Twitter Facebook Tumblr Pinterest Instagram

February 15, 2019

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - February 15, 2019

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.


Lost Children Archive

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Following the publication of her slim account of travelling along the US/Mexican border with her family in 2014, Tell Me How it Ends, comes this fictionalized account of the journey. It’s a road trip with the family compiling traces, fragments, and news clippings of children gone missing crossing the border. We are so excited for this book that we will host the upcoming New Reads Book Club on this book March 27 2019.


The Problem of Susan & Other Stories

The Problem of Susan & Other Stories by Neil Gaiman

These four short comics each develop fantastic worlds, revisiting fairy tales, children’s literature, and legends. The illustrations, with a different style for each story, add detail and mystery to Gaiman’s writing. There is a darkness to this book, at first hidden but ultimately enhanced by the bold, expansive graphics.


My Solo Exchange Diary 2

My Solo Exchange Diary 2 by Kabi Nagata

Nagata is back with more diaries to share! This book, a sequel to My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness and My Solo Exchange Diary continues to be full of honest and intimate confessions. Nagata takes readers through the complexities of fame and family, continued isolation, compulsive drinking, and hospitalization. What comes through most in this book, however, is an appreciation of the strength of familial love.


The Source of Self-Regard

The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison

A collection of essays and speeches that spans forty years, the pieces in this collection feel timely and urgent. Arranged into three sections: “The Foreigner’s Home,” “Black Matter(s),” and “God’s Language,” the book is composed of an impressive variety of pieces addressing political, social, and literary matters. This book will delight long-time Morrison fans, as well as those looking for an introduction to her thinking and writing.


The I Wonder Bookstore

The I Wonder Bookstore by Shinsuke Yoshitake

A sweet, fantastical, and clever book of short comics about an imagined meta bookstore that only sells books about books. If you think of it, they’ve got it. Included are: the manual How to Grow a Tree that Writes Books, a training guide Boot Camp for Bookstore Employees, an anthology of Unique Book Festivals, an account of the Village of Raining Books, and a look into The Underwater Library. For the book obsessed, like us.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's website
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)






February 15, 2019

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - February 15, 2019

Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll's What It Is and Ladytron's self-titled release are the two new albums I can recommend this week.

Reissues include remastered editions of five David Bowie releases (Glass Spider, Let's Dance, Never Let Me Down, Serious Moonlight, Tonight).

Two Japanese compilations are especially intriguing: Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 and Kankyō Ongaku Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990.


This week's interesting music releases:


Avantasia: Moonglow
Avril Lavigne: Head Above Water
​Chaka Khan: Hello Happiness
Czarface & Ghostface Killah: Czarface Meets Ghostface
David Bowie: Glass Spider (remastered)
David Bowie: Let's Dance (remastered)
David Bowie: Never Let Me Down (remastered)
David Bowie: Serious Moonlight (remastered)
David Bowie: Tonight (remastered)
Florida Georgia Line: Can’t Say I Ain’t Country
Frank Zappa: Goblins, Witches & Kings
Hauschka: A Different Forest
Hayes Carll: What It Is
Hot Water Music: Caution (reissue) [vinyl]
Hot Water Music: A Flight and a Crash (reissue) [vinyl]
India.Arie: Worthy
Jon Fratelli: Bright Night Flowers
Ladytron: Ladytron
Megadeth: The System Has Failed (remastered)
Megadeth: The World Needs a Hero (remastered)
Methyl Ethel: Triage
Millencolin: SOS
Pinegrove: Skylight [vinyl]
Piroshka: Brickbat
Ryan Bingham: American Love Song
Social Distortion: Social Distortion (reissue) [vinyl]
Super Furry Animals: Rings Around the World (reissue) [vinyl]
SWMRS: Berkeley's On Fire
Tedeschi Trucks Band: Signs
Tom Petty: Dockside
The Long Ryders: Psychedelic Country Soul
Various Artists: Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 [vinyl]
Various Artists: Kankyō Ongaku Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990
Various Artists: The Orville Soundtrack - Season 1
Yann Tiersen: ALL


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 (Janet Malcolm on Books and Reading, Stream the New Julia Jacklin Album, and more)

Janet Malcolm

Janet Malcolm talked books and reading with the New York Times.


NPR Music is streaming Julia Jacklin's new album Crushing.


February's best eBook deals.


The Current interviewed Peter Hook about his time in Joy Division, New Order, and The Light.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Brian Alan Ellis.


Faber launched a series of political pamphlets by musicians with a book by Billy Bragg.


Shondaland shared an excerpt from Toni Morrison's new book, The Source of Self-Regard.


Stream a new Tacocat song.


Vanity Fair listed winter's best books from around the world.


Paste listed the best albums of 1979.


Men's Health listed the greatest sports books of all time.


Stream a new song by Versing.


Sharma Shields talked to Paste about her new novel The Cassandra.


Stream a new Jenny Lewis song.


Georgia Public Broadcasting interviewed author Tayari Jones.


Stream a new Wye Oak song.


Bookworm interviewed French author Amanda Sthers.


Stream a new song by Son Volt.


Valeria Luiselli discussed hew new novel Lost Children Archive with Vulture, The Rumpus, and Guernica.


Stream a new My Brightest Diamond song.


Yiyun Li discussed her new novel, Where Reasons End, with Literary Hub.


Revolver profiled the band Jawbox.


Maryse Meijer discussed her new short fiction collection Rag with the Chicago Review of Books.


