February 15, 2013
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, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.
Randy Susan Meyers examines how a single affair affects the lives and families of three women in The Comfort of Lies with insight and emotional intensity.
Booklist wrote of the book:
"An affair changes the lives of three women in the second novel by the author of The Murderer's Daughters. Meyers has crafted an absorbing and layered drama that explores the complexities of infidelity, forgiveness, and family."
The more relationships I have in my rear view, the more I organize my exes according to the sad-song scale: heartbreak song men . . . liar-song men . . . I-didn't-mean- to-hurt you-but-oops-I-guess-not-telling-you-I-was-married-was-a-mistake men.
In The Comfort of Lies, pile-ups in the intersections of infidelity, adoption, marriage, parenthood and careers create perfect storms for desolate love music. I gathered a playlist eponymous of the particular sadness or strength of each character, and, of course, each rang in a past love nightmare of my own–thus creating a personal blues loop, allowing me to fall down the rabbit hole of melancholia, making me ever more grateful that I ultimately smartened up and married a non-sad song man.
1) The Gut-Wrenched Collection
Perhaps I listened to Ayo's "Down On My Knees" fifty times during one particular revision. I don't think I've ever heard the triangulation of love quite so plaintive and naked as in that song. Like Ayo, Billy Vera and the Beaters brings me to my longing knees with the deal-offering "At This Moment."
What can I say about Etta James singing "I'd Rather Go Blind" that hasn't been said before? If you never felt this way, well, not sure if I am happy or sad for you. "Anyone Who Had A Heart" sung by Dionne Warwick in 1964 feels like a wife's plea—a mix of trembling anger, love, and yearning. I can't listen to this song without getting a tight chest.
Does the anger of a spurned woman have an equal to Adele singing "Rumour Has It?"
2) The Being Killed Softly Collection
Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" is a quieter ache-song. Here we have the acceptance of loss, served with a side of whiskey neat. "There's Always Something There to Remind Me" by Dionne Warwick brings plaintive to the sad song party.
"After The Love Is Gone": Earth Wind and Fire worships at the corner of goodbye and blame—the song kills me every time. And then there's "Wake Up Alone". Oh those dark nights. You sang the hell out of it, Amy Winehouse.
3) Wrong Person, Wrong Place, Out of Sync Collection
What happens when you fall into the arms of the wrong transitional man? Like Patsy Cline you'll end up singing "Why Can't He Be You." And the man left behind will be crying to "I've Been Loving You Too Long" along with the great Otis Redding. Couples missing the glittery thwack of love, worry as they listen to "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" from The Righteous Brothers.
4) Anthems of the Other Woman Collection:
You are not allowed to be the other woman without hearing Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You" & "Where is the Love" by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway.
5) Moving on Collection:
In the end, where would furious exes be without "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, a song needing to be sung and danced to for a few days or months (depending on one's emotional temperament) before starting over again, with "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye.
Randy Susan Meyers and The Comfort of Lies links:
Huffington Post contribution by the author
Jamaica Plain Gazette profile of the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for The Murderer's Daughters
Psychology Today essay by the author
also at Largehearted Boy:
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)
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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