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May 12, 2012

Shorties (Neil Gaiman on Marice Sendak, Beach House on Their New Album, and more)

At the Guardian, Neil Gaiman remembers Maurice Sendak.

Sendak, who died this week, did not make books for children. He just made books. His linework was elegant, sometimes even cute, but always honest. He was wise, and he never patronised any readers, adult or child. I devoured interviews with Sendak: he was a grumpy, Jewish, brilliant, wise contrarian and he didn't mellow as he aged. But then, he had never created mellow books. His coming out in 2008, age 80, was a final act of honesty.

DIY profiles the band Beach House.

With all of Beach House’s albums, you're being exposed to meticulously planned works of art. These aren't just freely available collections of downloadable mp3s. Speaking to Alex, you quickly pick up that 'Bloom' is no exception to the rule. "We're very passionate people. We worked on this record very hard. We've done that for all of the records." I ask about the meaning behind the album’s title; "in some European countries where English isn't a first language, it's both a verb and it's a noun. It's a big word and it has a lot of ideas in it. It's also a word that implies a cycle. It's a very open word and it says a lot... I think that's the whole thing about a title: it’s not definitive, it's a reflection. When you look at a painting, most people look at the painting first. They have a feeling about it. And then they go look at the title and they're always kind of like, 'huh? Yeah, ok.' I think 'Bloom' is that kind of title.”

At io9, authors list fantasy novels that will restore your faith in humanity.

Bangstyle recommends five cover songs for your summer playlist.

The New York Times interviews mystery author Mary Higgins Clark.

You once worked as a stewardess, and presumably you have traveled quite a bit. Any observations about what people read on airplanes and how that's changed over the years? What do you like to read on the plane?

When I was a flight stewardess with Pan American a thousand years ago, everyone was carrying a book. Now everyone seems to be carrying a computer or looking at the television. A few years ago, I got on the plane and smiled to see a woman deeply engrossed in one of my books. I settled myself and a few minutes later glanced back. She was in a dead sleep. On a plane, I like to catch up with what my suspense writer friends are up to and grab their latest on the way to the plane.

Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen talk to the Guardian about their television series Portlandia.

Hilary Mantel profiles Anne Boleyn at the Guardian.

Anne Boleyn is one of the most controversial women in English history; we argue over her, we pity and admire and revile her, we reinvent her in every generation.

Financial Times reviews her new book, Bring Up the Bodies.

This is a great novel of dark and dirty passions, public and private. It is also an exploration of what still shocks us – statecraft reduced to a barometer of the king’s libido as well as episodes such as Anne’s execution.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy is profiled by the Birmingham News.

"There were some scathing reviews, at one point, trying to degrade the band as dad rock," Tweedy says. "I actually think it's ageism; there’s something bizarre about it. We're just a rock band. Other art forms benefit from mature purveyors of the form. Why is rock the only art form where people aren't allowed to get older?"

The Telegraph reports that Jeanette Winterson will become a professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester.

The Other Paper interviews singer-songwriter Mike Doughty about his memoir,

Frank DeFord discusses his memoir Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter on Morning Edition.

Father John Misty visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

Leonard J. Pitts, Jr. talks to All Things Considered about his new novel Freeman.

"We tend to have this image of the end of the Civil War as being the slaves said, 'OK, we're free now,' and hallelujah and jubilee and threw their hoes down and went on to begin building whatever freedom was going to be," Pitts says. "It was a lot more difficult, painful and complex than that."

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)

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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