Stream a new song by Leggy.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Esmé Weijun Wang.


Stream a new Hand Habits song.


Rolling Stone interviewed Dave Cullen about his new book, Parkland.


Stream a new song by Over the Rhine.


Book Riot recommended books for bibliophiles.


Stream a new Holy Ghost! song.


Steph Post recommended books that define the carnival genre at Literary Hub.


Stream a new Matmos song.


The Believer shared a conversation between authors Sabrina Orah Mark and Elizabeth McCracken.


Stream a new Sir Babygirl song.


Poets and Writers profiled author Marlon James.


Stream a new song by Broken Social Scene 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


February 13, 2019

Tosh Berman's Playlist for His Memoir "Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World"

Tosh

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.

Tosh Berman's memoir Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World offers fascinating insight into the life of the author's artist father and the Beat and hippie art scenes of Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hyperallergic wrote of the book:

"Tosh's book is fascinating, fleshing out details on how Wallace morphed from West Coast Beat generation raja into hippie headmaster of LA, centered in the Beverly Glen and Topanga Canyon areas, and, for a time, of San Francisco. . . . His book is filled with wild, with-it insights, buttressed by bounteous black and white photos, yet it is based in a rather ordinary, mid-20th century American upbringing, with extraordinary moments."


In his own words, here is Tosh Berman's Book Notes music playlist for his memoir Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World:



"Lush Head Woman” - Jimmy Witherspoon

My father Wallace Berman, as a young man, befriended a lot of Jazz musicians including the great Blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon. As far as I know, my Dad only wrote one song as a lyricist, and that is with Jimmy called “Lush Head Woman.” A song about a woman who drinks all day and all night. A classic subject matter, and perhaps Wallace’s first step and last, into making music. Although if you are going to do one work in music, “Lush Head Woman” is a pretty significant achievement. I believe the song was only available on a 78 rpm disc and was issued on a French compilation of early Witherspoon music.

2) “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” - Charlie Parker

My dad was in the generation that greatly admired Charlie Parker in real time. Meaning, that he could see Parker play in various clubs in Los Angeles in the post-war years. I think some musicians or artists opened up the dialogue that is out there. For my generation, it was The Beatles, and the previous era it was Elvis - but for those who wanted something new in their lives, Charlie Parker was very much the ‘it’ artist of that era. Parker had mental and addiction problems, and therefore he ended up in Camarillo Hospital. The title is hysterical, and at least it shows Parker had a sense of humor. Wallace did an album cover for Dial Records “Be-bop Jazz” which was on a 78 rpm disc, and a compilation of various artists, including Charlie Parker. I believe this was the first time Parker appeared on disc. And my dad did the cover when he was a teenager.

3) “The Chase” Wardell Gray

I remember Wallace playing this recording really loud on his high-fi, which was a tube amp, with one colossal speaker cabinet. A classic in the be-bop mode, the classic jam piece that I’m sure Wallace heard live in the South Central Jazz club/setting.

4) “Alabama Song” Lotte Lenya

My first memory of a recording is Lotte Lenya’s version of her husband Kurt Weill and the poet/lyricist Bertolt Brecht’s “Alabama Song.” Not only did my parents own the album Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theater Songs of Kurt Weill, but so did my grandmother, who came from Hamburg. She would play this album for me as well. So I had no escape from Lotte Lenya. Also, my dad took me to see the second James Bond film From Russia With Love which Lotte played the villain/assassin. In that sense, Lotte was my first recording and early film star for yours truly. The presence of this song never left me also due to the Doors doing a version, and then much later, David Bowie.

5) “Intégrales” Edgard Varèse

Without a doubt, the first avant-garde record I heard as a child. It got my attention due to the sirens that are part of the music, and this is a recording that Wallace played a lot in both San Francisco and Los Angeles homes. Also, as a child, I picked up something that was quite dark in its textures. I could never articulate this piece, especially at a young age, but it was also a scary listening experience.

6) “Ahmeilou" - Maallem Ahmed (from Music of Morocco: Recorded by Paul Bowles, 1959)

Just due to being in the same room as the hi-fi set, I was introduced to a lot of odd or scary sounding music. Paul Bowles in the 1950s went around Morocco to record the regional music of specific areas of that country or culture. This, being sort of the companion piece to Varèse’s musique concrete sounds, this was something that sounded like it came from another planet, a world that I knew nothing about. Equally intense and scary as well. My dad played this recording over and over again, and a very loud manner as he worked on his art pieces.

7) “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” - James Brown

Not only the title of a significant work by my dad but also (of course) an incredible song by James Brown. Wallace had the 45 rpm single, in fact, that was his favorite format for vinyl. The perfect song, the chosen piece, and released to focus only on that song. I know my dad thought of using his varifax college also as the medium to find the perfect image for inside the transistor radio. When he used more images, then it becomes an album, but sometimes that one image in the transistor radio is “it.” It’s possible for a sonic artist to have that one song that is essential “it.” As memory has it, Wallace had only one album by Brown, and that was “Live at the Apollo” which was played a lot in the household as well. Wallace through the good graces of Toni Basil arranged a meeting between my dad and Brown. If one could be a fly on the wall for that meeting.

8) “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” - The Righteous Brothers (Phil Spector)

Wallace rarely gave titles to his artworks, except for the Brown song above, and this piece of wax magic “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” The artwork is a portrait of Phil Spector, who produced the recording, and it’s a masterpiece between subject matter and artist. Happily, Phil purchased the piece, but sadly where it is now, is a mystery. Nevertheless, Wallace played this record numerous times in the studio while working.

