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June 5, 2013

Book Notes - Alina Simone "Note to Self"

Note to Self

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.

Alina Simone's Note to Self is a dark and funny debut novel, an intriguingly modern coming of age story.

The Daily Beast wrote of the book:

"Note to Self is goofy, sweet, and all the things you want in a coming-of-age story. There’s redemption in all this quotidian depravity."

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


In her own words, here is Alina Simone's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel, Note to Self:

I figured that spending two years writing a novel about an Internet addict would turn me into a Luddite. That when I finished, I would turn in my manuscript and retire to a bomb shelter with a gramophone and a box of rare 78s. But I regret to report that my experience trolling the Internet's back alley's only made my musical tastes more, well, Internety. I don't listen to music when I write. I can't. I have a belief that listening to music is an activity in and of itself. To listen and write would require multi-tasking and I, alas, am a staunch uni-tasker.

So instead, I use music interludes to renew my energy. And since I am usually parked in front of my laptop anyway, this simply means track-padding my way through a buffet of YouTube videos. Most of the songs listed below (I'll be the first to admit) aren't necessarily “good.” It's really the music combined with the visual pyrotechnics that fill my mental gas tank and leave me pumped to revisit my sad, blinking cursor.


Madonna singing "La Isla Bonita" with live with Russia's best gypsy music band, the Kolpakov Trio


Big Bang: "Fantastic Baby"


Die Antwoord: "Fatty Boom Boom"


Buranovski Babushki: "Party for Everybody" (Live at Eurovision 2012)


Journey: "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"


Alina Simone and Note to Self links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

Bookforum review
The Daily Beast review
Kirkus Reviews review
Publishers Weekly review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for You Must Go and Win
Largehearted Boy interview with the author (with Eugene Mirman)
Largehearted Boy interview with the author (with Mark Everett)
Largehearted Boy Note Books essay by the author
Largehearted Boy Why Obama interview with the author


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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