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October 24, 2007

A Century (Plus) of Book Notes

In mid-February of 2005 I participated in a virtual book tour for Tom Dolby's novel, The Trouble Boy. Dolby created a music playlist for the novel, and I decided to make the series a regular feature at Largehearted Boy, and named it Book Notes. Tom Bissell officially posted the first Book Notes essay on March 30, 2005, and since then a total of 138 author playlists have been shared.

Not surprisingly, the majority of posts have featured literary fiction, which makes up most of my pleasure reading. Dana Spiotta, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Grant, and Michelle Richmond are but a few of the novelists I respect who have kindly participated. I have even discovered some of my favorite fiction writers, including short story master George Singleton, Brock Clarke, and Brian Evenson, through the series.

Though Book Notes primarily features literary fiction, I am proud of the series' genre diversity. Graphic novels, cookbooks, memoirs, non-fiction, and even poetry have also been featured, and have provided many of the most interesting essays. I was surprised to see many of the authors are indie music fans (not unlike myself), but several of the essays showed refreshingly different tastes, including Laila Lalami's Moroccan music in her essay for Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and Jessica Abel's Mexican playlist for her graphic novel, La Perdida.

The highlights have been plentiful, from author accolades to media mentions, but the high point for me was Lee Martin including the Book Notes essay for his novel The Bright Forever (a Pulitzer prize finalist) in the paperback version of the book.

My heartfelt thanks go out to the authors who have shared their music playlist with the Largehearted Boy readers. This series owes a grateful debt to the publishers, agents, and even friends, fans, and family of writers who have either brought books to my attention or facilitated communications between the authors and myself. Fellow bloggers have been exceptionally helpful, especially the litblog community.

A surprising number of the essays were instigated by Largehearted Boy readers. If you have read a book you feel is a good fit for the Book Notes series, have written a book, or are engaged to an author (as was the case with Joshua Furst), please feel free to send me an e-mail.

Many more author music playlist essays are in the pipeline, stay tuned and thanks for reading.

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
directors and actors discuss their film's soundtracks
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)

52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)

tags: fiction

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