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May 23, 2017

Book Notes - Lizzy Goodman "Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011"

Meet Me in the Bathroom

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

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

Lizzy Goodman's Meet Me in the Bathroom is a fascinating oral history of the New York rock scene's first decade in the 21st century.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"In this gossip-fueled, engaging oral history, fashion and music journalist Goodman traces New York’s tempestuous rock revival at the turn of the 21st century."


In her own words, here is Lizzy Goodman's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Meet Me in the Bathroom:



1. "Intro" by Dr. Octagon (Kool Keith)
One of the funniest elements of reporting/writing this book was when seemingly unconnected story lines converged. The DFA guys were all obsessed with Dr. Octagonologyst, one of the most mischievous, profane records of all time. And it turns out so was Jaleel Bunton and others from TV On the Radio. I played the album's intro a lot, usually as I sat down to write for the day or when things were feeling too serious and I needed a reminder that this whole thing is supposed to be fun and dirty.
 
2. "Sabotage" by Beastie Boys
I always said that the city itself was the main character in this book. As such, I needed to regularly tap into the signature swagger and witty defiance of New York. The Beastie Boys—and this track in particular—capture that sense of justified arrogance, naughty humor, and joy.
 
3. "53rd and 3rd" by The Ramones
I listened to the bands I was actually writing about only sparingly, like I was saving them for when I really needed them. Instead, I played a lot of music that influenced the characters in my story. I wanted to steep in the songs they would have been obsessing over and using as creative benchmarks. This track is the sound of '70s New York, and would have been among the ones to beat for so many of these bands.
 
4. "Glad Girls" by Guided By Voices
I often craved the careening joy of the Strokes' favorite band. It reminded me of the era in which we all came up, when indie rockers were gods and leather jacket rock and roll seemed obsolete. If you don't think anyone is ever going to hear—much less care—about what you're making, it's easy to get really free. This song sounds like how it felt to be a 21-year-old kid sleeping on the New Jersey Transit commuter train back to Philly after a wild night on the Lower East Side. (AKA: me).
 
5. "Fight The Power" by Public Enemy 
Perfectly expressed anger is very invigorating. I felt like I was at war a lot when working on this book. This was my battle anthem.
 
6. "Hard Knock Life" by Jay-Z
A reminder of what rock was up against when the Strokes and Interpol and the DFA guys first started working on music. Hip-hop reigned, and rightly so.
 
7. "New York Groove" by Ace Frehley
My dear friend Marc Spitz (who suddenly passed away this winter, but who was instrumental in so many ways to making this book happen) made for me, when I first started writing it, a playlist titled simply, "NYC." I was feeling overwhelmed by the scope of what I'd undertaken—hundreds of interviews that would need to be conducted, then culled into something resembling a cohesive story. I was also intimidated by the legacy of New York, the pressure of telling one part of my generation's piece of this great city's story. Marc wanted to remind me to stay close to the music. I played this mix over and over again for five years while working on Meet Me in the Bathroom. Surprisingly, this was the track I'd go to most often. Cheesy as all get out, in the best way.
  
8. "Cheree" by Suicide
As the esteemed journalist Jenny Eliscu points out in the book, so many of the greatest, weirdest, most inventive artists never find big commercial success. This haunting classic by one of the cities greatest, weirdest, most inventive bands is just beyond the beyond—so mysterious and beautiful and scary. I always seek a sense of tingling, rollercoaster-ish fear in my music. This song is my most reliable mainline to that sweet terror. I used it like a sonic palate cleanser when writing.
 
9. "Angie" by The Realistics
If you'd asked me in, say 2000, who my favorite band was, I'd have said the Realistics. My friend Niki and I would go down to the Khyber Pass in downtown Philly when we were in college to see them and other now unknown rock stars of the era. You could say it's sad that they never really broke through, but rock and roll is supposed to be ephemeral. I just feel so crazy lucky to have gotten to witness them in all their glory.
 
10. "Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Beatles
Having not actually been there in person the night James Murphy took ecstasy for the first time and—so the story goes—discovered his true self and his signature sound after hearing this song, his favorite from childhood, on the stereo, I had to play it a lot in order to conjure the vicarious thrill.
 
11. "City Drops Into the Night" by The Jim Carroll Band
I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico where the very idea of urban life is exotic. My musical taste didn't get properly weird until college, but I saw the movie adaptation of Jim Carroll's first memoir Basketball Diaries (starring baby Leo DiCaprio!) when I was still in high school and it fucked me up real good. Threesomes! Rooftop masturbation! Pedophilic priests! Heroin! It was the first work of art that showed me the stealth sweetness of forbidden, racy worlds. City boys, after all, are still just boys. Carroll's follow-up, Forced Entries, remains my favorite memoir of all time, and his band's album, Catholic Boy, already a regular go-to on my general playlist, felt especially nourishing during the writing of this book.
 
12. "Our Time" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
In those rare moments when I needed to play the music I was writing about, this was always my entry point. I remember getting the debut YYY EP and just playing it over and over and over and over again. I was into the Strokes first, as you can read about in the intro to the book, but I felt emotionally closest to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Their blend of sensitivity and wildness matched my own, which I didn't yet understand and probably still don't. I just knew that when Karen screamed, "it's our time to be hated," I felt like I'd come home.


Lizzy Goodman and Meet Me in the Bathroom links:

excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book

Detroit Free Press review
Exclaim! review
Publishers Weekly review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists






May 23, 2017

Shorties (Recommended Summer Reading, Recounting MP3 Blogging's Golden Age, and more)

Newsday recommended books for summer reading.


The FADER hosted a roundtable discussion about mp3 blogging's golden age.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn shared an excerpt from Michael Seidlinger's book Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves.


Katie and Allison Crutchfield covered Sleater-Kinney's "Modern Girl."


Emerging Writers Network interviewed author Jensen Beach.


Stream a new song by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.


The New York Times features a new essay by Samantha Irby.


Rolling Stone recommended true crime books for music lovers.


Stream a new Wieuca song.


Culture Trip examined the writings of Brazilian author João Gilberto Noll.


Paste listed the best Stax Records songs.


Bill Gates talked Books and reading with TIME.

Gates also recommended summer reading.


Stream a new song by Spinee.


Book Riot recommended Finnish speculative fiction.


Jonathan Coulton talked songwriting with PopMatters.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Barbara Gowdy's novel Little Sister.


Stereogum shared covers of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill."


Publishers Weekly recommended essential African novels.


Drowned in Sound reconsidered Soundgarden's Superunknown album.


Bookworm interviewed biographer Brad Gooch.


The Quietus listed May's best cassette releases.


Literary Hub features new nonfiction by Edwidge Danticat.


NYCTaper shared a recording of a recent show by Sir Richard Bishop.


Chelsea Clinton talked to Publishers Weekly about her new children's book, She Persisted.


Stream a new composition by Bryce Dessner.


The Millions examined the use of Polish poets' works in protests.


Billboard interviewed the man who started the concert t-shirt craze.


Literary Hub shared Karen Russell's essay from the anthology Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation.


NME shared a playlist of goth classics for World Goth Day.


The New York Review of Books shared Kwame Anthony Appiah's introduction to the new collection Chinua Achebe: The African Trilogy.


Stereogum reconsidered the National's Boxer album 10 years after its release.


Smithsonian made the case for Langston Hughes as the poet for the unchampioned.


John Darnielle talked to Paste and Gambit about the new Mountain Goats album, Goths.


eBooks on sale for $1.50 today:

My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address by Stephen Birmingham
Orient by Christopher Bollen
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur
Robert Plant: A Life by Paul Rees
The Son by Philipp Meyer
The Universal Baseball Association Inc. by Robert Coover
The Virginity of Famous Men by Christine Sneed
Wicked by Gregory Maguire

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
Erasure by Percival Everett
The Gueniveres by Sarah Domet
Notes from No Man's Land by Eula Biss



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


May 22, 2017

Book Notes - Susan Rieger "The Heirs"

The Heirs

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

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

Susan Rieger's novel The Heirs is a smart and compulsively readable family drama.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Told both in flashbacks and at the turn of the millennium, there’s something timeless about this family drama; take it back one hundred years, and it would easily fit in among the novels of the Gilded Age. It is a charming, slightly haunting look at a family dealing with the inheritance of legacy rather than money and wondering if what happens after a relationship matters as much as how it was experienced at the time."


