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November 18, 2017

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 18th

For the tenth straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating regularly.

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

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


Today's Update to the Online Year-end "Best of 2017" Book Lists:


12Five Capital (best books)
BookBub (best cookbooks)
Bustle (best debut novels by women)
The Canadian Gift Guide (best books for kids)
A Couple of Pages (top books)
Maris Kreizman (top books)
Nicholas Crane (best travel books)
Northern Crime (top crime books)
PopSugar (best books)
Readings (best crime books)
Readings (best fiction books)
Readings (best food & gardening books)
Readings (best junior fiction books)
Readings (best middle fiction books)
Readings (best non-fiction books)
Readings (best picture books)
Simon McDonald (best books)
Sit Tableside (favorite books)
Spectator (reviewers' best & most overrated books)
taliaxrose (favourite books)
Teaching Biology (best museum science books)
Washington Post - Carlos Lozada (most enlightening, irritating, daring and disturbing books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

updates to the lists of "Best Books of 2017" list

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
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists

2016 Online Year-end Music Lists
2015 Online Year-end Music Lists
2014 Online Year-end Music Lists
2013 Online Year-end Music Lists
2012 Online Year-end Music Lists
2011 Online Year-end Music Lists
2010 Online Year-end Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Music Lists
2009 Online Year-end Music Lists
2008 Online Year-end Music Lists
2007 Online Year-end Music Lists
2006 Online Year-end Music Lists
other lists at Largehearted Boy

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






November 17, 2017

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - November 17, 2017

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Baths' Romaplasm, Charlotte Gainsbourg's Rest, and Sia's Everyday Is Christmas are all new albums I can recommend this week.

Archival releases include vinyl reissues of several Paul McCartney albums (RAM, McCartney, McCartney II, Pipes of Peace, Tug of War, Band On The Run, and At the Speed of Sound) and two Lou Reed releases (Street Hassle and Transformer).

What new releases are you streaming or plan to pick up this week?

This week's interesting music releases:


Barenaked Ladies: Fake Nudes
Baths: Romaplasm
Black Sabbath: The End
The Body & Full Of Hell: Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light
The Carpenters: The Collection (12-LP box set) [vinyl]
The Carpenters: The Singles 1969-1973 [vinyl]
Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest
The Corrs: Jupiter Calling
The Doors: Strange Days 50th Anniversary (Expanded Edition)
Electric Wizard: Wizard Bloody Wizard
Fieldy: Bassically
GBH: Momentum
Ghost Atlas: All Is In Sync And There's Nothing Left To Sing About</a>
Godflesh: Post Self
Green Day: Greatest Hits: God's Favorite Band
Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch: Blade Runner 2049 Soundtrack
Iron Maiden: The Book of Souls: Live Chapter Book
Jim White: Waffles Triangles & Jesus
John Coltrane: Chasing Trane - Original Soundtrack
Katharine McPhee: I Fall In Love Too Easily
King Crimson: Earthbound (40th Anniversary Edition)
King Crimson: Sailors' Tales (27-disc box set)
Lou Reed: Street Hassle (reissue) [vinyl]
Lou Reed: Transformer (reissue) [vinyl]
Mary J. Blige: What's The 411? [vinyl]
Mavis Staples: If All I Was Was Black
Moody Blues: Days Of Future Passed (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Morrissey: Low In High School
Nine Inch Nails: Add Violence EP [vinyl]
Nine Inch Nails: Broken [vinyl]
Nine Inch Nails: Fragile [vinyl]
Paul And Linda McCartney: RAM (reissue) [vinyl]
Paul McCartney: McCartney (reissue) [vinyl]
Paul McCartney: McCartney II (reissue) [vinyl]
Paul McCartney: Pipes of Peace (reissue) [vinyl]
Paul McCartney: Tug of War (reissue) [vinyl]
Paul McCartney and Wings: Band On The Run (reissue) [vinyl]
Pearl Jam: Pearl Jam: Let's Play Two (CD and DVD)
Pharcyde: Bizarre Ride II (reissue) [vinyl]
Pink Floyd: A Collection of Great Dance Songs [vinyl]
Pink Floyd: Delicate Sound of Thunder [vinyl]
Portugal. The Man: Church Mouth [vinyl]
Queen: News Of The World (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (3-CD box set)
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: Soul Of A Woman
Sia: Everyday Is Christmas
Sweet: Sensational Sweet: Brian Connolly Years 71-77 (9-CD box set)
SZA: Ctrl [vinyl]
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill: The Rest Of Our Life
Tove Lo: Blue Lips
T-Pain: OBLiViON
Various Artists: Bloodshot Records' 13 Days of Xmas
Various Artists: A Capitol Christmas Vol. 2
Various Artists: Decca Sound: The Piano Edition (55-CD box set)
Various Artists: Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 [vinyl]
Various Artists: Hello, Dolly! New Broadway Cast Recording [vinyl]
Various Artists: Holidays Rule Volume 2 [vinyl]
Various Artists: Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You Soundtrack
Various Artists: Marshmallow Skies: '60s Pop Stars Flirt with Psychedelia
Various Artists: A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg
Various Artists: Zodiac Songs: From The Motion Picture (reissue) [vinyl]
Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas (reissue) [vinyl]
Wings: At the Speed of Sound (reissue) [vinyl]