(9) “Baby It’s You” - Barbara Lewis

A classic pop/soul record that Wallace liked a lot. Sometimes a song that hasn’t any meaning, but just a pleasurable way of spending time. Some music that my dad played in the studio meant a lot to him, other time it could be a form of white noise, just a sound out there to silence the silence. “Baby, It’s You” is a very sophisticated song, in that it conveys love as something warm. I recently purchased a used 45 rpm single of this song, and it makes the room feel warm and pleasant.

10) “Who’ll Be the Next in Line” - The Kinks

This record, like the others, was played over and over again in Wallace’s studio. We’re talking about 20 times in a row if not more. My job as a kid is to pick up the needle at the end of the song and place it at the beginning of the record. This one is different from the others because this was (and is) a favorite song of mine. I liked the other pop songs my dad played, but The Kinks struck me as something more of my identity, and I can literally hear this song over and over again with no problem. I Identify with the ‘hurt’ or jealousy of the singer, even though I was way too young to be in a romance or in a sexual affair of any sort. Yet, the emotion I totally got it. Perhaps it’s the fear of rejection that I think many children feel - either within the family or in a school setting. It’s a universal song.

11) “The Crystal Ship” - The Doors

For a short period of time, like maybe a month, The Whisky a Go-Go on the Sunset Strip had an all-ages show that takes place at 2pm, and Wallace took me to see Van Morrison’s Them, because I love the song “Gloria,” and the opening act was a local Los Angeles band The Doors. We never heard of The Doors, but both of us were impressed with the band and its lead singer Jim Morrison. Who was wearing black leather pants, and for me, it was the first time I have ever witnessed black leather pants on a singer. Or on anyone for that matter of fact. Still, I was impressed that they sang a song from my childhood Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s “Alabama Song.” That, and “The Crystal Ship” stayed in my mind as well. Their debut album came out shortly after that show, and of course made a significant impression on me, but also a huge hit. It was the first time I witnessed a band before they made it huge, and that struck me as a particular moment to see a group.

12) “Satisfaction” - The Rolling Stones

Toni Basil introduced Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones to my dad, and they became very close. Brian spent countless hours drinking wine, smoking pot and listening to records over at our house. I can tell Brian was over the house the night before, while I was asleep, by seeing all the albums on the floor, and maybe a wine bottle or two. As far as I know, Wallace and Brian never discussed The Stones, except once, when my dad asked Brian how they got that guitar sound on “Satisfaction.”

13) “Subterranean Homesick Blues” - Bob Dylan

My parents bypassed the early Dylan ‘folk’ albums, and his Bringing it All Back Home was the first album to hit our living room in Beverly Glen. Again, the image of Lotte Lenya made a re-appearance in my (our) lives, due that her Sings Berlin Theater Songs of Kurt Weill is one of the objects on the front cover. For a photograph, that image of Dylan with a very sophisticated woman (his manager’s wife) and various objects around him, struck me as both iconic and as well as mysterious. It doesn’t look like Dylan’s home in the Village, in fact, he’s transported into another world, and the music on this album conveys the changes in Dylan’s approaches and merging into pop songwriting, but still traces of the folk sound. A bridge between the younger Dylan and the contemporary Dylan. Wallace played this album a lot, and I remember “Subterranean Homesick Blues” getting the repeated listenings.

14) “I’m Waiting for the Man” - The Velvet Underground

My father brought in all the weird albums to the house. He loved The Fugs, Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica and of course, the first Velvet Underground album. As a teenager I couldn’t understand the song “Heroin” or “Venus in Furs,” this was clearly an album of adult songs. In fact, come to think of it, this was the first adult rock album. It wasn’t until I discovered Bowie, that I rediscovered this Velvets album. But even then, the one song I could relate to in such a manner was “I’m Waiting for the Man.” I wasn’t sure if it was a song about gay prostitution or drug exchange. Still, even I sort of ignored this album in my dad’s collection, it stood out, including the seductive banana peel-off cover.

15) “Savor” - Santana (from their first album Santana)

I didn’t dislike Santana, but I never got their importance, except that Wallace played the song “Savor” on high volume when working on his art, or in his car while driving the windy streets of Topanga Canyon. Since I was often with him on almost a 12 hours a day, 7 days a week basis (when I’m not in the school of course), I had to share his music due to my placement in the room with him. For him, it was Amphetamine driven music, he thought for sure there was a chemical aspect to their playing, and it is intense music. Compared to the other San Francisco bands (not including Sly and the Family Stone) their musicianship and tightness were machine-like in its power and nothing flower-power about its approach to life or a sense of discipline in its manner. Wallace liked Be-bop music because each musician in the combo has to be strong in relation with the other players, and Santana in that sense fits the bill.

16) “Down by the River” - Neil Young & Crazy Horse

For us Topanga citizens, Neil Young was the cultural king of the area, and his band, Crazy Horse was his knights around the table. My dad was friendly with Neil, but his close friends Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, and George Herms were very close to the musician, and it was a regular event to see Neil and Crazy Horse either playing at the local bar, ‘The Topanga Corral’ or at a venue in greater Los Angeles. When I hear this song, I picture Topanga creek more than an actual river. I have to presume Neil was writing ‘river’ as a literary enchanted area or even rural gothic surrounding, but me, I always thought of the creek in Topanga.

