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November 17, 2018

"Best Books of 2018" Lists Update - November 17th

For the eleventh straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find in this post. As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating daily.

Please feel free to e-mail me with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online list I have missed.

Daily updates to the master list of online "best books of 2018" lists.

Please consider making a donation or leaving a tip to Largehearted Boy to support posts like these.


Today's Updates to the Online "Best of 2018" Book Lists:


BooksZoosandParentingToo (best books)
Broadly (best books)
Grim Reader Reviews (best books)
Inc. (top business strategy books)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (great books)
Radhika's Reading Retreat (top books)
Readings (best art and design books)
Readings (best crime books)
Readings (best fiction books)
Readings (best food and gardening books)
Readings (best junior fiction books)
Readings (best middle fiction books)
Readings (best picture books)
Readings (most talked-about books)
Self (best books)
Vogue (cookbooks)
Will Kelly (favorite books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "Best Books of 2018" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2017" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2015" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists

2017 Year-End Online Music Lists
2016 Year-End Online Music Lists
2015 Year-End Online Music Lists
2014 Year-End Online Music Lists
2013 Year-End Online Music Lists
2012 Year-End Online Music Lists
2011 Year-End Online Music Lists
2010 Year-End Online Music Lists
2009 Year-End Online Music Lists
2008 Year-End Online Music Lists
2007 Year-End Online Music Lists
2006 Year-End Online Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Music Lists

other lists at Largehearted Boy
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
musician/author interviews






November 16, 2018

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - November 16, 2018

Kate Bush: Remastered Part 1

Vinyl reissues this week include three classic Brian Eno albums (Ambient 1:Music For Airports, Ambient 4: On Land, Discreet Music), as well as sight Kate Bush studio albums (Director's Cut, The Dreaming, Hounds of Love, The Kick Inside, Lionheart, Never for Ever, The Red Shoes, The Sensual World).

Three Kate Bush box sets collect some of her studio albums (Remastered in Vinyl 1, Remastered in Vinyl 2, Remastered Part 1).

The Old 97's' holiday album, Love the Holidays, is also


This week's interesting music releases:

Aretha Franklin: This Christmas Aretha (reissue) [vinyl]
Brian Eno: Ambient 1:Music For Airports (2-LPs) (reissue) [vinyl]
Brian Eno: Ambient 4: On Land (2-LPs) (reissue) [vinyl]
Brian Eno: Discreet Music (2-LPs) (reissue) [vinyl]
Cheap Trick: Christmas Christmas
Chris Cornell: Chris Cornell (2-LPs) [vinyl]
Chris Cornell: Chris Cornell (4-CD box set)
Chris Cornell: Chris Cornell Super Deluxe Edition (4-CDs, 1-DVD, 7-LPs box set)
David Bowie: Breaking Glass EP (reissue) [vinyl]
Drake: Scorpion [vinyl]
Eiko Ishibashi: The Dream My Bones Dream
Fleetwood Mac: 50 Years - Don't Stop (3-CD box set)
The Good The Bad & The Queen: Merrie Land
Hiss Golden Messenger: Devotion: Songs About Rivers and Spirits and Children (4-CD box set)
Iron Maiden: Iron Maiden (remastered)
Iron Maiden: Killers (remastered)
Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast (remastered)
Iron Maiden: Piece of MInd (remastered)
John Coltrane: 1963: New Directions
Kate Bush: Director's Cut (remastered [vinyl]
Kate Bush: The Dreaming (remastered [vinyl]
Kate Bush: Hounds of Love (remastered [vinyl]
Kate Bush: The Kick Inside (remastered [vinyl]
Kate Bush: Lionheart (remastered [vinyl]
Kate Bush: Never for Ever (remastered [vinyl]
Kate Bush: The Red Shoes (remastered [vinyl]
Kate Bush: Remastered in Vinyl 1 (4-LP box set)
Kate Bush: Remastered in Vinyl 2 (4-LP box set)
Kate Bush: Remastered Part 1 (7-CD box set)
Kate Bush: The Sensual World (remastered [vinyl]
Mariah Carey: Caution
Mark Knopfler: Down the Road Wherever
Mumford & Sons: Delta
Old 97's: Love the Holidays
Paul McCartney: I Don't Know / Come On To Me [vinyl]
The Police: Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings (6-LP box set) [vinyl]
Posies: Amazing Disgrace (reissue)
Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet: 50th Anniversary Edition (remastered)
Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Uncut (3-disc box set)
Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Uncut (3-LP box set)
Rosanne Cash: She Remembers Everything Memory Box (3-disc box set)
Runaways: The Best of the Runaways (reissue) [vinyl]
Rush: Hemispheres: 40th Anniversary Edition
Ryley Walker: The Lillywhite Sessions
Shawn Mullins: Soul's Core Revival
Smashing Pumpkin: Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun
Southern Culture On The Skids: Bootlegger's Choice
Suede: Studio Albums 1993 - 2016 (10-LP box set) [vinyl]
Ultravox: Extended (reissue)
Various Artists: Complete Cuban Jam Sessions (5-CD box set)
Various Artists: Confessin' The Blues (5-LP box set) [vinyl]
Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: Joy to the World


