December 6, 2016

Shorties (Ann Patchett's Recommended Independent Bookstores, NPR Music's Top Songs of 2016, and more)

Ann Patchett recommended independent bookstores to visit.


NPR Music named its top 100 songs of 2016.


38 "best books of 2016" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy Saturday (bringing the total number to 476), including Kirkus Reviews' nonfiction lists, the Observers best biographies, and Laura Miller's favorite books.


Ebooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Beer Money by Frances Stroh
Edward Unspooled by Craig Lancaster
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Memoirs by Tennessee Williams
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai
The Sky Over Lima by Juan Gómez Bárcena
Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
Sweet Caress by William Boyd
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt
Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
Vertigo by W.G. Sebald
Welcome to the Monkeyhouse by Kurt Vonnegut

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Beasts and Children by Amy Parker
You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs


The Quietus listed its albums of the year.


Elle hosted a discussion between authors Piyali Bhattacharya and Tanwi Nandini Islam.


Stream the Beatles' Christmas Singles Club songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


Book Riot recommended December's best new graphic novels.


Stream Anohni's "Obama" video.


VICE's annual fiction issue is online and features new stories by Roxane Gay, Ottessa Moshfegh, Rachel Cusk, and others.


Stream a new Six Organs of Admittance song.


Bookworm interviewed author Mitch Sisskind.


Stream a new Hurray for the Riff Raff song.


Ms. interviewed author Mary Karr.


Stream Sloan's new holiday song.


CCM interviewed author Janice Lee.


The Austin American-Statesman interviewed singer-songwriter Amanda Shires.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Vi Khi Nao.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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)
weekly music release lists

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us





December 5, 2016

Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists Update - December 5th

The Largehearted Boy List of Online 'Best of 2016' Book Lists

For the ninth 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 daily.

The Master List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

Other daily updates to the 2016 master list.

Revisit previous years' collections of year-end book lists: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade).


Today's additions to the Online Year-end "Best of 2015" Book Lists:

Bioteaching (top botany books)
Bioteaching (top climate change books)
Bioteaching (top environmentalism books)
Bioteaching (top paleontology books)
Charged Affairs (best foreign affairs books)
Dianne's Vegan Kitchen (vegan cookbooks)
Eat Your Books (best cookbooks)
Eve Tushnet (best books)
Irish Times (best sports books)
J.C. Hart (books)
Kirkus (best biographies)
Kirkus (best books about science and technology)
Kirkus (best books about shocking tales of injustice)
Kirkus (best books for lovers of the literary arts)
Kirkus (best books to explain current politics)
Kirkus (best books with truly inspirational characters)
Kirkus (best heartrending nonfiction)
Kirkus (best history books)
Kirkus (best memoirs)
Kirkus (best sports and entertainment books)
Kong Tsung-gan (best human rights books)
The Kyx Brothers (best books)
Minnesota Pubic Radio (poets' favorite poetry collections)
Northern Crime (top crime books)
Not Without My Bowler Hat (top books)
Observer (best art books)
Observer (best biographies)
Observer (best science books)
On Point (best books)
Paste (best book covers)
Renaissance Nerd (books for leaders)
School Library Journal (best LatinX books)
Scots Whay Hae! (best books)
Slate - Laura Miller (favorite books)
TES (best children's books)
Unequally Yoked (favorite books)
Vampire Book Club (best books)
Writability (diverse books resource list)


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily updates to the master list

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

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)

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

Shorties (Mary Wisniewski on Her Nelson Algren Biography, Johnny Marr on His Autobiography, and more)

Electric Literature interviewed Mary Wisniewski about her Nelson Algren biography.


Guitarist Johnny Marr discussed his autobiography Set the Boy Free with Salon.


24 "best books of 2016" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy Saturday (bringing the total number to 438), including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's best books, the Observer's best fiction & poetry books, and the Sunday Times' best food books.


Ebooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Beer Money by Frances Stroh
Edward Unspooled by Craig Lancaster
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Memoirs by Tennessee Williams
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai
The Sky Over Lima by Juan Gómez Bárcena
Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
Sweet Caress by William Boyd
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt
Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
Vertigo by W.G. Sebald
Welcome to the Monkeyhouse by Kurt Vonnegut

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Beasts and Children by Amy Parker
You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs


Peter Silberman of Antlers discussed his forthcoming solo album with All Songs Considered.