17) “Bitches Brew” - Miles Davis

“What is the hell is that noise?” As a teenager, I couldn’t get into this type of music, and I found it annoying. Wallace, on the other hand, embraced it like it was oxygen and played this top volume in his truck. 8-track version with the interruption in the middle of the song, but nevertheless, I found it to an odd soundtrack to Topanga life, which was mostly Neil Young, JoJo Gunne, Spirit, Canned Heat and so forth. This was music from another planet, and I just didn’t get it. Like The Fugs, Velvets, Beefheart, I learned to embrace “Bitches Brew” and its greatness. Once again, Wallace had an exceptional taste in music that was ‘out there.’

18) “The Bogus Man” - Roxy Music (from their album For Your Pleasure)

Wallace would put on records and listen to that piece with headphones. One that he repeatedly did over and over again is Roxy Music’s “The Bogus Man,” by far, his favorite recording in the year 1973. Often I would see him with his eyes closed, laying on the floor, with the headphones on, and having a blissed-out face expression, and it’s always “Bogus Man.”

19) Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs & Barrett

Or to be exact, the compilation that came out in 1974 called Syd Barrett. It was a double album set released in the United States, and it consisted of the two Barrett solo albums. At the time, I became obsessed with Syd’s music and narrative of his madness. Wallace, out of curiosity, played both discs consistently in one sitting, with the headphones on. 80 or so many minutes later he took the phones off his ears and said “Pretty good.”

20) Villa-Lobos’ "Bachianas Brasileiras" The piece is from "Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5 l.Aria (Cantilena) sung by Victoria De Los Angeles

I remember this recording played by my parents throughout the years. Wallace would also work with this particular piece in the background as he did his artwork. A haunting melody with a sad melancholy that puts the entire room into a mood of reflection.


Tosh Berman and Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World links:

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

Hyperallergic review

Dangerous Minds interview with the author
Publishers Weekly profile of the author
The Secret Library Podcast 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 (Recommended Breakup Books, Mountain Man's Tiny Desk Concert, and more)

Ariel Levy

BuzzFeed recommended breakup books that won't make you feel bad about breaking up.


Mountain Man played a Tiny Desk Concert.


February's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Actor's Life by Jenna Fischer
Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin


Southern Shelter's Sloan Simpson talked live show recording with Flagpole.


Reema Zaman discussed her memoir I Am Yours with The Rumpus.


Stream a new song by Tim Hecker.


Tosh Berman discussed his new memoir with Bookworm.


Hypebot examined if playlist culture has affected our listening culture.


Charlie Jane Anders shared the genesis of her new novel, The City in the Middle of the Night, at Whatever.


Rolling Stone profiled MusiCares, an organization that provides financial and healthcare assistance to “music people in times of need.”


OUPblog shared a reading list for Black History Month.


Stream a new Budos band song.


HuffPost interviewed Well Read Black Girl's Glory Edim.


BrooklynVegan listed the best songs covered by Nirvana.


The Paris Review shared Lucy Ives' introduction to the new edition of Lynne Tillman's novel American Genius: A Comedy.


Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee covered Bob Dylan's "It Ain’t Me Babe."


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Lauren Wilkinson's novel American Spy.


The Quietus reconsidered Low's debut album, I Could Live in Hope, 25 years after its release.


The Ringer examined the life and musical legacy of Big Star's Alex Chilton.



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


February 12, 2019

Angela Readman's Playlist for Her Novel "Something Like Breathing"

Something Like Breathing

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.

Angela Readman's novel Something Like Breathing is a stunning debut, a coming-of-age fairy tale I could not put down.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Readman’s debut novel paints a vivid picture of coming-of-age on that gloomy island in the 1950s, using distinct narrative voices to drive the well-paced revelations. The complicated, almost sisterly friendship between Lorrie and Sylvie will remind readers of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend (2012), and the hint of magic will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman’s darker work."


In her own words, here is Angela Readman's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Something Like Breathing:



I wrote Something Like Breathing at a small desk with a lamp and a speaker on it. I’d already written a short story collection and had been getting poems published for years, but it was a complete departure for me. This was a novel. It’s a completely different experience.

It involves longer writing sessions and more hours at my desk. There’s no substitute for it. It takes stamina. I got through it by putting on music, as loud as I dared, for short bursts. Sometimes, I’d get up, jump up and down to dust off the cobwebs after an hour or so, then get back to work. I needed that to keep writing. I used music like a shot of caffeine.

Jesus & Mary Chain - April Skies

The story is set on an island in Scotland where winters are long. When I was working on the novel I’d often get up early and write in fingerless gloves. It was still dark outside and freezing. I looked forward to lighter spring and the mornings, but they were a long time coming. It snowed as late as April, so I put on April Skies and kept writing. I love the summery sound. Though the Mary Chain are described as a goth band, they cite surf music and Elvis as an influence. It’s a breezy song that captures the island. Everyone’s waiting for clear skies.

Metallica - Whiskey in the Jar

Whiskey is everywhere in the book. One family runs a distillery, but there’s also a darker side of people making moonshine on the fringes of society. Metallica aren’t a band I was into growing up, but I married a rock man and he introduced me in small stages. A song here, a song there, like a baby steps introduction to evil. Their version of Whiskey in the Jar blows me away. It’s one of my motivation songs. I listen to it whenever I have to do something outside my comfort zone and need a shot of confidence. I still have it on my i-pod. I think I always will.

