nelson's Bluets and Suzanne Scanlon's indexical Her 37th Year, The White Book is a reflection on colour, naming and chronicling white things found in the world - like salt, fog, frost, lace, wings, candles, light, certain objects in darkness, breast milk, and teeth to name a few.


The Lie and How We Told It

The Lie and How We Told It
by Tommi Parrish

One of our favourite comic artists working today, Montreal-based Tommi Parish has come out with a graphic novel that hits heavy with bright abstracted renderings of living and partying in metropolitan surroundings. Two friends with a worn relationship bump into each other by chance and spend the evening together, confronting desire, disappointment, friendship, and adulthood.


How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective
edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Contextualizing the tenacious activism and organizing being built today with Black Lives Matter and Black feminism, this book interviews contemporary activists looking back on the radical work of a feminist antiracist collective from the '60s and '70s. A must read for understanding present-day resistance.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

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


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

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


This Week's Interesting Music Releases - January 19th, 2018

tUnE-yArDs

tUnE-yArDs' I can feel you creep into my private life is another magnificent album from Merrill Garbus.

Porches' The House is also a new release I can highly recommend.

Reissues include a remastered and expanded edition of Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album.


This week's interesting music releases:


Arcade Fire: Put Your Money on Me [vinyl]
Bahamas: Earthtones
Belle and Sebastian: How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2) EP
Betty Davis: Nasty Gal (reissue) [vinyl]
Black Label Society: Grimmest Hits
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Wrong Creatures [vinyl]
Book of Love: The Sire Years: 1985-1993
Cane Hill: Too Far Gone
Fall Out Boy: MANIA
First Aid Kit: Ruins
Fleetwood Mac: Fleetwood Mac (remastered and expanded)
Frank Zappa: Have a Little Tush
Frank Zappa: Munich 1980
Gary Numan: Dance (reissue) [vinyl]
Glen Hansard: Between Two Shores
The Go! Team: Semicircle
Grateful Dead: Live in Concert
Grateful Dead: Wharf Rats Come East
A Grave with No Name: Passover
Hot Snakes: Audit In Progress (reissue) [vinyl]
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (reissue)
Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (reissue) [vinyl]
Joe Perry: Sweetzerland Manifesto
John Cale: Honi Soit (reissue)
Me'shell Ndegeocello: Plantation Lullabies (reissue) [vinyl]
Moon Taxi: Let the Record Play
Mudhoney: LiE
Porches: The House
The Residents: Meet The Residents: pREServed Edition
The Residents: The Third Reich 'n Roll: pREServed Edition
The Shins: The Worms Heart
Sun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams (reissue)
They Might Be Giants: I Like Fun
Thom Yorke: Tomorrow's Modern Boxes (reissue)
tUnE-yArDs: I can feel you creep into my private life
The Waterboys: Fisherman's Box (6-CD box set)
The Xcerts: Hold On To Your Heart
Xylouris White: Mother


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 (2018's Most Anticipated Nonfiction, An Interview with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus, and more)

BookPage listed 2018's most anticipated nonfiction.


All Things Considered interviewed Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs.


January is Largehearted Boy's annual fundraiser month. If you enjoy the site and and appreciate the work that goes into it, please consider making a donation.


Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting 2017 music lists, updated daily.


January's best eBook deals.


Stream a new song by Citay’s Ezra Feinberg.


Tayari Jones discussed her forthcoming novel An American Marriage with Tin House.


Stream a new Hot Snakes song.


The JDO Show interviewed author Jeff Jackson.


The creators of the Fugazi opera discussed the project with the Washington CityPaper.


eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Improvement by Joan Silber


Stream four songs from Yo La Tengo's forthcoming album There's A Riot Going On.


The Denver Post recommended books and authors with connections to Colorado.


Stream a new song by the Soft Moon.


Los Angeles Magazine recommended L.A. poets you should be reading.


Amadou and Mariam played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The Rumpus interviewed author Joyce Maynard.


Stream a new Field Report song.


Electric Literature recommended hopeful books about mental illness.


Gorilla Vs. Bear shared a winter mix.


Time Out New York interviewed poet Tommy Pico.


Stream a new song by Barely Civil.


Electric Literature recommended galvanizing books about political protest.


Stereogum shared covers of the Sex Pistols' "God save the Queen."


Litro interviewed author Jerome Charyn.


Stream a new song by The Oh Hellos.


Studio 1A discussed cover songs and shared an excerpt from Ray Padgett's book Cover Me.


Electric Literature recommended books about North Korea.


Stream a new song by The Sea and Cake.