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

weekly music release lists

Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily book and music news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


November 15, 2018

Jenn Stroud Rossmann's Playlist for Her Novel "The Place You're Supposed to Laugh"

The Place You're Supposed to Laugh

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Jenn Stroud Rossmann's novel The Place You're Supposed to Laugh is an impressive and insightful literary debut.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"A thoughtful, caring examination of race, class, and wealth in America."


In her own words, here is Jenn Stroud Rossmann's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel The Place You're Supposed to Laugh:



The Place You're Supposed to Laugh is set in Silicon Valley, in 2002-2003. The novel is focused on the Loudermilk family, who live in a Palo Alto that’s been unsettled by the dot-com bubble burst. These songs are, mostly, from that time period or the histories of the novel’s characters. Chad Loudermilk, 14, is the heart of the book; his interactions with his parents, friends & neighbors, and extended family are a complex web that is either ensnaring or supporting him, sometimes both at once. The playlist, like Chad, matures and integrates those influences as it progresses.

Let Me Blow Ya Mind – Eve featuring Gwen Stefani

This song is a musical time machine, zapping you back to summertime in the early aughts.

Izzo (H.O.V.A.) / Can’t Knock the Hustle – Jay-Z

The frontispiece of my book is a Jay-Z lyric. His is one of the voices in my hero Chad’s head. Chad’s 14 and trying to figure out who he is, and he lives in a place – Silicon Valley just after the first dotcom implosion – where pretty much everyone is trying to do the same. So there’s an appeal in the way “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and “Hustle” are self-introductions, self-proclamations. Here’s what I’ve been through, and here’s why I’m awesome at my thing. They’re the kind of personal theme song Chad is trying to compose for himself.

The swaggering Izzo tells Jay-Z’s own story about coming up from Brooklyn to become the “eighth wonder of the world,” offering up “the flow of the century.” The lyrical self-love in Hustle is playful: Jay-Z boasts he can “serve like Sampras,” “stack rocks like Colorado.” And that hook from Mary J. Blige, who do you think you are? Someday you’ll be a star is sublime. Then again when isn’t she?

The Way You Move – OutKast

Yeah, see, it’s 2002 right now, just like that.

“California” – Joni Mitchell

Another thing about Chad is that he’s the black adopted son of what his friend Marcus calls “well-meaning but nevertheless white” parents. His parents both grew up on the east coast, and moved across the country to settle in Palo Alto. “Will you take me as I am?” During the dot-com gold rush and collapse, they’ve struggled, but they still believe in the shimmering promise of palm trees and highly rated schools. The mixture of idealism & melancholy in Mitchell’s classic song seem just right, a wistful, weary: Oh California I'm coming home.

