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May 2, 2009

Shorties (Free Comic Book Day, Michael Chabon, and more)

Free Comic Book Day is today.

Pop Candy lists five free comics to pick up.

Starlog celebrates Free Comic Book Day with an interview with author Michael Chabon.

Asked if he has ever considered writing the comic book adventures of Spider-Man or the Escapist on a regular basis, Chabon replies, “Nah, I don’t think I could spare that amount of time. I’ve had several offers to write various titles over the past few years, and I think SPIDER-MAN may have been one of them. DC asked if I wanted to do something original or take over a book, but that’s really hard. Writing comics is so much work—for me, anyway. I’m slow and it takes me a long time, so I don’t think it would be cost-effective and, as you know, it doesn’t pay very well. I don’t think I could manage it.”

BBC News interviews legendary singer-songwriter and activist Pete Seeger, who turns 90 today.

The Globe and Mail interviews author Jonathan Littell about his controversial bestseller, The Kindly Ones.

The New York Times profiles author Colm Toibin.

Toibin’s prose is as elegant in its simplicity as it is complex in the emotions it evokes. One of his most persistent themes is the longing for home, coupled with the knowledge that as an ideal, it can never exist. His characters are often far from where they grew up, or far from Ireland, and once they return, they remain ambivalent. A central question for Eilis Lacey in “Brooklyn” is: Do you relinquish whatever identity you’ve built to collapse back into (what at least seems) the warm embrace of family and small town that long ago defined you as so much less? And if that is what “home” means, is that where you want to be?

The Globe and Mail calls W.E. Bowman's 1956 novel, The Ascent of Rum Doodle, "the funniest book ever."

The SFBG Noise blog interviews the founders of the Stones Throw and Smaltown Supersound music labels.

The Los Angeles Times examines the problems with authors' second novels.

The Futurist offers mp3s from the WOXY SXSW sessions, including sets by the Frontier Brothers, the Distant Seconds, the Rosebuds, and Pete and the Pirates.

The New York Times reviews two recently published baseball autobiographies, Ron Darling's The Complete Game: Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound and Darryl Strawberry's Straw: Finding My Way.

The Financial Times profiles author Jodi Picoult.

Picoult is an author who believes in connecting with her readers. That may be because success came after Picoult, 42, had already published 10 books; or because, despite this success, she is often dismissed by reviewers, such as Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times, for being too facile in her treatment of serious topics; because she has yet to be nominated for an American book award and, for 20 years, was “ignored” by the creative writing department of Princeton University, her alma mater; because she has to fight the idea that she is too prolific to be taken seriously (she has written a book a year for the past 16 years and has the next one in the bag and one already mapped out for 2011); or simply because she is thankful for her success and wants to share her good fortune.

At The Week, Chuck Palahniuk lists his 5 best books.

Free at Amazon MP3: the 9-track Lookout Records sampler album, Be On The Lookout.

On sale at Amazon MP3 for $1.99: the 13-track remastered Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds.

nyctaper shares mp3s of a recent Hoboken performance by Motel Motel.

Daytrotter features in-studio mp3s from Neil Halstead.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

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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