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 18, 2018

Book Notes - Neel Mukherjee "A State of Freedom"

A State of Freedom

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.

Inspired by V.S. Naipaul's In a Free State, Neel Mukherjee's novel A State of Freedom is powerful and original.

The Wall Street Journal wrote of the book:

"Exquisitely written, cleverly structured, powerfully resonant to the very last line. . . . A profoundly intelligent and empathetic novel of privilege and poverty, advancement and entrapment."


In his own words, here is Neel Mukherjee's Book Notes music playlist for his novel A State of Freedom:


A State of Freedom is an experiment of sorts: an attempt to write a disruptive novel, an interrupted novel, disrupted and interrupted lives being the central experience of the people at the heart of the book. These people are all economic migrants within India who have moved far away from their homes, either by volition or by force, in search – in the hope – of a better life. The book is also an attempt at experimenting with certain aspects of form, such as sabotaging realism from within by pushing it towards its opposite – a ghost story, say – while keeping the surface effects of realism intact. Another such formal experiment was to take away all the connective tissue such as plot, character, unity of narrative and development and drama from the realist novel and see if I could have a book that could still answer to the name of 'novel'. It is emphatically not a linked collection of stories of varying lengths.

Tracks:

1. A tour of the great Mughal palace at Fathehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar around 1569/70, forms the core of Section I. It is difficult to think of the music that could accompany this section. A piece of Hindustani classical music could work: say, an excerpt from a vocal rendition of the sombre and sad raga Mian ki Todi, since it is named after Mian Tansen, the sixteenth-century composer, musician and singer who was one of the 'Navaratnas' (Nine Jewels) of Emperor Akbar’s court.

2. The only kind of music I could think for Section II is something that the unnamed first-person narrator would listen to. He is urbane, educated, lives in London, works for a trendy design company, is involved in a project to create a sort of part-coffee-table, part food-tourism – but authentic – book on regional Indian breakfasts. What sort of musical tastes would he have? Maybe a Schubert impromptu?

3. But this guy is some kind of a … well, not exactly hipster, but a proto-hipster, if you will. What do hipsters listen to? Sufjan Stevens? The Pharrell Williams-Katy Perry-Big Sean track, 'Feels', from the new Calvin Harris album, Funk Wav Bounces, Volume I?

4. 'Oongli mein angoothi' ('A ring on my finger/A serpent in the ring') from Ram Avatar, for Section III. Lakshman watches a girl mime highly stylised Bollywood dance movements while listening to this (ghastly) song from the (ghastly) 1988 Bollywood film being played at some celebration or the other in a small-town school in north India. This song-and-dance romance routine is every cliché of an over-the-top Bollywood number.

5. And here is another of those: 'My name is Lakhan', from Ram Lakhan, for Section III. Lakshman sings this song from the huge Bollywood hit, Ram Lakhan (1989), as he makes Raju, the bear, dance. 'Lakhan' is a diminutive of his own name, Lakshman, so there is a kind of silly knowingness in his choice of the song.

6. A 'Ba Parab' song for Section IV. Ba Parab ('festival of flowers'), or Sarhul, is an important spring festival for the Munda people, the tribe that Milly (in Section IV of the novel) belongs to. Some words from one of the songs sung at this festival are quoted on page 169. You can find quite a detailed description of the festival here: http://www.indianetzone.com/66/sarhul_or_ba_parab.htm

7. On page 260, Milly hears the title song of the television serial, Balika Vadhu, as it begins playing on a neighbour's television. The serial ran for 8 years, from 2008 to 2016, and was immensely popular.


Neel Mukherjee and A State of Freedom links:

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

Financial Times review
Guardian review
Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New Statesman review
NPR Books review
Publishers Weekly review

The Hindu interview with the author
Publishers Weekly 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


Shorties (A New Leslie Jamison Essay, New Music from Sylvan Esso, and more)

The New York Times Magazine features a new Leslie Jamison essay.


Stream a new Sylvan Esso song.


January is Largehearted Boy's annual fundraiser month. If you enjoy the site and and appreciate the work that goes into it, please consider making a donation.


27 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists Monday (bringing the total to 1,641), including BookPage's best audiobooks.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting 2017 music lists, updated daily.


January's best eBook deals.


Stream a new Eels song.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Quintan Ana Wikswo.


Pitchfork profiled the band Camp Cope.

They burn with the same messy feminist punk fire of Kathleen Hanna, Liz Phair, or even Lady Gaga—personal-political to the max, unapologetically loud and unwilling to settle for anything less than a radical overhaul of The Way Things Work.


The Coil previewed 2018's most anticipated books.


Stream a new Decemberists song.


