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February 4, 2012

Shorties (Sherman Alexie, Sharon Van Etten, and more)

The Believer features a conversation between author Sherman Alexie and singer-songwriter Neko Case.

The Washington Post profiles singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten, whose new album Tramp is released Tuesday.

The Christian Science Monitor lists 10 sequels based on a famous book.

Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

William Boyd talks to the Telegraph about his new novel, Waiting for Sunrise.

Book Stalker interviews Caryn Rose about author readings. profiles the band First Aid Kit.

Like many of the songs on First Aid Kit's second album, The Lion's Roar, current single "Emmylou" rings with a bittersweet tune, carried by pedal steel and acoustic guitar. The closely blended voices of sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg are one key reason why the piece stands above so much modern folk-pop. The song's sweet and simple chorus is another -- a dual tribute to the joy of making music with a partner, and the artists who've inspired them to do so: "I'll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June, if you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny, too," the sisters sing of classic C&W duet duos Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, June Carter and Johnny Cash. "Just sing, little darling, sing with me."

At Speakeasy, writer and bookseller Emma Straub offers tips for author readings.

Now, about the reading itself. I can count the times on one hand—no, make that one finger, and name it Colm Toibin—where an author has read for forty minutes and no one has fallen asleep. Call me dictatorial, but I don’t think anyone should read for longer than twenty minutes, maybe thirty if you’ve recently won a Pulitzer Prize.

NPR is streaming video of a live performance by The Kills.

David Finch talks to All Things Considered about his new memoir The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband.

"It was very cathartic. It was this unbelievable moment of self-recognition," David Finch tells NPR's Melissa Block. "It gave me such insight into who I am, how my mind works and why certain things have been such a challenge."

Amazon MP3 has 100 digital albums on sale for $5.

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

also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily 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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