In her own words, here is Susan Rieger's Book Notes music playlist for her novel The Heirs:



The family in The Heirs, the five Falkes sons and their parents, are a musical family, except for the mother, Eleanor, who, in the hands of a less fond author, might be called a musical zero. As I wrote in the novel, “Eleanor never listened to music. It made her anxious.” I am like Eleanor that way. Spoken words are music to my ears: plays, public readings, radio stories. After that, I like words with melodies: Sondheim, The American Songbook, South Pacific, Gilbert & Sullivan, requiems, Richard Strauss’ songs, Evensong, 60’s music. For the music I wrote about in The Heirs, I did research, as another novelist might do research on German Expressionist painting. Some of it I learned from my resident expert. My husband, like Rupert, the father in the book, is very musical, and his classical tastes have kept me from sounding like a complete idiot when the subject of Mahler comes up at dinner parties.

For two of the Falkeses, Rupert and his middle son, Jack, music is life-giving. For the middle son Sam, it is sustenance. For the youngest, Tom, it invokes a nostalgia for an era he missed out on. For the two oldest, Harry and Will, it is their youth.

As the novel opens, Rupert is dying; Eleanor is seeing to his care; his five sons, all in their 30’s, are standing by. After his death, a woman comes forward, claiming she had two sons with him. Cue the kettle drums.

As unmusical or amusical as I am, thumbing through The Heirs for this exercise, I discovered music humming its way all through it.

1. Evensong
I think of Evensong, the Anglican sung service of evening prayer, as Rupert’s song cycle. A Dickensian orphan, growing up during the Great Depression in a Church of England orphanage, Rupert sang his way out of poverty and loss. He had “a lovely boy’s soprano voice that made him standout from the unruly, runny-nosed, scabrous little boys he lived with.” When he was eight, he won a scholarship to a choir school. This lead to a scholarship at an English Public School which lead in turn to a scholarship at Cambridge. A churchgoer all his life, Rupert never sent his sons to Sunday School, only to proper Church services. He didn’t believe in Sunday School. “Religion was music, mystery and ritual. Bible stories were no different from Greek myths. He left both to the D’Aulaires.” The Evensong Service includes canticles in a variety of settings, anthems and psalm chants, all in Latin. There are readings from the Old and New Testament and, at the end, the priest delivers a very short prayer, distilled as: God save the Queen, God help the poor. The choir at Kings College, Cambridge, Rupert’s college, has made several recordings of the Evensong service.

2. "Jerusalem"
At Rupert’s funeral at St Thomas in New York City, the choir sings the great English anthem, Jerusalem, as a kind of Christian Kaddish for an Englishman dying abroad. Exuding a muscular Christianity, Jerusalem is the most English of anthems, less a hymn to God than to the British bulldog spirit. “Of course,” Eleanor said, the service would include "Jerusalem." At his death, Rupert had been living in America for forty years. He insisted he’d become thoroughly American, “no sense of history anymore,” but his Englishness shone through, undiminished to the end. The English composer Hubert Parry set the music to William Blake’s poem. Chariots of Fire, the 1981 Academy Award winning film about the English track and field team at the 1924 Paris Olympics, takes its title from the Blake poem. It opens with "Jerusalem" being sung in full throat at an aged athlete’s funeral. For a misty-eyed performance, there is a YouTube recording of the Last Night of the Proms, September 10, 2012.

3. Bird & Diz Album 1950
When he was five, Jack heard the album Bird and Diz at a friend’s. He came home and announced to his mother that she needed to buy him all of Dizzy’s record, all of Bird’s, a record player and a horn. He started trumpet lessons when he was six. He loved Coltrane and Parker too much to play the sax. “I cry when I hear a great sax. It’s like a human voice,” he said. “Chet, Dizzy, Miles, Louis, they make me glad to be alive.’” Jack becomes a professional trumpet player. I think, though never say, that Bloomdido, the first song on the Bird and Diz album, set him on his way.

4. "Taps"
"Taps," the bugle call at dusk, is also the military funeral tattoo. Jack plays it twice in the novel. He plays it, fittingly, at his grandfather’s funeral, “surprising the priests by reducing most of the mourners to tears. Danny Boy, with bagpipes, was usually the reliable weeper.” Jack was not surprised. He had played it years ago, the night before his oldest brother Harry went off to college. It had been a rousing evening. When Will said it was Harry’s last meal, everyone laughed – except Sam. He protested. “This is serious. This is the end of normal life.” Every one fell silent. Jack, age 12, stood up. “I should play ‘Taps’ ” he said. He left the room to fetch his trumpet. In the lull, Harry poured himself a glass of wine. “To Mom and Dad.” he said. The others replied. “Hear, hear.” The first melancholy notes of the call rang through the apartment. Eleanor and Rupert “looked at each other, then looked away, too happy to speak.” Taps typically takes 59 seconds to play, long enough to lift your heart or break it.

5. Schubert’s Songs: "Winterreise"
Sam, the middle son, is the only one of the five who loved classical music. Songs and chamber music were his favorites. It started early. “He would toddle unevenly into the library where his father was reading and point to the stereo. Rupert would put on a record. As the music filled the room, Sam would sit on the floor leaning against his father’s legs. He never fell asleep.” Even as a small child, Sam couldn’t listen to music and do anything else. He hated background music. All music was foreground. “Music invades my brain,” he would say. When he hummed, as he often did while working on some project, he didn’t notice he was doing it. “My brain does it by itself,” he told his mother. Both Rupert and Sam liked the haunted melodies of Schubert’s songs. I think their favorite is "Winterreise." I picture them in the study, sitting companionably in comfortable chairs, listening to the 1954 Hans Hotter recording, with Gerald Moore on the piano.

6. Brahm’s German Requiem (Ein Deutsches Requirm)
At 38, sad, single, lonely, and childless, Sam’s best friend, Susanna, had a miscarriage. Feeling time was running out, she’d gotten herself pregnant. Hearing the news, Sam rushed to comfort her. He found her weeping and distraught. He settled her on the sofa, gave her a glass of Arneis, and put on Brahm’s German Requiem. For months after 9/11, I played the Otto Klemperer recording, with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the Philharmonia Orchestra, 1961. I wept every time. Weeping is the only way through grief.

6. "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"
Tom, the baby of the family, was a federal prosecutor. He was the do-gooder in the family, the most sensitive to suffering, his own as well as others. In high school and college, he devoted all his free time to the forgotten and abused: single mothers with three jobs, children with fetal alcohol syndrome, cons, ex-cons, gang members, prostitutes, drug addicts, SRO tenants. “His heroes were the Berrigans. He cursed his ill luck for having grown up post-Selma, post-Vietnam, post-Nixon, post-Attica, with no reason to sit in at lunch counters, burn the American flag, chain himself to a prison fence, steal FBI files, go underground.” His music, like his polititics was rooted in the 60th, The Doors the Stones, the Beatles, and, most of all, Motown. When I think of Tom, I hear "Dancing in the Street," by Martha and the Vandellas, (not David Bowie, not Mick Jagger) and "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," by Gladys Knight & the Pips (not Marvin Gaye, no matter how heart tugging).

7. "The Sultans of Swing"
Harry the oldest and most conventional of the brothers liked the music his friends liked. His favorite album was Synchronicity by The Police, and although it’s never said in the novel, his favorite song was Dire Straits’ "The Sultans of Swing," mostly because everyone at school dances pointed at him when they heard the line “And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene.” Will liked what Harry liked. “Will had worshipped Harry when he was little, following him everywhere, doing whatever he did. Well into his teenage years, he was under Harry’s thrall, safe and surly in his thralldom.” Harry and Will were not amusical like their mother – they hadn’t had to spend Saturday afternoons at Philharmonic concerts as Eleanor had – but music didn’t mean much to them, not what books and movies meant.


