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May 30, 2016

The Largehearted Boy 2016 Fundraiser

Several large projects are scheduled for Largehearted Boy this year, including a long-awaited redesign, much-needed back end programming, a podcast series and two video series.

With advertising revenues having dropped precipitously and my innate disdain for adding advertorial to the site, I am reaching out to readers to help make these things happen. If you enjoy Largehearted Boy and would like to make a donation, it would be much appreciated and used toward adding interesting content and creating a better user experience.

I never envisioned that this site would become such an integral part of my life. Every morning I wake up eager to post the daily book and music news and links as well as the day's music and literary features. Posting weekly book recommendations from three of the world's finest independent bookstores (Atomic Books, Librairie Drawn and Quarterly, and WORD) has been an honor, and the Book Notes author playlist series continues to inform, surprise, and fascinate me. Thank you for continuing to make this dream possible.


Donate via PayPal:


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May 29, 2016

Largehearted Boy Weekly Wrap-Up - May 29, 2016

A list of the past week's Largehearted Boy features:


Largehearted Boy 2016 Fundraiser:

May is Largehearted Boy's first fundraising month


Book Notes: (authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates to their book)

Hirsh Sawhney for his novel South Haven
Jensen Beach for his short story collection Swallowed by the Cold
Jillian Keenan for her book Sex with Shakespeare
Juan Gómez Bárcena for his novel The Sky Over Lima
Lindsay Tigue for her poetry collection System of Ghosts
Manuel Gonzales for his novel The Regional Office is Under Attack!
Melissa Broder for her essay collection So Sad Today
Scott Esposito for his book The Surrender
Sean Carswell for his novel The Metaphysical Ukulele


Weekly New Book Recommendations:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (recommended new comics and graphic novels)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


New Music Recommendations:

The Week's Interesting Music Releases


And of course, the daily literature and music news and link posts:

Shorties (news & links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Antiheroines
Atomic Books Comics Preview
Book Notes
Cover Song Collections
Lists
weekly music release lists
musician/author Interviews
Note Books
Soundtracked
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week


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May 27, 2016

Book Notes - Hirsh Sawhney "South Haven"

South Haven

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

Hirsh Sawhney's novel South Haven is an unforgettable and unnerving tale of grief and migration.

Library Journal wrote of the book:

"[T]his luminous debut...captures precisely the heartache of growing up."


In his own words, here is Hirsh Sawhney's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel South Haven:



When I was writing my debut novel, South Haven, I was seeing and acquiring lots of music that was connected to the blues. This music helped me understand the pain and suffering of the characters in my book, which is about a boy named Siddharth who lives in a Connecticut suburb. Siddharth loses his mother in a car accident, and he and his father obviously endure a great deal of pain in the aftermath of this tragedy. The blues taught me how to give voice to their emotional aches and longings. While working on the novel, I also listened to a lot of jazz and psychedelic rock, and these albums reminded me of the need to constantly improvise as an artist—the importance of having plans, and the importance of knowing when to abandon them.


"Midnight in Harlem (Swamp Raga Intro With Little Martha)"
Performed by Tedeschi Trucks Band
Everybody's Talkin'

Before landing up in Connecticut, my protagonist Siddharth's parents migrated from New Delhi to New York, and this is a song about the harshness of migrating to New York City. I first learned about Tedeschi Trucks while commuting over the Pulaski Skyway in Jersey. They were doing an interview on WBGO Newark, one of my favorite radio stations. My wife and I later caught them live at the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, Connecticut, when I believed I was on the cusp on finishing the third and final draft of my novel. Little did I know that I had at least three more drafts and several years to go until the book would see the light of day. At the beginning of this track, there is a dreamy interlude called "Swamp Raga," and I love this shout-out to Hindustani classical music.

"Idiot Wind"
Bob Dylan
The Bootleg Series Vol 1-3

One day, someone was selling about twenty Dylan albums on a stoop in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, and I bought most of them for a buck a piece. This track on the Bootleg Series is so much better than the official version released on Blood on the Tracks. It possesses that blend of fictional storytelling, autobiography, and surrealism that defines much of Dylan's work, and also, as far as I can tell, the act of fiction writing. The images Dylan uses to show anger in this song are so vivid and visceral—"One day you'll be in a ditch/flies buzzing around your eyes/blood on your saddle." These lyrics were constantly repeating in my mind when I was trying to depict my characters' grief and the anger that it engendered.

"Louis Collins"
Performed by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman
Shady Grove

Mississippi John Hurt wrote this catchy, wry track about a death, and I love the way Jerry Garcia and David Grisman perform it here. I'm a huge Dead fan, and the Dead or one of Garcia's side projects was always blaring on my stereo while I was working on my novel. This recording contains a sweet blend of folk, blues, bluegrass, and rock—Jerry Garcia embodied so many wonderful aspects of North American music. The young protagonist of my novel listens to a Dead song for the first time towards the end my novel, and he's surprised by what he hears. The music sounds "kiddish" to him. It has nothing to do with the skulls or motorcycles that were associated with this music in his imagination. I loathe the stigma that the Dead often carry with them. Miles Davis used to open for them. They played with Branford Marsalis, and Jerry Garcia collaborated with Ornette Coleman and Elvis Costello. There is so much to their music besides a cult following, and I think this track might make Garcia's music more accessible to non-fans.