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)


Shorties (Books That Changed the World, The Mountain Goats Covered Sisters of Mercy, and more)

Granta listed books that changed the world.


The Mountain Goats covered Sisters of Mercy's "Lucretia My Reflection."

Minneapolis City Pages interviewed the band's frontman John Darnielle.


26 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists Wednesday (bringing the total to 181) , including the Washington Post's best book lists, School Library Journal's best children's book lists, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's best cookbooks.


Beck visited Morning Becomes Eclectic for an interview and live performance.


The Creative Independent interviewed poet Danez Smith.


Stream a new Patrick Watson song.


Jacket Copy interviewed author Louise Erdrich.


The Oxford American shared an essay by singer-songwriter Tift Merritt.


Singer-songwriter Chad VanGaalen talked to The Know.


The Iowa Review interviewed author Carmen Maria Machado.


Stream a mix Bjork shared at Mixmag.


The Quietus shared an essay from the anthology The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online.


Liz Phair has signed a two book deal with Random House.


The Michigan Quarterly Review interviewed author Anna Prushinskaya.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Scott Esposito.


Rolling Stone on the new Grateful Dead musical.


Signature recommended books for fans of Octavia Butler.


King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard's new album Polygondwanaland is a free download.


The Guardian interviewed author Tessa Hadley.


Pitchfork interviewed Bjork.


The Rumpus interviewed cartoonist Gabrielle Bell.


Undertheradar interviewed singer-songwriter Angel Olsen.


CarolineLeavittville interviewed Gayle Brandeis about her memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis.


Lynn Melnick talked to Literary Hub about her book Landscape with Sex and Violence.



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 16, 2017

Book Notes - Gayle Brandeis "The Art of Misdiagnosis"

The Art of Misdiagnosis

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.

Gayle Brandeis's memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis is moving and eloquently told.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"A uniquely graceful, gorgeously written and composed collage of grief, misunderstanding, love, and an attempt at familial closure through art and prose."


In her own words, here is Gayle Brandeis's Book Notes music playlist for her memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis:


"Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying”, Belle & Sebastian

This is the song I associate most with my memoir—both because my oldest son sang it, accompanied by his guitar, the last night we saw my mother alive, and also because my essay with the same title was the first piece I ever published about my mom's suicide. I felt terrified and exposed when "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying” appeared on The Rumpus in 2012 but the response was so incredibly generous, it gave me courage to keep pushing forward with the memoir, a project I hadn't been sure I'd ever have the nerve to fully commit to.

"Kids”, MGMT

"Kids” was stuck in my head for days—probably weeks—after my mom's death. I'm not sure what triggered this, but the lines "Making momma so proud/But your voice is too loud” gave me chills—it perfectly encapsulates my relationship with my mom, who was indeed proud of me, but who also silenced me in many ways. Of course the lines "A baby is born/Crying out for attention” felt so resonant, too, since I had given birth a week before my mom took her own life.