I Find It Hard to Say (Rebel) – Lauryn Hill

Chad and his friends have deep respect for Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged album: her ragged voice and pleading lyrics are a refusal to remain the “crossover queen with an armful of Grammys,” an insistence on being true to herself even or especially when it makes her mainstream pop fans uncomfortable.

Mathematics - Mos Def

Mos Def’s virtuostic flow is not about bombast or braggadocio. It’s smooth, thought-provoking and poignant. This is one song on whose virtues Chad and his aunt, a Stanford physicist, can agree.

Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

When the book ends, it’s 2003. The Valley is changing (again), and Chad’s burning mix CDs of the new music he wants his friends to like as much as he does.

Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing – Stevie Wonder

Like most of Stevie Wonder’s music, this is timeless sonic perfection; all my available evidence suggests it will have you dancing in (and sometimes around) your writing chair. The Place You're Supposed to Laugh is a comic novel, though its characters ache and mourn and wound each other. But just don't you feel too bad, When you get fooled by smiling faces. I defy you not to sing along.


Jenn Stroud Rossmann and The Place You're Supposed to Laugh links:

the author's website

Kirkus review

Bloom essay buy the author
Monkeybicycle essay by the author
The Quivering Pen essay by the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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


"Best Books of 2018" Lists Update - November 15th

For the eleventh straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find in this post. As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating daily.

Please feel free to e-mail me with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online list I have missed.

Daily updates to the master list of online "best books of 2018" lists.

Please consider making a donation or leaving a tip to Largehearted Boy to support posts like these.


Today's Updates to the Online "Best of 2018" Book Lists:


Book Riot (best cookbooks)
Eater (books for food lovers)
Eligible Magazine (great feminist books)
New Statesman (best books)
Romper (children's picture books that defined 2018)
Spectator (best gardening books)
TIME (best fiction books)
TIME (best nonfiction books)
Washington Post (best audiobooks)
Washington Post (best book-to-film adaptations)
Washington Post (best children's books)
Washington Post (best graphic novels)
Washington Post (best poetry collections)
Washington Post (best poetry collections)
Washington Post (best science fiction and fantasy novels)
Washington Post (best thrillers and mysteries)
Washington Post (biggest book news)
Washington Post (notable fiction)
Washington Post (notable nonfiction)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "Best Books of 2018" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2017" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2015" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists

2017 Year-End Online Music Lists
2016 Year-End Online Music Lists
2015 Year-End Online Music Lists
2014 Year-End Online Music Lists
2013 Year-End Online Music Lists
2012 Year-End Online Music Lists
2011 Year-End Online Music Lists
2010 Year-End Online Music Lists
2009 Year-End Online Music Lists
2008 Year-End Online Music Lists
2007 Year-End Online Music Lists
2006 Year-End Online Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Music Lists

other lists at Largehearted Boy
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
musician/author interviews


Shorties (The 2018 National Book Award Winners, An Interview with Laura Jane Grace, and more)

The Friend

The 2018 National Book Awards have been announced:

Fiction: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
Nonfiction: The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart
Poetry: Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed
Young People's Literature: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo


Paste profiled musician Laura Jane Grace.


23 "best books of 2018" lists were added to Largehearted Boy's master aggregation yesterday (bringing the total to 199, including Kirkus Reviews' fiction lists, Book Riot's best food books, and Tor.com's best books.


Jeff Tweedy discussed the music that has influenced his life at Pitchfork.


November's best eBook deals.


Noisey reconsidered Desaparecidos's 2002 album, Read Music, Speak Spanish.

Read Music, Speak Spanish is characterized by a pace almost alien to Bright Eyes, and its scratchy electric guitars and always-propulsive percussion provide a backdrop for a biting, anti-capitalist lyrical agenda—delivered in a snarl instead of Oberst's usual lilting tones—which defines the whole album (the physical copy of the LP even contains a lyric insert laid out like a legal contract).


The shortlist for the 2018 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has been announced.


The Believer interviewed Loudon Wainwright III.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Heike Geissler.