Garth Greenwell, Jade Sharma and Rebecca Schiff offered advice on writing sex scenes (and recommended authors who do it well) at Huffington Post.


Stream a new Grandaddy song.


Read a new story by Ottessa Moshfegh at Vice.


Stream a new Father John Misty song.


The Rumpus interviewed author Imbolo Mbue.


Amanda Shires visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Cartoonist Roz Chast discussed her favorite books at The Week.


The A.V. Club reminisced about band name trends of the past ten years.


Elle and BuzzFeed previewed December's best new books.


Paste profiles singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus.


Marcy Dermansky discussed her new novel The Red Car with Weekend Edition.


Pinegrove played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed Michael Chabon about his novel Moonglow.


Drowned in Sound interviewed teh members of Sleigh Bells.


Vulture previewed December's best new comics.


Download the free 17-track Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation Vol. 6.


Author Jason Diamond Interview magazine.


Stream a new Feelies song.


Authors discussed the first books they fell in love with at Literary Hub.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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)
weekly music release lists

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

Largehearted Boy Weekly Wrap-Up - December 5, 2016

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


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

Jason Diamond for his memoir Searching for John Hughes
Kevin Smokler for his book Brat Pack America
Marcy Dermansky for her novel The Red Car
Meredith Alling for her short story collection Sing the Song


Lists

Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Daily updates to the list


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)


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:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

December 4, 2016

Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists Update - December 4th

The Largehearted Boy List of Online 'Best of 2016' Book Lists

For the ninth 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 daily.

The Master List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

Other daily updates to the 2016 master list.

Revisit previous years' collections of year-end book lists: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade).


Today's additions to the Online Year-end "Best of 2015" Book Lists:

A. C. Wise (favorite novels, collections, and anthologies)
Alliterative Anxieties (favorite fiction)
Berkeley Heights Public Library (most checked out books)
Bioteaching (top historical geology books)
Book Beat (favorite books)
Carolina Bento (top books)
CSMCL (best books)
Daily Bulldog (top books)
Daily Mail (best books)
Durham Herald-Sun (best books)
Entropy (best fiction)
Evansville Courier & Press (books)
FastCoDesign (best designed design books)
Librairie Drawn and Quarterly - Benjamin (favourite books)
Madeleine D'Este (favourite books)
Observer (best ficton)
Observer (best graphic books)
Observer (best poetry books)
Pierce County Library System (best books)
SCC English (list of book lists)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (best books)
Sunday Times (best food books)
Susan Fish (top books)
Vail Daily (best books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily updates to the master list

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

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)

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

December 3, 2016

Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists Update - December 3rd

The Largehearted Boy List of Online 'Best of 2016' Book Lists

For the ninth 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 daily.

The Master List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

Other daily updates to the 2016 master list.

Revisit previous years' collections of year-end book lists: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade).


Today's additions to the Online Year-end "Best of 2015" Book Lists:

The Age (Australian authors' favourite books)
Bioteaching (top ecology books)
Bioteaching (top geology books)
Britfic (favourite books)
BuzzFeed (hottest romance books)
Caroline County Public Library (favorite books)
CKNY (best cookbooks)
Daily Missoulian (best books)
Ear Chic Chicago (best healthy cookbooks)
Financial Times (best book lists)
Food & Wine (best cookbooks)
Globe and Mail (best books)
Guardian (best books on drink)
Guardian (best books on food)
Guardian (best children's books)
Guardian (best nature books)
Irish Times (favourite books)
JP O'Malley (favorite books)
Michael Matuzak (favorite books)
Mother Jones (notable books)
NetGalley UK (books of the year)
Our Daily Read (best children's books)
Publishers Weekly (authors' favorite books)
R & R…Readers and Reference (favourite books)
Smithsonian (best "art meets science" books)
Washington Post (most ambitious, irritating, hopeful and overrated books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily updates to the master list

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

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)

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

December 2, 2016

Book Notes - Meredith Alling "Sing the Song"

Sing the Song

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.