"Lamento Sertanejo"
Gilberto Gil
Rafezanda

I deeply admire the Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil, and I've had the privilege of seeing him perform at various venues in New York City. As my sister says, to watch him play live is to be enveloped in a long and warm hug. This song, however, is about the blues, and, like so much of the music I listen to, it seems to be about alienation and migration. The forlorn narrator of the song says—and my feeble translation from the Portuguese will certainly kill these lyrics—"I don't really speak/I don't really know anything/I'm really no better than stray cattle." These lyrics are so simple, and yet so piercing, and I drew on this type of terse, poignant interiority to help me conjure up the emotional world of my child protagonist.

"Yah Dhuniya Agar Mil bhi Jayee"
Words by Sahir Ludhianvi; Sung by Mohammed Rafi
Pyaasa Soundtrack

This track, sung by the legendary Indian singer Mohammed Rafi, contemplates the worthiness of material success in a world defined by moral corruption, and it comes from the classic Hindi film Pyaasa (1957)—Thirsty—about an earnest poet named Vijay who is totally marginalized and then taken advantage of by the modern literary marketplace. Most writers can relate to Vijay, at least at some point in their career, and I certainly did when sending out my book to agents. The song's lyrics were written by a serious Urdu poet, Sahir Ludhianvi, and yet the instrumentation behind the words are more kitsch and European—so this track, like my characters, is a hybrid. The adult characters in my novel—Indian immigrants in the US who are highly Islamophobic—adore the music of singer Mohammed Rafi, even though he is a Muslim. That's the way it always seems to go, and it's a damn shame: People's prejudices often have nothing to do with their lived experience of reality.

"So What"
Miles Davis
The Complete 1962 Concert: My Funny Valentine + Four and More

I can still remember the day I bought Miles Davis' In A Silent Way—on a whim—at the great Cutlers Records in New Haven, which has now been replaced by an Apple store. (What a great metaphor for the state of culture in these United States!) But like so many jazz fans, my first taste of Miles was on Kind of Blue—the "catnip" of jazz albums according to one New York Times critic. One of my characters, a wise and sensitive girl named Sharon, plays a mean version of "So What" in front her entire junior high school, where she doesn't have many friends. The novel doesn't mention the song by title, but this is the track that played in my mind when I wrote this scene, which was partly inspired by James Baldwin's story "Sonny's Blues."

"Where Did You Sleep Last Night"
Nirvana
Unplugged

Kurt Cobain's suicide haunts my whole novel, and the characters in my book listen to Nirvana. One of them says that all pop music in the 90s was "materialistic and superficial", except for Nirvana. Another character calls Nirvana a bunch of "posers." I don't agree with either of these statements, but I am grateful that Nirvana introduced me to this Lead Belly song when I was just fourteen. (I didn't learn who Lead Belly was for another eight years or so.) Nirvana's Unplugged session blew my mind when I first heard it, and my friends and I managed to make an audio recording of it from a VHS cassette, several months before the official album was actually released.


Hirsh Sawhney and South Haven links:

the author's website

Library Journal review

Bookslut interview with the author
New Haven Register profile of the author
Penmen Review interview with the author
Radio Something interview with the author
Tidings from Hazel Kahan interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Largehearted Boy's 2016 Fundraiser

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)
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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This Week's Interesting Music Releases - May 27, 2016

Mark Kozelek

Mark Kozelek's covers album Sings Favorites is my favorite new album this week.

Other new releases I can recommend include Big Thief's Masterpiece, The Hotelier's Goodness, Summer Cannibals's Full of It.

Archival releases include the 3-LP live David Bowie album A Reality Tour three sets of Frank Zappa live recordings (Road Tapes, Venue #1, Road Tapes, Venue #2, Road Tapes, Venue #3), a remastered and expanded edition of My Morning Jacket's It Still Moves, and a Siouxie and the Banshees' 6-CD box set Classic Album Selection Volume 2.

What new releases can you recommend this week?


This week's interesting music releases:

50 Foot Wave: Bath White EP
Architects: All Of Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Arthur Beatrice: Keeping The Peace
Band of Skulls: By Default
Beth Orton: Kidsticks
Big Thief: Masterpiece
Catfish and the Bottlemen: The Ride
Daniel Romano: Mosey
David Bowie: A Reality Tour (180 Gram Audiophile Translucent Blue Vinyl/Limited Edition/3 LP Box Set) [vinyl]
Death Angel: The Evil Divide
Dierks Bentley: Black
Emily Barker: Despite the Snow (reissue)
Flume: Skin
Frank Zappa: Lumpy Money Project/Object (reissue)
Frank Zappa: Road Tapes, Venue #1
Frank Zappa: Road Tapes, Venue #2
Frank Zappa: Road Tapes, Venue #3
Gold Panda: Good Luck And Do Your Best
Gregory Porter: Take Me to the Alley [vinyl]
Gwen Stefani: This Is What the Truth Feels Like [vinyl]
Holy F**k: Congrats
The Hotelier: Goodness
Kendrick Lamar: untitled unmastered. [vinyl]
Kristin Kontrol: X-Communicate
Lacuna Coil: Delirium
Lone: Levitate
Manic Street Preachers: Everything Must Go (5-CD box set)
Mark Kozelek: Sings Favorites
Mark Mothersbaugh: Pee-wee's Big Holiday: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Miles Davis and Robert Glasper: Everything's Beautiful
The Monkees: Good Times!
The Muffs: Blonder and Blonder (reissue)
My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves (remastered and expanded)
The Myrrors: Entranced Earth
Nick Allbrook: Pure Gardiya
Pontiak: Maker (reissue) [vinyl]
PUP: The Dream Is Over
Quasi: Featuring "Birds" (reissue) [vinyl]
Real Friends: The Home Inside My Head
Siouxie and the Banshees: Classic Album Selection Volume 2 (6-CD box set)
Skepta: Konnichiwa
Sonny & the Sunsets: Moods Baby Moods
Summer Cannibals: Full of It
Thrice: To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere
Tony Joe White: Rain Crow
Travis: Everything at Once
Various Artists: Alice Through the Looking Glass (soundtrack)
Various Artists: Bright Star (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Various Artists: Paint Your Wagon (Encores! Cast Recording 2015)
Various Artists: Space Echo: Mystery Behind the Cosmic Sound
Various Artists: The Warriors (soundtrack) (remastered) [vinyl]
Yumi Zouma: Yoncalla
Zack Lopez: Bloodlines


