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October 24, 2014

Book Notes - Jesmyn Ward "Men We Reaped"

Men We Reaped

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, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Jesmyn Ward's memoir Men We Reaped, an eloquent exploration of race and poverty in America, stuns in every possible way, and is one of the finest works of nonfiction I have read in years.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Ward, author of Salvage the Bones (2011), lovingly profiles each of those she lost, including a brother, a cousin, and close friends, and their tragic ends as she weaves her family history and details her own difficulties of breaking away from home and the desperate need to do so. This is beautifully written homage, with a pathos and understanding that come from being a part of the culture described."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Jesmyn Ward's Book Notes music playlist for her memoir Men We Reaped:


I've been building this playlist from October 3, 2000. That's fourteen years of moving the playlist from computer to computer, fourteen years of realizing that the death of Black young people is so common in America that it was easy for me to find Southern hip hop songs, dirges really, that bemoan grief and the loss of loved ones. It's been fourteen years of realizing that there were so many rap and R&B elegies that I would need to curate the damn thing. Most of the songs on this list were released sometime in the late 90's or between 2000-2010, when I was living through those years of my life that would be fodder for Men We Reaped.

One of the reasons I think that these songs are so arresting to me is because in each song, the words we are getting are honest and vulnerable. We don't get this vulnerability, this sense of openness and raw expression of pain, often. I think this is one of the reasons Drake is so popular right now; he emotes, and the audience wants that. We've had enough of swagger, of show, of pyrotechnics. Those things have their own pleasure, yes, but human beings need more. Here are men, Southern Black men mostly, contradicting everything they've been taught about what it means to be a man in this country, contradicting the modern mythos of hip hop, and they're sharing their feelings. It's intimate. It's deeply affecting. While listening to the songs of the men who for a moment are our griots, we feel a little less alone.

These are the songs we listened to when we didn't have words for what we were living through: these are the songs that gave words to our grief when we couldn't do so. These are the songs we still listen to when we particularly long for our dead, the ones we turn up loud when we're riding or parked down at the graveyard so the dead can listen with us and know that we love them, know that we too are wondering at the senselessness of it all.

"All I Got Is You": Ghostface Killah
This is the last song I remember my brother playing with me on the last ride that I took with him in the Cutlass he died in. Sometimes I think my brother played this song for me because Ghostface was saying the things he wanted to say about our family to me, but my brother didn't have the words for them. I cry every damn time I listen to this fucker.

"One Night": Z-Ro ft. Trae
These rappers are out of Houston, Texas, and while I don't love them the way some people in my hood do, I have to admit that I love this song. Some people hate the Luther Vandross sample, but I like the way it's been screwed up, the way Luther's voice has been speeded up, high pitched and tender. And this is the song that makes me imagine a video, a video with all us survivors in our memorial shirts out in the neighborhood, under the pine trees, celebrating, mourning. There are so many names spit here, one after another, of those dead: that speaks to me.

"Time After Time": Trae ft. Dallas
More from Houston rappers. This song is for DJ Screw, and the respect and love Trae feels for DJ Screw is personal and real here. I think what resonates most with me in this song is that wistfulness, that sentiment I hear in "One Night," too: the bereaved's wish to spend one more night with the one who's gone.

"Live We Live": Project Pat
This is the song the boys were listening to on the morning after CJ died. They were listening to it on repeat while they sat in that running car that was going nowhere, all staring stone-faced forward, all crying. Charine crawled into the car with them and I stood outside, hating the beauty of the song. Hating it because I couldn't sing that song, couldn't say life was beautiful. Even in that moment, I understood the horrible irony here.

"Live in the Sky": TI ft. Jamie Foxx
I think the sentiment I most appreciate about this song is TI's anger. People who live with grief are robbed of that, not allowed to feel anger at losing someone they love. But TI expresses it here, and when he says it, I feel it.

"True Soldier": Lil Boosie
We love Lil Boosie on the Gulf Coast. This song is about losing those you love, but it's also about survival. It makes me feel tough, scrappy. It makes me want to be loud and testify for those who are gone, for those who can't, because for better and worse, I'm still here.