Meredith Alling's short story collection Sing the Song is powerful and unsettling.

Vol. 1 Brooklyn wrote of the book:

"Alling has managed to write a collection that succeeds to, as Alan Partiridge might say, 'Straight away, you’ve got them by the jaffers.' Whether you've got jaffers or not, these stories will undoubtedly grab you."


In her own words, here is Meredith Alling's Book Notes music playlist for her short story collection Sing the Song:



I can't listen to anything while I'm writing. A friend recently told me that they listen to podcasts while writing. Podcasts! I can't even listen to an instrumental. I need total silence; it's not ideal. This means that for the most part, I write at home, usually in my bed, with only the occasional airplane or helicopter noise in the background, or a dog barking, or—worst case—a leaf-blower. Sometimes I also listen to my neighbor calling his cats in.

So what I've made is a playlist of songs that I love and relate to my book on a mood level.

Mazzy Star - "She's My Baby"

Sometimes when I'm stressed out, I look up old videos of Mazzy Star performing. Hope Sandoval is sweet-looking—textbook waif—with a wavy, astral voice. I thought of her—and this song—when I was writing the story Rita. "She's my baby, ain't that something?"

Failure - "The Nurse Who Loved Me"

I was big into Failure in college. I'm not going to make a joke here. This song has always sounded to me like a record played on the wrong speed; it's bendy and strong. "She's got everything I need: pharmacy keys."

Superdrag - "Annetichrist"

When I was 15, I became friends with an older guy in a Michigan rock band. I used to go to punk shows at The Shelter and St. Andrews and The Magic Stick, and sometimes I'd see his band play. I don't remember how much older he was than me, but I think four or five years. He made me a mixtape that introduced me to bands I still love, like Ida and Jets to Brazil, and later, he made me a tape with Slint on one side and Superdrag on the other. He gave it to me when he picked me up in his van one night to go to Big Boy. I remember looking at his powder blue turtleneck while he ate spaghetti. "Crazy how when I get shattered, nothing's cool, nothing matters."

Warpaint - "Disco//very"

Warpaint is an all-women rock band and very, very cool. I love this song and dancing in slow motion to it. "Don't you battle, we'll kill you."

Morrissey - "He Knows I'd Love to See Him"

When I was 22, I was really close to getting a tattoo that said "Patrick Michael" above my heart. What of it. "He knows, he knows, or I think he does."

The Beach Boys - "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)"

I read that Brian Wilson said this is one of the sweetest songs he ever sang, childlike and innocent. It's definitely sweet, but it's also a dirge. "Come close, close your eyes and be still."

Cap'n Jazz - "In The Clear"

I had to make a pinewood derby car for science class in tenth grade, and I painted it red and wrote a lyric from this song on the side: "ABCDEFGHIJKLOST." I won (I didn't).

Todd Terje feat. Bryan Ferry - "Johnny and Mary"

A yoga instructor played this song during savasana about six months ago (savasana is when you lie flat at the end of class like you're dead and just completely chill), and I couldn't focus on relaxing because I was straining to hear the lyrics so I could look it up after. It's a cover of a song by Robert Palmer, and it sounds like Twins Peaks x David Bowie. "Mary says he's lacking a real sense of proportion."

Drake - "Too Much"

I'm legally obligated, as a member of year-strong Drake-related text group and an all-around fan and defender, to include a song by the kid, Champagne Papi, the 6 God. It's fun to hate Drake; I understand. He was on the TV! And his voice is funny! And he tells women not to talk to other men, and that their boyfriends aren't cool, and that he made them, but here's the thing: when I listen to Drake, I feel pure, clean, effortless happiness. I'll take it. "Done saying I'm done playing."


Meredith Alling and Sing the Song links:

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

Vol. 1 Brooklyn review

The Nervous Breakdown interview with the author
Otherppl interview with the author
Vol. 1 Brooklyn interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists Update - December 2nd

The Largehearted Boy List of Online 'Best of 2016' Book Lists

For the ninth 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 daily.

The Master List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

Other daily updates to the 2016 master list.

Revisit previous years' collections of year-end book lists: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade).