Susan Rieger and The Heirs links:

Kirkus Reviews review
Publishers Weekly review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Book Notes - Selena Chambers "Calls for Submission"

Calls for Submission

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

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

Selena Chambers' Calls for Submission is filled with an impressive variety of weird fiction and fully realized characters.

Paul Tremblay wrote of the book:

"Selena Chambers' collection Calls for Submission is a wonderful, irresistible mix of the historical and modern, the literary and fantastic. These stories burst with humor, genuine emotion, and the dread of those who see the end coming."


In her own words, here is Selena Chambers' Book Notes music playlist for her short story collection Calls for Submission:



Calls for Submission is my first short story collection. The oldest story and first to be published was written in 2005, and the most recent was in 2015. That is quite a period of one's life to unpack, and during the book's arrangement, I would flashback to when (and how) a story was written. I'd remember the housing I was in with its smells of brewed coffee and the neighbors fried cooking. I'd remember the needed deadline sustenances (Americanos, figs and nuts, all the cheese, all the wine!). Most of all, I'd remember what track or album was playing through my headphones.

I don't prescribe much to writer rituals, but music is the one requisite I can't create without. Not only does it tune out distractions, but it also helps me find the story's mood and rhythm. If the setting is in a foreign country, music helps me find the cultural and historical essence that immerses me well enough to get the job done, if I can't experience the scene firsthand. And, sometimes, music can be used within the stories themselves as thematic devices. Either way, because of the way I loop albums and tracks during my drafting process, the songs become imprinted in the writing experience.

And it doesn't stop. I had a fixed list when I first started this mixtape to the world. But as I tuned in and out to new music, I came across some fresh cuts that expressed certain characters or feelings in a story way better than the music used during their actual composition. So, whether it is tangentially or quite literally, the below is the soundtrack to Calls for Submission, twelve years in the making (and then some).


Dedication / "Lashes" by Babes in Toyland

I dedicated this book to the members of Babes in Toyland. From the Cindy Shermanesque cover to the double-edged femininity that permeates throughout this collection, it is perhaps more in-debt to their aesthetic than any horror writer or work. This has nothing to do with one story, necessarily, as the overall mood of the collection.

I was influenced to write horror by a notion to explore womanhood fears. Outside of Mina Loy and Virginia Woolf, I didn't have many female references at the time, so I secretly labeled this kind of horror Foxcore.* "Lashes" personifies the fierce tempo, soft surrealism, and feminine contradictions I tried to invoke into each story, even the ones dialed back without distortion.

*Foxcore was actually a loving joke Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore made to the media about bands like Babes, Hole, and L7. Media, being the suits and squares they are, thought it was just a synonym for Riot Grrrl, leading to a lot of resentment between the various bands when they were all lumped together.


Of Parallel and Parcel / "All is Full of Love" by Björk

When we think of Virginia Poe, the child-bride of Edgar Allan, we don't think of a willful young woman who knew whether or not she'd been given true love. However, this story imagines her as a person conscious of her own fate. I think the message in Björk's "All is Full of Love", as well as the cosmic heart-beats of its tempo, very well set the tone to a young woman weighing her options in an option-less time, and following her heart and her true love all the way to whatever awaits her at the end.


The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour / "Caravan" by Raquy and the Cavemen

This is an anti-Orientalist Steampunk story set in Constantinople at the end of the nineteenth century. It involves a diorama tour designed to give Western sojourners their "ideal Orient," as guided by the mysterious eponymous automaton. "Caravan" is an excellent companion to this story as it encompasses several Middle Eastern techniques and instruments into a fusion of Persian and Turkish influences. It also parallels the story's pacing of the story. A mysterious riff from Raquy and the Cavemen's trademark 11-string guitar slowly rises into a lush auditorial trek. It recalls Gertrude Bell and Lawrence of Arabia clichés, but once you have settled into that fantasy, the song becomes furious and the travels are no longer what they seem.


Dr. Lambshead's Dark Room / "Miss Annabelle Lee" by Django Reinhardt

This story was written for a great high-concept anthology, Dr. Lambshead's Cabinet of Curiosities, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Dr. Lambshead was a famed eccentric and archeologist of the Weird who left the world a house full of curios after his death. Each story, then, was an account of the author's interaction or knowledge of what objects laid within. In my case, I wrote more about an experience with the good Doctor as he cured my Poepathy (a word I've coined to describe the disease of the imagination that stems from reading too much Poe). Therefore, what better way to go visit a crazy octogenarian about Poe than with Django swinging you in with "Miss Annabelle Lee?"


Descartar / "La Llorona" by Lila Downs, Luis Mars, and Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlan

"Descartar" is a modern re-telling of the Hispanic La Llorona legend. La Llorona means "Weeping Woman," and concerns a lady ghost who haunts the coast searching for her lost children. There are a lot of variations on the theme of La Llorona. Sometimes she is victim and her children were drowned by someone else, or she is the murderer. My version both flirts and subverts both notions.

As a folk song, "La Llorona" also has assorted arrangements and verses. This version from the Frida soundtrack was what I had on loop most of the time while writing. Arranged by Eliot Goldsmith and performed by Lila Downs, Luis Mars, and the Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlan, it is a more upbeat and festive version that best captures my characters foil personalities. For Arylola, the village bruja, it expresses a deep melancholy masked by an insouciance demeanor. For the young Remedios, Arylola's reluctant patient, it evokes her heartbreak from being abandoned, dishonored, and impregnated by her lover.


Dive in Me (with Jesse Bullington) / "Dive" by Nirvana & "1994" by Slutever

If you are a Nirvana fan, you probably already know from the title that "Dive" figures prominently in this Southern Gothic story. Set in the 90s, it's about three teenage girls who set out to find and dive the legendary "Suicide Sinks." I co-wrote this with one of my own fellow childhood conspirators, Jesse Bullington (some of you may know him as Alex Marshall). We wanted to write a story about some of the kids we knew, and the lush, dripping Gothic of North Florida springs and sinkholes we both grew up around.

Our girls—Spring, Moira, and Gina—trespass, chain-smoke, bicker, and swear up a storm to hide their growing fears about their adventure. Music becomes the one thing that settles their nerves. To scrounge up courage and renew their pact to dive the mythical sink together, they sing an altered version of Nirvana's "Dive."

Gah, I love this story so much that I have to cheat. While "Dive" appears directly in the story, and repeated while I worked, I have to include Slutever's "1994" here. This song sounds like something the girls would perform, and captures their gritty, ironic sense of the world. I also like the time-continuity/nostalgia of it. Of course a song about 1994 written in 2015 would be symbiotic to a story set around 1994 written in 2013.


Vintage Scenes, #1: Bandol, Château La Rouvière, 2002 / "Rude Boy" by Rihanna

This story concerns a philosophical exchange about wine and experience in the oldest cave in Nice, France. It's almost taken verbatim from a scene my husband and I experienced during our Honeymoon. Since it is about manipulating the senses to take you back to a time and place, Rihanna's "Rude Boy" is pretty appropriate as it inadvertently became the trip's theme song back in 2010. Whether it was in the Atlanta airport, the Côte d'Azur train, the streets of Geneva or Ansbach, this song was blasting from airport speakers and phones non-stop. (For some reason, no one believed in headphones and persisted in rocking their phones like mini-boom boxes). So, while the association of Rihanna and Bandol is pretty much non-existent, this song helped me trick my mind back into returning to Nice and 2010 while reconstructing my experiences there in 2014.


Collaborative Disambiguation (with Virginia M. Mohlere) / "Don Quixote" by Gordon Lightfoot

This isn't a story so much as a spontaneous record of two writers' budding friendship while trying to navigate their changing lives with their writing lives. Virginia and I were paired together by Mungbeing editor (and Pelekinesis founder/editor) Mark Givens to write a story for a collaboration issue. We were strangers, but through Don Quixote and crappy day jobs, we became fast buds.