For a long time, whenever I heard this song—and I heard it often, in restaurants, in stores, in waiting rooms—I would burst into tears. I sometimes wondered if my mom was making herself known through the song, if she was with me somehow each time it came on. I recently heard the first tooting notes of it on NPR, and they made the hair on my arms prickle; nearly eight years since her death, I still have a visceral reaction to the song.

"Don't Always Look at the Rain”, Howard Jones

A snippet of this song appears in the book, in a moment where my sister and I were finally starting to crawl out of our stints as "sick girls”, both of us having faked serious illness as teenagers:

"I had my Walkman clamped over my ears, my eyes closed, head tipped back against the plush burgundy seat. I was thinking about being in the backseat of another car, with my first serious boyfriend; we had parked behind a theological seminary the night before, Howard Jones crooning, ‘Don't always look at the rain . . .'

Elizabeth must have known. After weeks, months, years of barely touching, I could feel her reach across the gap between us. I could feel her hand hover over my face, could smell the corn-chip dust on her palm. She must have known I was thinking about a kiss. She laid two fingers across my lips—her index finger, her middle finger; she laid them lightly across my lips like she wanted to take me back to that other backseat.

I opened my eyes, startled. She lifted her fingers from my mouth and looked right at me. Her eyes healthy. Her eyes not shadowed by dark circles, her eyes not bloodshot, her eyelids not heavy and oily looking. Her healthy eyes looking into my healthy eyes. Both of us healthy together. Both of us healthy and looking at each other and not sure what to do next. It had been so long since we had known what to do.”

"Let's Go Crazy”, Prince

Prince was instrumental in helping me find my way back into my body after my time as "the sick girl” (I don't include Prince in the memoir, but did write about him in an early essay, "Purple Bananas”).

I am happy to forgive Prince the use of the word "crazy” but I found myself taking it (along with words like "madness”) out of my memoir, other than when such words were used in direct dialogue, because I didn't want to use language that carried any sort of stigma against mental illness. It's important for me to be thoughtful with my words, and I'm learning more all the time about how to do so. I wish I had stumbled upon the Suicide in the Media Twitter page (@suicidemediabot) and its creator, Dese'Rae L. Stage, sooner.

Des opened my eyes in a fresh way to words I've used regularly without second thought, helped me see that the phrase "commit suicide” is problematic because "commit” makes suicide sound criminal, pathological; in fact, the AP Style Guide began to urge reporters to avoid the phrase unless it's in a direct quote in 2015, instead choosing more objective phrases like "died by suicide”. The phrase thankfully only appears once in my memoir, but I wish I had known not to include it at all. "There are so many colorful things that happen in the subconscious when you hear the word ‘commit',” Des said when we spoke by phone. "How are you ever supposed to get people to understand that suicide is a human experience?” Words can help restore that humanity. And Prince, well—so can he. He definitely helped me restore my own humanity, helped me want to be a healthy, sexual being.

"Clair de Lune”, Claude Debussey

It took me a long time to be able to watch my mother's documentary, The Art of Misdiagnosis (source of my memoir's title), after her death. This song is the first to appear in the film and when I first heard it, the music mirrored the emotions that were swelling inside me, a rush of grief and fear and love. Those piano notes still feel so connected with my decision to transcribe the film and weave it in to my book.

"Tod und Verklärung {Death and Transfiguration}”, Richard Strauss

I only have one of my mom's paintings in my home, one titled "Death and Transfiguration”, named for Strauss' 1888-1889 "tone poem” which chronicles a man's journey from illness through death and beyond. The canvas is widely swathed with glossy black paint. Stenciled letters across the top of the piece, painted a mustardy yellow, represent the initials of my mom's seven dead siblings (HLASLDR); another letter, E, to the left of these letters, represents the love of my mom's life, her sister's married psychiatrist, the one who gave her sister electroshock treatments, the one who introduced her to opera, the one she fell in love with when she was 16 and was in a relationship with until his death ten years later. All of the letters, aside from this E, are connected by lines of red—bloodlines—to a G and B lower on the canvas. My initials, yes, but also her parents', Gertrude and Benjamin. It took me a while to realize that the G is not painted the same yellow as the rest of the letters—it shimmers with gold. Most of my mom's paintings make me cringe for one reason or another, but I like having this one around, even though it's steeped in pain and death. When she talks about this painting in her documentary, which also includes a bit of Strauss' composition, she says "I think it's crucial to pay attention to these spirits that came to me to tell this story and it's, I think it's the hour of the moment of my life to be able to do this.” I felt the same way about writing this memoir—not that spirits of dead family members told me to write it, but it felt crucial; it felt like "the hour of the moment of my life to be able to do this.”

