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August 21, 2014

Book Notes - Choire Sicha "Very Recent History"

Very Recent History

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.

Choire Sicha's Very Recent History is a clever and witty satire of life in the New York City.

All Things Considered wrote of the book:

"Choire Sicha's writing charms and delights, but beneath the biting wit and cynicism [he] dares to explore the darker underbelly of human avarice and capital, a book that's equal parts blindingly terrifying and smartly humorous, and one of the most clever reads I've encountered in a long time."


In his own words, here is Choire Sicha's Book Notes music playlist for his book Very Recent History:


I mostly did not much appreciate 2008 and 2009 in music much at the time, but then I was distracted. Weren't we all?

Very Recent History, because it's nonfiction, although no one seems to want to believe that, did have an actual soundtrack of that time, the music of clubs and bars, the music of the top charts that follow us around everywhere, the music spilling out of the cars in summer. The songs were about falling in love or falling out of love, like almost all the songs all the time everywhere. So this is quite literally the soundtrack of the book.

There were also some recession jams, BLESS.

This was just shortly after the beginning of the dominance of Rihanna, an era (March, 2007-???) in which we still live. But/and it was also a very good time for gays; not only was there good actual gay music...

Scissor Sisters - Invisible Light from CANADA on Vimeo.

...in some ways this new post-house era is sort of Disco Redux, right? Rihanna wants to be Madonna, and she probably is, and that's gay enough, but in some ways she's Donna Summer (five Grammys, twelve gold singles) too.

Here is music from 2008 and 2009, music that I appreciate now, even as I found some of it grating or even stupid and just plain basic at the time. Tastes change, but also nostalgia flavors things quite tastefully. That is indeed how people grow up.


Choire Sicha and Very Recent History links:

All Things Considered review
The Atlantic review
Entertainment Weekly review
Full Stop review
Globe and Mail review
Mother Jones review
New Yorker review

Interview Magazine interview with the author
Los Angeles Times profile of the author
Slate 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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