Today's additions to the Online Year-end "Best of 2015" Book Lists:

Alohamora Open a Book (best children's book)
Barnes and Noble (best young adult books)
Big Comic Page (best comics)
Bioteaching (top evolution books)
Boswell Bookstore (top books)
Cosmos (top illustrated science books)
Entropy (best nonfiction books)
Financial Times (books)
GAlexandra (best cookbooks for millenials)
Guardian (best gardening books)
Guardian (best music books)
Guardian (best sports books)
Guardian (best stocking stuffer books)
Guardian (favourite cookbooks)
Huffington Post (best film books)
Justagirlwithabookdream (favourite books)
Kottke (best books)
Library Journal (best genre fiction)
Library Journal (best graphic novels)
Library Journal (best nonfiction)
Library Journal (best poetry books)
Library Journal (top books)
Live Food Laugh Food (favorite books)
London Evening Standard (funniest books)
Marginal Revolution (best fiction)
MIchael Magras (favorite books)
Mother Jones (favorite books)
New York Public Library (best books for kids and teens)
Readings (best crossover YA books)
Science Friday (best science books)
Smithsonian (bets books about food)
Suffolk Libraries (best books)
Today's Parent (best kids' books)
Vogue (best books)
Well Plated (best cookbooks)
The What (top fiction books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily updates to the master list

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

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)

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

Atomic Books Comics Preview - December 2, 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.


A.D. After Death Book 01

A.D. After Death Book 01
by Scott Snyder / Jeff Lemire

A.D. is what happens when two of comics' best writers team up on a book. Snyder's writing mixed with Lemire's art creates a fascinating and complex story about a time after we cure death. Generally, I'm not a fan of mixing prose in with comics (hey, if I wanted to read prose, I'd read a novel!), A.D. is the rare example where it works beautifully - due in no small part to Snyder's excellent writing and Lemire's compelling art. This book (part one of a three part series) is a must-read book of the year.


Black Hood: An Anthology of Depression and Anxiety

Black Hood: An Anthology of Depression and Anxiety
edited by Josh Bayer

This killer anthology comic explores aspects of depression and anxiety - something not uncommon in the comics community (or the general population this time of year). It features heartfelt and sincere work by John Porcellino, Box Brown, Tara Booth, Noah Van Sciver, Elizabeth Bethea, Josh Simmons, Mike Freiheit, Pat Aulisio, Heleigh Buck, and many more.


Life And Legend Of Wallace Wood Volume 1

Life And Legend Of Wallace Wood Volume 1
by Wallace Wood

When one says the words "greatest illustrators of all time" one of the first names that should automatically come to everyone's mind is Wally Wood: Commercial illustrator, EC comics cartoonist (who publisher Ernest Gaines described as EC's most troubled and also one of their best artists), one of MAD Magazine's original Usual Gang of Idiots. This gorgeous, large hardcover lavishly illustrated with Wood's work and personal photos looks at the life of an American treasure.


Math Magazine #3

Math Magazine #3
by MacKenzie

This new journal presents smut for the high-minded. Finding inspiration from everything from vintage erotica to Instagram feeds and cam websites - Math offers well-photographed porn and well-considered erotica.


Paper Girls Volume 2

Paper Girls Volume 2
by Brian K Vaughan / Cliff Chiang

Okay, everyone. The new Paper Girls collection is out. I feel like this should be some kind of holiday. In this volume, there is a dramatic shift the story.


Slow Reader Magazine Volume 1

Slow Reader Magazine Volume 1
by Sumanth Prabhaker

The first issue of this excellent lit journal focuses on the influence of fiction master Haruki Murakami. It features contributions from Jesse Ball, Jeffrey Brown, Raymond Carver, Tess Gallagher, Daniel Handler, Etgar Keret, Chris Ware, and many more.


Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks

Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks
by Fletcher Hanks

It was the previous two collections of Hanks work that helped establish the genre of outsider superhero comics artist. Fantagraphics here generously collects those two now hard to find volumes into one fantastic, large hardcover.