The Paris Review interviewed author Dan Callahan.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists


November 14, 2018

"Best Books of 2018" Lists Update - November 14th

For the eleventh straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find in this post. As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating daily.

Please feel free to e-mail me with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online list I have missed.

Daily updates to the master list of online "best books of 2018" lists.

Please consider making a donation or leaving a tip to Largehearted Boy to support posts like these.


Today's Updates to the Online "Best of 2018" Book Lists:

Australian Family Therapists’ Award (children's books)
Book Riot (best food books)
Books Are My Bag Readers Awards (books)
Daniel Disney (must-have sales books)
Hong Kong Tatler (best cookbooks)
Inverse (best science books)
Kirkus (best debut fiction)
Kirkus (best fiction)
Kirkus (best fiction in translation)
Kirkus (best fiction to get your book club talking)
Kirkus (best historical fiction)
Kirkus (best literary fiction)
Kirkus (best mysteries and thrillers)
Kirkus (best romance novels)
Kirkus (best science fiction and fantasy)
Kirkus (best short fiction)
Kirkus (best up-to-the-minute fiction)
Maris Kreizman (favorite books)
Melbourne Prize for Literature & Awards (books by Victorian writers)
The Morning News (fiction)
Pebble (non-fiction magazine)
Tor.com (best books)
Turntable Kitchen (cookbooks)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "Best Books of 2018" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2017" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2015" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists

2017 Year-End Online Music Lists
2016 Year-End Online Music Lists
2015 Year-End Online Music Lists
2014 Year-End Online Music Lists
2013 Year-End Online Music Lists
2012 Year-End Online Music Lists
2011 Year-End Online Music Lists
2010 Year-End Online Music Lists
2009 Year-End Online Music Lists
2008 Year-End Online Music Lists
2007 Year-End Online Music Lists
2006 Year-End Online Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Music Lists

other lists at Largehearted Boy
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
musician/author interviews


Shorties (An Interview with Javier Marias, Excerpts from Leonard Cohen's Notebooks, and more)

Leonard Cohen

The Millions interviewed author Javier Marias.


The Paris Review shared excerpts from Leonard Cohen's posthumous book, The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings.


24 "best books of 2018" lists were added to Largehearted Boy's master aggregation Sunday (bringing the total to 176, including several lists by the Telegraph, Delish's best cookbooks, and The Week UK's best novels.


Members of the band Shopping talked music and beer with October.


November's best eBook deals.


Gulf Coast features new short fiction by Porochista Khakpour.


The Current shared a live performance and interview with Natalie Prass.


The Tournament of Books listed its 2019 longlist.


Drowned in Sound interviewed musician Brix Smith Start.


Jason Sacks discussed his book, American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1990s, with the Hollywood Reporter.


Stream two new Superchunk songs.


Jonathan Lethem talked to Rolling Stone about his novel The Feral Detective.


Jeff Tweedy and his sons shared two cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.

NPR Books reviewed Tweedy's memoir Let's Go (So We Can Get Back).


Stream a new song by Girlpool.


The New York Times interviewed author G. Willow Wilson.


Stream a new Helado Negro song.


CarolineLeavittville interviewed author Jaclyn Gilbert.


Stream a new song by SPELLLING.


Literary Hub interviewed author Rebecca Makkai.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Nick Coleman's book, Voices: How a Great Singer Can Change Your Life.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists


November 13, 2018

Jaclyn Gilbert's Playlist for Her Novel "Late Air"

Late Air

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Jaclyn Gilbert's novel Late Air is a mesmerizing debut about marriage and loss.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Debuting author Gilbert’s heart-wrenching character study of the aftermath of two life-altering events shows the different ways adults cope with grief. Emotional but never melodramatic, Gilbert’s novel is difficult to put down, despite the heartbreaking subject matter, and readers will be drawn into Murray and Nancy’s story."


