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January 14, 2016

Book Notes - Jón Gnarr "The Pirate"

The Pirate

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.

Jon Gnarr may be best known as the comedian who became mayor of Reykjavik, but he also impresses with his writing. The Pirate recounts his teen years and punk rock's influence on his life.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Jón Gnarr's Book Notes music playlist for his memoir The Pirate:


"Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers
It was on a cassette in my parents car. I hated it but loved to singalong with my mom when we drove out to the country side

"Anarchy in the UK" by the Sex Pistols
Total revelation when I heard it for the first time. First time I heard of "anarchy" as anarchism. I also inspired that the lead singer was not good looking and had read hair

"Fjöllin hafa vakað" by Bubbi Morthens
My favorite song of all time

"Big A Little A" by Crass
Just one of my favorite lyrics.

"London Calling" by Clash
It's my ringtone today. Clash played in Iceland and I couldn't go and cried myself to sleep.

"Bankrobber" by Clash
Hypnotic somehow. I lay a whole day and listened to it over and over at a friends house until his mom threw me out

"Can't Cheat Karma" by Zounds
First English song to learn and repeat. I sometimes sang it to impress tourists, with accent and all

"Reality Asylum" by Crass
Loved it and enjoyed how it annoyed grown ups around me.

"Hey You" by Pink Floyd
Loved the movie. Although not punk it felt close. I burned my school books in the school yard and chanted lines from the Wall


Jón Gnarr and The Pirate links:

the author's Facebook page

Brandon Gray Miller review

Guardian profile of the author
Independent profile of the author
The Rumpus 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

Online "Best of 2015" Book Lists

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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