Neko Case - That Teenage Feeling

I could have picked almost anything by Neko. I didn’t discover them until a few years ago when a friend gave me a ticket to see them at The Sage. After the gig, I binged on the back catalogue. "That Teenage Feeling" fits the novel and when I worked on it. The central characters are two girls, Sylvie and Lorrie. They grow up together and become teenagers in a place where there isn’t much to do. That feeling of finding music I loved and immersing myself was like being a teenager again. Good music can make you feel young.

Nirvana - Lithium

Friendship is a force in the story. It’s always changing, it’s an influence, a source of inspiration and defines how people see themselves (a bit like social media now, it can be good or bad.) Oddly, I struggled to think of a song about friendship I love. I’m so happy because today I found my friends is a deceptively simple line. Its innocence isn’t dissimilar to the kids I wrote about. Sylvie is dying to be friends with the glamorous girl next door. Thinking about it makes her giddy. It’s a salvation from geekdom.

Elvis - Are you Lonesome Tonight? (laughing version)

It’s the 1950’s in the book, so the music is set in the era. Without MTV, Sylvie and Lorrie listen to the radio. "Love Me Tender" gets stuck in their heads, though lonesome captures their mood. I love the version where Elvis gets the words wrong. I was in a taxi at night once and the driver, this big surly guy, turned to me and said, ‘Do you mind if I turn this up? It’s Elvis laughing, it cracks me up.’ So he turned the song up and we sat listening to it: Elvis laughing, the taxi driver laughing, and me, the rainy streets slipping by.

500 Miles - The Proclaimers & Mr Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra

This is a strange combination of songs to be in the same sentence, I know, but both deserve a mention. "500 Miles" could apply to my characters walking everywhere in all weathers. Mr Blue Sky could reference waiting for sunshine in a windy place. But the real reason I’m including them together is a moment I had working on the novel.

It was the day after Christmas and I popped out for milk. It was dead in the supermarket, only a handful of shoppers. Th place looked clean and sparse, all the clutter of the season stripped away overnight. For the first time in months, there was no Christmas songs. I was like breathing fresh air. They played "Mr Blue Sky" & "500 Miles," and wherever I went I heard other lone shoppers singing along somehow. Not always singing really, but whistling, stamping, or jangling their carts to the rhythm.

There’s a bit in "500 Miles" that cheers ‘tra la la la’, and everyone joined in separately. It was one of those moments that are so unexpected it’s suddenly amazing to be alive. These strangers were connected by loving the same music. I always want something of that in my work, a sense of people being so odd sometimes it’s joyous. I hope I’ve included moments like that in Something Like Breathing. They’re not something we can plan. They’re not important, they’re unexpected, but they’re everything.

The Killers- Mr. Brightside

This is one of those tracks I can’t get over. It’s as fresh as the first day I heard it. It’s another one I put on to feel awake. It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss is a thought a lot of my characters have. I just can’t look it’s killing me, is too. Honestly, I can’t even write about it without feeling the need to stop and listen to it again.

Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows

Cohen’s one of my favorite lyricists. It doesn’t get much better than him or Nick Cave. I use faster music between edits, but this track relates to my characters feeling lonely, but never really being alone. In a quiet community, gossip is rife. People have opinions on everything, particularly girls and what they should wear, do, or say. Whatever they do, everybody knows.

Pixies - Where is My Mind

I’ve included this because the Pixies are amazing- is that a good reason? I think so. There’s a sense of people falling apart at times in Something Like Breathing, young and old alike, but I’d have listened to this band while I was writing it regardless. Oddly, I find this song relaxing, the sound of it’s so beautiful.

Smashing Pumpkins - Today

I shiver when I hear Smashing Pumpkins. I picture frost, crushed glass and a sea breeze all at once. It’s a sound full of possibilities. The words for "Today" are the same, full of hurt and hope, and how to hope is an ache sometimes. That’s what the future feels like for the girls in my story. It makes them shiver and tingle all at once.

It’s a bit like how it feels to publish a novel. I’ve never done it before, so it’s scary, yet exhilarating. Billy Corgan sings about a day being the greatest day he’s ever known, and in the next breath sings about tearing his heart out. That pretty much captures what it’s like to write.


Angela Readman and Something Like Breathing links:

excerpt from the book

Booklist review
Financial Times review
Irish Times review
Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review

Times Literary Supplement 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 (Nick Cave's Favorite Poets, Galaxie 500's On Fire Album Reconsidered, and more)

Galaxie 500

Nick Cave shared a list of his favorite poets.


The A.V. Club reconsidered Galaxie 500's On Fire album.


February's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed singer-songwriter Jay Bolotin.


Morgan Parker discussed her poetry collection Magical Negro with All Things Considered.


Paste recommended British musical acts you need to know in 2019.


Oprah Magazine recommended recently published books.


Flagpole shared an oral history of Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley's pre-Drive-By Truckers band, Adam's Housecat.


The New York Times reviewed five essay collections by women of color.


Stream a new Weyes Blood song.


Marie Claire previewed 2019's best books.


Stream a new song by Laurel Halo.


The Guardian recommended the best books about modern romance.


Variety profiled Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.


Erin Hosier discussed her memoir Don't Let Me Down with Salon.


Stream a new Damien Jurado song.


Marlon James recommended books at The Week.


Stream a new song by Filthy Friends.


Joseph Scapellato discussed his novel, The Made-Up Man, with Longreads.


The Verge interviewed Esmé Weijun Wang about her new essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias.


Book Riot recommended books about gangsters.