also at Largehearted Boy:

Largehearted Boy's 2016 Fundraiser

weekly music release lists

Essential and Interesting 2015 Year-End Music Lists

100 online sources for free and legal music downloads
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)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - May 12, 2016

In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.


Twilight Children

Twilight Children
by Gilbert Hernandez

Legendary comic creator Hernandez has once against delivered a sexy, mind-bending tale unlike any other. When mysterious, glowing spheres start appearing from the water of a small, seaside town, the residents don’t know how to react. They blind children, bestow them with psychic powers, and cause inexplicable havoc. Beautiful drawn and expertly told, Twilight Children explores the sociological and psychological effects of sci-fi magic in graphic form.


The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic

The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic
by Joanna Ebenstein

Morbid and deeply erotic, the Anatomical Venus stands out as being one of the most singularly compelling artifacts to grace the pages of the history of medicine. Featuring over 250 images of the life-sized, dissectible wax woman reclined on moth-eaten cushions, Ebenstein’s newest, extensively researched book pinpoints humanity’s curiosity with beauty and death - the Venus’ femininity serving as a confounding explanation of both.


Sea Change

Sea Change
by Frank Viva

Straddling the line between picture books and literary fiction, Frank Viva’s newest kids’ book elevates a simple coming-of-age tale into an enigmatic daydream. Chronicling a twelve year old boys summer ‘vacation’ to a rural fishing village in Nova Scotia, Viva illustrates a summer filled with grumpy old men, angry lobsters, and awful teenagers, but allows for these experiences to bubble beneath the surface of the narrative; charting Eliot’s (our protagonist) change from twelve year old boy into something else entirely.


Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter
by Stephanie Danier

While the promise of being yet another “coming-of-age” story might throw off some potential readers, Danier’s debut novel is a brilliantly written, page-turning tale that is fueled by burgeoning wisdom and ample doses of cocaine. A mixture of Kitchen Confidential with a pinch of Sex and the City, Danier’s novel takes us through the Manhattan of 22 year-old Tess in the heatwave of summer 2006; her powerful writing carrying the novel into uncharted, passionate territory.


Little Labors

Little Labors
by Rivka Galchen

A collection of short stories, essays, and general observations about literature, babies, and mothering said babies, Galchen’s new, orange pocket-sized book is both sharp and undeniably hilarious. Inspired by The Pillow Book - a book of observations and musings recorded during the 990s and early 1000s in Japan - Little Labors reads as a well-composed train of thought; Galchen’s talent taking the reader on a journey through the ordinary-extraordinary. Hailed as subtly re-inventing the memoir as we know it, Little Labors is a joy to read.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's blog
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Facebook page
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Tumblr
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Twitter


also at Largehearted Boy:

Largehearted Boy's 2016 Fundraiser

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

Online "Best Books of 2015" Year-end Lists

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


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Atomic Books Comics Preview - May 26, 2016

In the weekly Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights notable new comics, graphic novels, and books.

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. He also runs the Mutant Funnies Tumblr.

Atomic Books has been named one of BuzzFeed's Great American Bookstores, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.


After Nothing Comes

After Nothing Comes
by Aidan Koch

Edited by Bill Kartalopoulos, After Nothing Comes collects a number of Koch's early works - showing the poetic and painterly origins of the Koch style. The works here resonate in unexpected ways.


Don't Come In Here

Don't Come In Here
by Patrick Kyle

A story told in unfolding vignettes, Don't Come In Here is an abstract comics exploration of the disorienting nature of being an artist.


From Now On

From Now On
by Malachi Ward

I was so anxious for this book, when it missed its shipping date, I couldn't help but sending an email to the publisher to make sure it was still coming (sorry, Alternative Comics, and thanks for being so awesome!). From Now On collects a number of Ward's beautiful short works, some previously published, some not. Some in color, some not.


Lovf: The Illustrated Diary Of A Man Literally Losing His Mind

Lovf: The Illustrated Diary Of A Man Literally Losing His Mind
by Jesse Reklaw

I first encountered Lovf as a mini-comic, and what struck me about it was how radically different the art is from most of Reklaw's other work. Moody, colorful, watercolory - manic - and intense. If Bill Sienkiewicz was making underground comics today, they might look something like this.


Space: An Eschew Collection

Space: An Eschew Collection
by Robert Sergel

Like Lovf, I first came across Space as mini-comics called Eschew. I was struck then, as now, by their precision, their containment - in terms of art as well as narrative.