In her own words, here is Jaclyn Gilbert's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Late Air:



When I first began writing fiction, I firmly believed I needed music in the background—through my earphones when working on my computer, while running through Manhattan, letting new ideas sift through me, searching for the first sentence capable of breathing a whole story into being, or inside a coffee shop, every day a new playlist, unpredictable rhythms and words dancing around my own on the page.

After a while, I feared that the songs of others were steering my work down paths it might not have taken otherwise. I feared, too, that music inflated my ideas about the work. I discovered that certain pages required music to seem exciting, that I was projecting that emotional energy from the outside rather than summoning it from within the work itself—pages revised while listening to music sounded infinitely better than those read in silence. And the question itself, of whether my work was any good without special effects, was distracting enough to make me decide to finish the first draft of my novel without music to accompany my trek.

Though, it wouldn’t be long until I realized that even ascetism had its limits. When I worked into the second and third drafts, especially in rewriting the novels beginning dozens of times over, I felt unable to access the deeper imaginations of my characters, the textures of thought and feeling necessary for bringing them alive. The opening scene of my novel takes a dramatic turn a few pages in and without a firm grounding into the detached state of my protagonist Coach Murray, I knew I couldn’t prepare him for the degree of wreckage destined to transform him over the course of the story. Music would be my way out of that impasse.

I listened to songs reminiscent of Murray’s youth in the sixties and seventies to connect to him more fully. I changed the first scene to open in his car, while he’s listening to the radio on the way to the Yale golf course for his star runner Becky’s routine morning practice. The music, then, became crucial to setting the tone for his consciousness, particularly in a way that would contrast with the tragedy to come. So much of Late Air is about letting go of the impossible ideals that want to run our lives--and the music had to allude to that quest. It had to create a large enough canvas for both of the novel’s characters—Murray and Nancy—to gain perspective around their shared loss, along different time frames, present and past. Much in the same way certain songs send us on a journey through time, marking love and loss like a map we feel shifting over the years, each time we hear the song, our relationship to our memories change; we realize what we’ve held onto and what we’ve had to let go, all the shapes our dreams have taken, reimagined and transformed—revised.

“Summer’s Almost Gone” by the Doors

The Doors are mentioned in the first paragraph of the novel as a source of tension in Coach Murray’s character. For as fixated as he is on running stats—on control—he is blind to the underlying chaos that pervades his life. The Doors’ “Summer’s Almost Gone” alludes to this contrast between order and disorder. The novel opens in late August, and so, just as summer is about to pass into fall, so is Murray forced to confront the horrors of an accident that echo an unnamable trauma from his past, the one he can no longer quiet, as the rest of the novel unfolds.

“In My Solitude” by Billie Holiday

Murray and Nancy are loners at heart; they met solely by chance in in the nineties—in Paris when Murray was training for the marathon, and Nancy deep into her dissertation on James Baldwin’s post-colonial writings. I listened to Billie Holiday obsessively as a college runner at Yale, on the road or in the library, usually working out my ideas for a French or English essay, desperate to fulfill the requirements of a dual humanities major. I often felt alone in my struggle to feel like I belonged in an Ivy League program, and I think Nancy and Murray’s characters came out of that internal conflict: the silence and solitude of trying to reconcile my literary and athletic selves into one body.

“La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf

I spent the summer after my sophomore year studying in Paris. In between classes, I liked to do my homework while listening to Edith Piaf frequently in my dormitory—"La Maison des Femmes”—located in the Latin Quarter, not far from the café into which Murray stumbles on a rainy day, Nancy pouring over a photocopy of one of Baldwin’s original manuscripts. They marry out of that romance, seduced by the ideals of their love—this idea of a perfect other half—but these rose-colored glassed are shattered by the loss of their first child. In writing this story, I realized that loss teaches that our ideals are inherently broken—that life is not so much about accepting what happened, but shedding the illusion that life can be predicted or perfected by that ordering. Looking back, I can see why I needed to start Late Air in the aftermath of that fundamental trauma—the story is born out of the inevitable shattering of a dream.

“Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie

I used to listen to this song on repeat—especially in graduate school, when I was trying finish up my MFA thesis, the novella that would eventually become Late Air. The beginning of this song reminds me of an ocean, or more like two souls wandering its depths, unsure of how or when they will unite into a single, shared body. This feeling is what drove my decision to structure the novel around two disparate perspectives circling the same oceanic trauma, and crossing that divide requires letting go of their denial—or the stories they needed to tell each other separately, silently, in order to grieve. Crossing these borders of time and memory demands shedding ideas about the past in order to make space for the body to heal.

“Ellen David” by Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden

I first discovered this track when I was shopping for a birthday gift for my sister in a record store in Burlington. I was haunted by the deepness of the bass in the background, and then the light piano music that would trickle in, countering somber tones with its more hopeful melodies. There’s a sense of sadness and dread and despair balanced by a persistent forward movement, timid at first, but which gains in confidence and resolve as the song progresses. Call it love, or the newness of the moment, this sense of a second story trying to rewrite itself on the page. When I was trying to finish a final draft, I listened to “Ellen David” as often as I could. It’s nearly ten minutes long, just enough time to ease into the writing process, no matter how uncomfortable or frustrating or out of sync a particular section might have felt on a given day. If I wrote for as long as the song ran, I might just ease into a rhythm and forget any old or stubborn sentences that weren’t working in service of a finished piece. I like to think of this song as a symbol of Nancy and Murray’s emotional arcs working in opposition to one another, melody and countermelody, two paths journeying toward the same whole.

“Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison

For me, this song will always carry the spirit of my father: the hope I think some part of me will always be grieving for the hero he can never be. As a sophomore in graduate school, when Late Air was still a short story, my dad’s younger brother died of drug addiction. A snow storm delayed my travel by train, and I arrived to my uncle’s funeral late, but still in time to hear the pastor’s closing words and watch her light a candle for him while this song played. After the service, hugging my father was one of the last times I would hold him. Writing my first novel has proven that my journey to accept the loss of my relationship is unending, but in continuing to write, I know I am at least allowing myself the space to observe, process, and eventually let go of my pain. I wanted Late Air to end in that spirit, too, as a testament to an ongoing search for breath, not in search of the dreams that might have been, but in embracing the present we are living still. It is what lets Nancy make room for Murray’s grief by the end of the book, the homecoming Morrison sings of in ”When that fog horn blows/ you know I will be coming home/And when the fog horn whistle blows/I gotta hear it/I don’t have to fear it.” In choosing to live on, in forgiving ourselves of the losses that undeniably mark us, we are also choosing a way back to ourselves, the loving ocean out of which our spirits first began.


Jaclyn Gilbert and Late Air links:

the author's website

Booklist review
Kirkus review

Fiction Writers Review interview with the author
Tin House essay by the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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


Maria Romasco Moore's Playlist for Her Novella "Ghostographs"

Ghostographs

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Maria Romasco Moore's impressive Ghostographs is difficult to categorize, but easy to praise. The striking novella-in-flash-fiction's connected short stories are paired with photographs that powerfully complement the prose.

Kevin Brockmeier wrote of the book:

"Every so often I'm lucky enough to stumble across a debut by someone I immediately know will become one of my 'everything writers'—a writer, that is to say, whose sensibility is exciting enough and whose work is original enough that I realize I'm on board not only for the book in my hands but for every book that follows. Maria Romasco Moore is such a writer, and GHOSTOGRAPHS is such a book: unique, beautiful, refined, and surprising."


In her own words, here is Maria Romasco Moore's Book Notes music playlist for her novella Ghostographs:



My flash fiction collection, Ghostographs: An Album, is my take on transcribing, as truly as I can, my experience of childhood. Which is to say I made it all up, but the feelings are true.

The stories are all paired with vintage photographs, most from the early 1900s. I thought about making a list of songs from that era, as there are many I love, but the stories themselves aren’t set in that time period so much as they are set in the world of memory.