Literary Hub shared an interview with author John Jeremiah Sullivan.


NPR Music is streaming Ty Segall's new album Freedom's Goblin.


eBook on sale for $2.99 today:

White Rage by Carol Anderson

eBook on sale for $3.99 today:

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


Stream a new Hanna Benn song.


Nick Harkaway recommended books that depict magical worlds at Read It Forward.


NPR Music is streaming Calexico's new album The Thread That Keeps Us.


SF Weekly interviewed author Fran Lebowitz.


Noisey profiled singer-songwriter Talons'.

Through the years, Talons’ has always approached the present with dense narrative, meticulous field recordings, and crafty tunings and production to build something as infinitely complex as it is gloriously, melodically comforting.


Entropy interviewed poet Eve L. Ewing.


NPR Music is streaming Dream Wife's new self-titled album.


Literary Hub features a new Rebecca Solnit essay.


Brandi Carlile visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Signature recommended books on immortality that teach us about being human.


Margo Price covered Bob Dylan's "Most Likely You Go Your Way."


Leni Zumas talked to Literary Hub about her new novel Red Clocks.


Julien Baker broke down her song "Appointments" on the Song Exploder podcast.


Signature recommended books on writing memoir.


Stream a new Amen Dunes song.


Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors discussed her memoir When They Call You a Terrorist with the New York Review of Books.


Stream a new Mount Eerie song.


Elena Ferrante will become the new Guardian Weekend columnist.


Stream a new Tracey Thorn song.


Coming in 2018: a Beastie Boys memoir by Mike D and Ad-Rock.


Stream a new Ought sing.



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 17, 2018

Book Notes - Deborah Reed "The Days When Birds Come Back"

The Days When Birds Come Back

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.

Deborah Reed's The Days When Birds Come Back is an immersive and beautifully written novel about love and loss.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Reed shines with a light hand and direct storytelling, but her characters are what make this novel move—their vulnerability, imperfect recovery, and endearing loss for words."


In her own words, here is Deborah Reed's Book Notes music playlist for her novel The Days When Birds Come Back:



The Days When Birds Come Back is set on the Oregon coast in the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest where I happen to live in a town of less than 600 people. Here, days are guided by tides and storms, sunbreaks and floods, flutters of golden crown kinglets, hungry coyotes, and lately, a bear wandering about town, midday, as she pleases. Evenings might wind down with friends at the local whiskey bar or pub. Most are whiled away in the quiet of home.

My office is a separate structure behind the house, a tiny cabin on a slope, propped at one end by six-foot stilts, and surrounded by a small grove of ancient trees. It is here that I wrote most of this novel, as if from a tree house. I am well aware of my good fortune. I am aware of the strange providences that led me to this beautiful place. And of my tenacity to have arrived here, too. It takes a bit of brawny determination to live with the fierce storms and power outages, the isolation that tends to make one nostalgic for things she may or may not have ever had. Living here feeds a kind of poetic yearning, which is a lifelong baggage of mine, and these are all elements I have woven throughout the characters' lives in The Days When Birds Come Back.

"No Hard Feelings" by The Avett Brothers

I began the novel toward the end of the dissolution of my former marriage, and my life was layered then with unbearable losses. The goal of every day was literally to eat and write and learn how to rebuild my sense of self back into some semblance of a whole. It was an excruciating time for me and for my family. I lived in near isolation, taking daily hikes down the beach for miles while crying out loud. The beach is quite remote with few or no people, and I would put in my ear buds and play this song on high volume repeatedly while singing along and crying. I walked and I wrote, and I practiced no hard feelings. Eventually, everything stuck.

"Sarah Anne" by Anders Osborne

Eventually, I found happiness again, and even remarried. My now husband introduced me to the music of Anders Osborne not long after we met, and I was taken with the sensuality and baseline of this song, and at first I used the name as a placeholder for a main character for the novel, until something else fit, but nothing else ever did, so she remained Sarah Anne, and she is Sarah Anne. The newness of love in the song resembles the passion between Jameson and Sarah Anne in the novel when they are young and falling in love before tragedy strips everything away.

"To Love Somebody" by Karl Blau

Well this is just one of the best songs ever written in my opinion. I have always loved the versions by the Bee Gees, and Janis Joplin, but I love this version by Karl Blau best. There is a wise and wise-cracking tone to Blau's voice that I adore, a serious and tender kind of jokester in the vein of Bill Murray. The ache of this song reminds me of my character Jameson, his grief mixed so deeply with his love for others until the two become indistinguishable.