Hala Alyan talked to the Chicago Review of Books about her new poetry collection, The Twenty-Ninth Year.



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


February 11, 2019

Shorties (Haruki Murakami Interviewed, Stream Ladytron's New Album, and more)

Ladytron

The New Yorker interviewed author Haruki Murakami.


NPR Music is streaming the Ladytron's forthcoming self-titled album.


February's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

eBook on sale for $3.99 today:


Drowned in Sound interviewed members of the Twilight Sad.


The Guardian recommended books for Black History Month.


Stream a new song by Nivhek (aka Grouper's Liz Harris).


Marlon James talked to the New York Times about his new novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf.


The New Yorker profiled author Joyce Maynard.


Stereogum reconsidered Sparklehorse's Good Morning Spider album on its 20th anniversary.


Town and Country recommended February's best books.


NPR Music is streaming Hayes Carll's new album What It Is.


Oprah magazine listed books by black authors.


Bonny Doon shared three cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


Paste interviewed cartoonist Liz Suburbia.


Kerrang reconsidered Jawbreaker's 24 Hour Revenge Therapy album on its 25th anniversary.


InStyle recommended 2019 books by black authors.


Ha Jin discussed his latest book The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai with Sampan.



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


February 7, 2019

Atomic Books Comics Preview - February 7, 2019

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.


The Comics Journal #303

The Comics Journal #303
edited by Gary Groth

The last issue of the important and influential comics arts publication The Comics Journal was 5 years ago. A lot has changed in comics and culture since then, but seeing a new print issue of TCJ is like seeing an old friend again. So why come back to print now after so many years as online publication? Well, as the introduction says, "Graphic novels are regularly reviewed by tiny blogs as well as the most prominent media outlets. Movies and television shows based on comics are setting record box office numbers and multimedia conglomerates are raking in billions. But where are the creators in all this? Where is that higher value and greater merit for the artists behind these comics? ... This Comics Journal will be a place to consider modern and historical artworks, politics, ethics, technology, economics, innovation and comics' and artists' place in society at large. Not just the hyper-specific pop culture niche ditch that comics sites and magazines have been dredging for years; The Comics Journal will attempt to take on larger, more crucial matters." Loaded with full articles, essays, interviews, full color artwork and comics, TCJ is a must-read for anyone who takes their comics seriously.


Eric

Eric
by Tom Manning

Eric is a trippy, visionary graphic novel that reads as if Thomas Pynchon wrote a novel about The Big Lebowski actually being a Beach Boy and David Lynch then decided to turn it into a film. My only gripe - I really wish there was an accompanying soundtrack - I really need to hear Eric's masterpiece, "Olmec Tolkien".


Green River Killer: A True Detective Story

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story
by Jeff Jensen / Jonathan Case

Out of print for years, this classic true crime detective comic about the famed Green River Killer, written by the son of the detective who caught him, is finally back in print. It's like binge-watching a Netflix serial killer series, but in comic book from. A contemporary classic.


To Eat And To Drink: Tastes And Tales From A French Kitchen Volume 1

To Eat And To Drink: Tastes And Tales From A French Kitchen Volume 1
by Guillaume Long

To Eat And To Drink is like a master class in French cuisine - but in graphic novel form. The book is innovative, accessible, personable and fun. There are recipes, inventories, tips, biographic strips, and more. The perfect comic for the aspiring foodie.


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)

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)


February 6, 2019

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - February 6, 2019

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.


Black Leopard Red Wolf

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

Marlon James highly anticipated science fiction debut is here! The first installment in the Dark Star trilogy, Black Leopard Red Wolf does not disappoint. The Dantesque epic leads readers on a journey through realms with anthropomorphized animals, mystery, and danger. James’ writing spins, with the focus constantly shifting throughout the story. We are very excited to be hosting James on March 5th to launch this book! Tickets on sale now.


Off Season

Off Season by James Sturm

James Sturm’s latest graphic novel opens with devastating victory of Donald Trump during the American 2016 election. The story follows a father, a fervent democrat turned completely disillusioned, and his family, portraying the emotional aftermath of a political debacle. Sturm depicts the political and personal crises of the book with masterfully drawn and illustrative narration.


On the Come Up

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Although the story is geared towards teens, On the Come Up is a gripping and thoroughly enjoyable for all readers aged 15 and above. As an ode to Hip Hop, it’s a book about growing up Black in an unjust world. The book opens with a disillusioned student in class, dreaming of bigger things.


Figuring

Figuring by Maria Popova

In her new book, Maria Popova of Brain Pickings fame weaves through narratives of various historical figures, mostly women and mostly queer. The book is history set to staccato melody: the writing and characters come alive and feel so current, even when the prose delve into the interconnectedness of various artists, journalists and historical figures. Scientific concepts, philosophy, music, feminism, and what gave rise to the environmental movement are just a few of the themes explored. Throughout, Popova meditates on the impossible question of whether achievement and acclaim bring happiness or not.


The Hundred Wells of Salaga

The Hundred Wells of Salaga by Ayesha Harruna Attah

Set in 19th century Ghana and based on a true story, The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a coming of age novel. It presents the scope of slavery, and how it devastated vast swaths of Ghana and beyond. The narrative centers on the experiences of Aminah and Wurche, two women who come together under in circumstances beyond their control.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's website
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)


Amy Feltman's Playlist for Her Novel "Willa & Hesper"

Willa & Hesper

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.

