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May 31, 2008


In the Wall Street Journal, Luc Sante examines his personal library and reluctance to ever get rid of any books.

Newsweek interviews David Sedaris.

Do you think your stories are darker or more serious now than when you started out?

If they are, I think it's a consequence of reading out loud on those tours. I'll read something in front of an audience, and I'll read it like eight times, and I've proved to myself that I can get a laugh here and here and here. So now I'm more inclined to think: OK, I've proved that I can get a laugh, now let's see what it's like to go without it. Now let's dig a little deeper instead of what's going to get an easy laugh. Let's write what you were really thinking. I don't think I'd be inclined to do that if hadn't been going on these tours. When I look at a lot of older stuff that I've written, I think one sign of amateur humor writing is when you see people trying too hard. People often send me their stuff and I can see that trying on the page. I feel like I've done that myself, and it just makes me cringe. And I hope I'm getting away from that.

Martha Wainwright talks to the Globe and Mail about her new album, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too.

“The songs are certainly personal,” she continues, “but they're a little less navel-gazing than [2005's self-titled debut]. That first set I wrote between the ages of 18 and 24, but things change. There are songs here where I'm looking outside of myself at larger subject matter, whether it's war or death or suicide” – The George Song, for one, is about a friend who took his life – “but I always try to make my point by illustrating it through personal experience. The difference is, I've pulled my head out of my ass a bit. There are far more things to write about than my own personal problems.”

The Boston Globe profiles M83.

Musically, Gonzalez looked not to his teenage years, but to the 1980s for inspiration. The result, however, sounds nothing like the de rigueur dance rock of obviously '80s-influenced bands like Bloc Party or the Rapture. Gonzalez, who brings M83 to the Middle East Downstairs Monday, copped more from chart pop bands like Tears for Fears and the ethereal Cocteau Twins than the post-punk lot.

The Wall Street Journal interviews Aimee Mann about her new album, @#x%x*! Smilers.

WSJ: You've been releasing music independently since 1999, right before the major-label system fell into its current troubles. Do you ever feel like saying, "I told you so"?

Ms. Mann: The thing is, their demise is our demise. It's not like we fare any better with the dip in record sales. People don't discriminate and say, 'Oh, this is on a major label, so I'll burn this CD.' Our record sales are cut in half just like everyone else's.

The New York Times reviews Joe Nick Patoski’s biography, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life.

Joseph O'Neill talks to the Irish Independent about his novel, Netherland, which is garnering critical acclaim everywhere.

"When I told publishers that I was writing a novel about cricket in New York people just shook their heads and walked away. There was not so much a bidding war for it as a bidding peace," O'Neill said.

I finished the book this week, and found it the most inventive and moving fiction I have read all year.

In the New York Times, John Hodgman reviews recently published graphic novels and books about comics, including Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus, Mark Evanier's biography Kirby: King of Comics, Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze, and more.

Newsday offers summer reading suggestions, and NPR's Weekend Edition lists the ten top cookbooks for summer.

The Globe and Mail interviews cartoonist Art Spiegelman.

Do you care if comics are viewed as a legitimate art form?

It has its advantages certainly. It allows one to engage with an audience willing to slow down, because presumably it's an audience that's willing to stand in front of a painting for a fairly long time. Or read a novel that's not, I don't know, a thriller or a romance novel. And that means that one can move around one's own brain with impunity with the knowledge that other people might be able to follow.

Drowned in Sound recaps May's music releases.

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles two generations of Packer family authors: Nancy, Herbert, Ann, and George.

The Arizona Republic lists ten essential Cure moments.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle interviews Keith Gessen, author of All the Sad Young Literary Men.

Does the response to your novel surprise you?

It does, a little. I thought the reaction would be much more about the way the characters treat one another, that is the men and women. I think that will still ultimately be the reaction, once the book gets outside New York. Inside New York, it’s turned into a flashpoint for whether guys from Ivy League schools should be written about at all, which just doesn’t seem like an interesting discussion. Everyone should be written about.

The Guardian picks ten of the best examples of bad driving in literature.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews Katie White of the Ting Tings about the effect of the band's single in an iTunes ad.

Q: How is that iTunes ad treating you?

A: It's crazy. We just heard the song is on the iTunes chart in America today. We had a show in Helsinki last night. I had never been there - none of us had. But it was like a ready-made audience. It was quite disturbing, that. In a good way, but we weren't expecting it. We were expecting to go somewhere and play for two people. We came to the States about two months ago and played a few small shows and really enjoyed it. We can't wait to get back there. aggregates several summer reading lists.

The social networking service Goodreads now features an author program for writers to better interact with their readers.

Minnesota Public Radio's Talking Volumes interviews author Michael Ondaatje about his latest book, Divisadero.

WXPN is streaming recordings of yesterday's performances by the Hold Steady, Ani DiFranco, Dr. John and Newton Faulkner from the NON-COMMvention in Philadelphia.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 online music lists
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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