"My Brother": Fiend
Fiend was one of Master P's artists on the No Limit Record label. I've always loved this song: it's one of those songs I imagine my brother singing to me. It's a love song to siblings, to family, to loyalty. This is the one I like to play the loudest when I visit my brother's grave.

"One Day You're Here, Then You're Gone": UGK
The OG song about grieving. The way this beat comes swinging down, soulful and slow, the stellar performances Bun B and Pimp C give on this, makes me want to ride and listen until my tank goes dry. This song was out when my brother was alive, and it was one of the songs he loved to beat down the block.

"Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer": Stevie Wonder
Just heartbreaking. The grief in Stevie's voice is so raw. I discovered this song when I watched Poetic Justice for the first time, and I return to it, again and again.

"Miss You": Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
This is the one. One night around five years after my brother died, Charine and I kidnapped Aldon and Hilton and filled my gas tank and blasted this on repeat for at least four hours as we rode further and further up in the country, down those isolated country roads, on the same crooked paths I rode on with my brother, and all of us cried. I know this song is about a man singing about a woman, but I don't feel that. All I hear is longing and loss and love and yearning so keen and clear it makes me cry every time because I know it. Lord, how I know it.

Jesmyn Ward and Men We Reaped links:

the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

Boston Globe review
Chicago Tribune review
Dallas Morning News review
Financial Times review
Guardian review
Los Angeles Times review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New York Times review
NPR Books review
Washington Post review

Biographile interview with the author
Cleveland Plain Dealer interview with the author
Flavorwire interview with the author
Fresh Air interview with the author
The Leonard Lopate Show interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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October 24, 2014

Book Notes - Lee Klein "The Shimmering Go-Between"

The Shimmering Go-Between

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, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Lee Klein's The Shimmering Go-Betweenis an audaciously told and genuinely moving debut novel.

Foreword Reviews wrote of the book:

"A moving, modern meditation on loss and renewal, The Shimmering Go-Between is recommended for readers who want innovation and whimsy without losing the heart and soul that makes a story resonate long after it's been read."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Lee Klein's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel The Shimmering Go-Between:


I failed to compile a fabulist playlist. I thought I'd find a dozen songs that tell stories marked by weirdness and multiple worlds, good-natured inventiveness tinged with sorrow— songs that synch with my novel. Turns out, rock lyrics that stray from reality tend to blast into space: "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," "Starship Troopers," "Space Oddity," on and on. Innerspace is explored in the novel but not so many songs come to mind. Rock operas like "Tommy" and "The Wall" tell stories and blend fantasy and reality, yet neither are good-natured or humorous. The only thing I can really think of that might fit is Phish's "Gamehendge,'' but who wants to read about that?

So, instead, the following three songs jibe with my idea of the novel's spirit:

"Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" by Ohio Express


This song's title was the novel's working title for a time—it's bubblegum pop, sure, but there's something sinister about it if all the consumption is taken literally. Also, I love the unexpected Buffalo Springfield-like harmonies as they approach the chorus.

"You Little Shits" by Stereolab


The novel's initial epigram came from this song: "There are worlds within the world, within the world there are worlds . . . Understand that you are another world in miniature and that in you there are the sun, the moon, and also stars."

"Everything in Flames" by Polvo

I once blasted this out the window at my Greenpoint neighbors when they were ridiculously loud one summer afternoon as a storm approached and my skull had cracked open with nicotine withdrawal and atmospheric/existential pressure, a song I imagine soundtracking the novel's explosive climax.

What else? My illustration of Dolores's apartment's back porch that appears in the book is really of a friend's back porch, where he lived in the fall of 1997. I remember sitting out there listening to Jim O'Rourke's "Bad Timing" one beautiful fall afternoon. I listened to that album a lot while working on the novel, always with an ear out for the unexpected fanfare nine-tenths through the second side.