Amy Feltman's novel Willa & Hesper is an auspicious debut, a complex and delicate portrayal of love and its effects on our lives.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Feltman slices directly to the core of heartbreak's ugliest moments: the temptation to fall back into patterns, to keep running from intimacy and risks. She evocatively captures the tension between aching to move on and not give up, and how the shattering of one relationship fractures others. Feltman stays away from happy ending conventions and skillfully weaves glimmers of hope and healing throughout, making for a keenly perceptive novel."


In her own words, here is Amy Feltman's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Willa & Hesper:



My debut novel Willa & Hesper follows the course of the two titular characters as they fall in love, fall apart, and find themselves on parallel journeys in discovery. Willa’s path leads her to join a group of young Jewish adults as they tour sites of post-WWII Germany, while Hesper takes a trip with her immediate family to Tbilisi, Georgia, where her ailing grandfather grew up. This is a book containing a lot of feelings, and for capturing the emotional temperature in each chapter, I’d have to find “the song”-- the one I’d listen to on repeat for hours while writing the section. (Noted exception would be Daughter’s 2013 album If You Leave and 2016’s Not to Disappear, which are my all-time favorite writing albums for any mood at all.) Without the right music, I would never be able to write anything.

“Cecilia,” Simon and Garfunkel

Once, late at night, I was waiting for a bus with a friend of mine who was really, spectacularly drunk, and he was making up disturbing and violent lyrics to the tune of “Cecilia” by Simon & Garfunkel. It stayed with me and cast a shadow over a song that I’d always heard as jovial and jaunty. “I’m down on my knees/I’m begging you please to come home” sounds very different when you’re writing about someone who’s died. I had this image of a repressed woman walking through a supermarket, feeling queasy thinking about her dead relative Cecilia as this song played. I listened to it as I worked on the character of Willa’s mother, who is really in a denial-cruise-control mode throughout the entire book.

“Jumpers,” Sleater Kinney

Throughout the book, Hesper’s family uses the nickname Lemon for her, which is a loving nod to The National’s song “Lemonworld” and this song by Sleater Kinney, which describes lemons as “tiny suns infused with sour.” Hesper dazzles Willa from their very first meeting, but with Hesper’s commitment issues and emotional avoidance, the sourness is never far from the surface. I also love the yelp-y vocals; busy, layered guitars; and different movements in this song-- qualities I was really drawn to for the music that accompanied Hesper’s section.

“Ada,” The National

Besides being super obsessive about what song(s) I listen to as I’m writing a scene, I also have really strong feelings about characters’ names-- as in, I can’t begin working on a book until I’ve got all the names of the characters nailed down. I named Hesper’s sister and best friend after the song “Ada” by The National, and listened to it often as I was writing their interactions. The line “Ada, I can hear the sound of your laugh through the wall” was such a strong image for me-- the loneliness of being just outside that happiness. The lyric “Ada don’t talk about/ reasons why you don’t want to/ talk about reasons why you don’t want to talk” also seemed really fitting for two sisters who tend to clash over communication.

“Dirtywhirl,” TV on the Radio

This song takes so many turns sonically-- from the gentle beginnings of a keyboard and tambourine building into a layered whirl (if you will) of vocals and drums. Willa and Hesper’s relationship, too, begins with small quiet gestures before it spirals out into heartbreak. Tunde Adebimpe’s vocals really captured the foreboding romance, and so many of the lyrics echo the beauty of being in love (“she’s gleaming/ like mother of pearl”; “all caught up in the flesh of a girl”) and the wreckage of a breakup (“burn me up inside you”).

“Tiniest Seed,” Angel Olsen

Early on in their conversations, Willa and Hesper discover they have the same taste in music, the peak queer lady singer-songwriter type (“Cat Power with a side of Laura Marling,” as Hesper puts it). In a flashback, Willa remembers an Angel Olsen concert they attended together, and this song in particular. “I wish that somehow you knew/ just how much you mean/ that I could be for you/ what you are for me,” Angel Olsen sings, which pretty perfectly encapsulates the unevenness of their fragile relationship.

“Take the Night Off/ I was an Eagle/ You Know/ Breathe” (Suite), Laura Marling

No better album to have as a breakup anthem. “I will not be a victim of romance/ I will not be a victim of circumstance,” Laura sings, and later: “When we were in love, if we were… I was an eagle, and you were a dove.” I listened to this to write about Willa and Hesper’s breakup and the fallout for both women: Willa’s subsequent wandering the city in panic and Hesper’s dependence on her sister Ada. The songs on this album swell with hope and confidence and then, in the next track, return to sounding low, forlorn, and ruminative. It’s an emotional journey that doesn’t move in a straight line, but lands in confident movement into the future.

“Song & Dance,” Peggy Sue, and “House on a Hill,” Wilsen

These are two songs I leaned on heavily to write the post-breakup scenes from Willa’s perspective. Wilsen’s “House on a Hill” starts out spare and fragile, with a surprisingly dramatic whistling section that evocates a desolate, snowy landscape to me. “I have spent the last year/echoing your moves,” Wilsen sings, really hitting the repetitive nature of missing someone day after day. In Peggy Sue’s “Song & Dance,” the layered vocals here sound almost like they’re pushing against each other-- I love how the singers don’t align perfectly, so it gives the words a real urgency: “When will you learn?/ you will never be first.” Willa wakes herself up paraphrasing that line aloud, her dreams bleeding into reality. Never have I heard an ending sting quite like that.