Sometimes pursuing a writing career feels like tilting at windmills, so it was apt that our big idea behind our collaboration dealt with the Man from La Mancha. Gordon Lightfoot's bright and clean guitar reminds me of the idealism Virginia and I radiated almost ten years ago. His refrain of "seeing" conjures up the writing scales that slowly but very necessarily fell from both of our eyes, making us stronger dreamers in the end.


The United States of Kubla Khan / "Futurism vs. Passéism, Pt. 2" by Blonde Redhead

This is the oldest story in this collection. It was written in 2005 after spending the week with a cold, doped up on NyQuil, and watching the horrible aftermath of Katrina on CNN. It's about helplessness, idealism, and the ease of manifestoing but not manifesting action—all soliloquized through a somnambulant young girl only known as the Last American Dreamer. We all want good in the world, but how do we bring it about? A tough question I find myself struggling to answer more than ever this year….

To keep myself in the needed trance to write "Kubla Khan," I listened to two Blonde Redhead albums, the lush and atmospheric Misery is a Butterfly, and the more raw but still hypnotic, In An Expression of the Inexpressible. "Futurism vs. Passéism, Pt. 2," appears on the latter, and asks basically the same question as the Last American Dreamer: Is history actually held accountable?


Vintage Scenes #2: 2010 Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Spätlese / "Ohm Sweet Ohm" by Kraftwerk

Just like "Vintage Scenes, #1," this piece is also about the sensorial experience of travel, but rather than having memory work for you, it works against you. Rather than being mindful of where you are right now, you waste that time wishing you were somewhere you are not. In the case of this story, it is about missing Springtime in Florida while spending it on The Romantic Road in Bavaria, and vice versa. The ironic title of this song, the meandering ambiance of the synthesizers, and the fact that these are the only other German artists I listen to besides Marlene Dietrich make this a pretty good navel-gazing companion to this vignette.


The Last Session / "Girl O'Clock" by Dismemberment Plan

This song is directly referenced in the Emo-period novelette, "The Last Session," when the protagonist, Clarissa Collyer, and her best friend, Laney exchange barbs while driving home from school. It's cranked up after Clarissa burns her friend hard about being a nympho. To be fair, it was in retaliation for Laney suggesting Clarissa be a groupie. Clarissa doesn't want to be a groupie, she wants to be in a band, and this is where the song comes in.

While the hooks and chaos in this song are still fresh and dynamic, the lyrics are really rapey and come off more as Gamergate fan-fic than anything fun and rebellious. This was pretty typical of Emo during the 2000s, which was a retro-active boy's club disguised as the next level of punk rock progression. Riot Grrrl and Foxcore were swept under the rugs, and if there were any girls up front at an Emo show, it was as adulating fans. While the notion that a girl in the early 2000s wants to be in a band doesn't seem abnormal, it was a straight up aberration at the time. In "The Last Session," I try to depict that dynamic in the background, and bring back to the front the girls who had music to make.


The Good Shepherdess / "Joan of Arc" by Melvins

What if Joan of Arc wasn't touched in the head by Jesus, but turned Zombie by Cthulhu? These are the kind of pertinent existential questions posed by Lovecraftiana. Much like the conceit of this story, the Melvin's "Joan of Arc" is some noisy nonsense that pulls you under with deep riffs. Despite the brain's inability to comprehend the auditorial abuse it is being subjected to, it finds itself lulled into head-nodding conversion and selfless devotion to the calls of sludge.

That all sounded kind of grumpy, but Buzzo and Joan of Arc both live side-by-side as Saints in my Temple of Bad Asses.


Remnants of Lost Empires / "Sappho Song" by Chagall

Sometimes it takes years to find the soundtrack for something you wrote, and Chagall's "Sappho Song" is definitely the companion to this story. The story revolves around a forgotten Romantic poet/scholar named Sarah Pickman, who is sent on a weird, occult goose-chase involving Sappho. As she descends into madness, her stanzas, just like Chagall's song, are both inspired by the Sapphic form.

Recent scholarship has theorized that Sappho's poetry would have been performed musically, and in my mind with what bits it knows of Greek choruses and the strangeness of the Aeolian harp, I always imagine a Sapphic concert as disembodied sopranos wafting through stalagmite riddled caverns. Chagall comes mighty close to that auditory fantasy thanks to her vocal chords and the mi.mu gloves.


The Venus of Great Neck / "This Island Earth" by The Bryan Ferry Orchestra

"The Venus of Great Neck" is a Decopunk story about a grand reunion turned séance, obsessions with controlling the past, spiritualism, alchemy, and ultimately my taking a Symbolist piss at F. Scott Fitzgerald. While the time of the story is after the Crash, and all of the Bright Young Things are now sober and old, I kept the vibe jazzy and fresh with the three Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby soundtracks, plus The Bryan Ferry orchestra's The Jazz Age. Out of all of that swing, "This Island Earth" best captures the mournful tarnish that has dulled the once-glamorous lives of my main characters, Eva and Hollis Ellis.

It, and The Jazz Age as a whole, also echoes my philosophy on historical fiction. Bryan Ferry breathed new life into his Roxy Music songs by riffing off of Swing tempos and using 1920s era instruments. It isn't nostalgic from either a 1920s or 1970s stand point, but is a unique vehicle demonstrating that new ideas can be excavated from the past.


Vintage Scenes, #3: Morellino di Scansano, 2011 Vendemmia / "What The Water Gave Me" by Florence and the Machine

This final story in the Vintage Scenes series deals with familial empathy, memory, and mourning. It uses an ekphrastic device inspired by Frida Kahlo's What The Water Gave Me. My favorite Kahlo painting, it provides other aesthetic alternatives to memoir. Instead of an another iconic self-portrait, all you see is what Kahlo sees—her feet at the end of the tub with all of the memories of which she is trying to wash herself. The narrator in "Vintage Scenes #3" experiences her wine-induced visions in a similar vein and comes out cleansed of sadness.

Florence Welch didn't necessarily write this song about Kahlo or the painting directly. She wrote the song first, and named it afterwards, when she came across the painting. Even so, it's themes of water and helplessness is pretty appropriate (not to mention trance-inducing) for a story about drowning one's sorrows in both bottles and sudsy baths.


The Neurastheniac / "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" by Bessie Smith

Helen Heck is a forgotten junky-mystic poet from the 1960s who, having nothing to lose, decides to explore the abandoned Winthrop Lethal Chambers in Washington Square. Also known as the Suicide Chambers, she finds the building something like a Last Days resort, with each room designed to lead their guests to death in comfort and style. Among the amenities are Victrolas with abandoned records from the 1920-1940s. They were presumably the last sounds guests heard before their euthanasia. Heck listens to them all while surveying the rest of the digs, and as a result I was able to create a suicide jazz playlist featuring Rube Bloom, Billie Holiday, and Bessie Smith. This device underlines the disparity of the ruins and the ignored melancholy during an age often depicted as carefree. These records also lead her to the discovery of a great mystery that propels the story into its final adventure and conclusion.

Out of that playlist, Bessie Smith's "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" gets extra special air time as Helen Heck remixes it with Emily Dickinson's "I'm Nobody Who Are You." It also summarizes how Heck felt in the world—an alone, destitute failure who was disposable and forgotten by all the literary communities in her day.


Selena Chambers and Calls for Submission links:

the author's website

This Is Horror review

Literary Hub essay by the author
Mary Robinette Kowal essay by 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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Shorties (Maggie Nelson on The Red Parts, Julia Jacklin Played a Tiny Desk Concert, and more)

Maggie Nelson talked to the Observer about her book The Red Parts ten years after its publication.


Julia Jacklin played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The owner of WORD bookstores shared an open letter about the future of bookselling at Melville House.


Stream a new song by Dan Auerbach.


