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September 1, 2011

Shorties (Glen Duncan, Songs of the Summer, and more)

Reuters interviews Glen Duncan about his latest novel The Last Werewolf.

Q: As a successful literary writer, how much pressure is there to write a commercially successful book?

A: "It's a pressure that anybody who works for his or herself will be familiar with. Whatever else may be true, the bills still have to be paid. And it was becoming increasingly obvious the way the economic climate had turned around three years ago, if you were a literary writer who wasn't already a household name, you rocketed to the top of the list of hilariously expendable items. It was clear that publishers were going to be less inclined to lose money on books. There are a lot of writers in my position who have published respectable work, but they're living a hand-to-mouth existence."

At The Record, musicians share their song of the summer.

The New Statesman interviews author Anita Desai.

DCist interviews Scott McCaughey about his band The Baseball Project.

To what extent do you see baseball as a trope or a motif or something you can use to write about bigger themes?

Yeah, it is like that. It's good to have any kind of inspiration to write a song. I mean, if you say, "let's write a song about baseball," it opens up a new world to me, and yet you want the songs to be usually a little more than just here's a song about a guy who played baseball. We try to pick subjects that at least have some meaning outside the baseball context.

The Guardian has released the longlist for its Guardian First Book Award.

Congratulations to Largehearted Boy Book Notes participant Elif Batuman.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviews Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy and illustrator Carson Ellis about their new book, Wildwood.

Q: What children’s books inspired you?

Carson: I had ["The Chronicles of] Narnia" in mind because I love Pauline Baynes as an illustrator and the drawings were so integral to the story. Colin loves Tolkien, he’s less of a 'Narnia' fan than I. He was looking at 'Wind in the Willows' a lot.

The Los Angeles Times lists New York literary destinations.

At the Chicago Reader, Pat Sansone of Wilco interviews Of Montreal's Davey Pierce about Prince, XTC, and drum machines.

Bookworm interviews author Jesse Ball.

Pitchfork interviews Beirut's Zach Condon about his new album, The Rip Tide.

In the new issue of Tin House, Emma Straub recounts her Joey McIntyre (of New Kids on the Block) experience.

On sale today at Amazon MP3: Washed Out's Within and Without album.

The Atlantic examines the merging of literature and music.

NPR reviews Joann Sfar's Serge Gainsbourg biopic Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.

But setting aside his penchant for controversy, Gainsbourg's musical influence remains gigantic, if only for his restless experimentation with genre and form. Comic artist-turned-filmmaker Joann Sfar attempts to similarly twist the conventions of the musical biopic — as well as courting controversy by playing fast and loose with the facts — by following up his own graphic novel with a screen portrait called Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. The resulting film is, at first glance, like no biopic you've seen before.

Novel Songs is a blog and radio program that creates playlists for books.

Spin lists the best albums of 2011 so far.

Talk of the Nation interviews Karl Marlantes about his new book What It Is Like to Go to War.

All Songs Considered is streaming a new Olivia Tremor Control song, "The Game You Play Is in Your Head Parts 1, 2, 3."

NPR reviews and excerpts from Chad Harbach's excellent debut novel The Art of Fielding.

In many ways, The Art of Fielding belies its author's status as a founding editor of n+1, the crucial Brooklyn-based journal of literary criticism. Sure, there are disquisitions on Melville and a quote from Robert Lowell. But Harbach's novel might remind you not of the highbrow writers one associates with n+1 but of John Irving's The World According to Garp in its length, its warmth, its love of sudsy plot twists.

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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