Lemonade (every song on the album) by Beyonce

My main character, June, struggles mightily to get through a significant amount of pain, not unlike the heroine in nearly every one of the songs on this album. It's a tough road, filled with a mess of trouble, but June manages to bust through, eventually. I listened to this album on repeat for months while writing the novel, and felt empowered and hopeful as a result, which certainly found its way into the novel.

"In A Little While" by U2

The early draft of my novel was actually titled In a Little While, but then Rick Bass published a collection by nearly the same name, so I changed my own to avoid confusion. This is another song brought to my attention by my now husband. The lyrics are closely tied to the novel, and to my own life, and to those closest to me, for whom I deeply care.

"In a little while
Surely you'll be mine

In a little while I'll be there.
In a little while

This hurt will hurt no more

I'll be home, love."



"Frying Pan" by Evan Dando

I've always been a huge fan of Dando's, going back to The Lemonheads. The throwback feel of his vocals in Frying Pan dovetail beautifully with the themes of yearning and nostalgia throughout the novel.

"One laugh in the middle of a struggle. We got mountains, we got beaches, we got love that makes us mad. Love that has to teach us."

"Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell

I listened to this song more than any other on my iTunes. 172 plays! It's the quintessential drinking and fighting and things falling apart song. The eternal ache to get things right, to be free of addiction, the inevitable screw ups that follow, the determination to get a right once again—it's all here. This is my character, June, bless her big, sweet heart.

"Days when we raged,
We flew off the page,
Such damage was done."

"Feeling Good" by Nina Simone

This classic ultimately became the anthem for me and for my main characters during the writing of this novel. We persevered last time, and we will persevere again.

"It's a new dawn.
It's a new day.
It's a new life.
For me."


Deborah Reed and The Days When Birds Come Back links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

BookPage review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Olivay
Oregonian 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


Shorties (Iconic Brooklyn Books, New Music from Lucy Dacus, and more)

Literary Hub recommended iconic Brooklyn Books.


Stream a new Lucy Dacus song.


January is Largehearted Boy's annual fundraiser month. If you enjoy the site and and appreciate the work that goes into it, please consider making a donation.


27 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists Monday (bringing the total to 1,641), including BookPage's best audiobooks.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting 2017 music lists, updated daily.


January's best eBook deals.


GQ examined how punk bands reclaimed their scene from white supremacists.


Maclean's interviewed author Will Self.


Stream a new song by Mt. Joy.


Myriam Gurba discussed her memoir Mean with Vol. 1 Brooklyn.


SPIN interviewed the musical duo No Age.


The Chicago Review of Books interviewed poet Devin Kelly.


Stream a new Dr. Dog song.


eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor


The Quietus interviewed musician Emma Ruth Rundle.


Fanzine interviewed author Gabrielle Civil.


Stream a new of Montreal song.


Signature recommended books to understand South Korea.


Stream a new Helena Deland song.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Ana Simo's debut novel Heartland.


Porches covered the Beatles' "If I Fell."


The Guardian listed the top conspiracy theories in fiction.


Mira T. Lee discussed her debut novel Everything Here Is Beautiful with the Los Angeles Review of 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 16, 2018

Book Notes - Steph Post "Walk In The Fire"

Walk In The Fire

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.

Walk In The Fire is yet another engaging Florida noir novel from Steph Post.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Post combines classical genre tropes with a touch of Harry Crews–style Southern gothic in this terrific crime novel."


In her own words, here is Steph Post's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Walk In The Fire:



This will be my third time creating a playlist for a novel and I’m having some trouble with it. Not so much with creating the soundtrack for Walk In The Fire, the sequel to last year’s Lightwood and continuation of the Cannon family saga, but with presenting it. Being the middle novel of a trilogy, Walk In The Fire is, by its nature, a story of transition. Our two main characters, Judah and Ramey, have their world rocked by the end of the very first chapter and from that point on I considered anything to be fair game when it came to setting trials for the Cannons, Sister Tulah and Clive Grant, a new addition to the story. All that goes to say that Walk In The Fire is rife with spoilers and I didn’t want to give too much away with my playlist this time.

Instead of giving you, then, the straight up cinematic soundtrack to the story, scene by scene, I’ve put together the emotional mixed-tape for Walk In The Fire. The music is quite eclectic this go round, but I promise it all makes sense in the end. Here are all the feels; it’s up to you to find the connections. Enjoy.