Turning Japanese: A Graphic Memoir

Turning Japanese: A Graphic Memoir
by MariNaomi

MariNaomi continues to mine her rich past for material. Set in the mid-'90s, she reflects on her time as an illegal Japanese hostess while also revealing cultural and generational differences.


What Is Obscenity? The Story Of A Good For Nothing Artist And Her Pussy

What Is Obscenity? The Story Of A Good For Nothing Artist And Her Pussy
by Rokudenashiko

It may be hard to define, but do we know it when we see it. Or do we? Rokudenashiko is a Japanese artist who has been jailed for their art for posing questions similar to the one this book asks, which is "What is so problematic about the pussy?"


Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail benn@atomicbooks.com. If there’s a comic I should know about, send it my way at Atomic, c/o Atomic Books 3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211.


Atomic Books & Benn Ray links:

Atomic Books website
Atomic Books on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Mutant Funnies


also at Largehearted Boy:

Largehearted Boy's 2016 Fundraiser

other Atomic Books Comics Preview lists (weekly new comics & graphic novel highlights)

Online "Best of 2015" Book Lists

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music 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)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


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Shorties (Recommended Summer Reading, Loudon Wainwright III's New Donald Trump Song, and more)

The New York Times and Chicago Tribune recommended books for summer reading.


Loudon Wainwright III shared a new song that imagines a Donald Trump presidency.


May is Largehearted Boy's first fundraising month. All donations will go toward creating new features, crafting a better user experience, and much-needed back end work on the site. Thank you for reading and supporting Largehearted Boy.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins
Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic by Jennifer Keshin Armstrong
Prayers for the Living by Alan Cheuse


The British Library's "Discovering the 20th Century" website is fascinating.


Tony Tulathimutte shared the process of fighting for the title of his debut novel Private Citizens at the Paris Review.


Stream a new Silent Pictures song.


Hazlitt interviewed author Mona Awad.


Stereogum interviewed Jim James about the remastered and expanded edition of My Morning Jacket's It Still Moves album.


Chris Cleave recommended books written during World War II at Literary Hub.


The band Quilt visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


The New York Times profiled author Emma Straub.


Actor Elijah Wood discussed his favorite albums with The Quietus.


Literary Hub profiled author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore.


Stereogum listed Sufjan Stevens' best songs.


Signature recommended books to read while waiting for Gilmore Girls to return to television.


Noisey shared an oral history of Propaghandhi's Less Talk, More Rock album, released 20 years ago.


Entropy interviewed Lavinia Ludlow about her new novel Single Stroke Seven.


Pity Sex's Britty Drake paired three of the band's songs with non-musical influences at The A.V. Club.


The Miami Herald recommended books about Haiti.


Paste profiled singer-songwriter Andy Shauf.


Vogue profiled authors Emma Cline and Yaa Gyasi.


The A.V. Club previewed June's music releases.


Huffington Post recommended short stories to read online.


Stream two new songs by the Strokes.


BuzzFeed featured new short fiction by Lucy Corin.



also at 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
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


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May 26, 2016

Book Notes - Juan Gómez Bárcena "The Sky Over Lima"

The Sky Over Lima

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

Juan Gómez Bárcena's novel The Sky Over Lima is an engaging debut that deftly explores themes of class, friendship, and creativity.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Bárcena grounds the literary games in a richly detailed, early 20th-century Lima and its cast of secondary characters: dock workers, prostitutes, café-haunting literati. Its lightly ironic tone darkening as it proceeds, the novel sensitively explores how a literary prank shapes the sentimental, romantic, and moral education of Carlos."


In his own words, here is Juan Gómez Bárcena's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel The Sky Over Lima:



The Sky Over Lima is set in the Peru of 1904. Nevertheless, its narrator transcends continents and centuries. Let's imagine this narrator puts together a soundtrack: someone capable of living in 1904 and 2014 at the same time, someone able to take Leonard Cohen back to the beginning of the 20th century and bring Víctor Jara's verses to life once more, allowing them to cry out against injustices perpetrated thirty years before the singer was even born. This would be that soundtrack.

"Vertigo (Love scene)" – Bernard Herrmann

Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo is not only my favourite movie, but was also a constant source of inspiration while I was writing "The Sky over Lima". A man in love with a dream, a made up woman, a sick romantic idealization… The film touches upon many of the subjects of my novel. A journalist once asked Hitchcock what his film was about. His answer: "It is about a man who wants to make love to a ghost." I think that same definition would also be a good synopsis for The Sky Over Lima.
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon

Carlos Rodríguez and José Gálvez are two Peruvian friends, just boys who want to become poets. And, as in Paul Simon's song, at some point they decide to "break the rules:" they write to their favorite poet, the Spanish maestro Juan Ramón Jiménez, impersonating a gorgeous young lady, hoping he will make her his muse.

Sweet Georgina Brown – Django Reinhart

The girl could have been called "Georgia Brown," but they decided to give her a more exotic name: Georgina Hübner. And the two friends had a great time doing it, in keeping with this cheerful rendition by Django Reinhart, because creating a literary character is a fun thing to do…

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

…that is, when things don't get twisted and the poet Juan Ramón Jiménez falls in love with your character from the other edge of the world. And the poet of course wants Georgina to be in Spain with him, to hold her in his arms. Something of a problem, considering Georgina has no body to hold and only exists in a handful of letters, scribbled with wit and an almost childish cruelty.