The Atlantic examined the unlikely success of Gabriel García Márquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.


LIterary Hub shared a Jessica Hopper essay from the anthology Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z.


Jowhor Ile has been awarded the 2016 Etisalat Literature Prize for his novel And After Many Days.


Signature listed the best new books about sports.


Stream a new Amber Coffman song.


The Creative Independent interviewed Beth Ditto.


Signature shared an essay by Kristopher Jansma on why he moved to New York City.


Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye talked punk history at KCRW.


Samanta Schweblin talked to the New Yorker about her story in this week's issue.


Pitchfork interviewed Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.


Alana Massey talked to The Rumpus about her essay collection All the Lives I Want.


Mary Anne Hobbs discussed her favorite albums at The Quietus.


Edan Lepucki talked to Literary Hub about her new novel Woman No. 17.


Stream a new Chromatics song.


The Guardian profiled Margaret Atwood.


Aquarium Drunkard shared a playlist of Haruomi Hosono songs.


Granta shared a conversation between authors Julianne Pachico and Colin Barrett.


Pitchfork profiled the band Grizzly Bear.


Signature recommended new books about sports.


Stereogum examined the musical legacy of Alice Coltrane.


The winners of this year's Nebula Awards for science fiction and fantasy have been announced.


Stereogum recommended essential Chris Cornell songs not by Soundgarden.


Refinery29 listed the best summer reads.


The Record interviewed Elizabeth Powell about the new Land of Talk album Life After Youth.


Paul Theroux discussed his favorite books at The Week.


Stream a new Local Natives song.


Weekend Edition interviewed Laleh Khadivi' about her novel A Good Country.


Nic Offer broke down the new !!! album Shake the Shudder at Drowned in Sound.


The Oxford American shared new nonfiction by Matthew Neill Null.


Stream a new Future Lives song.


Kirkus Reviews interviewed Olivia Taylor Smith, executive editor of Unnamed Press.


Paste shared a collection of Soundgarden and Audioslave covers.


The Rumpus features a new essay by Elizabeth Crane on sobriety.


eBooks on sale for $1.50 today:

My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address by Stephen Birmingham
Orient by Christopher Bollen
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur
Robert Plant: A Life by Paul Rees
The Son by Philipp Meyer
The Universal Baseball Association Inc. by Robert Coover
The Virginity of Famous Men by Christine Sneed
Wicked by Gregory Maguire

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
Erasure by Percival Everett
The Gueniveres by Sarah Domet
Notes from No Man's Land by Eula Biss



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


May 19, 2017

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - May 19, 2017

Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats' Goths is another impressive album (this one guitarless) by John Darnielle and company.

Cayetana's New Kind of Normal, Helium's Ends With And, Land of Talk's Life After Youth, and Wavves's You're Welcome are other new releases I can recommend this week.

Reissues include vinyl editions of Helium's The Dirt of Luck and The Magic City + No Guitars.


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


This week's interesting music releases:

!!! [Chk Chk Chk]: Shake the Shudder
Adult Mom: Soft Spots
Aldous Harding: Party
Alex G: Rocket
Angelo Badalamenti: Blue Velvet - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (reissue) [vinyl]
Biters: The Future Ain't What It Used To Be
blink-182: California
Box Car Racer: Box Car Racer (reissue) [vinyl]
Buffalo Tom: Let Me Come Over 25th Anniversary Edition (remastered and expanded)
The Builders and the Butchers: The Spark
Cayetana: New Kind of Normal
Childish Gambino: Awaken My Love [vinyl]
Chris Bathgate: Dizzy Seas
Christopher-Willits: Horizon
The Como Mamas: Move Upstairs
Daniel Romano: Modern Pressure
Depeche Mode: A Broken Frame (reissue)
Depeche Mode: Construction Time Again (reissue)
Depeche Mode: Speak & Spell (reissue)
Do Make Say Think: Stubborn Persistent Illusions
DragonForce: Reaching Into Infinity
Emily Barker: Sweet Kind of Blue
Erasure: World Be Gone
Faith Evans and The Notorious B.I.G.: The King & I
Helium: The Dirt of Luck (reissue) [vinyl]
Helium: Ends With And
Helium: The Magic City + No Guitars (reissue) [vinyl]
Iron Maiden: The Complete Albums Collection 1990 - 2015 (3-LP box set)
Iron Maiden: Fear of the Dark (reissue) [vinyl]
Iron Maiden: No Prayer for the Dying (reissue) [vinyl]
Iron Maiden: Virtual XI (reissue) [vinyl]
Iron Maiden: The X Factor (reissue) [vinyl]
J Dilla: Jay Dee Aka King Dilla [vinyl]
Jane Weaver: Modern Kosmology
Jim Avett and Family: For His Children and Ours [vinyl]
Jlin: Black Origami
The Knack: Get the Knack (reissue) [vinyl]
Land of Talk: Life After Youth
Linkin Park: One More Light
Little Steven: Soulfire
Los Straightjackets: What's So Funny About Peace Love And Los Straitjackets
Low Cut Connie: Dirty Pictures (Part 1)
Magic Giant: In the Wind
Matisyahu: Undercurrent
The Mountain Goats: Goths
Nick Hakim: Green Twins
Papa Roach: Crooked Teeth
Paul Weller: A Kind Revolution (5-LP 10" box set) [vinyl]
Plasmatics - Live! Rod Swenson's Lost Tapes 1978-81 [dvd]
Pokey LaFarge: Manic Revelations
Rascal Flatts: Back To Us
Rosanne Cash: Black Cadillac (reissue) [vinyl]
Snoop Dogg: Neva Left
Tedeschi Trucks Band: Live from Oakland [vinyl]
Tigers Jaw: spin
Various Artists: The Book of Mormon (cast recording) (reissue) [vinyl]
Various Artists: Heavy Psych Sounds Records Sampler II
Various Artists: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Various Artists: Singles (Deluxe Version) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (remastered and expanded)
Waters: Something More
Wavves: You're Welcome


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)


Atomic Books Comics Preview - May 19, 2017

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

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. He also runs the Mutant Funnies Tumblr.

Atomic Books has been named one of BuzzFeed's Great American Bookstores, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.


Bar Napkin Jukebox

Bar Napkin Jukebox
by Nolen Strals

Artist and musician Nolen Strals (Post Typography, Double Dagger) has been hanging out in bars and using a fancy brush pen to capture poignant lyrics from songs being played on the jukebox onto bar napkins. Why he brings his brush pen to bars in the first place is anyone's guess, but if he didn't, we wouldn't have these great snippets of been there-ness.


Estrellita Mia Spring 2017 (International Edition)

Estrellita Mia Spring 2017 (International Edition)
edited by Leonardo Casas

This international edition of the Chilean art and culture zine features a lot of great work to gaze at. And the text is in English!


Magical Twins

Magical Twins
by Alejandro Jodorowsky / Georges Bess

An epic fantasy quest from the mind of the director of Holy Mountain.


Prince: The Coloring Book

Prince: The Coloring Book
edited by Darius James

Break out the purple crayons and let's go crazy.


Prodigal Rogerson: The Tragic, Hilarious, and Possibly Apocryphal Story of Circle Jerks Bassist Roger Rogerson in the Golden Age of LA Punk, 1979-1996

Prodigal Rogerson: The Tragic, Hilarious, and Possibly Apocryphal Story of Circle Jerks Bassist Roger Rogerson in the Golden Age of LA Punk, 1979-1996
by J. Hunter Bennett

This book tells the fascinating story of the mysterious Circle Jerks founding bass player Roger Rogerson who stole the band's van, disappeared and returned 13 years later to demand that they reunite before suddenly dropping dead.


Rise Of The Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax And The Creation Of D&D

Rise Of The Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax And The Creation Of D&D
by David Kushner / Koren Shadmi

What Steve Jobs did for home computing and people susceptible to cult-like thinking, Gary Gygax did for the world of the fantasy role playing game. You are given a first person perspective into this graphic novel biography of the creator of Dungeons & Dragons. Bring your own 20-sided dice, cuz you never know when you'll need to roll.


