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November 10, 2007


The Globe and Mail reviews the Charles Schultz biography, Schultz and Peanuts (which I just started and find fascinating as well).

Schulz and Peanuts is a superb examination of the great paradox whereby persistent melancholy can lead to the creation of delightful art. It's one of the best biographies of a genius I've ever read, up there with Richard Ellmann's life of James Joyce or Philip Marchand's of Marshall McLuhan. Before becoming a biographer, Michaelis was a novelist, and his background shows. He's organized Schulz's life to unfold as a convincing story, rather than just a dry accumulation of fact, and his book is shrewd and insightful, in some ways as life-enhancing as a good novel.

The Globe and Mail reviews Michael Chabon's latest novel, Gentlemen of the Road.

There was something familiar to me about the shape and heft of this beautifully made book, and this helped form my affection for it. Readers of boys' adventure stories will recognize it eventually; in terms of physical dimensions, it's reminiscent of an old Hardy Boys number, a feeling enhanced by 15 charming illustrations by Gary Gianni, of Prince Valiant fame. It's been a long time since I read a book with pictures in it, and the experience was a wholly pleasant one, creating warm fuzzies in the heart of this old dungeon master and former boy detective.

RIP, author Norman Mailer

T-shirt of the day #1: "Music Plays in My Head" is a fan site for the late comedian, Mitch Hedburgh. The site includes an mp3 archive of live performances.

KEXP features an in-studio performance by Annuals at noon pacific.

An Arcade Fire performance is featured on this week's edition of Austin City Limits, see my preview of the show at the PBS Remotely Connected blog.

Peter Gabriel talks about the future of music sales with PC Advisor.

"Never before has an artist been able to reach out and build an audience so easily - without needing record companies and their marketing departments. Equally, you've never been able to explore all kinds of new music in the instant way the internet allows," he observes.

The Washington Post travels to the homesteads of famous Georgia writers.

The Brooklyn Rail profiles the literary genre of flash fiction.

In the Los Angeles Times, Ann Powers reviews the Bob Dylan biopic, I'm Not There.

This take on Dylan is a rich one. For one thing, it's helped revive interest in many lost touchstones of American music and literature; for another, it's helped Dylan avoid getting stuck in a web of baby boomer self-love. Haynes makes the most of the Trickster take by placing each of his six Dylanesque figures in a memory-rich landscape that intersects and goes beyond the songwriter's own.

Ed Champion reviews The Bookaholics’ Guide to Book Blogs.

I’m wondering why such a poorly researched and slipshod book was permitted to come out. (My answer might have something to do with Gillieron and Kilgarriff being the publishers of Marion Boyars, the press that generated this book.) Certainly, litblogs and their ilk deserve this kind of treatment, perhaps not in book form. But Gillieron and Kilgarriff are not the ones to do it.

BookBump is an online tool to keep track of your book inventory.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by Stars.

Asthmatic Kitty is streaming Sufjan Stevens' 5-disc holiday box set, and holding a holiday song contest where the winner trades the rights to his song for the rights ti one of Mr. Stevens' compositions.

T-shirt of the day #2: "'s Top 100 Bands of 2007"

CBS Watch! asks some of the network's television actors to name their favorite concert experience.

Visual artist Kelly Haigh (who designed the wonderful cover for Carolyn Mark's latest album, Nothing Is Free) discusses her musical inspirations at musicisart.

Speaking of Carolyn Mark, I love musicians who post recipes on their website.

The Frugal Panda lists 17 ways to get free books.

Yahoo! Picks interviews music blogger Justin Gage, the man behind Aquarium Drunkard.

Baby Got Books interviews author Richard Lange.

see also: Lange's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for his short story collection, Dead Boys

Spinner features an in-studio performance by PJ Harvey.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Daily Downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases


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