No he desitjat mai cos com el teu - Marcel Bagés i Maria Arnal Dimas

"I have never desired a body like yours" say the verses by the poet Estellès sung by María Arnal, and there is no doubt Juan Ramón Jiménez could say much the same thing. That being said, his life would have been way easier if he had listened to the last verse of the song: "To hell with all verses!"

Famous Blue Raincoat – Leonard Cohen

This is a novel full of letters the characters sent incessantly to each other. I would have liked them to be as beautiful as this one that L. Cohen wrote for us all, and that I listened to obsessively while I was writing the novel.

Everybody Knows – Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded, that is, that Georgina isn't but a joke. Everybody except Juan Ramón, of course, who, letter by letter, will start planning how to meet his adored Georgina.

Playground Love – Air

But love in The Sky Over Lima isn't only of the platonic, idealized kind; physical love also plays an important role. For instance, prostitutes sashay through many of its pages. One of them is only a girl whose virginity is sold for an exorbitant price to the rubber tycoons in Peru. She is be the playground love of Carlos Rodríguez, himself barely more than a boy at the time.

Vientos del pueblo – Víctor Jara

Meanwhile, while Carlos and José play writing letters, Lima workers fight in vane for better working conditions and basic social rights. Some decades will have to pass before their demands are met. For the moment, the government prefers to shut up the people with gunpowder and blood, as Víctor Jara sings: "Again, they want to soil, my land with workers' blood/those who speak about freedom/ and have black hands."

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her – Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel are persuaded that it is possible to fall in love with a dream, conceive a woman in fantasy and give in to her, just as Pigmalion did with his sculpture. This same thing will happen to Carlos Gálvez when he begins falling in love with his own character.

Gloomy Sunday – Billie Holliday

It's obvious that none of this will end well for anybody. Not for Juan Ramón, who falls in love head over feet for Georgina, nor for the boys, who aren't aware of how seriously their joke has been taken. Choosing "Gloomy Sunday" for the dénouement might be going a bit too far, as some have called this the saddest song ever; in The Sky Over Lima humor prevails always, even in the darkest passages. But my characters often enjoy drama, and who am I to contradict them?

Bookends – Simon and Garfunkel

Everything has an end, comforting or horrible, happy or sad, but an end at last. Carlos and José also have an ending, which comes many years later: a watchtower where they can reflect on the time gone by, about all that they've lost in the passing years.

Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you.


Juan Gómez Bárcena and The Sky Over Lima links:

excerpt from the book

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review
ZYZZYVA review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Largehearted Boy's 2016 Fundraiser

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)
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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Shorties (Summer's New Fiction, Two Profiles of Car Seat Headrest, and more)

The Wall Street Journal recommended summer's new fiction.


Flavorwire profiled Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo.

The A.V. Club also talked to Toledo about the band's new album Teens of Denial and its now deleted Ric Ocasek sample.


May is Largehearted Boy's first fundraising month. All donations will go toward creating new features, crafting a better user experience, and much-needed back end work on the site. Thank you for reading and supporting Largehearted Boy.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins
Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic by Jennifer Keshin Armstrong
Prayers for the Living by Alan Cheuse


The British Library's "Discovering the 20th Century" website is fascinating.


Stream a new No Joy song.


Karl Ove Knausgard on James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.


NPR Music is streaming Fantastic Negrito's new album The Last Days of Oakland.


Literary Hub interviewed author Julian Barnes about editing his work.


Laura Jane Grace shared an essay about her North Carolina performance last week.


New nonfiction from Alexander Chee.


Stream a new Spoon song.


The OTHERPPL podcast interviewed authors Nayomi Munaweera and Jung Yun.


NYCTaper shared a recent live performance by Luna.


The New York Times interviewed authors Michael Marissen and Lauren Belfer.


NPR Music is streaming Xenia Rubinos's new album Black Terry Cat.


The Spectator reviewed one of my favorite nonfiction books of the year, Juan Villoro's essay collection God is Round.


Stereogum is streaming Karen Meat's On the Couch EP.


The Chicago Tribune interviewed editor Chris Ying about his book The Wurst of Lucky Peach.


NPR Music is streaming William Tyler's new album Modern Country.


Tor.com listed essay collections, literary criticism, and biography that explore the craft of science fiction and fantasy.


SPIN profiled the band the Gotobeds.


Bookworm interviewed author John D'Agata.


NPR Music is streaming Paul Simon's new album Stranger to Stranger.


Newsday recommended summer's best new books.


Yahoo Music will stream select acts live from the Sasquatch music festival starting tomorrow.


Ebook on sale for $2.99 today: Barbara Kingsolver's novel The Poisonwood Bible.


The Cleveland Scene profiled singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.


Bustle recommended summer's best new nonfiction books.


Paste listed politicians who meddled in music.


The Wall Street Journal recommended summer books about animals.


Moby talked to Morning Edition about his new memoir Porcelain.


Comic Book Resources interviewed Evie Wyld about er graphic novel Everything Is Teeth.


Pink Floyd stamps.



also at 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
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

May 25, 2016

Book Notes - Jensen Beach "Swallowed by the Cold"

Swallowed by the Cold

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

Jensen Beach's impressive story collection is one of the year's most rewarding (and unsettling) books.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Characters' morally ambiguous actions . . . simultaneously provoke readers' judgment and invite compassion. . . . [Swallowed by the Cold] memorably depicts how selfish humans can be, and how often we’re alienated from one another."