Wordplay

Wordplay
by Ivan Brunetti

We have now officially seen it all! Former transgressive underground cartoonist Brunetti has delivered a kids book which introduces children to compound words. Yup. You read that right.


Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail benn@atomicbooks.com. If there’s a comic I should know about, send it my way at Atomic, c/o Atomic Books 3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211.


Atomic Books & Benn Ray links:

Atomic Books website
Atomic Books on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Mutant Funnies


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Online "Best of 2015" Book Lists

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


Shorties (Eimear McBride on Sex in Literature and Art, Robert Pollard's New Book of Album Covers, and more)

Eimear McBride on sex in literature and art at the Guardian.


Robert Pollard has released a book, 100, containing album art from each of his 100 albums.


Tom McCallister pondered the future of print literary journals at The Millions.


BuzzFeed and Salon interviewed Mary Timony about the Helium reunion.


Baseball player David Ortiz discussed his new memoir Papi with Morning Edition.


Stream a new Phoenix track.


Catapult features new nonfiction by Porochista Khakpour.


The Record, PopMatters, and The A.V. Club remembered Chris Cornell.


The Atlanta Journal Constitution listed the best new southern books for the summer of 2017.


Stream a new Jason Isbell song.


Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich listed the best true crime books at Publishers Weekly.


Pitchfork interviewed Sufjan Stevens.


Financial Times interviewed author Elizabeth Strout.


Stream a new Nicole Atkins song.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed B.G. Firmani about her debut novel Time's a Thief.


John Darnielle discussed the new Mountain Goats album Goths with the New York Observer and Aquarium Drunkard.


The Rumpus interviewed author Susan DeFreitas.


The Alabama Shakes covered the classic blues song "Killer Diller."


Courtney Maum talked to The Millions about her new novel Touch.


Composer Angelo Badalamenti discussed scoring Twin Peaks with All Things Considered.


The finalists for Restles Books' 2017 Immigrant Writing Prize have been announced.


Stream a new Danger Mouse song that features Run the Jewels and Big Boi.


Authors spoke with Literary Hub about writing first-person LGBTQ narratives.


American Songwriter shared an excerpt from Rick Massimo's book I Got A Song: A History Of The Newport Folk Festival.


The Emerging Writers Network interviewed author Robert Lopez.


Literary Hub shared photographs from the book Spirit of '76: London Punk Eyewitness.


The Santa Fe New Mexican profiled Stalking Horse Press.


Stereogum listed the best Soundgarden songs.


Paste interviewed James Sturm about this graphic novel The Golem’s Mighty Swing.


Stream a new Queen Hilma song.


eBooks on sale for $1.50 today:

My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address by Stephen Birmingham
Orient by Christopher Bollen
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur
Robert Plant: A Life by Paul Rees
The Son by Philipp Meyer
The Universal Baseball Association Inc. by Robert Coover
The Virginity of Famous Men by Christine Sneed
Wicked by Gregory Maguire

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
Erasure by Percival Everett
The Gueniveres by Sarah Domet
Notes from No Man's Land by Eula Biss



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


May 18, 2017

Book Notes - Jessie Chaffee "Florence in Ecstasy"

Florence in Ecstasy

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

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

Jessie Chaffee's novel Florence in Ecstasy is a stunning debut.

Claire Messud wrote of the book:

"Jessie Chaffee's protagonist Hannah finds herself in Florence far from home, unseen, unknown, estranged even from her body: in the most literal sense, in ecstasy. Chaffee's fierce debut brings Hannah's struggles, discoveries, and sweet triumphs to life."


In her own words, here is Jessie Chaffee's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Florence in Ecstasy:



Florence in Ecstasy follows an American woman, Hannah, who has fled to Florence from Boston in the wake of an eating disorder in an attempt to remake herself. She joins a local rowing club, where she is drawn into the city's vibrant present—complex social dynamics, soccer mania, fraught love affairs, and an insatiable insistence on life. She's simultaneously rapt with Florence's past, and in particular the stories of the Catholic mystical saints, women famous for their ecstatic visions and for starving themselves for God. I wrote the novel over seven years and in different settings—NYC, Virginia, Michigan, and Florence itself—and every time I hit a wall, I would take a walk and listen to music to figure out a way forward. While the backdrop of my walk changed, the soundtrack remained fairly consistent, a mix of favorite American and Italian artists, some of whom show up in the book. Much of this music reflects the interior lives of both Hannah and the saints as they grapple with the relationship between desire and pain, disappearance and existence, isolation and connection. Some of the songs capture the explosive vivacity of Florence, and others embody its aching and sometimes melancholic beauty.


"Poison Cup" by M. Ward

M. Ward has been a favorite of mine for years because of the haunting and timeless quality of his music and his voice. This particular song, which describes love as a poison cup, captures for me Hannah's experience with anorexia, as well as the ecstasies of the Catholic saints with whom Hannah becomes enamored. Like Hannah's self-starvation, the saints' ecstatic visions are a double-edged sword, both fulfilling and negating—as St. Angela describes, "All at once she was filled with inestimable satiety, which, although it satiated, generated at the same time inestimable hunger." The extreme behavior that Hannah and the saints practice is destructive but, like any addiction, also incredibly seductive and consuming, and so when they are in the grips of it, they are all in. I also love this song's slow crescendo, which feels right for the experience of losing oneself and for the physical and emotional ecstasies that populate the novel.

"Down To Zero" by Joan Armatrading

There are many descents, disappearances, and rock-bottom moments in the book. Hannah comes to Florence after losing everything in Boston—her job, her friends, her relationship, and, after months of not eating, her body. Florence is a Hail Mary, an attempt to remake herself in a place where no one knows her. Initially, she's isolated and untethered—as she describes, "I'm propped up here without a backdrop." Then she joins a local rowing club that is located on the banks of the Arno River directly under Florence's Uffizi Gallery. Hannah descends into this kind of underworld out of curiosity, and also as a way of saving herself.


"Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star

I love the dreamy melancholy of "Fade Into You," and its ambiguity—like "Poison Cup," it speaks to the seductive quality of disappearing into a person who may or may not love you back, and who may be the thing that undoes you completely. Hannah describes her experience with not eating as a kind of masochistic love affair, and having lost herself once to the disorder, she's afraid of disappearing back into it again. Beauty is also everywhere in the book because it's everywhere in Italy, and I think "Fade Into You" embodies the haunting beauty of Florence.


"L'Estate Addosso" by Jovanotti

No Florentine soundtrack would be complete without Jovanotti (or "Jova"). One of Italy's biggest pop stars, his voice is ubiquitous. When I saw him in concert several years ago, I realized that his appeal crosses generations, as there were young children, seniors, and everyone in between in the packed stadium. I selected "L'Estate Addosso"—one of Jova's recent summertime hits—because it captures the sense of freedom that pervades Italy in August, when the cities are literally empty of Italians, who are all on vacation, as Hannah discovers. The book opens right in the transition from summer back into fall, and so Hannah sees Florence transformed with the locals' return. The beat and energy of the song conveys the new vitality of the city and also the spirit of the rowing club, an intensely social and life-affirming place that upends Hannah's previously isolated and anonymous existence.


"O Fiorentina" by Tifosi Fiorentina

This is the fight song of Florence's soccer team. Hannah experiences the passion and mania of a soccer game early on in the book. One of the most remarkable things about Florence is how very present history is, and as Hannah discovers, the soccer match is more than sport—caught up within it are the centuries-long regional rivalries that are still viscerally felt. At a certain point, the cheers and jeers of the crowd become frenzied and the stands devolve into chaos.