And here are songs mentioned in the novel, followed by relevant quotations:

"Walking on the Moon" by The Police

The call, the hospital, coming home to the unlocked house, all the lights on, the CD player circling through the five-disc random shuffle, playing "Walking on the Moon" by The Police, dishes stacked in the sink, three wine glasses (Rue's sister had just left) side by side by side on the counter, the kitchen floor in need of a mop⎯he'd said he'd do it days ago––and then upstairs to bed, still unmade, the depression of her head on the pillow, hair on her brush, her clothes on the floor, the improper shape of her panties (a twisted, tangled slingshot), all her stuff useless for anything but tyranny: not about to be picked up by anyone else.

"Hurts So Good" by John Cougar Mellencamp

In front of the television, watching the early days of MTV, mysteriously engorged by the perky VJ Martha Quinn, he'd slipped his summer shorts past his knees, flipped his legs over his head, and as John Cougar Mellencamp's video for "Hurts So Good" debuted on the set, he failed to come close to getting himself in his mouth.

"Hold On Loosely" by .38 Special


Asked about the new picture, he'd say something like "I'm trying to direct myself toward a more indirect memory of her." Co-workers agreed that "moving on was probably the best bet," that "life went on for the living," that "he should hold on loosely but not let her go." All of which made him want to throw himself out the window. But it was a one-story building and the windows only opened a crack.

"Brick House" by The Commodores

Recently on lonely late nights I've added a landscaping flourish here and there to the terrarium, sometimes celebrating a pleasing and/or peculiar addition (a boa of silver tinsel, a precariously stacked tower of poker chips, a glass eyeball with a jagged crack right through the bleached iris!) by filling a bottle cap with vodka, placing it among the little women, and waiting to see what happens when they get a bit tipsy – it's the cutest thing to see them gather around the bottle cap and ladle servings for one another in their tiny palms – and then I slap some disco hits on the stereo and by the time "Brickhouse" comes on the little women are boogying the best they can and a little later they're staggering into the terrarium's caulked corners to relieve their little lady bellies, one way or the other

"Misterioso" by Thelonious Monk (Live)

Her last day with him, the day she'd died, she remembered they'd invited Rue's sister over for an evening drink. At first they'd sat inside the apartment. Wilson pressed shuffle on the five-disc CD player. It chose a live version of Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso."

"Veteran of Psychic Wars" by Blue Oyster Cult


Or maybe the question mark evolved from the Symbol of Saturn (or Kronos, the titan of Greek mythology, the god of Time who feared his children would betray him, who therefore ate them up) which Rue remembered as the logo gracing the covers of an old boyfriend's Blue Oyster Cult records: it looked like a question mark standing on its head, with a dash through its center.

"New Year's Day" by U2

Flipped cable-TV channels with the volume very low. Removed and sucked the candy canes that decorated the small Christmas tree, the white lights of which blessed the room as the most all-is-quiet day gave way to New Year's Night.

"Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer

This isn't a quotation from the novel: the little women in black T-shirts toward the end reminded me of the women in the video.

"Beck's Bolero" by the Jeff Beck Group

This also isn't a quotation: I imagine this song starting up at the end of the novel the moment Dolores sends her confession into the world.


Lee Klein and The Shimmering Go-Between links:

LitReactor review
Monkeybicycle review
Washington Independent Review of Books review
Word Riot review

Atticus Review essay by the author
The Brooklyn Rail interview with the author
Other PPL interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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Shorties (Nick Hornby on His New Novel, Stream the New Grouper Album, and more)

Nick Hornby talked to the Telegraph about his new novel Funny Girl.


NPR Music is streaming the new Grouper album Ruins.


Bill Moyers interviewed author Marilynne Robinson.


The Washington City Paper reconsidered Fugazi's 13 Songs album 25 years after its release.


Bookworm interviewed author Jonathan Coe about his new novel Expo 58.


Stereogum interviewed Radiohead's Philip Selway about his new album Weatherhouse.


The Artery profiled author Eimear McBride and her debut novel A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing.


Stereogum interviewed members of Death Cab for Cutie about their forthcoming album,


Author William Giraldi calls for an end to Cormac McCarthy comparisons at The Daily Beast.


NASA has shared a collection of public domain spaceflight recordings.


Ms. staffers listed their favorite feminist books.


SPIN profiled the band YACHT.


Flavorwire listed the best documentaries of all time.