In his own words, here is Jensen Beach's Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection Swallowed by the Cold:



Since I was eighteen I've moved on average once every three years or so. The longest I've lived in one place as an adult is a little more than six years in Stockholm, but this stretch, too, was interrupted by kids and marriage, kinds of moves themselves. Music has always seemed to me to arrange itself around each of these periods, and then, often, certain songs will get lost to the transitions, or else simply to time, only to surface later on some forgotten corner of my phone or in a bar or at a party and hurtle me back to a previous time, a previous place.

Here are eight songs that I was listening to during the years I was writing the stories in this book, roughly 2010 to 2013, all but one of them by Swedish musicians.


Ebba Grön – "We're Only in It for the Drugs" (1978)

My book doesn't seem particularly angry to me, though I was listening to a lot of Ebba Grön during the years I wrote these stories. This song is about the anger of circumstance, of being born into working class suburbs and a boring, aimless, or else narrowly determined, life. Though the variables in my stories are different, I think this is a kind of frustration that many of the characters would share.

Joakim Thåström – "Fanfanfan" (2005)

When this song came out it played endlessly on the radio in Sweden. At the time I was working in a warehouse, where I packed and unpacked boxes of cable modems. Whenever this song came on the radio, the guy I worked with, he was a musician, would stop whatever he was doing and turn the volume up to listen. It is a great song, catchy, melodic, and really sad. Joakim Thåström was the lead singer of Ebba Grön. This song is punk in its sensibilities, I suppose, like Ebba Grön was, particularly in the early albums, but this song and the album it comes from seems sadder to me, richer, more textured and deeper than Thåström's music from the 70s and 80s. More mature and reflective. This song is about lost opportunities. Again, I think this is an emotional tenor that resonates with my book. A note on the title: Fan is a Swedish word for devil and used in a number of ways and has a number of translations into English. Depending on context and use it can mean everything from damn to fuck.

Jose Gonzalez – "Heartbeats" (2003)

Jose Gonzalez's cover of this song is probably best remembered for being the soundtrack to a commercial for televisions that featured thousands of brightly colored bouncy balls bouncing down a street in San Francisco. That was a good commercial. The song is better. I find Jose Gonzalez's voice really haunting and this song, played on a classical guitar, is at once calming and heartbreaking.

Robyn – "Fembot" (2010)

I never listen to music while I'm writing. I find it distracting. But I do listen to music when I exercise. Robyn has been a part of my workout playlists for years. She's the perfect combination of thoughtful and catchy pop, and though I do not ever dance, it's nice to listen to music that makes me want to move when I'm lifting weights or riding my bike. I also think about writing when I exercise. I can't pinpoint an exact example, but I'm certain that some problem in one or more of these stories was solved, on a bike, riding the flat, gridded streets outside of Champaign, IL with Robyn in my ears.

The Knife – "Heartbeats" (2003)

This song reminds me of the summer. I'm not sure if it's because I listened to it a lot during one summer, or if it taps into some nostalgic node in my brain that is also all about summer. Either way, this song is about loss, something my book deals with, and I really love it. "Heartbeats" is a gorgeous song.

A.C. Newman – "Submarines of Stockholm" (2009)

One of the stories in my book is called "Ships of Stockholm." The story takes place on the terrace of a bar called Mosebacke. The terrace overlooks Slussen, the lock between the Baltic Sea and the lake in the western part of the city. I've always liked the view from this bar. It's one of my favorite places to go in the summer. It seems to me that the view captures something essential about Stockholm, or in any case my memory of it. You can see water and islands, some typical Swedish apartment houses. Whenever I hear this song, I always think of a submarine, slowly working its way in from the sea, between the islands and among the cruise ships with A.C. Newman standing at its bridge. For some reason this thought has always made me smile. And I find this song catchy and fun. My kids love it, too.

Shout Out Louds – "The Comeback" (2003)

There's something about Adam Olenius's voice, a cracked and vulnerable quality, that I find appealing. It's probably harder than I think to summarize the emotional center of a song (in any case, I find it difficult), but I think this song is about being hurt and then, in spite of that hurt, trying again. I like that. But I mainly like this song for sentimental reasons. When my oldest son was little he often used to ask us to put on the song about the "reasonable man" (a lyric in the song). Even now I like the song for these personal reasons. And, you know, maybe art is meant to be enjoyed mainly for personal reasons.

Kent – "Dom Andra" (2002)

Kent is a band that never managed to make it outside of Sweden. If they sang in English, they'd probably as widely known as a band like U2 or Coldplay (which is to say both loved and despised by exactly the types of people you'd expect). But I like them, and because this book is so much about Sweden, particularly a Sweden when this band was so big, I couldn't not include one of their songs. Also, it turns out that this playlist is entirely made up of songs that make me feel nostalgic, an emotion that might not be at the surface of the book, but for me, is present nonetheless.


Jensen Beach and Swallowed by the Cold links:

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

Kirkus review

American Short Fiction interview with the author
New Yorker interview with the author
Vermont Public Radio interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Largehearted Boy's 2016 Fundraiser

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)
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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Book Notes - Sean Carswell "The Metaphysical Ukulele"

The Metaphysical Ukulele

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

Sean Carswell's collection The Metaphysical Ukulele is filled with clever and insightful homages to his favorite authors.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the collection:

"Carswell excels at composing compelling, whimsical tales that reveal the human side of canonized authors, gently bringing them down from their pedestals."