"Well-Tempered Clavier" by M. Ward

While Hannah is initially at odds with Florence—alone and weighed down by the humidity, claustrophobia, and tourists—she slowly begins to understand its rhythms. Much of this is because of the rowing club, where she begins to connect with other people, and also to reconnect and make peace with her own body, which she has been actively at war with. When you're in a scull, it doesn't take much to throw you off course, and the only way to hold a straight line is to be balanced and centered—in your body and your mind—to be, in some sense, at one with yourself and the boat and the water. "Well-Tempered Clavier" expresses that sensation of being in tune—with a place, with a person, with oneself—and the euphoria and beauty of those moments when things coalesce in a way that the world, and your place within it, makes sense. Hannah experiences this on the water, in the city, and also up in the hills that surround Florence.


"Sotto Le Stelle Del Jazz" by Paolo Conte

Hannah slowly becomes involved with Luca, another rower at the club. While Florence is a city with its own challenges and hard edges, it's also filled with joy and beauty. And as Hannah witnesses in Luca's interactions with the other men at the club, there's a lightness and playfulness to the culture, a refusal to remain overly serious—and I think you can hear that in Paolo Conte's music.


"Who by Fire" by Leonard Cohen

I listened to a lot of Leonard Cohen while writing this novel. His music is soulful, raw, beautiful, and also somewhat tortured, all qualities I wanted to infuse the book with. Many of his songs also grapple with questions of belief. Hannah comes to Florence wanting to rebuild herself and with a lot of questions—she's searching for something to replace the comfort and meaning that she found in not eating. She discovers some answers in the stories of the saints—including St. Catherine, whose mummified head Hannah stumbles upon in Siena, and St. Angela, whose words, "I stripped myself of everything," resonate with her. This is not a book about a woman finding religion, but the saints help Hannah to understand her own struggles. So she goes deep into the stories about these women from the past, famous for faith, but also for their extreme behavior—including self-starvation—and for the ways in which they were martyred. "Who by Fire" speaks to those stories, and also to the experiences of all those who are lost, saints or not.


"Buckets of Rain" by Beth Orton (with M. Ward)

I love this song—both the original Dylan and the Beth Orton/M.Ward cover (sadly not available on Spotify)—which feels right for Hannah and Luca's relationship. While they're drawn to each other almost immediately, neither of them imagines they're embarking on a great romance—it's something quieter, less sweeping, and more unexpected. They're both at war with themselves, and there are many ways in which they are not good fit. But they find comfort in each other, care for each other in a way that is real and that works. And they're both romantic pragmatists—life may be sad, and may be a bust, and their being together doesn't negate that, but it tempers it. Much of their romance also develops during the rainy season in Florence—those weeks in late fall/early winter when the skies open up frequently and without warning, drenching the city.


"I'm on Fire" by Bruce Springsteen

After Jovanotti, "Il Boss" might be the second most-played pop star in Italy—his music is everywhere. One of his songs is playing in a moment in which Hannah is beginning to question her relationship with Luca as she considers all of the parts of herself, and things about her past, that she doesn't want Luca to know about. Desire is an important part of the novel, and Hannah's desires are in competition—she's drawn to Luca, she's drawn to the saints, and she's also drawn to the consuming experience of anorexia.


"How To Disappear Completely" by Radiohead

Radiohead was on my personal playlist while I was writing Florence in Ecstasy, and this song in particular echoes Hannah's interior state when she's not eating, an experience that is both horrifying and euphoric. Hannah is struggling with her divided selves—the self that starved her but that she also loves, the self she wants to become but also resents, the person she can be and the person she will never be. She's trying to figure out which of these people she is, and if there's a single driving question in the book, it's whether Hannah is going to figure that out or if she's going to slip back into the disorder and literally disappear. In some ways, Florence doesn't allow you to disappear because socially it operates like a small town. But there are nooks and hidden places within the city, and then there are the hills around it—a kind of maze of winding roads where you can both connect with nature and get lost in it. So this song also speaks to the scenes that occur in the hills. Radiohead happened to be on tour one of the summers I was in Florence researching, and they performed up at Piazzale Michelangelo, an overlook nestled into the hills above the city. The first night I attended the concert itself; the second night I sat with a friend in the hills outside of where they were performing—you could here the songs perfectly as they echoed through the dark landscape and drifted down over the city, becoming Florence's soundtrack for those few hours.


"You Still Believe in Me" by M. Ward

It seems appropriate to end where we began, with M. Ward. While there are a lot of dark moments in the novel, it isn't a story devoid of hope, and this beautiful instrumental cover of the Beach Boys song "You Still Believe in Me," filled with both relief and longing, expresses that hope.


Jessie Chaffee and Florence in Ecstasy links:

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

Kirkus Reviews review
Publishers Weekly review

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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Shorties (Summer's Best New Books, Mary Timony on the Helium Reunion, and more)

BuzzFeed, the Globe and Mail, and HuffPost previewed summer's best new books.


The A.V. Club interviewed Mary Timony about the Helium reunion.


The Times Literary Supplement interviewed author Ursula K. Le Guin.


Stream a new Grizzly Bear song.


Female poets talked identity and migration with Ms.


R.I.P. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave.


Longreads shared an excerpt from Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich's memoir The Fact of a Body.


Daddy Issues covered Don Henley's "Boys of Summer."


CLRVYNT interviewed Byron Coley about his poetry chapbook.


MTV News interviewed Rob Sheffield about his book Dreaming the Beatles.


Signature recommended essential Ernest Hemingway fiction and biography.


Stream a new song by Art School Jocks.


Stream the trailer for Martin Scorcese's Grateful Dead documentary.


The Georgia Straight profiled cartoonist Jillian Tamaki.


Stream a new song by the band Elder.


Actor Jeffrey Tambor discussd books and reading at the New York Times.


The Pudding discovered that pop lyrics are becoming more repetitive.


The A.V. Club shared an excerpt from Jason's graphic novel On the Camino.


The Guardian recommended novels about Pakistan.


Bookworm interviewed Brad Gooch about his new book Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love.


NPR Music is streaming Justin Townes Earle's new album Kids in the Street.


Jezebel recommended two of May's best books.


Tegan and Sara talked LGBTQ activism with VICE.


Literary Hub recommended literary heirs to W.G. Sebald.


John Darnielle discussed the new Mountain Goats album Goths with Noisey.

Songwriters on Process also interviewed Darnielle.


VICE recommended weird books to read if you like Twin Peaks.


Stream a new Bunny song.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed cartoonist Yumi Sakugawa.


Father John Misty visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Review 31 interviewed author Garth Greenwell.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed Nat Baldwin about his new book The Red Barn.


eBooks on sale for $1.50 today:

My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address by Stephen Birmingham
Orient by Christopher Bollen
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur
Robert Plant: A Life by Paul Rees
The Son by Philipp Meyer
The Universal Baseball Association Inc. by Robert Coover
The Virginity of Famous Men by Christine Sneed
Wicked by Gregory Maguire

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
Erasure by Percival Everett
The Gueniveres by Sarah Domet
Notes from No Man's Land by Eula Biss



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


May 17, 2017

Book Notes - Tommy Pico "Nature Poem"

Nature Poem

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

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

Tommy Pico's Nature Poem is a startling and thought-provoking examination of identity.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Pico centers his second book-length poem on the trap of conforming to identity stereotypes as he ponders his reluctance to write about nature as a Native American . . . In making the subliminal overt, Pico reclaims power by calling out microaggressions and drawing attention to himself in the face of oppression."


In his own words, here is Tommy Pico's Book Notes music playlist for his short poetry collection Nature Poem:



To say that the terrain of my latest book-length poem Nature Poem was inspired by a landscape of popular music is an understatement. There is a whole page dedicated to the dissemination of "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. There are multiple references to Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, and Beyoncé. There are LITERAL direct quotes from Guns N' Roses & Sade. Here is a partial list of the songs invoked by Nature Poem, and the page on which they were divined. Oh plus a bonus song because I'm a brat.

1. Guns n Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (pg 12)

Comparing the city to a dense and almost impenetrable wilderness is so on brand for Nature Poem that this song absolutely has to commence this playlist. I used "Welcome to the Jungle" to discuss colony collapse disorder and the disappearing bees, NBD, but in a broader sense a question at the bottom of the book is: what is "nature," and "natural"? It's a reconciliation of being from a small Indian reservation in the middle of nowhere, but living in the biggest urban jungle in America. Knees, knees, bb.

