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October 31, 2010

Shorties (Keith Richards, Vampire Books, and more)

The Scotsman reviews Keith Richards' new memoir, Life.

By turns earnest and wicked, sweet and sarcastic and unsparing, Richards, now 66, writes with uncommon candour and immediacy. He gives us a time-capsule feel for the madness that was life on the road with the Stones in the years before and after Altamont; harrowing accounts of his many close shaves and narrow escapes (from the police, prison time, drug hell); and a heap of sharp-edged snapshots of friends and colleagues – most notably, his longtime musical partner and sometime bête noire, Mick Jagger. But Life – written with the veteran journalist James Fox – is way more than a revealing showbiz memoir. It is also a high-velocity portrait of the era when rock 'n' roll came of age, a raw report from deep inside the counterculture maelstrom of how that music swept like a tsunami over Britain and the US.

The Washington Post reviews three new books about vampires.

The New York Post examines clothing retailers embrace of indie music for promotions. lists the 10 best Christmas albums of all time.

The Guardian reviews Saul Bellow: Letters.

You can see from this book that Bellow is a great writer; this does not make him a great letter-writer. On page after page, he scatters the kind of idea or image other novelists might have to save up for years to acquire. He writes to a young Philip Roth, thanking him for taking him out to listen to a Shostakovich quartet in London: "There's almost enough art to cover the deadly griefs with. Not quite, though. There are always gaps." Bellow is going through a painful divorce at the time. To an old student, he begins a confession about his father: "One must free one's soul from these parental influences." He added: "Only he was too busy with life's battles to remove his father's thumbprints and cleanse the precious surfaces. We've been luckier. We have the leisure for it."

The Dresden Dolls have four "pay what you want" albums available at Bandcamp.

The Contra Costa Times recommends scary books.

On sale at Amazon MP3: The Roots' 18-track Things Fall Apart album for $3.99.

The Newark Star-Ledger interviews author Anne Rice.

The Dandy Warhols visit The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer examines the renaissance of literary horror fiction.

Weekend Edition interviews Brian Eno about his new album, Small Craft on a Milk Sea (out November 2nd).

Mental Floss lists the working titles of classic books.

Win a copy of the Dead Snow DVD and S.G. Browne's novel Breathers: A Zombie's Lament in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Follow me on Twitter and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily links from the worlds of music, literature, and pop culture)

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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