In his own words, here is Sean Carswell's Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection The Metaphysical Ukulele:



I'm fascinated by the parts of writers' biographies that run counter to their public personas. Take Herman Melville, for instance. The guy lived with a tribe of cannibals in the Marquesas. He was a sex symbol after his first two novels came out. There's good reason to think he had an affair with Nathanial Hawthorne. If you carry all of this into Moby-Dick with you, the novel comes off its pedestal and becomes a fun book written by a sailor in his thirties. I think all of this context helps me understand how he writes so well, blending together genres, being funny and heartbreaking while asking the biggest questions. So for The Metaphysical Ukulele, I started with Melville. I wrote a story about him that borrowed several of the tools from his writer's toolbox. The story seemed to make the most sense when Melville had a ukulele to play. So I gave him one.

After writing my Melville story, I established a pattern. I searched out unlikely events in writers' lives—Flannery O'Connor's love affair with a textbook salesman, Chester Himes's years of exile in France and Spain, Leigh Brackett writing Star Wars II (later retitled The Empire Strikes Back) as she died from cancer, Pam Houston releasing a hitchhiking ghost in the mountains of northern Arizona—and I used those events as the springboard to write my paeans to several of my favorite authors. Each story took me a few months to write. I did ridiculous amounts of research, read a half-dozen books for each story, sampled actual passages from the authors' works, and tried to get to know their work better by writing about them.

I gave them all ukuleles, too. Ukuleles are funny instruments. They come loaded with symbolic value. They can be the toys of hipsters, trinkets tourists bring back from the Islands, real artifacts of a colonized Hawaiian culture, nostalgia for the Roaring Twenties, whatever. For me, they're personal. I married a girl who grew up in Hawaii. My brothers-in-law taught me to play the uke fifteen years ago. Since then, ukuleles have been part of the fabric of spending time with loved ones. When I wrote about the writers I loved, the uke had to be there.

When I crafted this playlist, the uke didn't have to be there. Instead, I picked songs that matched the writers I wrote about.

George Formby, "Leaning on a Lamp Post"
The first story in the collection is about Herman Melville. It's the farthest back in time that the stories go, so I wanted to pair it with an old-timey song. George Formby would've been born right around the time when Melville died. Formby was a vaudevillian and a big British movie star in the between-World-War years. Almost all of his songs are goofy jokes played on a banjo ukulele. "Leaning on a Lamp Post" breaks from his pattern. Initially, it's a simple, sweet song. I'm pretty sure he's only playing three chords (though with some ornamental notes), which pleases my inner punk rocker. Starting with that split stroke about two minutes in, the song becomes paradoxically simple and complex. Like Melville. Like the ukulele itself. And, hopefully, like my short story collection.

The Sugar Stems "Baby Teeth"
The second story in the collection is about Leigh Brackett. Brackett was a pulp writer, mostly known for her sci-fi, but she also wrote some pretty powerful noir. When William Faulkner was struggling with the screenplay for The Big Sleep, director Howard Hawkes brought in Brackett to fix the script. Brackett became known as the woman Hollywood called when they needed someone to write like a man. There's a toughness and a sadness to Brackett's writing and life story that fits well with The Sugar Stems. Something about the end of the chorus, when Betsy Heibler sings "But you've gone away somehow and know your all I think about. I had you once but not now," haunts me like Brackett.

Banner Pilot "Wired Wrong"
I know that when I pair music with Jack Kerouac, who's the protagonist of my third story, I should play jazz. I just don't know jazz very well. I grew up on punk rock. It still informs all my musical choices. So here's Banner Pilot, writing about drinking in Minneapolis in the early aughts, missing bars called Moby Dicks, and, midway through the song, sampling Kerouac reading from The Subterraneans. Kerouac calls someone a "hip pretending weasel." I'd like to read the novel with that title.

Pink Mink "Hidden Beach"
I'm staying with Minneapolis bands here. This time, it's Pink Mink. I went with "Hidden Beach" because it matches the author who stars in my next ukulele story, Patricia Geary. In the song, the narrator goes to a haunted place and runs into ghosts she's familiar with. You're invited to the party. This matter-of-fact treatment of the supernatural echoes Geary's novels, especially her favorite one of mine, Guru Cigarettes, which lures us into a world adjacent to ours so seamlessly that the world we live in feels askew once we put the book down.

Dillinger Four "Doublewhiskeycokenoice"
I guess this is the Minneapolis part of my playlist. Here's the city's second favorite sons, Dillinger Four. "Doublewhiskeycokenoice" captures that frustration of an artist—musician, writer, whomever—when his work is overshadowed or dismissed by dilettantes. Paddy namedrops Nelson Algren and Otis Redding in the song. Chester Himes, who I wrote my next short story about, would fit in that group well. Paddy Costello sings about these guys being on "the beat-up side of a thing called pride," and that's where I'll always see Himes.

Martha "Dust, Bones, Juice, and Hair"
I have to put Martha in the middle of the playlist because their songs are too catchy. If I play their record once and don't play anything immediately afterward, the songs keep running on an endless loop in my head. I feel the same way when I read a Richard Brautigan book. His writing style is infectious. Everyone who reads Brautigan tries to write like Brautigan, at least for a couple of days. Martha and Brautigan also both share the knack of being entertaining and feeling light initially, but there's a deep, sad vein running through all their stuff.