"Lake Shore Drive”, The Innocence Mission

I heard this song for the first time recently when a friend shared it on Facebook, and I thought it captured grief so vividly (plus it's set in Chicago, where I was born, where my parents were both born, so it spoke to me in that way, too). These lyrics hit me in the gut, in the heart:

"I'm going down to Lake Shore Drive
I think I see your face
Now I'm looking for you every place
yes I, yes I, yes I am.
yes I, yes I, yes I am.”

I also was moved by these lines:

"In me will you shine,
shine, shine, will you shine.
shine, will you shine”

As I wrote this memoir, I started to feel my mom shine inside of me, similarly to how her own mother's initial shines golden from her painting. I came to appreciate my mom in a way that I didn't when she was alive, came to see what a remarkable woman she truly was. As complicated as our relationship had been, I'm grateful to claim a spark of her in me now; I hope to use its glimmer well.

Gayle Brandeis and The Art of Misdiagnosis links:

the author's website
the uthor's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book
video trailer for the book

Foreword review
Kirkus review

Fiction Advocate interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for My Life with the Lincolns
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Self Storage
The Rumpus interview with 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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


Shorties (A List of Dystopian Novels by Women for Women, The National's Cover of Cat Power's "Maybe Not," and more)

Literary Hub recommended dystopian novels by and about women.


The National covered Cat Power's "Maybe Not."


26 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists today (bringing the total to 181) , including the Washington Post's best book lists, School Library Journal's best children's book lists, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's best cookbooks.


Longreads features a new essay by Aaron Gilbreath on music and addiction.


eBooks on sale in November.


Secret Shine broke down their new album track-by-track at Drowned in Sound.


The New Yorker has a new Victor LaValle essay.


Stream a new song by The Oh Hellos.


The 2017 National Book Award winners have been announced.


PopMatters interviewed Mac Quale, who scores the television series Mr. Robot.


Manuel Gonzales, Diane Cook, Rachel Khong, and Maggie Shipstead shared dark short stories at BuzzFeed.


Harper's Bazaar listed the year's best new Christmas song.


Bookworm interviewed author Mark Danielewski.


Stream a new Loma song.


Happy birthday, Chinua Achebe.


Rolling Stone profiled My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields.


Signature recommended books on Myanmar.


Stream a new Palehound song.


Marilynne Robinson reflected on Trump's first year in office at the New York Review of Books.


Rolling Stone listed the top 50 pop punk albums of all time.


Margaret Atwood interviewed Louise Erdrich at Elle.


Stream a new Hovvdy song.


Ivy Pochoda talked to BookPage about her novel Wonder Valley.


Stream a new Anna Burch song.


Book Riot recommended great Asian Canadian and Asian American YA books.


Stream a new Hater song.



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 15, 2017

Book Notes - Jessica Keener "Strangers in Budapest"

Strangers in Budapest

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.

Jessica Keener's Strangers in Budapest is a lyrical and captivating literary thriller.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Keener immerses the reader in Budapest's postcommunist period in all its tumultuous glory. As the Gordons get in over their heads in their new city, the author combines strong characters and a riveting plot to craft a memorable novel."


In her own words, here is Jessica Keener's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Strangers in Budapest:



Much like the main character, Annie Gordon, in Strangers in Budapest, I lived in Budapest for a year in the mid-1990s with my husband and infant son. It was a fascinating time to be there. The Russians had left Hungary after occupying it for 50 years. In the wake of this major cultural shift, Budapest was riding on an influx of new ideas, people, and ways of doing things. Americans and Europeans were pouring in, seeking opportunities to make fast money. Everyone was charmed by the city’s decrepit quaintness and potential. Yet, it was impossible not to experience the restless undercurrent of the country’s dark, convoluted past. All the characters in the novel are restless too, struggling with unresolved questions.