Drowned in Sound is streaming the new Twilight Sad album Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave.


Paste listed American authors' homes worth visiting.


Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" posts.


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


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Daily Downloads (Thurston Moore, The Show Ponies, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Bill Times a Billion: Bridges and Borders single [mp3]

Coves and Caves: "Heart Explodes" [mp3]

Mary Jennings: "Home" [mp3]

Matthew Ryan: "Boxers" [mp3] from Boxers

Shannon Hurley: Shannon Hurley Sampler EP [mp3]

The Show Ponies: NoiseTrade Sampler EP [mp3]

Steady Lean: Here's Something album [mp3]
Steady Lean: Stagnant Phase b​/​w Artificial Sky single [mp3]

Vincent Colbert: "Baseline" [mp3] from Stranger In My House


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Thurston Moore: 2014-10-21, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create 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 music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


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October 23, 2014

Book Notes - Bill Roorbach "The Remedy for Love"

The Remedy for Love

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, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Bill Roorbach's The Remedy for Love is a compelling novel that features two disparate, damaged characters thrown together in a Maine snowstorm.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Lyrical, reserved and sometimes unsettling—and those are the happier moments. Another expertly delivered portrait of the world from Roorbach (Life Among Giants, 2012, etc.), that poet of hopeless tangles."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Bill Roorbach's Book Notes music playlist for his novel The Remedy for Love:


There's not much music in The Remedy for Love. That's because the protagonists are trapped in a cabin during a record-setting snowstorm. Eric has lost his phone with its extensive playlists; Danielle has lost everything. And now these two strangers have to ride it out together… But of course we carry songs in our heads, and wouldn't it be nice to access them whole, some kind of brain-tunes chip. Instead, by association, no effort or implants involved, songs arrive by themselves, always tied to some memory, some whiff of fragrance, or snatch of talk. Danielle's got her mind on the beach. Eric thinks he's the positive one—but every song in his head spells doom. I'll alternate between the wintry mindset of Eric and Danielle's imaginary beach:

Eric:
Rolling Stones, "Winter." From that album with a photo of Mick under some kind of sheer cloth. Looks like a fancy lady's hat? That one? Goat's Head Soup. The album with "Angie" on it. And "Winter" shares that sound, though it might easily be thought of as filler, a great bluesy feel and Mick a little subdued, just how Eric feels.

Danielle:
The Killers, "Bones." It mentions the beach all right:

We took a back road, we're gonna look at the stars

We took a back road in my car

Down to the ocean, it's only water and sand

And in the ocean, we'll hold hands

But I don't really like you

Apologetically dressed and in the best put on a heartbeat line

Without an answer, the thunder speaks for the sky

And on the cold, wet dirt I cry

And on the cold, wet dirt I cry

Eric:
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, "Winterlong."

Eric is such an immense Neil Young fan, like the rest of us, maybe a little disgusted with Neil for taking off with Darryl Hannah, but he's more judgmental than Danielle, who thinks Neil looks like someone's mad grandfather but can do whatever he wants, so shut up…

Danielle:
Neil Young, "On the Beach."

Not exactly a pastoral. Such a dark song, with its foot-dragging beat, and Neil's great lonely guitar.

Eric:
Harry Nilsson "Snow." Danielle's got Eric in a dark mood himself. But he's always found this song so soothing, and Harry Nilsson so tragic and fascinating, all that fifth Beatle stuff. He never listened to the lyrics closely, but from now on he will, and darkly:

Snow fills the fields we used to know

And the little park where we would go

Sleeps far below in the snow.


Gone, it's all over and you're gone

But the memory lives on

Although on dreams lie buried in the snow.


Sometimes the wind blows through the trees

And I think I hear you calling me

But all I see is...


Snow everywhere I go

As the cold winter sun sinks low

I walk alone through the snow.

