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January 12, 2009

Shorties (Malcolm Gladwell, Sufjan Stevens, and more)

At The Week, Malcolm Gladwell lists his favorite books.

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis (Norton, $14). Lewis is the finest storyteller of our generation, and this is his best book. Supposedly about football (the title refers to the side of the field a quarterback is blind to), it’s actually an extraordinary story about love and redemption.


The New Yorker features new short fiction by Antonya Nelson, "Soldier's Joy."


In his Turn It Up blog, Greg Kot lists the top arena rock anthems.


The Guardian's music blog examines "the curse of the side project."


Publishers Weekly interviews book translator Mara Faye Lethem.

As a translator, do you tend to favor a more literal interpretation of the author's words, or focus more on preserving the author's intent?

You have to find something that works in English. Sometimes it can be a mental puzzle that can be very satisfying once you solve it, and sometimes it's a compromise that there's no perfect answer to. I try to maintain a balance. In terms of trying to convey the author's style, I try to stick very close to the text. But on the other hand, if you're too strict about it, it can lead to very stilted prose. I think of it sometimes as a balance between humility and self-confidence.


WNYC's Soundcheck features Will Oldham.


Pitchfork interviews Kranky Records founders Joel Leoschke and Bruce Adams.

Pitchfork: What has been hardest or most frustrating about running a label?

JL: The most frustrating aspect of the business is always press coverage, or lack of it. We're in a tough spot-- most of what we do is not indie rock, but we're stuck trying to market it within the confines of that machine. If you're missing any of three elements-- guitar, drums, or vocals-- you're going to have a hard time pushing it. A fair number of [our] releases have none of the three! [laughs]


MTV previews the biggest rock albums of 2009.


Express Night Out profiles singer-songwriter William Elliot Whitmore.


I posted my list of favorite 2008 graphic novels this weekend.


The Manchester Orchestra shares a cover of the Mountain Goats' "Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton" on the band's MySpace page.


Paste recaps Sufjan Steven's 2008.


PopMatters excerpts from Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists, by Iain Ellis.


The Comics Reporter lists 25 great things about being a comics fan.


Rolling Stone asks insiders how to save the music industry.


USA Today lists the year's top comic book and graphic novel sellers.


Daytrotter's Monday session features in-studio mp3s from Ben Kweller.


The Mobtown Shank lists the year's best Baltimore indie rock show posters.


This week Five Chapters is serializing a new short story by Lauren Groff, whose Monsters of Templeton was one of my favorite novels of 2008.


Conversations in the Book Trade interviews litblogger and podcaster Ed Champion about the current state of book publishing.


In the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Raban uses Barack Obama's memoirs as a guide to his leadership style.


The Observer examines how Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses has shaped British society over the past 20 years.


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "best of 2008" music lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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