“The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us,” Sufjan Stevens
My friend is gone, he ran away/I can tell you, I love him each day

I have to handle this song gently, like a sharpened knife, or it will cut me. It conjures up such vivid images from my past. A cicada husk in the sunlight. Blood the color of a jolly rancher trickling down a scraped knee. Unsteady stones and a glittering creek.

The title makes me laugh. The lyrics break my heart. I’m not interested in funny things if they aren’t sad or sad things if they aren’t funny. I try to do that with my stories.

“Half Light,” Arcade Fire
You told us that/We were too young/Now the night’s closing in/And in the half light/We run

Children aren’t tame animals. I don’t know why some people think they are.

“Sweet Dreams,” Angel Olsen
Every time I close my eyes/Something small within me dies/Can't say if its dark or bright/But it’s all I’ve ever known

I was always a bit of a baby existentialist. One of my earliest memories is standing by a small, slatted, rainbow table, looking out a window, and realizing that I couldn’t remember anything that had come before that moment. In elementary school, I would sometimes get this feeling that my own consciousness was impossible. Then I would blink very rapidly and my mind would go zooming away from my body until I no longer had any idea who I was and my name sounded to me like a bizarre word in a foreign language.

“Winter,” Tori Amos
Cause things are gonna change so fast/All the white horses have gone ahead

Tori Amos’s Little Earthquakes is one of the first CD’s I ever bought for myself, when I was about ten. The teenage checkout girl at the Target nodded knowingly and said “good choice” and I felt that I had been initiated into a secret club.

“False Knight on the Road,” White Antelope
I think I hear a bell said the knight on the road/It's ringing you to hell said the child as he stood

I listened to a lot of old folk songs when I was a kid. Child ballads. Murder ballads. I read Grimm’s fairy tales while sitting on the floor in my mother’s sunroom. All that child-killing and cannibalism and magic for sure got into my heart.

“My Little Town,” Simon and Garfunkel
And after it rains there's a rainbow/And all of the colors are black

Once I had a cardboard refrigerator box and it was my house in the middle of the living room. I went into the kitchen and helped my mother mix up biscuits and then went back to my house and sat on my porch (the flap at the end of the box) and listened to Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits while the smell of the buttery dough wafted in from another world.

“Sun in an Empty Room,” The Weakerthans
Know that the things we need to say/Have been said already anyway/By parallelograms of light/On walls that we repainted white

I’ve moved around a lot over the years, sometimes just for the sake of moving, I think. I fell in love with the ritual of packing up, of spackling the holes in the walls, of transformation, death, resurrection.

But at nine when we moved away, I was heartbroken. I remember saying goodbye one by one to all the strange faces I had found in the speckled linoleum of the bathroom floor. Would the new occupants even think to look for them?

“Where in the World Are You,” Great Lake Swimmers
I've been looking in churches and looking in bars/Thought that I saw you in the oncoming cars

A song for games of hide and seek which never end.

“Mistaken for Strangers,” The National
You get mistaken for strangers by your own friends/When you pass them at night/Under the silvery, silvery Citibank lights

A song for the best hiding place of all: growing up.

“Only Skin,” Joanna Newsom
I have washed a thousand spiders down the drain/Spiders’ ghosts hang, soaked and dangling/Silently from all the blooming cherry trees/Tiny nooses, safe from everyone

This song could be a flash fiction collection all on its own. Joanna Newsom is straight up Nabokovian in the way she plays with words. I want to splash around in her songs, these ebullient pools of language. I used to think her voice sounded simultaneously like the voice of a child and the voice of a very old woman. It’s a long song, but it’s absolutely worth it.


Maria Romasco Moore and Ghostographs links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book

The Fictional Cafe review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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


Shorties (Stan Lee's Best Comics, A Guide to Joni Mitchell's Music, and more)

Stan Lee

WIRED and Rolling Stone recommended essential Stan Lee comics.


