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April 27, 2015

Book Notes - Ryan Chapman "Conversation Sparks"

Conversation Sparks

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, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Ryan Chapman's book Conversation Sparks is filled with clever, discussion-inducing trivia, charmingly presented in hand-drawn comics.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Ryan Chapman's Book Notes music playlist for his book Conversation Sparks:

The book came together in two parts: research and illustration. I found the following music helpful for each.


If you've ever had reason to spend entire days with reference books, science blogs, and dozens of "did you know?" sites, you'll soon discover the necessity of reliable indie pop. Bonus: these songs either name-check famous writers or slyly impugn the more pretentious aspects of writing. ...Or they have really solid puns.

King Charles, "Ivory Road" from LoveBlood
Camera Obscura, "Swans" from My Maudlin Career
Darwin Deez, "Bad Day" from Darwin Deez
Spoon, "Something to Look Forward To" from Kill the Moonlight
Parquet Courts, "Master of My Craft" from Light Up Gold
Joyce Manor, "The Jerk" from Never Hungover Again
Kishi Bashi, "The Ballad of Mr. Steak" from Lighght
The Blow, "Parentheses" from Paper Television
Rhett Miller, "Our Love" from The Instigator
The Russian Futurists, "One Night, One Kiss" from The Weight's on the Wheels


Sketching hundreds of cartoons is a perfectly acceptable way to spend one's nights and weekends. Right? Sure! Especially if you listen to brain-tingling, meditative classical and ambient music.

Steve Reich, Drumming
M83, "Midnight Souls Still Remain" from Saturdays = Youth
Forest Swords, Engravings
Juliana Barwick, The Magic Place
Spriritualized, "Effervescent (Chimes)" from The Complete Works Vol. 1
Phoenix, "North," from It's Never Been Like That
Kronos Quartet, "The Beatitudes" from The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellazza) Soundtrack
Dan Deacon, "Prettyboy" from America
Wild Nothing, "On Guyot" from Empty Estate
Broken Social Scene, "Pacific Theme," from You Forgot It in People
Max Richter, Infra

Ryan Chapman and Conversation Sparks links:

the author's website
the author's Tumblr
excerpts from the book

Washington Post interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (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
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
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
Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

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