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September 13, 2007

Book Notes - Emily Flake ("These Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves")

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

Emily Flake's These Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves is a graphic depiction of her affair with smoking. Like Flake's comic strip, Lulu Eightball, the book is filled with Flake's unflinching honesty, quick wit, and often compelling insight, and is a riveting read, even to a lifelong non-smoker like myself.

In her own words, here is Emily Flake's Book Notes essay for her graphic novel, These Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves:

Okay! here we go:

"Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray" - Patsy Cline

Wry little tune about some woman interpolating on Patsy's nice smoke break with her man and stealing him away, leaving Patsy with just one sad, lonely cigarette in said ashtray. Shoulda put that one out in that bitches EYE, Miss Cline!

"Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" - Rufus Wainwright

For when you're feeling fey. Has the side effect of leaving you desirous of a glass of chocolate milk. The Hershey kind, not that cheap gritty Quik shit. You think Rufus drinks Quik? Please.

"Cigarettes and Alcohol" - Oasis

Remember that time you were looking for some action, but all you found was cigarettes and alcohol? And cigarettes and alcohol were totally enough?

Anything, really, by Tom Waits

Yeah, I know, smoking is evil and that cool factor is bullshit and evil evil blah blah blah, but you try and imagine a world where Tom Waites was a non-smoker and see if you want to live in it.

"What She Said" - The Smiths

Which was: "I Smoke, 'cause I'm hoping for an early death, and I need to cling to something - " Touche, Mozzer.

"Chartered Trips" - Husker Du

This song as far as I know has nothing to do with cigarettes, but Bob Mould's beautiful ragged near-sob of a voice makes me want to smoke 'em until my throat can do that. I guess I'd also have to be a dude.

And, of course:

"Chesterfield King" - Jawbreaker

"Said all my chicks they smoke these things, handed you a Chesterfield King - " And 1001 teenaged girls started smoking Grampaw cigarettes. Not even one of their greatest songs, really - but goddamn you, Blake Schwartzenbach, for putting those all sweet schmaltzy images in my poor young head. If I thought my high school boyfriend would have clung to me on a lawn, I'd have bought a f*cking parka.

Emily Flake and These Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves: A Love/Hate/Love/Hate/Love Letter to a Very Bad Habit links:

the author's website
the author's comic strip, Lulu Eightball

Atlanta Journal-Constitution review
C-ville review
New York Observer review
New York Press review

the author's Book Notes essay for her comics collection, Lulu Eightball
Philadelphia City Paper interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

Previous Book Notes submissions (authors create playlists for their book)

Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)


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