Noisey shared a guide to getting into the music of Joni Mitchell.


24 "best books of 2018" lists were added to Largehearted Boy's master aggregation Sunday (bringing the total to 176, including several lists by the Telegraph, Delish's best cookbooks, and The Week UK's best novels.


Julia Holter discussed her new album, Aviary, with Pitchfork.


November's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan


Soccer Mommy played a live set and was interviewed by The Current.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author duncan c. barlow.


Variety explained how Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand" has become a staple soundtrack song for television and film.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from A. L. Kennedy's new novel The Little Snake.


Paste profiled the band Oh Pep!.


Octavio Solis shared his recent reading list with BookPage.


Stream a new song by Mk.Gee.


The New Yorker interviewed author Karl Ove Knausgaard.


NYCTaper shared a recording of a recent Daniel Bachman performance.


The Guardian shared an excerpt from Michelle Obama's new memoir Becoming.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists


November 12, 2018

Shorties (Michelle Obama in Her New Book, Jeff Tweedy's Favorite Books, and more)

Michele Obama

Michelle Obama discussed her new book, Becoming, with NPR Books.


Jeff Tweedy discussed his favorite books at The Week.

Esquire shared an excerpt from Tweedy's new memoir, Let's Go (So We Can Get Back).


24 "best books of 2018" lists were added to Largehearted Boy's master aggregation yesterday (bringing the total to 176, including several lists by the Telegraph, Delish's best cookbooks, and The Week UK's best novels.


November's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature


Liam Sweeny interviewed author Gabino Iglesias.


Stream a new song by Regina Spektor.


Scholastique Mukasonga talked to the New Yorker about her story in this week's issue.


Stereogum listed Imogen Heap's best songs.


Jonathan Lethem discussed his novel The Feral Detective with All Things Considered.


Stream a new song by Ellis.


Gina Apostol talked to Weekend Edition about her novel Insurrecto.


Stream a new song by Lala Lala.


T Magazine features new fiction by Akwaeke Emezi.


The Quietus shared an excerpt from Jenny Hval's debut novel Paradise Rot.


Michael Chabon discussed his Star Trek: Calypso series with IGN and Deadline.


Drowned in Sound interviewed singer-songwriter John Grant.


The OTHERPPL podcast interviewed author Leah Dieterich.


The Quietus reconsidered the Pet Shop Boys' Introspective album.


Signature recommended books that focus on intersectional feminism.


Literary Hub interviewed author Thomas Page McBee.


Bookmarks recommended Iconic World War I novels.


Literary Hub interviewed author Brandon Hobson.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists


November 11, 2018

"Best Books of 2018" Lists Update - November 11th

For the eleventh straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find in this post. As the lists appear online, I will add them to this master list, updating daily.

Please feel free to e-mail me with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online list I have missed.

Daily updates to the master list of online "best books of 2018" lists.

Please consider making a donation or leaving a tip to Largehearted Boy to support posts like these.


Today's Updates to the Online "Best of 2018" Book Lists:


Adrik Kemp (best books)
Delish (best cookbooks)
The List (best comedy books)
Newsweek (best comic books and graphic novels)
PopSugar (most chilling horror books)
Spectator (books of the year)
Telegraph (American politics books)
Telegraph (biography)
Telegraph (fiction)
Telegraph (history books)
Telegraph (music books)
Telegraph (science books)
Telegraph (sports books)
The Week UK (best novels)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "Best Books of 2018" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2017" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2015" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists

2017 Year-End Online Music Lists
2016 Year-End Online Music Lists
2015 Year-End Online Music Lists
2014 Year-End Online Music Lists
2013 Year-End Online Music Lists
2012 Year-End Online Music Lists
2011 Year-End Online Music Lists
2010 Year-End Online Music Lists
2009 Year-End Online Music Lists
2008 Year-End Online Music Lists
2007 Year-End Online Music Lists
2006 Year-End Online Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Music Lists

other lists at Largehearted Boy
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
musician/author interviews


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