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April 21, 2013

Shorties (Talking Heads Albums Ranked, Haruki Murakami's New Novel Spurs Classical Music Sales, and more)

Stereogum ranks Talking Heads albums from worst to best.

Haruki Murakami's new novel has spurred a surge in classical music sales in Japan.

The novel refers to the "Years of Pilgrimage" piano pieces by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, and describes in particularly vivid detail their performance by Russian pianist Lazar Berman. After the novel went on sale, fans snapped up imported CDs of Berman performing the piece, and outlets throughout Japan sold out.

D.A. Mishani talks to NPR Books about his new novel The Missing File.

Why are there so few detective novels written in Hebrew?

"Israeli literature, when it emerged in the mid-19th century, started very much within the Jewish national project of reviving the Hebrew language. So the literature was really connected to national issues. It had to deal with Jewish identity, Jewish past, Jewish future. The detective is the most global and universal of genres — it deals with violence, with urban existence — which didn't have anything to do with those national themes. In the 1930s, when the first translations of the Sherlock Holmes stories were published, they were denounced. Because Hebrew is a sacred language and even when we're secularizing it, it should still be used for national purposes.

"There's also another, sociological reason. In the States, when you think of a protagonist, you can think of . Or the sheriff in Westerns. But in Israel, the protagonists have always been 'the soldier' or 'the spy.' Traditionally members of the police in Israel were Sephardic Jews. They often came from lower classes. It was — I think maybe it's changing now — but it was very difficult to conceive of a police officer as a hero."

Flavorwire lists Storm Thorgerson's most iconic album cover designs.

The New York Times reviews three new books about Chicago.

Nathaniel Rich talks to Weekend Edition about his new novel Odds Against Tomorrow.

"I think we need a new type of novel to address a new type of reality," says Rich, "which is that we're headed toward something terrifying and large and transformative. And it's the novelist's job to try to understand, what is that doing to us?"

Flavorwire lists seven great songs written for television shows.

Former United States senator Kaye Bailey Hutchison talks to All Things Considered about her new book Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas.

Eleven of Granta's "most promising British novelists under 40" share their own favorite young writers.

Amazon MP3 offers 100 albums on sale for $5 each.
Amazon MP3 offers over 1,400 albums on sale for $3.99.
Amazon MP3 offers over 600 albums for sale for $2.99.
Amazon MP3 offers over 400 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.
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)

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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