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June 3, 2014

Book Notes - John Brandon "Further Joy"

Further Joy

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.

John Brandon's debut short story collection Further Joy is darkly entertaining, the stories poignant and remarkably accessible.

Kirkus wrote of the collection:

"An impressive collection, cleareyed and penetrating."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is John Brandon's Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection, Further Joy:

Glad to be back on the site. I have small children now and a full-time job—a far cry from my life in 2008, when Arkansas came out—so if I want to mess around on iTunes for an hour, I have to be able to classify it as 'work.' But it doesn't feel like work.

"When You Were Mine," by Cyndi Lauper—In 'Palatka,' this is what Pauline is listening to while working from home and trying not to think about Mal.

"Drop the Bass," by DJ Magic Mike—In 'Prospectus,' Marky orders an oversized bass drum for a band he manages. I remember this song from middle school.

"4-Track Love Song," by The Rosebuds—In 'Estuary,' the characters listen to earnest, decade-old music during dinner. This looks to be almost a decade old.

"Right Brigade," by Bad Brains—This is dedicated to poor old Mitchell, who runs into some brain-related trouble in 'The Differing Views.'

"D-Natural Blues," by Wes Montgomery—The boy in 'The Midnight Gales' listens to one of his father's subdued jazz records in order to get calm and sleepy. It doesn't work, though.

That same boy sings in the choir at his church. At least a little while longer, until his voice gives out to puberty. Please turn to page so-and-so in your hymnal—There Is Power in the Blood, by, the Internet tells me, Lewis E. Jones.

"Ernie," by Fat Freddie's Drop—I always include a beat, because that's what I write to when I write to music.

I've been told—and once told, it was obvious—that much of the collection deals with employment. Getting it, keeping it, getting the wrong amount of it, getting rid of it. So I'm rounding out the playlist with songs relating to that.

"Work," by Gang Starr

"Take This Job and Shove It," by Johnny Paycheck

"Gotta Serve Somebody," by Bob Dylan


John Brandon and Further Joy links:

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review
Tampa Bay Times review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Arkansas
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Citrus County
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for A Million Heavens
Saw Palm 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
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)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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