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March 27, 2012

Shorties (Gary Shteyngart, The Greatest Breakup Songs of the 1960s, and more)

CultureMap Austin profiles author Gary Shteyngart.

Talking to Shteyngart, I found the dark comic sensibility present in his work also prevalent in his comments about that work and writing in general. In fiction, at least, he has no use for utopian worlds, or societies where "everything works" because that would be so boring.

"That's why there's not so many Norwegian or Danish novels," he says. "I was kind of excited to learn that Sweden had an underbelly with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I had no idea they had all those troubles, but I'm glad they do because that’s good for literature."

Nerve lists the 25 greatest breakup songs of the 1960s.

The Huffington Post recommends 10 books about contemporary southern politics.

Flavorwire creates a literary mixtape for Don Juan.

Richard Zacks talks to All Things Considered about his new book Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York.

The Guardian interviews Kevin Barry about his novel City of Bohane.

How did you come to write City of Bohane?

I am an evil megalomaniac, and so for a long while I had wanted to build a little city of my own. But I couldn't begin until I knew what the place was called. Then, one night – and honestly, I hate to lurch into melodrama here – I had what I can only describe as A Vision … I woke up trembling, in a fever sweat, and I sat bolt upright in the bed, and I cried out the single word "Bohane!". I began the novel the next morning.

Hypebot reports that Signature Brew is creating beers for indie bands.

25 novels to honor women's history month.

On sale for $3.99 today at Amazon MP3: Paul Weller's new album Sonik Kicks.

The Days of Yore interviews Cheryl Strayed about her new memoir, Wild and her life before becoming a writer.

Stream video of a new Sigur Ros song at All Songs Considered.

The Atlantic proposes a "slow books manifesto."

To borrow a cadence from Michael Pollan: Read books. As often as you can. Mostly classics.

The Nervous Breakdown interviews Kris D'Agostino about his debut novel, The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac.

Bitter Lemon Press is creating a worldwide crime fiction map.

Win copies of The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines and The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook by Alan Kistler and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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

Follow me on Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, 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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