Wuvable Oaf: Blood And Metal

Wuvable Oaf: Blood And Metal
by Ed Luce

Ed Luce's lovable, wuvable Oaf looks for love in the metal and wrestling scenes of San Francisco. This is just the comic for fans of metal, bears, cats, and, well, comics.


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:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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 (December's Best New Books, A New Holiday Song from Low, and more)

Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Vulture, and Signature previewed December's best new books.


Stream a new Low holiday song.


39 "best books of 2016" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy Saturday (bringing the total number to 376), including The New York Times' best books, the Minneapolis Star/Tribune's best books, and Chicago Tribune's best cookbooks.


Ebooks on sale for $1.99 today:

Beer Money by Frances Stroh
Edward Unspooled by Craig Lancaster
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Memoirs by Tennessee Williams
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai
The Sky Over Lima by Juan Gómez Bárcena
Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
Sweet Caress by William Boyd
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt
Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
Vertigo by W.G. Sebald
Welcome to the Monkeyhouse by Kurt Vonnegut

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

Beasts and Children by Amy Parker
You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs


Stream a solo song from Peter Silberman of the Antlers.


Bustle previewed December's best new fiction and nonfiction books.


Stream a new song by Sia.


Stream a new version of Tracy Bonham's song "Brain Crack" that features Kathryn Calder.


The Times Literary Supplement recommended sixty works of fiction by women.


Decorate your Christmas tree with new wave ornaments.


The Rumpus interviewed author Vi Khi Nao.


Mexrissey, the Mexican Morrissey cover band, visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Literary Hub recommended great movies based on unusual literary material.


Stream a new Cayetana song.


Actress Anna Kendrick talked books and reading with the New York Times.


The Drive-By Truckers visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Flavorwire interviewed author Claire Beams.


The Guardian listed the best music books of 2016.


Broad City's Abbi Jacobson talked books and reading with Bustle.


LA Music Blog recommended holiday songs.


The finalist for the NBCC's 2016 John Leonard Prize (for first book in any genre) have been announced:

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
The Girls, by Emma Cline
Here Comes the Sun, by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
The Nix, by Nathan Hill
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, by Max Porter


Stream Melvins' cover of "Carol of the Bells."


Author Jonathan Lethem talked breakfast with Extra Crispy.


Stream a new Strand of Oaks song.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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)
weekly music release lists

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December 1, 2016

Book Notes - Kevin Smokler "Brat Pack America"

Brat Pack America

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.

Kevin Smokler's riveting and well-researched Brat Pack America explores the enduring appeal of '80s films.


In his own words, here is Kevin Smokler's Book Notes music playlist for his book Brat Pack America:



Tell someone you’re working on a book about 80s teen movies and there’s even money they’ll will follow up with “You mean like The Breakfast Club?” At which point, there’s better than even money one of you will sing a refrain from Simple Minds’s “Don’t You Forget About Me,’ the movie’s theme and sonic stand in for writer/director John Hughes’s entire body of work and the generation who saw this 90-minute story of five high schoolers in Saturday detention as The Iceman Cometh of Reagan Era.

Which all makes sense and why wouldn’t you? I wrote a book about 80s teen movies because I have great love for these very movies and their place of honor in my own growing up. Prompt me and I’d break into a verse of “Don’t You Forget About Me” at a state funeral.

But in writing Brat Pack America I had something different in mind than a rapturous nostalgia trip. I wanted to look at not only what we already loved about The Breakfast Club and Heathers and House Party but also what we might have missed, their wonders that hid in plain sight, that testified even further to their greatness.

Soundtracks are rich pickings for those hidden gifts. So for my Book Notes playlist I made an 8–song EP from 80s teen movies you might not know even if you probably do know the movies they came from.


1. “We Are Not Alone” – Karla Devito. The Breakfast Club

The song underling the movie’s dance montage where each member of the soon-to-be-named Breakfast Club bear their souls via the boogie (remember Ally Sheedy’s all-limb shake that ends with a collapse on the floor?) New wave keyboard leads with a jagged female vocal resemble Kim Wilde wearing a torn army jacket. Lyrically, about not being afraid of intimacy, a more direct take on the message of the movie than “Don’t You Forget About Me, ” about the unknown of a new relationship aka what might happen when they all get back to school on Monday.

