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June 29, 2008

Shorties

The Tacoma News Tribune interviews Edward Chupack about his novel, Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me With a Goodly Amount of Murder.

Why choose Long John Silver as a centerpiece?

What struck me when I read “Treasure Island” to my son years ago was how little Silver appears in the novel. It’s really Jim Hawkins’ story that Stevenson wrote “for laddies,” to quote him. So here’s this great character whom we see only through others’ eyes. I thought, wouldn’t it be great to create a back story for him, to give him a past, a present and a future – which is my novel. He’s such a great monster.


The New York Daily News lists 11 sexy summer songs to download.


The Ann Arbor News interviews Eileen Pollack, director of the University of Michigan's master's program in creative writing, about her new short fiction collection, In the Mouth: Stories and Novellas.

Q: Novellas are hard to place in terms of publication. What is it about the form that appeals to you?

A: It's a form I just love. I write long. I have a lot more plot than most literary writers, so it's hard for me to bring in a story in the typical 20 pages. ... But David Leavitt, a really wonderful writer and editor, started a magazine called SubTropics, and length is no object. So he published 'The Bris,' which is quite long for a story. It's about 40 manuscript pages, and ... Stephen King chose it for "Best American Short Stories," which wouldn't have happened if I hadn't published it in the magazine first.


The Jackson Citizen Patriot lists its best albums of 2008 (so far).


The Chicago Tribune previews US summer music festivals.


The Toronto Star and Beaumont Enterprise offer summer reading suggestions (see my list of 2008 summer reading lists).


Uncoached lists "10 out of place songs that work really well in movies."


Buy your own paper dolls of literary characters.


The Line of Best Fit interviews White Denim bassist Steve Terebecki.


LAist interviews Dan Wilson (Trip Shakespeare, Semisconic) about his solo album Free Life.

What one song in your Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic or solo repertoire do you not get sick of performing?

I never get sick of any of my songs! I'd be happy to play any one of them right now. (If I can remember the chords.) I'm the kind of person who can have the same breakfast for a year and never need any variety. I've never understood artists who have hot and cold relationships with their hits. I love playing my songs! Good grief.


The Boston Globe profiles the Black Angels.

What the band's 2006 debut, "Passover," made apparent was that the Black Angels too knew exactly what they wanted to do. And they were unself-conscious about borrowing from their influences. "We knew what we liked - the Warlocks, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and [the Brian Jonestown Massacre]," says Maas, whose outfit at times also reaches back farther to the sepulchral menace of the Doors. "We knew we didn't want our music to sound poppy. We wanted to not put too much thought into it. If the music felt evil or felt good or gave us chills when we were playing it, we knew we could convince other people."


The New York Times reviews Ed Park's debut novel, Personal Days.

Park has written what one of his characters calls “a layoff narrative” for our times. As the economy continues its free fall, Park’s book may serve as a handy guide for navigating unemployment and uncertainty. Does anyone who isn’t a journalist think there can’t be two books on the same subject at the same time? We need as many as we can get right now.


Gawker interviews Michael Ian Black about his essay collection, My Custom Van: And 50 Other Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face.

Q. David Sedaris makes me angry and mumbly, but I'm not really sure why. Meanwhile, his sister, Amy Sedaris, makes me want to marry her every time she says or does anything at all. Why does she rule and he kind of makes me want to hang myself in the shower like that guy in An Officer and a Gentleman, or at least fling feces at him like the monkeys at the zoo?

A. This is a question that has bedeviled me for, literally, years! How can one family produce, on one hand, an American icon (Amy) and a virulent anti-American crusader (David)? It just doesn't make sense. I think you can learn a lot by looking at their individual books: David writes poignant, often painful essays about dysfunctionality (a word I think I just made up), while Amy writes recipes for cupcakes. That pretty much tells you all you need to know.


Cinema Blend lists its favorite television robots.


NYU's medical library lists physician writers.


MSN lists 10 great summer books for women and 10 great summer books for men.


At NPR's All Things Considered, Ernest Hemingway's son shares memories of his father.


Better Than The Van matches touring musicians with people willing to accommodate them for the night.


also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 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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