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January 4, 2012

Shorties (Emma Donoghue's Life Lessons, The Top 10 Posthumous Albums of All Time, and more)

At The National, author Emma Donoghue lists five life lessons she values.

Exclaim! lists the top 10 posthumous albums of all time.

The List of Online Year-End 2011 Music Lists was updated Sunday with 123 year-end music lists added to the master aggregation including BrooklynVegan's favorite albums and many others.

The List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists was updated Monday with 81 year-end book lists added to the master aggregation, including Washington Post book critic Ron Charles' favorite novels and many others.

At The Story Prize blog, Emma Straub lists epic short stories.

John Hodgman lists his favorite comic books.

Spinner and The L Magazine report that the band Pepper rabbit has broken up.

The Financial Times features a new Amy Waldman short story.

Mike Skinner of The Streets announced his memoir will be published in March.

Neil Gaiman discusses five books he loves on The Book Show podcast.

The Guardian profiles Small Demons, a website that tracks cultural connections between books, movies, and music.

Geeks of Doom reviews Marjane Satrapi's new graphic novel, The Sigh.

Written in Satrapi's fresh, unique voice, The Sigh is an instant classic fairy tale for all audiences more in the style of Grimms' fairy tales than a saccharine-sweet Disney story. It reminds me of the kinds of stories my grandmother read to me when I was a child from a giant storybook book that was published before she was even born. In those stories, all the vivid imagery and imaginative prose were poignant in their often brutal life lessons. They're what set off my imagination and turned me into the voracious reader I am today. The Sigh fits right in there with its tale of disappointment, loss, love, and redemption. The 56-page hardcover book is beautifully illustrated by Satrapi herself.

FACT lists 20 albums to look forward to in 2012.

Christie Watson has won the Costa Prize for her debut novel Tiny Sunbirds Far Away.

Read her Book Notes music playlist essay for the book.

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside play a live set at World Cafe.

Adam Johnson talks to BookPage about researching and writing his new novel, The Orphan Master's Son, which is set in North Korea.

Johnson manages to embed this sense of fear within the personal relationships of many of his characters. "The idea of what it would be like for a character to live under that fascinated me," Johnson says. "I am a person who loves narrative, who teaches narrative theory. In our stories in the West we believe every character is the center of his or her own story. We believe every human is unique and valuable, has yearnings and desires."

The UrbanWire interviews singer-songwriter Zee Avi.

UW: Why do you label yourself first a storyteller, then a musician?

ZA: "And then a human being. I'm a storyteller first and foremost. That was one of the reasons why I started writing songs. It's because I had all these experiences that I had and one day I was trying to find a song that fit my mood, and then I couldn't! So I was like, 'You know what? I'm just going to write my own.' And then I did. That’s when I started posting them on YouTube, and things like that and then, one thing led to another and then at the end of the day, I'm just someone who has this notebook filled with stories, and I just carry them with melodies."

The Poetry Foundation visits the archives of Shel Siverstein.

The KCRW Music Blog gets book recommendations from musicians.

Amazon MP3 has 100 digital 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)

List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
List of Online Year-End 2011 Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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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