Running through the middle of the city (and my novel) the Danube is a constant presence that serves as a reflective symbol of both nightmares and dreams. It also sets the stage for my story in the opening paragraph: But, like all things in this city, the river that glittered at night concealed a darker surface under the day’s harsh sun.

In assembling this playlist, the iconic Talking Heads song, “Take Me To the River” (written by Al Green and Teenie Hodges) became the obvious first choice to lead things off.

Talking Heads - “Take Me to the River” refers to the scene in the opening chapter, where Annie and Will Gordon are crossing a bridge over the Danube in Budapest. On a mission to fulfill a neighbor’s urgent and unsettling request, they have no clue that they are about to walk into a nest of terrible trouble.

“Magical Mystery Tour” by the Beatles, mixes glitter and fantasy with a dash of uneasiness. In the novel, Annie tries to stay upbeat and positive. Living as an expat in Budapest, she is captured by the sparkle of the city’s visual beauty. Yet, the city is foreign and mysterious, which heightens her feeling of “otherness” and of being untethered and in danger of floating away.

“Budapest” by George Ezra – This upbeat pop song mirrors the culture’s whimsical side. Hungarians have a light and subversive sense of humor. As the song says, Budapest is a hidden treasure. There is much to discover in its alleyways, corner markets, and wide boulevards.

Liszt piano concerto no. 1 in e flat – played by virtuoso pianist Martha Argerich, and written by the famous Hungarian composer, Franz Liszt, is a tempestuous, moody, delicate, and theatrical work. I chose this to reveal the temperament of Annie’s relationship with Edward Weiss, an elderly and ailing American who has come to Budapest to find the man he believes murdered his daughter.

“The Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers is a pounding rock instrumental that pairs perfectly with Edward Weiss’s personality. Edward is in his seventies who spends much of his day lashing himself with self-loathing, regret, and rage about his daughter’s untimely death.

“Can’t Find My Way Home” sung by Bonnie Raitt (written by Steve Winwood) is a good accompaniment to Annie’s own muddled journey to find her center and emotional home. Drawn to helping others, her biggest challenge is helping herself discover what she has been avoiding and running from.

“Walk the Dog & Light the Light” by Laura Nyro is an uptempo song about everyday life, about living and loving, and hoping, which is what Annie and Will are trying to do with their own unsettled lives in a foreign country. Even though Annie feels estranged in a strange land, she is still part of the stream of humanity filling Budapest’s crowded sidewalks and streets. I also picked this song to honor one of the greatest songwriters and singers of the 20th century—whose musical intelligence and heart embraces every aspect of life and rises above the confines of any country.

“Willows” by Vanessa Carlton (from her Liberman album) has a line in it that says: “But memories they don’t stay behind us.” For Annie and all the main characters in the novel, as well as Budapest, the past intrudes into the present. Budapest is scarred by its historic failures, including the decimation of 800,000 Jews during WW2. Annie is unable to ignore the memory flashes of a tragic childhood accident.

“White Rabbit” sung by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane points to the novel’s underlying questions about reality. At the center of Strangers in Budapest is Annie’s pursuit to learn what is or isn’t true. Who is or isn’t lying? And to discern how her emotions and fears may or may not be distorting her perceptions of reality.

“The Creator Has A Master Plan” written by and featuring Pharoah Sanders, jazz saxophonist extraordinaire, underscores my own belief that life’s confusions and conflicts, its cross currents of emotional and spiritual ambiguities can coalesce into something universally forgiving and loving. For Annie, this means searching for higher meaning for herself and others, despite tragedy and loss.


Jessica Keener and Strangers in Budapest links:

the author's website

Publishers Weekly review

HuffPost interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Night Swim
Largehearted Boy playlist by the author for Women in Bed


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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 15th

For the tenth straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating regularly.