The Pine Hill Haints "When You Fall"
My next story tells about Flannery O'Connor's brief love affair with a textbook salesman. To me, every Flannery O'Connor story is both a love story and a ghost story. The love is complicated and flawed and almost never romantic. The ghosts are all internal. This makes her a great match for a band named after ghosts singing a love song.

The Marked Men "A Little Time"
Raymond Chandler is the protagonist in my next story. In 1944, he essentially held Paramount hostage, refusing to write the end of a mystery no one else could solve. And the biggest problem with him not writing the ending: the rest of the film was already shot, the cast and crew were waiting for the last ten pages of the screenplay, and the star had been drafted into the army. I reimagined this event for my collection. The Marked Men's "A Little Time" sets just the right mood.

The Gateway District "Go Home"
I namedrop a few songs in my Pam Houston story, but they're all songs that Houston namedrops in her books. They're not songs I particularly like. As a compromise, I picked "Go Home." Like Houston's characters, the narrator of the song is a strong woman who's helping her friend out of a bad relationship. I could hear a Houston character singing along to the song: "Girl, don't you waste no more lipstick on him."

The Sonics "Skinny Minnie"
I've done a lot of scholarship (several essays, a book that's coming out next year) on power, resistance, and economics in Thomas Pynchon's novels. I've written a lot less about just how fun his books are. I wanted to pay homage to that in my Thomas Pynchon story in this collection. And this is why I pick The Sonics to accompany Pynchon. They're straight ahead rock and roll. As pure and fun as it can be. There's also a scene in Pynchon's Vineland where college students take over a university, secede from the US, and form The People's Republic of Rock and Roll. They appoint Weed Atman as their leader. Weed tells them that he's not a leader, that he's "tall, that's all." I'm convinced that Pynchon is alluding not only to this song, but to The Sonics' version of it.

The Blue Hearts "Linda Linda"
The Blue Hearts are one of my all-time favorite bands. "Linda Linda" is my favorite Blue Hearts song. I don't speak Japanese, but I know every word. If you catch me in the right mood, I might play it for you on the ukulele. A Japanese friend of mine told me the song was about a rat, but not any rat. She pointed at a ditch. "Like one of those," she told me. What could match my short story about Yoko Ogawa better than a beautiful and absurd song about a gutter rat?

Stevie Wonder "I Wish"
After writing eleven stories about my favorite writers, I decided to finish the collection with a sendup of my own work. I wrote a story about being a mischievous kid. When I was a mischievous kid in real life, "I Wish" was in high rotation around my neighborhood. I remember being six years old and thinking the farting trumpet in the song was the funniest thing. Now I'm sentimental about the whole song. I used to play "I Wish" on the ukulele, too, but my wife banned me from playing it when she was around. She was right to do so.


Sean Carswell and The Metaphysical Ukulele links:

the author's website

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Largehearted Boy's 2016 Fundraiser

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)
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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Notebook To Be Published, A Ranking of Bob Dylan's Studio Albums, and more)

Regan Arts will publish Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Notebook, a collection of notes the director made while working on his iconic film, in November.


The Daily Beast ranked Bob Dylan's studio albums.


May is Largehearted Boy's first fundraising month. All donations will go toward creating new features, crafting a better user experience, and much-needed back end work on the site. Thank you for reading and supporting Largehearted Boy.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins
Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic by Jennifer Keshin Armstrong
Prayers for the Living by Alan Cheuse


Broadly interviewed cartoonist MariNaomi.


Magnetic Fields will release a new album, 50 Song Memoir, next year.


Hobart interviewed author Brian Evenson.


King Khan has produced ambient music to back passages of Naked Lunch read by William S. Burroughs.


BuzzFeed interviewed Lindy West about her new book Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.


Richard Fearless of Death in Vegas discussed his favorite songs at The Quietus.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Mario Bellatin.


Stream a track from Thee Oh Sees' forthcoming live album.


Bookforum interviewed author Gary Indiana.


Stream new Cass McCombs music.


Recommended Reading shared a short story from Jensen Beach's collection Swallowed by the Cold.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed Beth Orton about her new album Kidsticks.


The New York Times visited the American West of Vladimir Nabokov.


Tacocat covered Katy Perry's "Roar."


The Paris Review and Guernica interviewed author Stehanie Danler.


Stream a new song by the Kills.


Men's Journal interviewed author Geoff Dyer.


Julien Baker covered Jawbreaker's "Accident Prone."


AllAfrica recommended African writers you should be reading.


The Guardian listed the best Elton John songs.


The Times of Israel profiled cartoonist Roz Chast.


Stream a new Cocktails song.


The Wall Street Journal recommended summer's best new books.


Tiny Ruins' Hollie Fullbrook discussed albums that changed her life at Howl and Echoes.


Author Chuck Palahniuk shared Portland tips at WIRED.


Paste profiled the musical duo Whitney.


The Chicago Review of Books interviewed author Justin Cronin.


The A.V. Club shared a collection of Bob Dylan parodies.


The Washington Post recommended soccer books for summer reading.


A collection of Prince interviews.


Lauren Graham's essay collection Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between will be published in November.


Drowned in Sound shared new music from Nils Frahm.


The Chicago Tribune recommended recently published travel books.



also at 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
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

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