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January 26, 2009

Shorties (Ben Parzybok, DeVotchKa, and more)

Washington State University's Daily Evergreen lovingly reviews Ben Parzybok's novel, Couch.

What I like about the novel is its epic scope and the constant, unapologetic insistence that there is something magical about this inanimate piece of furniture. I can’t say much more than that for fear of ruining the story, but what is really great about “Couch” is that it manages to capture the magic inherent in the process of reading. It has been a long time since I have read a book like this one, where reality gives way to infinite possibilities, where one is swept away in a willing suspension of disbelief.

see also: Parzybok's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book


The Edinburgh Evening News interviews author Irvine Welsh.


Rob Kirkpatrick, author of the new book, 1969: The Year Everything Changed, talks to USA Today about the significance of the year 1969.


In the New Yorker, Ta-Nehisi Coates reviews the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball.


PopMatters interviews singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.


The New Yorker features a new short story, "Al Roosten," by George Saunders.


PopMatters lists its favorite MoTown singles.


WXPN is streaming a live performance by DeVotchKa.


This week, Five Chapters is excerpting from Yiyun Li's novel, The Vagrants.


New York Magazine interviews Andrew Bird about his musical influences.

What do you like to read?

I like a magazine called Cabinet. It centers around archaic subjects, like nineteenth-century science when they were trying to get answers and they were doing it terribly wrong. I like epics; I’m reading this huge book about the Comanches. I like books about, like, what was happening everywhere on the planet in the year 1310. That stuff really turns me on. I don’t really go for modern fiction.


Singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler has a blog and an Etsy site.


nyctaper (one of my "bloggers to read in 2009") is looking for a sponsor.


Daytrotter's Sunday session featured in-studio mp3s from singer-songwriter James Jackson Toth. The Monday session features Ron Sexsmith.


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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