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

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


Today's Update to the Online Year-end "Best of 2017" Book Lists:


Book Riot (best literary-related TED talks)
Conversations (top books for young readers)
Conversations (top fiction books)
Library Journal (indie ebooks)
Michael Magras (favorite books)
Natalie Castle (top books)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (best cookbooks)
Rainy Day Ramblings (favorite surprise books)
The Sapling (best YA books)
School Library Journal (best chapter books)
School Library Journal (best middle grade books)
School Library Journal (best nonfiction books)
School Library Journal (best picture books)
School Library Journal (best young adult books)
Washington Post (best audiobooks)
Washington Post (best books)
Washington Post (best children's books)
Washington Post (best graphic novels)
Washington Post (best memoirs)
Washington Post (best mysteries and thrillers)
Washington Post (best poetry collections)
Washington Post (best romance novels)
Washington Post (best science fiction and fantasy novels)
Washington Post (notable fiction)
Washington Post (notable nonfiction)
While She Naps (fantastic craft books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

updates to the lists of "Best Books of 2017" list

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
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists

2016 Online Year-end Music Lists
2015 Online Year-end Music Lists
2014 Online Year-end Music Lists
2013 Online Year-end Music Lists
2012 Online Year-end Music Lists
2011 Online Year-end Music Lists
2010 Online Year-end Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Music Lists
2009 Online Year-end Music Lists
2008 Online Year-end Music Lists
2007 Online Year-end Music Lists
2006 Online Year-end Music Lists
other lists at Largehearted Boy

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


Shorties (Louise Erdrich Profiled, New Music from Bjork, and more)

BuzzFeed profiled author Louise Erdrich.


Stream a new Bjork song.


12 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy's aggregation of "best books of 2017" lists (bringing the total to 155) Monday, including Kirkus's best fiction lists and iNews's best soccer books.


The Creative Independent interviewed singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten.


Fanzine interviewed author Hanif Abdurraqib.


Stream a new S. Carey song.



Drowned in Sound profiled the band Protomartyr.


Black Lawrence Press interviewed author Jen Michalski.


Stream a new Mavis Staples song.


The Bulaq Podcast is a new podcast about Arabic literature.


Now, Now played a Tiny Desk Concert.


Salon interviewed authors Eileen G'Sell, Garth Risk Hallberg, Bill McKibben, Richard Thomas, and Kevin Young.



The OTHERPPL podcast interviewed author Elizabeth Ellen.


The Charleston City Paper profiled Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield.


Book Riot recommended November's best fiction and poetry in translation.


Stream a new Screaming Females song.


Literary Hub interviewed author John McPhee.


Pittsburgh City Paper interviewed singer-songwriter David Bazan.


Joan Silber interviewed herself at The Nervous Breakdown.

Read a excerpt from her new novel, Improvement.


Courtney Marie Andrews covered "I'll Be Home for Christmas."


Authors shared Thanksgiving traditions at the New York Times.


Stream a new Saintseneca song.


Entertainment Weekly interviewed author Lauren Groff.



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, 2017

Book Notes - Amy P. Knight "Lost, Almost"

Lost, Almost

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.

Amy P. Knight's novel Lost, Almost is a stunning debut.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Through spare and precise language, Knight’s debut novel follows three generations of the Brooks family as they are both nurtured and impeded by their physicist patriarch…Knight avoids easy conclusions and balances this intergenerational story with levity, honesty, and just the right measure of heartbreak."


In her own words, here is Amy P. Knight's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Lost, Almost:



The Temptation of Adam, Josh Ritter

In writing this book, I had to think a lot about the anxiety that comes with the ability to abruptly end the world. Sometimes it's almost crippling, but other times, it yields very different emotions. This song is a great example of what, besides despair, we can take from thoughts that it might all be coming to an end.

Never Ending Math Equation, Modest Mouse

Early in the book, a near-impossible math equation arises and puts some of our heroes to the test. I imagine this song playing in the background while they sweat it out.

Loner Phase, Cold War Kids

To me this song is about being in the grip of a powerful personality. It's not quite like idolizing someone, but rather, realizing that you have a tendency to do so, and that it isn't reciprocated. Maybe it's romantic love in the song, but it works just as well for any sort of relationship… family, colleagues, neighbors…

I Saw Her Standing There, The Beatles

The song came around a decade too late for the scene in the book, but it captured a feeling as old as time. She was just seventeen. You know what I mean.

