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December 25, 2006


The San Bernardino Sun examines the resurgence of protest songs in 2006.

The Boston Globe reviews the Nick Drake biography, Darker Than the Deepest Sea: The Search for Nick Drake.

Drake remains a vivid example of someone who couldn't cope with the pressures of the music business. This biography applies a Winston Churchill quote to Drake: His life was "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Or, as fellow singer Robyn Hitchcock says, "There's a resignation at the bottom of it all. His songs are like butterflies attached to anchors."

The Chicago Sun-Times lists the results of its best Christmas song poll, and examines why "White Christmas" is most popular.

3. It's literary

So powerful was the symbolic value of "White Christmas" that it figured in as an allegory in two novels by giants of literature: Philip Roth's Operation Shylock and Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night. The song's storied history is even the subject of a book unto itself, White Christmas, by New York writer Jody Rosen.

Popmatters interviews author Haruki Murakami about his Japanese translation of The Great Gatsby.

The Yomiuri Shimbun: What’s the significance of producing a newly translated version of The Great Gatsby 80 years after it was first published?

Murakami: When we say a classic novel is worth reading as a contemporary story, it means that the characters’ ways of thinking and behavior are contemporary enough for us in today’s world. In other words, it’s worth imagining each scene and asking ourselves, “Why does this character say such a thing?” or “Why does he do that?” And that’s exactly what I did when I translated this novel.

Wonkette has pages from the NRA's secret, never released graphic novel (featuring "animal rights terrorists" and the "illegal immigrant gangs").

In Harp, Murray Lightburn of the Dears talks about their album, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story.

Every record that the Dears makes, they’re all true records. But in a weird way, that record is so ridiculously real. Not that the ones that we’re making now aren’t real; they’re just real in a different way. They’re a little more clear-headed. It’s a different place. Nobody really heard End in the States. It would have been interesting if everyone around the world had heard that album first, ’cause I think it would have freaked everybody out. Hearing it now, it’s like it’s too late. It’s sloppy seconds.

NPR Weekend Edition listeners list holiday songs they love and loathe.

USA Today lists the best science books of the year.

The Edmonton Journal recaps the year in popular music.

The New York Times reviews Dave Eggers' latest book, What Is the What, and excerpts the first chapter.

Intense, straightforward, lit by lightning flashes of humor, wisdom and charm, Valentino’s story — novel, autobiography, whatever — is an account of what it was like to be one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Toronto Star also review the novel.

I finished the book today, it will definitely make my year-end favorite books list.

Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation, lists ten myths about atheism for the Los Angeles Times.

Wil Wheaton lists his top sci-fi guilty pleasure films from the 70's.

3quarksdaily lists their top books of 2006.

see also:

Largehearted Boy's favorite albums of 2006
2006 Year-end Music List Compilation
Largehearted 2006 Holiday Gift Guide
this week's CD & DVD releases


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