Danielle:
The Drifters, "Under the Boardwalk." She always loved the name Drifters, and just something about "Under the Boardwalk," especially for someone who grew up going to the Jersey Shore, really gets to her—but what gets to her is the love part, that this happy couple has snuck off on hot sand and away from everyone to where they can be themselves…

Eric:
Leonard Cohen, "Avalanche." Eric's confused, maybe always been, a little, about who he really might be. He's the one who's out there saving everyone from themselves, true enough, but in fact it's he who's needed rescue, never more than now… He needs to reverse the genders in this song he loves, having always assumed the wrong role in the story it contains…

Well I stepped into an avalanche, 
it covered up my soul; 
when I am not this hunchback that you see, 
I sleep beneath the golden hill. 
You who wish to conquer pain, 
you must learn, learn to serve me well. 
You strike my side by accident 
as you go down for your gold. 
The cripple here that you clothe and feed 
is neither starved nor cold; 
he does not ask for your company, 
not at the center, the center of the world.

Danielle:
Joni Mitchell: "Help Me." Danielle's secret, guilty pleasure, hip-hop girl with the tough-guy loves who've pushed her around and pushed her away, the rap girl with a mouth full of Yo's, is this song, one of her favorites in the big pile of Joni Mitchell records her late mom adored. As a kid, Danielle, mourning, poured over the lyrics, studied every note, sang along in private, armed herself with Joni for a world so much less gentle than she'd thought.

And funny, gentle Eric loves Joni Mitchell's love songs, too, every one, so bittersweet at best. It'll take a long while before Eric and Danielle figure this out… But sharing a guilty pleasure is high compatibility.


Bill Roorbach and The Remedy for Love links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
video trailer for the book

Booklist review
Kirkus review
Newsday review

CarolineLeavittville interview with the author
everyday eBook essay by the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Life Among Giants
Omnivoracious interview with the author
Portland Press Herald interview with the author
Portland Sun interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - October 23, 2014

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.


Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor

Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor
by Lynda Barry

We are thrilled that the inimitable Lynda Barry's latest D+Q offering has arrived! Barry teaches "a method of writing that focuses on the relationship between the hand, the brain, and spontaneous images, both written and visual." (D&Q) Syllabus uses the Dear Professor Old Skull's course plans from several of her classes at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and expands upon them with her teaching insights, collages, and assignments. Those familiar with Lynda Barry will recognize her dynamically dense and colourful style, yellow lined paper, and the presence of the legendary Near Sighted Monkey. Sections of Syllabus that take the focus off the class and onto Barry's experiences and insights on teaching are honest and deeply entrancing. Also worth mentioning: the production on Syllabus is understated and perfect. Its single signature binding and comp book aesthetic is an exact fit with the content.


Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition

Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition
by Tove Jansson

It's a big week for drool-worthy D+Q releases, between Syllabus and this brand new, deluxe omnibus of the complete Tove Jansson Moomin comic strips hitting the shelves! You'll have to pardon us for gushing, but the production values here are off the charts: from the gorgeous, bold colors on the slipcase, to the embossed Moomin (looking ever-so meloncholy) on the book's cover, everything is pitch-perfect. As the title implies, all of the original strips are here, from the high-risk adventure of Moomin and the Brigands to the witty romance of Fuddler's Courtship and everything in between. Add to this 28 pages of Jansson's original sketches, a poster, a beautifully written introduction by D+Q's Creative Director Tom Devlin, and write-ups from Dylan Horrocks, James Kochalka, Megan Kelso, and Tom Hart. What better way to celebrate Tove Jansson's centennial than with this glorious collection?


A Load of Hooey

A Load of Hooey
by Bob Odenkirk

McSweeney's tends to set the comedy-bar pretty high, so when they release a book of humourous essays, we get ready to bust a gut. Bob Odenkirk's reputation as one of the funniest comedy writers working today is well-earned, with work on SNL and Mr. Show being some resumé highlights. This collection of wry, absurd stories and bits would certainly lend itself well to the sketch-comedy medium. but is equally well-delivered in print. A Load of Hooey is sure to elicit some chuckles and tickle some funny bones.

