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July 10, 2012

Book Notes - John Brandon "A Million Heavens"

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, David Peace, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

John Brandon follows his first two wonderfully dark novels Arkansas and Citrus County with the brilliant A Million Heavens, a moving book that features a cast of unforgettable characters coming together in the desert.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote of the book:

"The literary payoff is leisurely -- a very gradual, pleasurable apprehending. This is a theologically engaged book, salted with hope, as well as blistering insight."

Stream a Spotify playlist of these tunes. If you don't have Spotify yet, sign up for the free service.

In his own words, here is John Brandon's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, A Million Heavens:


I'm allowing myself three selections that are pertinent only geographically. Very pretty songs.

"New Mexico" by Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers
"Albuquerque" by Neil Young
"Albuquerque Lullaby" by Dan Bern


There's a character in the book who's a wolf, and this next one goes out to him.

"Wolf" by Veruca Salt


Elevator music is mentioned in the book. Turns out listening to elevator music outside an elevator is fun.

"Smiling Faces" by Elevator Music Club


In honor of Cecelia and Reggie, who try to love each other despite one major, major obstacle.

"The Limit to Your Love" by Feist


For Arn, who's trying to be good.

"Bad Man's World" by Jenny Lewis


This one goes out to Ran, who may or may not be a cult leader.

"Cult" by Skinny Puppy


A song that makes me think of the gas station owner.

"A Perfect Day to Chase Tornadoes" by Jim White


I always include a beat to write to.

"Ko-Ku" by DJ Krush & Toshinori Kondo


John Brandon and A Million Heavens links:

excerpt from the book

Cleveland Plain Dealer review
Daily Beast review
Flavorwire review
Lemuria Bookstore Blog review
Publishers Weekly review
The Washington Independent Review of Books review

Boston Phoenix profile of the author
Flavorwire interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Arkansas
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Citrus County


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
52 Books, 52 Weeks (weekly book reviews)
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists


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