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February 8, 2013

Shorties (Oliver Sacks on Memory, Stream the New Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Album, and more)

Oliver Sacks has an essay on memory at The New York Review of Books.

NPR is streaming the new album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away (out February 19th).

PopMatters examines what the music of Leonard Cohen means to millennials.

At Room for Debate, Maud Newton discusses the value of literary prizes.

Oliver Sacks has an essay on memory at The New York Review of Books.

The Daily Beast interviews Karen Russell about her new short story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

Your short story, "The Hox River Window," won the 2012 National Magazine Award for fiction. Does your approach differ when you write short fiction versus long?

It does, but you know how you hear people say that they're a natural story writer, or a natural novelist? I feel equally unnatural doing both. It always feels like I’m starting from zero. In this collection, every story has its own weird origin. In Swamplandia! I started out approaching a novel the way I write stories, which is in a non-linear and exploratory way. I'll start with an image from the middle, say, or a scene that I imagine might come closer to the book's conclusion, and I proceed this way until I have a more definite sense of who the characters are, the emotional core of a story. Or occasionally I'll get the ending first, and then have to do a Memento-style backwards thing.

Identity Theory takes issue with the repetition it found in George Saunders' new short story collection Tenth of December.

But a major risk for any author—especially one whose main theme involves human consciousness—is overusing certain techniques and letting the voices of characters overlap and repeat. And among the stories in Tenth of December, repetition is abundant—stylistically, structurally, and thematically.

The New York Times profiles singer-songwriter Frank Ocean.

The Huffington Post lists the 25 most literate cities in the United States.

The By the Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin podcast interviews Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.

The Guardian lists the most borrowed books from UK libraries over the past two years.

WNYC's Soundcheck dedicates an entire hour to Schoolhouse Rock.

Slate lists the most attractive men and women in fiction and poetry.

The Low Times podcast interviews Danielson frontman Daniel Smith.

The Guardian Books blog shares excerpts from a previously unseen family newspaper written by Virginia Woolf.

Win Sean Ferrell's novels The Man in the Empty Suit and Numb, and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's contest at Largehearted Boy.

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Amazon MP3 offers over 56,000 free and legal mp3s.

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)

The list of online "best of 2012" book lists
The list of online "best of 2012" music lists

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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