The Miraculous

The Miraculous
by Raphael Rubinstein

Have you ever been curious about the circumstances surrounding the creation of an iconic work of contemporary art? The always spot-on contemporary arts journal Paper Monument has just published its first single-authored book, penned by New York-based poet and art critic Raphael Rubinstein, addressing just that very thing. Each of the fifty vignettes hones in on the context of one piece, but only reveals the artist's name at the end of the book. The ensuing micro-narratives are poignant, poetic depictions of some of the most important avant-garde artists of the last five decades including Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, Lee Lozano, Tseng Kwong Chi, Cindy Sherman, David Hammons, and R.H. Quaytman, just to name a few.


The Woman Who Borrowed Memories

The Woman Who Borrowed Memories
by Tove Jansson

Rejoice, fans of Tove Jansson! In addition to the aforementioned Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, there is another hot off the presses Jansson work for your perusal out this week. The Woman Who Borrowed Memories is a selection of short stories previously only available in Swedish. Jansson's signature style is instantly recognizable here, with many stories touching on the relationship between creativity and nature, and the Nordic setting so familiar to her work in other mediums. Jansson's prose gives life to her razor-sharp observations of human life, and her singularly keen voice lends itself perfectly to the short story form. Hats off to the folks at New York Review Books for making this collection accessible to a broader audience.


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:

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Largehearted Word (weekly new book 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)


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Shorties (An Interview with Marilynne Robinson, The Best Paris Bookshops, and more)

The Barnes and Noble Review interviewed author Marilynne Robinson.


The LSE Review of Books listed the best bookshops in Paris.


The Rumpus interviewed Sabina Sciubba, lead singer of Brazilian Girls.


Smithsonian interviewed Blondie guitarist Chris Stein about his new book of photographs Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk.


Manhattan's The Strand bookstore now sells vinyl LPs.


BuzzFeed listed great American independent bookstores.


PopMatters interviewed singer-songwriter Cory Branan.


USA Today features an excerpt from Neil Gaiman's forthcoming short story collection Trigger Warning.


Stream a previously unreleased version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" at Rolling Stone.


Electric Literature shared a literary atlas to Ireland.


Musician Herbie Hancock talked to Morning Edition about his memoir Possibilities.


The A.V. Club considered film and television adaptations of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice.


Members of the bands Eagulls and Hookworms interviewed each other at Drowned in Sound.


Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" posts.


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


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Daily Downloads (Sweet Soubrette, Streets of Laredo, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Dolly Spectra: "Moving in Circles" [mp3]

Electrician: "Billowing Clouds" [mp3]

Folk Angel: Christmas Songs NoiseTrade Sampler EP [mp3]

Jason Barrows: Islands of My Soul album [mp3]

Peter Carlsen: "Tiger" [mp3] from Sirens (out November 24th)

Pinecones: "Plays Cosmic Hits" Live on Radio album [mp3]

Streets of Laredo: An Introduction To Streets Of Laredo EP [mp3]

Swanky Tiger: "Empires" [mp3]

Sweet Soubrette: Be My Live Wire: Remixes EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Ed Schrader's Music Beat: 2014-09-26, New York [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create 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 music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


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October 22, 2014

Atomic Books Comics Preview - October 22, 2014

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

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. The Mobtown Shank is his blog, and his comic Said What? is syndicated weekly in the Baltimore Sun's B-Paper.

Atomic Books has been named one of Bizarre Magazine's 51 geekiest places on the planet, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.


Bumf Volume 1: Buggered The Kaiser

Bumf Volume 1: Buggered The Kaiser
by Joe Sacco

The early 1990s was a time rich with surrealist underground comics: famous for artists like Jim Woodring and seminal works Ed The Happy Clown by Chester Brown and Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron by Daniel Clowes. Joe Sacco, primarily known for his comics reportage of war zones, has taken his decidedly conflict-based frame of reference and turned in this first installment Bumf, a modern take on the surrealist underground comic. Bumf if ripe with post 9/11 images, Nixon, and a hard focus on buggering. It's brilliant, bizarre fun - loaded with intricate linework and a story that delights in both disorienting and reorienting the reader. Essentially what he have here is a new modern, underground, surrealist comics masterpiece.


Cream City Maryland #1

Cream City Maryland #1
by Andre Novak / Grace Slit

This new zine looks at the sleazy underbelly of Maryland. Cream City includes reviews of Ladies Night at a strip club, a playlist of Baltimore music to have sex to, a survey of Baltimore glory holes, and an overview of the sexy art from Baltimore's Club music scene. This zine provides a unique and fascinating look at the sexlife of folks in the "Land of Pleasant Living."


