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May 5, 2009

Book Notes - Ayelet Waldman ("Bad Mother")

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published books.

Ayelet Waldman's essay collection, Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace is perfectly timed, in bookstores the same week as Mother's Day.

I have seen the words "brash," "controversial," and "witty" tossed about by reviews and friends about this collection, but what struck me most was its honesty. Waldman's courage to explore more than just motherhood, especially women's gender roles in our society, make this book both insightful and entertaining, even if you are not a mother (or even female).

When I queued up these songs and played them in order, they present a dialog as interesting and surprising as the book itself. Ayelet Waldman joins the rare exceptions of Bret Easton Ellis and Dean Haspiel in submitting a Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist consisting solely of song titles, forming a mix CD I have been sending lately to friends expecting children.

In her own words, here is Ayelet Waldman's Book Notes essay for her book, Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace:

"Your Mother Should Know," the Beatles
"Free to Be...You and Me," The New Seekers
"Housework," the B52s
"Milky Way," by Shonen Knife
"Rip Her to Shreds," Blondie
"Tell That Girl to Shut Up," Holly & the Italians
"I Need a Man," Eurythmics
"Mother-in-Law," Ernie K-Doe
"Homework," J. Geils Band
"Short & Cocky," by R-Son
"Hot Child in the City," Nick Gilder
"Walking With a Ghost," Tegan and Sara
"Talking in the Dark," Elvis Costello
"Landslide," by Fleetwood Mac
"Crazy," Gnarls Barclay
"Killer Queen," by Queen
"Stay Up Late," Talking Heads
"Yes We Can," by will.i.am
"Excitable Boy," Warren Zevon
"Making Plans for Nigel," XTC

Ayelet Waldman and Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace links:

the author's website
video of the author reading chapter one of the book

The Book Lady's Blog review
Booklist review
The Daily Beast review
The Huffington Post review
Letters from the Editor review

7x7 profile of the author
Conversations With Famous Writers interview with the author
NPR Talk of the Nation commentary by the author
USA Today interview with the author
Washington Post profile of the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

Previous Book Notes submissions (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
52 Books, 52 Weeks

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