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March 24, 2010

Shorties (Literary March Madness, Iggy Pop, and more)

At Salon, Laura Miller profiles The Morning News Tournament of Books.

The ToB has a healthy sense of its own absurdity, evidenced by the fact that the first round put Hilary Mantel's doorstop historical novel set in the court of Henry VIII, "Wolf Hall," up against "Logicomix," a graphic "novel" by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou about Bertrand Russell's effort to establish the logical foundations of mathematics. Both could be called historical fiction, but beyond that, the notion of weighing them against each other is so silly that it effectively pegs the entire contest as a goof. ("Wolf Hall" won that round, by the way.)

The Guardian Music Blog ponders the effects of Iggy Pop's decision to stop stage-diving.

SheKnows interviews Julie Klausner about her book, I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated.

The New York Press profiles Beulah frontman Miles Kurosky and his new solo album, The Desert of Shallow Effects.

Melissa Febos, author of the new memoir Whip Smart, shares a music playlist with Paper Cuts.

The Riverfront Times offers an excerpt from Steve Almond's new book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life.

The Weekender interviews Wilco's John Stirratt.

The Rumpus reviews Jami Attenberg's latest novel, The Melting Season.

CHARTattack reports that the horse Radiohead may race in the Kentucky Derby,

FACT lists the 20 best albums from the first quarter of 2010.

NPR reviews Sam Lipsyte's new novel, The Ask.

Lipsyte's language is beautifully crafted stuff, yes, but he employs it in service to a larger, coherent purpose that makes his many narrative digressions worth the detour. Those jokes, for example, about Milo's son's new-age daycare center, which closes suddenly one morning "due to pedagogical conflicts," are just one way The Ask sets about dissecting Lipsyte's true subject: class in America.

All Things Considered profiles Icelandic singer-songwriter Olaf Arnalds.

Publishing Perspectives examines the state of independent book publishing in Putin's Russia.

Small Chicago is a new live music video website that captures indie rock bands performing three songs, caught with two cameras, in one take.

Dislocate interviews author Jim Shepard.

At Paper Cuts, author Malena Watrous lists karaoke songs that make an amateur sound good.

AbeBooks lists the top books written by librarians.

Indie rock internet radio station WOXY has shut down.

In this week's LHB contest, I am giving away the two books I judged in the first round of The Morning News Tournament of Books, Hilary Mantel's novel Wolf Hall and the graphic novel Logicomix, as well as a $100 Threadless gift certificate.

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

also at Largehearted Boy:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (highlights of the week's comics & graphic novel releases)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (highlights of the week's book releases)
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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