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February 1, 2008

Largehearted Boy January Wrapup

January was a busy month at Largehearted Boy, here is a recap of the special features that ran during the month, along with excerpts where applicable.

Happy Birthday (Largehearted Boy celebrated its 6th birthday)

52 Books 52 Weeks

Acme Novelty Library #18 review


My favorite novels of 2007

My favorite graphic novels of 2007

Book Notes

C.H Dalton shared a song for each race depicted in his book, A Practical Guide to Racism.


“Don’t Give Up On Us” - David Soul

This is probably Hutch’s finest outing, but it’s so hard to pick just one song from his back catalog. I think this song says a lot about the plight of whites in this country, and all they have had to deal with – reverse racism, white slavery, eczema. But, as Soul sings, “don’t give up on us, baby.”

Zacharay Lazar shared a music playlist inspired by his novel, Sway.

“Death Valley ’69,” Sonic Youth with Lydia Lunch
Like certain drawings by Raymond Pettibon, conjures the precise shade of psychosis embodied by the Manson family and Altamont.

Lisa Rogak shared a music playlist for her Shel Silverstein biography, A Boy Named Shel.

Shel Silverstein: F*ck ‘Em. This was an incredibly hard work to find. It wasn’t even a bootleg, but an acetate one-off that Shel recorded in 1970 during a demo session. “F*ck ‘Em” was the first song on the record. The session included his crudest and most raucous songs, and though it would have no trouble being released today, back then he must have done it as a joke and knew it would never come out. Other songs included “Julie’s Working,” about a prostitute, and “I Love My Right Hand,” no explanation necessary.

Carl Wilson made a mixtape for his 33 1/3 book on Celine Dion, Let's Talk About Love.

1. Elliott Smith, 2:45 am
Elliott Smith serves as Celine Dion's foil in the early part of the book, partly because they met upon the field of not-much-honor at the Oscars in 1998 and Dion roundly trounced my own little indie-songwriting hero. In this song, he provides a vague, menacing narrative that sketches a larger cultural trope - the misunderstood, abused, sensitive kid decides he doesn't need society's approval, muttering basically, "You can't reject me. I'm rejecting you." The dynamic between "alternative culture" and the "mainstream" too often carries that sour defensiveness into so-called adulthood. It's a gorgeous, haunting song, still. The irony is that when Dion and Smith met at the Oscars, she was so unexpectedly sweet to him that he ended up defending her to friends who criticized her, for the rest of his all-too-brief, burnt life.

Sara Zarr shared a playlist for her young adult novel Sweethearts.

Iron & Wine – Naked As We Came

Sure, the lyrics may be about a couple dying and ashes being spread around the yard, but there’s something about the chord progression and harmonies that resonate with any kind of love you’ve felt, whether it’s love for a lover or a friend or parent or sibling---anyone you would miss, including yourself. The missing of self, or a version of yourself, is an element to Jenna’s story in Sweethearts.

Note Books

Two members of New York city's Shondes shared their favorite books.

Temim Fruchter – Drums, Vocals

Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

I am the first to admit: first and foremost, I am a shameless romantic, and I die for a captivating story. When I look for something – or someone - new to read, I want a storyteller, someone who will craft something lyrical, shocking, intoxicating, challenging, and - well - narrative, and give it to me in the shape of a book. Sometimes it's hard for me to find discipline around and outside of this tendency – my heart yearns for poetry, history, theory, biography, politics, but my hands will grab a good story before my heart can ever protest. But I also read to be challenged and pushed, not just cajoled by a good, quick read - so I aim to find provocative texts in the most luscious and bizarre packaging I can find.


Hallelujah the Hills frontman Ryan Walsh interviewed Jamie Attenberg about her new novel, The Kept Man.

RW: With music I'm usually able to pinpoint a few of any band's major influences. With books I'm not as adept at that feat. I know it's often a maddening question but can you tell me who your literary heroes are? What authors inspired you to write?

JA: I think my literary heroes change, or at least new ones come on the forefront. When I was growing up I was all about Joyce Carol Oates, and then when I was a senior in high school I discovered all the flashy New York writers, Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz and Bret Easton Ellis, and then as soon as I got to college I was promptly introduced to Raymond Carver and Phillip Roth and Grace Paley. And I feel like all of those writers were really important in my formative years. Seven years ago maybe it was Flannery O'Connor. Two years ago I would have said it was the work of Auster and Murakami that really kept me going. I know I am forgetting about 100 people. I have not even started talking about comic books. I go back to all these authors all the time, and then I keep uncovering new ones. There are so many great books I have yet to read. I try not to think about it too much or I'll feel like I'm wasting my life.


Composer Marco Beltrami discussed his soundtracj to the film 3:10 to Yuma.

I wrote three different themes for the film which correspond to three different characters. The first is for Russell Crowe's character, Ben Wade. His theme is defined by three plucked notes inside the piano. I also ran fishing wire through the strings of the three notes to create a stretching, pulsating sound. This was an organic method of musically representing Wade's serpent-like character; he's alluring but also dangerous.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
directors 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)


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