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August 9, 2011

Shorties (Stream the New Beirut Album, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and more)

NPR is streaming the new Beirut album, The Rip Tide (out August 30th).

The National Post examines the life and literary legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Pop & Hiss explores connections between the works of Shakespeare and country music.

At Strand Books, author Jennifer Egan recommends books that have influenced her writing.

The London Evening Standard profiles St. Vincent's Annie Clark.

At any rate, she seems more at home in a sun-dappled graveyard outside a classical music venue: St Vincent's own music is also touch macabre, a touch mischievous, touch ornate. Her third album, Strange Mercy, is released next month and even if its lines about dead-eyed cheerleaders and erotic surgery do not conquer the charts, they do mark out a unique voice. She is at the centre of a highly fertile New York scene including The National (with whom she performed at Latitude this year), the Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear - and in her way, she out-weirds them all.

The University of Cambridge's list of the top 50 books on sustainability.

Amazon MP3's free song of the day is The Horrors' "Still Life."

At Write Place, Write Time, Lev Grossman shares his creative space. The Magician King, Grossman's sequel to his novel The Magicians, is in stores today.

The A.V. Club interviews Grossman about the new novel.

The A.V. Club: When you completed The Magicians, how much of the sequel was in your head?

Lev Grossman: You know, not at all, except for a lingering sense of a missed opportunity. I've felt as though I've been engaging very much with, obviously with the Narnia books, but particularly with The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. I thought, "That's great, but what about Dawn Treader, the one where you really get them in a boat, out over the horizon, you really get to see the large-scale, magical wonders of Narnia? What about all that stuff?" I never got to do that kind of thing, those kinds of setpieces. It started with, "Wouldn’t it be great?" and then I thought, "Right, well. This is how you could do it, if you were going to do it."

The Boston Globe reviews The Magician King.

Cover Lay Down shares cover songs for the end of summer.

Flavorwire shares an alternate list of books you should have read in high school.

The App Whisperer lists the top 10 iPad music magazines.

Fresh Air interviews Charles C. Mann about his new book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.

NPR is streaming Olabelle's new album, Neon Blue Bird (out August 16th).

Fresh Air reviews Kevin Wilson's new novel, Family Fang.

This premise could easily have devolved into pop psychodrama, but think, instead, of something like Little Miss Sunshine — a family story that's out-of-the-box, and funny, and, also, genuinely moving. Wilson's inventive genius never stops for a rest break.

Amazon MP3 has 100 albums on sale for $5.

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, books, and pop culture)

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