Clay George - “This Old Town”
Mott The Hoople - “All The Young Dudes”
Chris Isaak - “Don’t Get So Down on Yourself”
The Strokes - “Last Nite”
Deftones - “Knife Party”
The White Stripes - “Blue Orchid”
Nine Inch Nails - “The Perfect Drug”
The Flaming Lips - “Fight Test”
Tiger Army - “Hechizo De Amor”
Beck - “Heavens Hammer”
Tanya Donelly - “Acrobat”
Cat Power - “Werewolf”
Sia - “Elastic Heart”
Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Dani California”
Hank Williams III - “Country Heroes”
Rancid - “Recipe For Hate”
Moby - “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die”
The Veils - “Sit Down By the Fire”


Steph Post and Walk In The Fire links:

the author's website

Publishers Weekly review
Tampa Bay Times review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Lightwood
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for A Tree Born Crooked
TNBBC's The Next Best Book Blog 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 (Ocean Vuong Awarded the TS Eliot Prize, Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries Passed Away, and more)

Ocean Vuong's poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds has been awarded the TS Eliot prize.


R.I.P., Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries.

Stream the band's Tiny Desk Concert.


January is Largehearted Boy's annual fundraiser month. If you enjoy the site and and appreciate the work that goes into it, please consider making a donation.


27 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists yesterday (bringing the total to 1,641), including BookPage's best audiobooks.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting 2017 music lists, updated daily.


January's best eBook deals.


The Quietus found gold in David Bowie's non-singles.


eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Best of Us by Joyce Maynard


Coming to NYC: an opera based on Fugazi stage banter.


Deadspin interviewed author Ta-Nehisi Coates


Grimes shared a selection of mood playlists.


NPR Books profiled poet Kaveh Akbar.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed musician Damian Krukowski.


Tin House features new Angela Flournoy fiction.


Broadsheet profiled the band Grizzly Bear.


Leni Zumas talked to Weekend Edition about her new novel Red Clocks.


Stream a new tUnE-yArDs song.


Paste listed January's best books.


Salon previewed 2018's most anticipated albums.


The New York Times interviewed author Philip Roth.


Turntable Kitchen shared two tracks from Ava Luna's full album cover of Serge Gainsbourg‘s Histoire de Melody Nelson.


John Rechy talked to the Los Angeles Review of Books about his novel After the Blue Hour.


The Independent profiled the band Django Django.


The New York Review of Books interviewed biographer Robert Caro.


The Creative Independent interviewed Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch.


Book Riot previewed 2018's best books by British authors.


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



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, 2018

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - January 15th

For the tenth straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find.

As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating regularly.

Please feel free to e-mail me or or contact me on Facebook or Twitter with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online media list I have missed.

See also: Largehearted Boy's List of Essential and Interesting 2017 Year-End Music Lists.

Please consider making a donation or leaving a tip to Largehearted Boy to support the website and posts like these, as well as author playlists, daily book & music news, and much more.


Today's Update to the Online Year-end "Best of 2017" Book Lists:


Adventures in Historyland (top history books)
ainsleyinneverland (top books)
Angelus (top books)
Banner (top books)
Book Pandamonium (best books)
The Book Satchel (favourite books)
BOOKmaddie (best books)
Booknerd Tamj (top books)
BookPage (best audiobooks)
Broke By Books (best books)
Finding the Plot (top books)
The Fun in Reading Books (top books)
The Hobby Whore (best books)
Iowa City Public Library (best books)
James Reads (best books)
Justin Boreta (favorite books)
Kate Forsyth (best books)
Kymberli Briggs (favorite books)
Laura Billett (top books)
Lost in Translation (favorite books)
Louisiana Bride (favorite books)
Lush - Anna James (books)
M. L. S. Weech (top books)
Mountain & Prairie (best books)
Nad's Books (best books)
Nocturnal Book Club (favorite books)
Northern Belle Bookworm (favorite books)
one-part-cynic. more-parts-idealist. (books)
Our Amanahs Our Futures (top books)
Pages and Margins (best books)
A Peculiar Providence (books)
Shannon Reads (favourite books)
Shub's Blog (top books)
Sudbury Star (best books)
This Bites (cookbooks)
When Loose Ends Meet (best books)
Write-Escape (favorite literary fiction)


also at Largehearted Boy:

updates to the lists of "Best Books of 2017" list

Online "Best Books of 2017" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2015" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists

2017 Online Year-end Music Lists
2016 Online Year-end Music Lists
2015 Online Year-end Music Lists
2014 Online Year-end Music Lists
2013 Online Year-end Music Lists
2012 Online Year-end Music Lists
2011 Online Year-end Music Lists
2010 Online Year-end Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Music Lists
2009 Online Year-end Music Lists
2008 Online Year-end Music Lists
2007 Online Year-end Music Lists
2006 Online Year-end Music Lists
other lists at Largehearted Boy

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (comics recommendations)
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)


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