Helplessly Hoping, Crosby, Stills & Nash

Helplessness might just be the most painful human feeling.
This is the only song on the list that actually makes an appearance in the book. Curtis and Melanie listen to it as love-struck teenagers, and I chose it mainly because it seemed like the kind of sweet song of the right era that they'd have liked. But I think it has a deeper resonance with the logic of the book's emotions. Stephen Stills wrote this song about a break-up with Judy Collins, who was struggling with her own formidable demons at the time. Like Judy, the people in this book are trapped by something extraordinarily difficult, and people outside that orbit—Celine, Charlotte, to some extent Melanie—often want to help, but what can they do in the face of overwhelming force? Not to mention the attempt to express love in the language of numbers.

Nuclear, Ryan Adams

In creating this playlist I've been struck by how very many songs out there use nuclear explosions as a metaphor. You could say that makes it unoriginal, but I think instead it's just so spot-on for some situations that it recurs again and again. This is one of my favorite songs to use it. It's a love song of sorts, but I think that would be lost on many of my characters. They exist in the literal half, not the metaphorical half, of these songs.

I'm Bored, Iggy Pop

As a child, Melanie suffers from boredom because she doesn't have a dramatic, demanding family like the Brooks family. This song perfectly captures that don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself feeling, not just in saying so, but also in its tone, the way it plays with words, its sound.

Nuclear Love, The Kinks

Sometimes, when you're obsessed with something, other things exist only through that lens. In the world of this book, there's a kind of shared obsession with nuclear physics. Everything—even love—becomes about physics. In that spirit, "If you should find that your love's like an atom and it's spinning apart. . ."

Silver Coin, Angus & Julia Stone

I first thought of this song because of the title—silver coins play a significant role in the book—but ultimately I think this is Curtis's song, about not having the strength to say what really needs to be said to hold onto someone. In the song it's an internal struggle—just the courage to say you love someone—and in the book it's a struggle that's both internal and external, against powerful forces. In both cases, the pulsing beat of this song, and the strings in the background, have a lot to say about wishing you had been a stronger person.

Mother, Pink Floyd

This song has a profoundly dark view of the world – a view I think might be shared by the disgraced scientist Diego Salerno toward the end of the book. Diego ultimately doesn't allow himself to be protected—perhaps a better outcome for him than what we hear in the song. But perhaps not.

Province, TV on the Radio

"Love is the province of the brave." I think of Curtis Brooks when I hear this song. He tries to very hard to be brave, but bless him, he just can't do it. I think the song itself is hopeful in a sense—it recognizes the deep challenges of love but comes out on the side of doing it anyway—but when I think about it in this context it feels incredibly sad.

The Calculation, Regina Spektor

It's so tempting to think you can chart everything out. Use logic to figure out exactly how life would most make sense, and put that into practice. Maybe that is possible, but it can't possibly be worth the cost that would have—ignoring feelings, which can't be calculated. There are characters in the book who make—or almost make—that mistake. I'd like to play this song for them and see what they make of it.

Dinner at Eight, Rufus Wainwright

Father/son drama figures in this book on multiple axes. There is no more gorgeous song about strife between a father and son than this Rufus tear-jerker.

My Mathematical Mind, Spoon

I see this as a song about overthinking everything, especially where relationships are concerned. There's a liberation that comes with this song. It's in the lyrics – "I'm gonna stop riding the brakes"—but it's also in the music. It has a very regimented sound in the waltz piano that runs underneath throughout. The sound breaks free a bit with the guitars as the song progresses. Still, that driving piano logic is always under there. There's no escaping it.

Emotions and Math, Margaret Glaspy

If this book had a subtitle, "Emotions and Math" might just be it.


Amy P. Knight and Lost, Almost links:

the author's website

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly 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

Largehearted Boy's 2017 Summer Reading Suggestions

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


Shorties (An Interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, A Critical Evaluation of Taylor Swift's Poetry, and more)

The Atlantic interviewed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


Stephanie Burt considered new poems by Taylor Swift at Cosmopolitan.