Trivia:

The “library” in The Breakfast Club was actually the school’s gymnasium. The actors changed clothes in nearby locker rooms.


2. “Miss Amanda Jones” – The March Violets. Some Kind of Wonderful

Unfairly minimized as “Pretty in Pink with the right ending”, Some Kind of Wonderful was a leap forward for John Hughes’s writing of female characters. The “Amanda Jones” in question parallels the Blaine character in Pink but here is a working class kid who knows her beauty has nabbed her a rich boyfriend and feels lousy about it. The sensitivity that Hughes writes and Leah Thompson plays this moral conflict turns a bouncy brit-pop cover of a classic rock hit (a favorite trick of Hughes’s. The original by the Rolling Stones shows up in the movie too) into a lot more than just a character’s theme song. Told in third person but sung collectively by women, it’s the sound representation of Amanda Jones understanding of herself as an object of desire and her agency in overcoming it.

Trivia:

John Hughes had a thing for the Rolling Stones and named the three principal characters in Some Kind of Wonderful—Keith, Watts, and Amanda Jones--after Rolling Stones band members and tunes.


3. “Invincible” – Pat Benatar. Legend of Billie Jean

The Legend of Billie Jean was a notorious flop in the summer of 1985 with blame often thrown at “Invincible”, a top ten hit the filmmakers had play about 85 times during the film. Since both soundtracks and a young MTV were becoming an important force in teen cinema, critics laughed off Billie Jean as a 100-minute music video trying and failing to be a movie too.

To borrow its most famous line, “Fair is Fair!” The dystopian tale of kids-running-from-the-law-across-a-heartless-desert-landscape, Billie Jean feels not like “Love is a Battlefield: The Movie” but a younger sibling to 70s cult classics like Vanishing Point and Two-Lane-Blacktop. And although “Invincible” is the most straightforward 80s pop number Pat Benatar ever did (I’ve got it on a weightlifting playlist next to “Eye of the Tiger.” It works), its erratic drum fills and melody that resembles night failing say “menace” and “unease” rather than raise your fist in salute. The Legend of Billie Jean, which (spoiler-not-spoiler) ends in disappointment and hard lessons not triumph, says that too.

Trivia:

Helen Slater and Christian Slater play brother and sister in this movie but are not actually related.


4. “Ain’t My Type of Hype,” Full Force. House Party

Actors on the soundtrack of their own movies are nothing special (see “She’s Like the Wind” sung by a Dirty Dancer named Swayze) unless those actors play the movie’s villains. Exhibit A-1: House Party, the zenith of the first generation of hip-hop movies, which began with 1983’s Wild Style. Starring Kid and Play as two high school best friends trying to throw a great party with the hip-hop/funk production team of Full Force playing the school bullies trying to spoil it.

Full Force’s “Ain’t My Type of Hype” is the last dance number on the soundtrack and the one that renders it impossible to sit still the rest of the movie. Backing vocals as percussion, a sample of Cheryl Lynn’s disco classic “Got to Be Real” inevitable instead of reheated, stabbing snare drums trading off with rhymes hopscotching on and off the beat. My hands are leaving the keyboard now to go blow something up.

Excuse me.

Trivia:

House Party is a movie that contains (almost) three sets of brothers. Written and directed by siblings Reginald and Warrington Hudlin, The trio of Full Force are real-life brothers too. And Kid and Play grew up together, are still best friends and talk as though they are blood.


5. “Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie” -- Fantastic Freaks, Wild Style

Nas called Wild Style “The Bible of Hip Hop” and opened his debut album Illmatic with a sample from the movie he named “Genesis.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has honored Wild Style as a pioneer of hip-hop cinema. Later generations of hip-hop artist have sampled from its soundtrack only a little less than from the discography of James Brown.

Consider “Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie”, a live track of five emcees rhyming almost completely in unison (which you almost never here anymore) over the baseline of laid down by DJing forefather Grand Wizard Theodore. Vocally dense, beat sparse, “Fantastic Freaks” has been sampled in over 170 songs. You’ll recognize the opening shouts of “C’mon! Louder!” from the chorus of Public Enemy’s “Louder Than a Bomb.“

Trivia: “The Dixie” in question was a large club on Freeman St in the South Bronx where future Rock n Roll Hall of Famer Grandmaster Flash threw parties.