Poet Poe #1

Poet Poe #1
by R. Sikoryak

Poet Poe was initially done as a 24 (or in this case 26) hour comics challenge. Sikoryak takes Edgar Allan Poe's famous poems "The Raven," "Alone" and "The Conqueror Worm" and adapts them to fun comics form, with Poe given a classic Harvey Comics/Richie Rich-esque style. The inside back cover also includes a layout for "Annabel Lee" that you can use to draw your own adaptation if you so desire.


Subterranean Level: 6XZ03188V

Subterranean Level: 6XZ03188V
by Rodger Binyone

It's been a long time since I've seen such precise screenprinting. Subterranean Level is the story of a mission gone wrong. It's also a publication as art object. Page after page of beautiful art - oh yeah, and break out the blacklight to get the full effect, this sucker was printed with UV ink.


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, Said What?


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Online "Best of 2013" Book Lists

52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
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)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


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WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - October 22, 2014

In the Largehearted Word series, the staff of Brooklyn's WORD bookstore highlights several new books released this week.

WORD Bookstores are independent neighborhood bookstores in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Jersey City, New Jersey. Our primary goal is to be whatever our communities needs us to be, which currently means carrying everything from fiction to nonfiction to absurdly cute cards and stationery. In addition, we're fiends for a good event, from the classic author reading and Q&A to potlucks and a basketball league (and anything set in a bar). If a weekly dose of WORD here isn't enough for you, follow us on Twitter: @wordbookstores.


Grace's Guide

Grace's Guide
by Grace Helbig

YouTube phenom Grace Helbig offers an interactive handbook for self-realization.


#Newsfail

#Newsfail
by Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny

As tragic and frequently horrifying as the news can be -- its content and its presentation -- there are some pockets of absurdity waiting to be exposed here and there, as this book shows with engrossing detail.


Rookie Yearbook Three

Rookie Yearbook Three
edited by Tavi Gevinson

The manual for all-things growing up grows up itself, maintaining the charm and sensitivity of the previous two collections and the website from which the anthology derives.


McGlue

McGlue
by Ottessa Moshfegh

A formally innovative hybrid of The Long Weekend and The Stranger, with distinct elements all its own.


WORD Brooklyn links:

WORD website
WORD Tumblr
WORD on Twitter
WORD's Facebook page
WORD's Flickr photos


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics & graphic novel highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Austin Kleon's Manifesto for Reading, An R.E.M. Documentary, and more)

Austin Kleon shared a "manifesto for reading."


Stream the trailer for the documentary R.E.M. by MTV.


Vita.mn interviewed Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls.


Poet Billy Collins shared his love for Yeats' "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" at the Atlantic.


The A.V. Club reconsidered Tori Amos's Under the Pink album 20 years after its release.


Author Marlon James talked "post-post-colonial writers" with BBC News.


Flavorwire interviewed singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan about her new album Heartleap.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed poet Kate Durbin.


Thurston Moore shared a "best day" soundtrack at the A.V. Club.


Author Gina B. Nahai interviewed herself at The Nervous Breakdown.


Angus and Julia Stone visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


The Guardian listed the top novels about civil wars.


Justin Townes Earle covered Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."


Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" posts.


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (Lily & Madeline, J Mascis, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

American Aquarium: Burn.Flicker.Die album [mp3]

Andre Costello and the Cool Minors: "Places" [mp3] from The Rattling Arcade

Lily & Madeline: Rabbit, Run for It EP [mp3]

Matuto: Matuto Sampler EP [mp3]

Miranda Dodson: Collections EP [mp3]

Rachel Thomasin: Microforms album [mp3]

The Sexbots: Songs for Jamil EP [mp3]

Valice: "Charlie Gray" [mp3] from Young Bloomer (out February 24th)

Various Artists: Roadrunner 2014 Heavy Holidays Sampler album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

J Mascis: 2014-10-17, New York [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create 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 music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

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