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July 30, 2011

Shorties (A Smiths Comics Anthology, Lorrie Moore on Friday Night Lights, and more)

Help fund an anthology of comic stories inspired by Smiths songs.

At the New York Review of Books, Lorrie Moore writes about Friday Night Lights.

Friday Night Lights is held together by a cast of disconcertingly attractive young people with pink, wavy mouths (a few seem straight out of a Beverly Hills casting agency, marring slightly the verisimilitude). They play kids named Tim Riggins, Tyra Collette, Jason Street, Lyla Garrity, and Matt Saracen, whose names envelop and suit them better than any others could, including the actors' own. Equally attractive is the only high-functioning family in Dillon: that of Coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tami, who are played with deep and beautiful concentration and chemistry by Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. The Taylors often speak politely over each other, simultaneously, as if in an Altman film, and when they genuinely lose their tempers, which is seldom, it is transfixing, even when the sparring sounds mild. When Tami is made high school principal and begins to respond to her husband's work issues with platitudes of fatigue, he says, "You know who I miss? I miss the coach’s wife." And she replies, recognizably, "You know who I can’t wait to meet? The principal's husband." The portrait of their relationship has been described by Daniel Mendelsohn in these pages as "the finest representation of middle-class marriage in popular culture." And it is a far cry from the marriages one has seen on The Sopranos or Mad Men, as well as other marriages in Dillon, Texas.

The list of online 2011 online reading lists has been updated, and includes recommendations by the Telegraph, Chicago Tribune, ELLE UK, and much more.

Granta interviews Patrick DeWitt about his novel The Sisters Brothers.

The Boston Globe interviews Fountains of Wayne's Chris Collingwood about the band's new album, Sky Full of Holes.

At Hero Complex, actor Rainn Wilson lists 10 of his favorite science fiction and fantasy books.

A Blog Supreme ponders why people sit at jazz concerts.

Slate examines the appeal of book clubs (and points out The Book Club Cookbook, which pairs snacks to books).

PowellsBooks.Blog and Neil Gaiman interview Grant Morrison about his new book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.

In an illustrated piece, the New York Times lists writers' favorite snacks.

The Minneapolis Tribune previews upcoming children's books from Minnesota authors.

Amazon MP3 features over 500 albums priced at $5 or below, including two sure to make my year-end list of favorites, Wye Oak's Civilian and tUnE-yArDs' w h o k i l l.

All Things Considered shares a music playlist for delivering a baby.

Fresh Air interviews Melissa Febos about her memoir, Whip Smart: The True Story of a Secret Life.

Read Febos's Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist essay for the book.

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

also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Atomic Books Comics Preview (highlights of the week's new comics & graphic novels)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (highlights of the week's new books)
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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