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October 25, 2012

Shorties (Meshell Ndegeocello on Nina Simone, An Excerpt from Oliver Sacks' New Book, and more)

Singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello shares her adoration for Nina Simone with The Record.

"Simone is our people's Bach," she told me in an interview before the show. "She is the foundation for making popular music interesting and her activist side makes her a heroine to us."

NPR excerpts from Oliver Sacks' new book Hallucinations.

Actor Stephen Colbert talks music with Fresh Air.

On the parallel between Elvis Costello's relationship with Bruce Springsteen and Colbert's relationship with Jon Stewart

"[Elvis Costello] was trying when he was younger to try to write Bruce Springsteen songs — and that he really liked Bruce Springsteen's sound. And he said, but then he eventually stopped doing that because he would try to write these songs like Bruce Springsteen and he would end up writing things that were a little bit wry, sardonic or even character-based. And they didn't have that sort of sincere, anthemic quality that Bruce's songs sometimes have. And that kind of blew me away, because he's describing his relation to Bruce Springsteen kind of like my relationship to Jon Stewart. And Jon's favorite artist is Bruce Springsteen, and my favorite rock artist is probably Elvis Costello. So there's an odd parallel between Elvis' evolution from what he was trying to do like Bruce and my evolution from what I was trying to do when I worked with Jon."

Bookworm interviews Martin Amis about his latest novel, Lionel Asbo.

PopMatters interviews tightrope walker Philipe Petit about his forthcoming book, Why Knot? How to Tie More than Sixty Ingenious, Useful, Beautiful, Life-Saving, Magical, Intriguing, and Secure Knots!.

Google Play offers a free 15-track Fall Festival Sampler compilation album.

At NPR Books, Meg Wolitzer reviews Jami Attenberg's new novel, The Middlesteins.

PopMatters lists the 10 best Ted Leo songs.

The Daily Texan interviews former First Lady Laura Bush about the importance of reading.

Daily Texan: Why is it important for college students to study and read fiction and literature?

Laura Bush: I think the wider you read, and especially if you read fiction and literature, the broader you become as a person. For me, literature has been a part of my life for my whole life. It's a guiding passion in my life — reading — so I just can't imagine a life without reading literature. So I hope that students will make a real effort to read literature, and there are a lot of new terrific authors in the U.S. that write literature that are great.

The New York Times profiles the stage adaptation of Markus Zuzak's novel The Book Thief.

Ms. Stillman, the playwright, said the challenge was adapting for the stage a book that veers between lively poetry and harsh prose, with a historical sweep that travels across time and space. "There was some wrestling to do to get it into a play shape," she said. “But it's supertheatrical."

Drowned in Sound interviews Interpol's Paul Banks about his solo album, Banks.

The Picador Book Room shares an excerpt and accompanying Spotify playlist from Dylan Jones's new book The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music.

Metro Pulse interviews author Adam Johnson.

Drowned in Sound profiles the band Japandroids.

Japandroids make riotous, joyful music: adrenalised blasts of friendship, heartbreak and reminiscence, nights on the tiles and days on the run. They are friends Brian King (guitar, vocals) and David Prowse (drums, vocals) from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and this year saw them follow up their 2009 debut Post-Nothing with the exhilarating, superb Celebration Rock, an album with a title the band's label were so concerned about that they repeatedly urged King to reconsider.

Book Riot offers tips for attending literary events.

Win Pete Townshend's new memoir Who I Am and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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

Amazon MP3 offers over 500 albums for sale for $2.99.

Amazon MP3 offers over 400 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.

Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, 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)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
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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