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January 23, 2010

Shorties (Magnetic Fields, Allen Ginsberg, and more)

Drowned in Sound interviews Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.


The New York Times' Bay Area Blog interviews the filmmakers behind the Allen Ginsberg biopic, Howl.


In the Wall Street Journal, author Pete Dexter lists his 5 favorite works of fiction about families.


The Chicago Tribune lists 5 great discoveries in science writing.


Rock Candy interviews Yo La Tengo's James McNew.


The Stanford Daily lists the 25 best albums of the decade.


Nerdage notes Barack Obama's influence in selling comics in 2009.

In fact, Obama might have been the biggest comic-book salesman of the decade. Obama, himself a comic-book fan, helped move an estimated 530,500 copies of “Amazing” No. 583, according to the Web site www.comichron.com. (Obama didn’t officially endorse his comic-book appearance.)


Dear Scotland lists 50 Scottish musical artists to watch in 2010.


Martin Amis explains what led him to write his novel Time's Arrow with the Guardian.

Deciding to write a novel about something – as opposed to finding you are writing a novel around something – sounds to me like a good evocation of writer's block. No matter what its length (vignette, novella, epic), a work of fiction begins with an inkling: a ­notion that is also a physical sensation. It is hard to improve on Nabokov, who variously described it as a "shiver" and a "throb". The throb can come from anywhere, a newspaper report (very common), the remnants of a dream, a half-remembered quote. The crucial, the enabling fermentation lies in this: the shiver must connect to something already present in the subconscious.


In the Guardian, Penguin authors name their favorite books by the publisher.


The Guardian shares a new short story by Julian Barnes, "Sleeping with John Updike."


The Guardian interviews E.L. Doctorow about his latest novel, Homer & Langley.

Doctorow didn't undertake any research for the book, preferring to fish back through his memories of the Collyers' story and expand on them, drawing the mythic elements out. "I didn't want to know, terribly, what the clinical details were," he says. "I found myself writing this line: 'I'm Homer, the blind brother'" – the novel's plangent opening sentence. "I had the voice; I was off. And I learned as I went along. I realised at a certain point that I was writing a kind of road novel, with these two guys talking to each other as characters on the road do, not just for the length of a trip, but for the whole of their lives."


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

online "best of 2009" book lists
online "best of 2009" music lists
Online Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Book Lists
best of the decade (2000-2009) online music 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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