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June 16, 2013

Shorties (Neil Gaiman's Weird London, The Beastles: A Beatles and Beastie Boys Mashup Album, and more)

Neil Gaiman takes a tour of weird London on the Guardian Books podcast.

The Beastles mashes up the Beatles and the Beastie Boys on the Ill Submarine album.

Time Out London lists its 20 best albums of the year so far.

The Guardian profiles author NoViolet Bulawayo.

"Let no one be fooled by the fact that we may write in English, for we intend to do unheard of things with it," said Chinua Achebe, an inspiration for NoViolet Bulawayo, who uses words potently, blending brutality and lyricism in her unflinching, bittersweet story of displacement, We Need New Names. Her narrator, the young girl Darling, and her friends have lost their homes and now live in Paradise, a Zimbabwean shanty, where they steal guavas, witness violent racial tensions, and dream of escape. "I wanted to tell a story that was urgent, that came from the bone," she explains.

Stereogum lists Josh Homme (and his bands') albums from worst to best.

Salon and The Atlantic Wire weigh in on Jonathan Franzen's letter to the New York Times about sexism in the literary and theater worlds.

In The Atlantic, Colin Fleming makes the case for 1963 as the year that defined the Beatles.

The Vancouver Sun offers a literary tour of Paris and Rouen.

Hypebot lists four music industry myths that indie musicians need to unlearn.

Flavorwire shares a list of 10 experimental comic books.

The Twin Cities Daily Planet shares advice for new musical artists.

Weekend Edition interviews Sahar Delijani about her new novel, Children of the Jacaranda Tree.

Live stream video from Bonnaroo today at Yahoo.

All Things Considered interviews Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby.

"It's all in the telling," she says. "Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of the world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice."

The Guardian interviews Curtis Sittenfeld about her new novel, Sisterland.

Your characters, especially your female characters, are all the more realistic for sometimes acting in unexpected or unlikable ways. Do you ever come under pressure to make them more "sympathetic" to the ordinary reader?

I don't think my editors would say it that bluntly but I think they might say: "Why has she made some of the choices she has?" Both sisters are complicated, both are a combination of likable and unlikable and I think my American editor pushed me a little more to justify that.

That's another thing that can be talked about differently with men or women in fiction. Likability comes up a lot more with female characters. Men can be homicidal [in fiction] and that's fine. A woman picks up her child late from school and people think she's a bad mother.

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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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