“My Song 5,” Haim

Willa’s roommate and friend Chloe sings this to her after a party where the two women both get too stoned and end up at a frozen yogurt store with too many choices. This song is a perfect background for writing a party: smooth, bass-heavy, and defiant (“honey I’m not/ your honey pie”). Most of the other songs I listened to working on this book don’t have the anger that this one did, which helped me write Chloe differently than the other people in Willa’s life. She’s the person in Willa’s court the whole time, advocating for her to move on from the breakup with Hesper.

“In an Aeroplane over the Sea,” Neutral Milk Hotel

If ever there were a song made for writing about going to travel to Holocaust sites while you’re worried you might die in a plane crash on the way there, it’s this song.

“Genie in a Bottle,” Christina Aguilera

It took me awhile to pinpoint what the soundtrack would be for Willa having a panic attack doing karaoke in Germany. Logistically, I wanted to pick a song that a bunch of mid- to older millennials would all be able to belt out, and that was a big enough hit in its time that it would be on a karaoke machine in Germany today. Right off the bat, the theme of a genie in a bottle seemed right to me since a lot in the book is about the unlocking of demons (the inverse of a magic genie) and collisions of traumatic memories in quotidian moments. Although the lyrics are definitely about a sexual awakening, there’s a darker way to interpret these lines: “come on in/ let me out.” Willa is totally trapped; no Christina Aguilera-genie to save her from herself.

“Grown Unknown,” Lia Ices

This is the song for Willa in the latter half of the book. It starts out with a percussive beat that gets stuck in my head all the time-- something between a tap dance routine and frantic pounding on a typewriter. and then the lyrics come in: “I can’t live on a solitary stem.” Her voice has a tender, scattered quality that can sound sweet and steady, then like a disastrous shipwreck, in a matter of seconds. It really captured the isolation and instability of this period for Willa. And, this line: “Is this what we’re living for/ to be known a little more?”

“Carbon Monoxide”/ “Prisoners,” Regina Spektor

A good deal of Willa’s half of the book is based on my own experiences. In real life, I visited a former concentration camp in Germany with a group in 2008; I was studying abroad in Copenhagen and my German Culture and Society class spent a week in Dresden, Weimar, and Berlin. Like Willa in the book, I had a deep emotional unraveling as we visited the sites of such atrocity and bolted from the people I was near so I could be alone in the forest. Regina Spektor’s “Prisoners” was the song that went through my head that day, but I haven’t been able to listen to it since then. “Carbon Monoxide” was the song that ended up in the book; there’s something off-kilter about Regina’s beautiful voice belting out the individual sounds of the word “dead” as if it’s multi-syllabic and repeating it until it barely means anything at all.

“Wouldn’t it be Nice,” The Beach Boys

This is the song that Hesper and Ada listen to with their grandfather, whose lost in the throes of dementia, as the storm in Tbilisi escalates into a full-blown flood. The family’s trip to Georgia has been saturated with distractions for Hesper, and this is one of the first times that she’s left to sit with her feelings. It’s a painful scene for Hesper, listening to the hopeful optimism of the Beach Boys’ envisioning a beautiful future (“we could be married/ and then we’d be happy/ oh, wouldn’t it be nice”) juxtaposed with her grandfather’s cognitive decline, her parents’ messy divorce, and her own romantic failings.

“100 Years,” Florence + the Machine

This song was my anthem for working on the post-election sections. Although the song wasn’t released until 2018, I kept it close when I edited. The lyrics convey a really strong sense of history and a plea to change the way you’ve been living for something more (“give me arms to pray with/ instead of ones that hold too tightly”). By the end of the book, both Willa has thought a lot about where she fits into a larger narrative of history and oppression, and Hesper has ruminated on her family history in a way that she never did before, but they both know nothing is neatly solved, just as Florence sings: “the streets, they still run with blood/ a hundred arms, a hundred years/ you can always find me here.”

Amy Feltman and Willa & Hesper links:

the author's website

Kirkus review
New York Journal of Books review
Publishers Weekly review

Refinery29 essay by the author
The Rumpus 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 (An Interview with Mary Ruefle, Debbie Harry's Forthcoming Memoir, and more)

Mary Ruefle

Bookworm interviewed poet Mary Ruefle.


Debbie Harry's memoir, Face It, will be published next year.


February's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Rockaway by Tara Ison
Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow

eBook on sale for $3.99 today:

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones


Stream Italian shoegazers Be Forest's new album, Knockturne.


Apartment Therapy visited poet Morgan Parker's house.


Kurt Vile played a Tiny Desk Concert.


Broadly recommended 2019 books by women authors.


Stream a new Charly Bliss song.


Vulture recommended February's best books.


Stream a new Andrew Bird song.


Marlon James talked to All Things Considered and Electric Literature about his novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf.


PopMatters interviewed musician Bob Mould.


Benjamin Dreyer discussed his book, Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, with Fresh Air.


Stream a new song by poet and singer-songwriter Jamila Woods.


Electric Literature interviewed poet Morgan Parker.


Stream a new song by Rosie Tucker.


The Guardian recommended books about idleness.


Stream a new song by Le Ren.


The Telegraph India interviewed author Andre Aciman.


Stereogum profiled the band Mercury Rev.


Applications are now open for the Whiting Foundation's Creative Nonfiction Grant, which awards up to eight writers with a book under contract $40,000.


Literary Hub recommended books you might have missed in January.



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


Google
  Web largeheartedboy.com   


1 | older