2. Amy Winehouse – Love is a Losing Game (pg 14)

Another obsession of the book is wondering if romantic love is futile, so Amy's rendering of it via gambling made a lot of sense to me. On this page in particular, the narrator likens her performance of "Love is a Losing Game" at the Mercury Prize in 2007 to literal magic: "Blue breath breakin on a voice is the kind of magic that makes people believe." Also lol I Googled the lyrics and whatever bot transcribed them turned "laughed at by the gods" to "laughter by the docks" and I actually like that a whole lot better.

3. Hole – Malibu (pg 19)

"Malibu" is another song that gets a whole page dissemination. It asserts that songs are spells, like poems, and being under them is a powerful experience. BUT: if the Amy Winehouse jam was describing the futility of romantic love, in a way "Malibu" is addressing the futility of art. Imagine casting a spell to try to get your famous lover into rehab, or to get someone to love you or whatever, creating a divine hook and all that, but ultimately failing to move them. Also the song is just pretty ok?

4. Aretha Franklin – Don't Play That Song (pg 34)

@heyteebs and @AngelNafis discuss her holiness Aretha Franklin on Twitter, going through a list of the songs that make them feel, as @AngelNafis says, "more river than a river." I chose "Don't Play That Song" for this playlist because like a lot of the other songs on here it references the reflective power of art over our squishy brain things. Specifically here, it's that a song reminds her about an ex-lover. First off singing a song about a song makes me feel like one of those magic eye puzzles, and secondly another obsession of the book is how we make meaning from the "natural" world based on our associations we have with it. Red becoming a color of danger, for example. Also if you would like to know how magic sounds, please watch this video of her singing it live in 1970 because good god.

5. Al Green – Love and Happiness (pg 41)

I use Al and Bey on page 41 to talk about songs that, when they come on, demand my total and undivided attention for their duration please hold on a minute I'll get right back to you sorry stop talking cos I can't hear you anymore. I have been in the middle of a discussion with my bff when the beginning of Love and Happiness comes on, and what makes her my bff is we both gave each other that look like, "give me three and a half minutes and we will continue where we left off."

6. Beyoncé – Mine (pg 41)

It's no secret that Beyoncé is all about control, and one of the things I loved about the self-titled album was it's awareness not only of this, but also the fallacy of control. It comes up a lot in Nature Poem. To me "Rocket" is a song about reconciliation, about coming together with a lover and "making" love: a perfect, gravity defying miracle of human engineering that can reach the stars. I think "Mine" is about miscarriage—"not feeling like myself since the baby"—an understanding that you can do everything "perfect" and have a "perfect" career and the "perfect" life and your body remains unpredictable. This trifecta ends in "XO," which begins with audio after the Challenger explosion, a recognition that even the perfect rocket can explode.

7. The Shirelles – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (pg 46)

Speaking of unpredictability, how freaking human is it to wonder if the person you went to bed with will be the person you wake up next to. The Shirelles come into Nature Poem at a moment when the narrator is reflecting on being from an Indian reservation and feeling like he has to play cultural catch-up in the city. That everyone seems to just know about the Shirelles and the Whitney Museum and roth IRAs, and all he has is this crushing generational trauma. lol.

8. Cher – Half Breed (pg 50)

L to the O to the L for reals, just go to Google play and read the lyrics.

9. David Bowie – Space Oddity (pg 61)

"Space Oddity" is invoked when the narrator reflects on his experience leaving the reservation and feeling like he's "far beyond the moon." Major Tom leaves Earth but he "thinks [his] spaceship knows which way to go." This is perhaps the first time the narrator suspects that he might be on the right path. Fun fact! I think the spiritual successor to this song is "Sound & Color" by the Alabama Shakes, because if "Space Oddity" is the search for new life, "Sound & Color" begins at the destination: "A new world hangs outside the window: beautiful and strange."

10. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (pg 69)

You can fight me but "Fast Car" by Tracy motherfucking Chapman is the greatest song in human history. I love how the phrase "You got a fast car" stays the same but changes meaning. It goes from a kind of plea, to perhaps a diversion, to a solemn repudiation. It's effing deep. It's cyclical nature, from the perspective of a person escaping an alcoholic father only to land in a relationship with an alcoholic, describes a "two steps forward/one step back" situation. While the dude ends up being a mess, the narrator realizes she doesn't have to stay with him. Get in your fast car and go. Don't let the pavement hit yr butt on the way down the road. The narrator of Nature Poem realizes, in all its complications, the reservation will be with him wherever he goes.

11. the Knife – Heartbeats (bonus)

While this song isn't actually referenced in Nature Poem, "Heartbeats" underlies a lot of the discussion of god, religion, and spirituality the book addresses. The song references the necessity of human connection, and that "to call for hands of above to lean on wouldn't be good enough for me." My narrator shows a similar suspicion with the idea of a personified god, though one of the reasons he doesn't like nature is that it makes him suspect that a god of sorts exists.


Tommy Pico and Nature Poem links:

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

Brooklyn magazine review
Ploughshares review
Publishers Weekly review

BookCulture interview with the author
New Yorker profile of the author
Out interview with the author
Poetry Foundation 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

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Shorties (The Great American Pop Star Novels, A Chelsea Manning Benefit Album, and more)

Full Stop examined examples of the "great American pop star novel."


Stream Hugs for Chelsea, a benefit album for Chelsea Manning featuring Thurston Moore, Tom Morello, Amanda Palmer, and others.


The New York Jewish Week profiled author Idra Novey.


The band Tigers Jaw talked style with Paste.


Independent booksellers recommended summer's best books at Vox.


Stream a new Beach House song.


J. Robert Lennon talked to Electric Literature about his novel Broken River.


Pitchfork shared a primer to the music of Nina Simone.


Hazlitt interviewed author George Saunders.


Stream a new Palehound song.


BuzzFeed shared an excerpt from Gabe Hudson's novel Gork, The Teenage Dragon.


Exclaim! profiled Liz Powell of the band Land of Talk.


Stream new songs by Smidley and Saintseneca.


The Baltimore City Paper recommended albums for summer listening.


Literary Hub recommended books by LGBTQ authors from places where it is illegal to be gay.


Stream a new Sparks song.


The Rumpus interviewed author Mohsin Hamid.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed Mary Timony (Helium, Ex-Hex).


Entropy interviewed author Sarah Gerard.


Noisey is streaming Tricot's new album 3.


American Songwriter interviewed Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Amelia Gray's novel Isadora.


Rolling Stone profiled singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Ocean Vuong.


The Delta Spirit's Matthew Logan Vasquez visited World Cafe for a live performance and interview.


Literary Hub interviewed author Julie Buntin.


CLRYVNT is streaming Adult Mom's new album Soft Spots.


The Guardian Books podcast interviewed author Patricia Lockwood.


Paste profiled Paul Weller.


Book Riot recommended May's best fiction and poetry in translation.


Stream a new song by Soccer Mommy.


Boing Boing interviewed comics writer Grant Morrison.


Paste listed Jason Molina's best songs.


The Tampa Bay Times profiled author Jeff VanderMeer.


Stream a new Soccer Mommy song.


The Calgary Herald interviewed cartoonist Jillian Tamaki.


Japandroid covered Dead Moon's "Fire in the Western World."


Cory Doctorow discussed the books he loves at the CBC.


eBooks on sale for $1.50 today:

My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address by Stephen Birmingham
Orient by Christopher Bollen
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur
Robert Plant: A Life by Paul Rees
The Son by Philipp Meyer
The Universal Baseball Association Inc. by Robert Coover
The Virginity of Famous Men by Christine Sneed
Wicked by Gregory Maguire

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro
Erasure by Percival Everett
The Gueniveres by Sarah Domet
Notes from No Man's Land by Eula Biss



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

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


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