12 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy's aggregation of "best books of 2017" lists (bringing the total to 155) yesterday, including Kirkus's best fiction lists and iNews's best soccer books.


Stream a new Line & Circle song.


Book Riot recommended books about the Israel/Palestine conflict.


Stream a new Brandi Carlile song.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Joe Bonomo.


Angel Olsen visited Morning Becomes Eclectic for an interview and live performance.


eBooks on sale in November


Stream new music from Emptyskin.


The Globe and Mail shared new fiction by Heather O'Neill.


PopMatters reviewed the new Protomartyr album.


PEN America interviewed poet sam sax.


Stream a new Dream Wife song.


The Root recommended science fiction and fantasy made by black people for black people.


Rough Trade listed its top 100 albums of 2017.


Literary Hub shared a new Rebecca Solnit essay.


Jessica Hopper and Oliver Wang have joined the editorial team of the American Music series, which is published by the University of Texas Press.


Signature listed overlooked books finding new life in new editions.


The Hilarious World of Depression podcast interviewed Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.


Book Riot recommended books about Detroit.


The Rumpus interviewed Gayle Brandeis about her memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis.

Read an excerpt from the book.



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, 2017

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 13th

For the tenth straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating regularly.

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

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


Today's Update to the Online Year-end "Best of 2017" Book Lists:


Do Lectures (must-read books)
iNews (best soccer books)
Kirkus (best debut novels)
Kirkus (best fiction for book clubs)
Kirkus (best fiction with a twist of magic)
Kirkus (best fictional families)
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 collections)


also at Largehearted Boy:

updates to the lists of "Best Books of 2017" list

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
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists

2016 Online Year-end Music Lists
2015 Online Year-end Music Lists
2014 Online Year-end Music Lists
2013 Online Year-end Music Lists
2012 Online Year-end Music Lists
2011 Online Year-end Music Lists
2010 Online Year-end Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Music Lists
2009 Online Year-end Music Lists
2008 Online Year-end Music Lists
2007 Online Year-end Music Lists
2006 Online Year-end Music Lists
other lists at Largehearted Boy

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


Shorties (Kevin Young on His New Book, Julien Baker on Her New Album, and more)

Kevin Young discussed his book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-facts, and Fake News with All Things Considered.


Julien Baker broke down her Turn Out the Lights album track-by-track with Pitchfork.


15 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy's aggregation of "best books of 2017" lists (bringing the total to 143), including The Spectator's books of the year, Parents' best children's books, and Readings' Australian literary blockbusters.


NPR Music is streaming Charlotte Gainsbourg's new album Rest.


The Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed Emily Wilson about her translation of The Odyssey, the first by a woman.


Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile shared their favorite songs at All Songs Considered.


Electric Literature shared an excerpt from my favorite excerpt of the year, Myriam Gurba's Mean.


R.I.P. Fred Cole of Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Elmore Leonard's novel Gold Coast
Patrick deWitt's novel Undermajordomo Minor

eBooks on sale in November


Jessica Lea Mayfield visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


The Atlantic features a new essay by Leslie Jamison.


Stream a new True Blue song.


The New Yorker features a new comic by Gabrielle Bell.


The Quietus recommended entry points into the discography of Tom Waits.


Jesmyn Ward talked to the Guardian and Minnesota Public Radio about her novel Sing, Unburied, Sing.


The A.V. Club recommended the week's best new albums.


The South China Morning Post profiled author Min Jin Lee.


Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss discussed the band's new album Kid Khruschev with Paste.


Kayhan Life interviewed author Porochista Khakpour.


Pitchfork interviewed Thurston Moore.


Salon interviewed Lidia Yuknavitch about her book The Misfit's Manifesto.

Literary Hub shared 's essay from the anthology We Can’t Help It We’re From Florida: New Stories from a Sinking Peninsula.


Weekend Edition interviewed MIke Mills and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. about the 25th anniversary edition of Automatic for the People.


The Rumpus interviewed author Megan Stielstra.


CarolineLeavittville interviewed author Joan Silber.


Marc Maron interviewed Kim Deal of the Breeders.


The Guardian profiled author Nick Harkaway.



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


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