6. “When the Shit Hits the Fan” – Circle Jerks, Suburbia

The tight knot of LA Punk movies—Repo Man, Suburbia and the first Decline of Western Civilization documentary—get too little credit as “80s teen movies” but are as vivid a portrait of youth culture in the city of Police Chief Daryl Gates and the 1984 Olympics as The Karate Kid or Valley Girl. And this less-than-two-minutes of fury at recession and economic discrimination nails it. Like with a nail gun to the forehead. Pay extra close attention to the opening and closing 5 seconds of this brief, sparse track, which begins with drums that sound like an army landing at Normandy and concludes with a sneaky surf bass resembling a footnote. Or a wink.

Trivia:

Suburbia contained only two professional actors. The rest were kids already in the community including a young Mike Balzary, aka Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


7. “Let’s Have a Party” – Wanda Jackson. Dead Poets Society

I’m not even sure Dead Poets Society had an official soundtrack as 90% of its music is instrumental score. But its few uses of song act as the more obvious reminders that Dead Poets, like many 80s teen movies, took place in the pre-Beatles late 50s-early 60s—Stand By Me, Dirty Dancing, Back to the Future, Peggy Sue Got Married.

“We’re Gonna Have a Party” was a 1960 hit by “First Lady of Roackabilly” Wanda Jackson and shows up in the movie when two of the dead poets build a transistor radio to tune in pop songs from the wider world that aren’t allowed in over the forbidding walls of Welton Academy boys school.

It’s not a stretch to see Robin William’s encouragement of the Dead Poets to “seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary” as a metaphor the coming of the 1960s. The use of the Wanda Jackson song, with a swagger burned by cigarettes clearly influenced Emmylou Harris influenced Janis Joplin and shows that the 60s was already here.

Trivia:

At one time, Bill Murray was considered for role of teacher John Keating that ultimately went to Robin Williams.


8. “Cry to Me” Solomon Burke. Dirty Dancing

The song playing when Baby Houseman propositions Johnny Castle with “Dance with Me?” Somehow tender and achingly sexy at once or maybe that’s just soul music at its finest. I only got to know Solomon Burke very recently via the closing scenes of season 3 of The Wire and therefore hear him as the voice of sadness and human reckoning. Here he feels like the sweat above your eyes, the heat rolling off the shoulders of a summer night and the desire hanging in the room as Baby and Johnny circle each other then dance.

Trivia:

Though they don’t get to do much in the way of dancing, Baby’s Houseman’s parents were played by Jerry Orbach and Kelly Bishop both Tony-award-winning Broadway dancers.


Kevin Smokler and Brat Pack America links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

DVD Talk interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Practical Classics
Salon interview with the author
Take Two interview with the author
WAMC interview with the author
WFPL interview with the author
WGN interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

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Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists Update - December 1st

The Largehearted Boy List of Online 'Best of 2016' Book Lists

For the ninth 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 daily.

The Master List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

Other daily updates to the 2016 master list.

Revisit previous years' collections of year-end book lists: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade).


Today's additions to the Online Year-end "Best of 2015" Book Lists:

Atlanta Journal Constitution (best cookbooks)
BOLO Books (top books)
Booktrust (new Christmas picture books)
Chicago Tribune (best cookbooks)
Delivering Grace (best books)
The Dirt (best books)
The Duquesne Duke (best books)
Entropy (best poetry books and collections)
Everett Public Library (best young adult and children's nonfiction)
Faith Gateway (favorite books for kids)
Gcaptain (best nautical books)
Geographical (books of the year)
Guardian (best biography and autobiography books)
Guardian (best history books)
Guardian (best politics books)
Iowa Public Radio (best children's books to give)
King County Library System (top books)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly - Julie (favorite books)
Lafayette Public Library (best picture books)
LibraryReads (favorite books)
Minneapolis Star Tribune (best books)
New York Times (best books)
Our Daily Read (best history books)
Peak Performance (favorite books)
Pulse (favourite Nigerian books)
Ramblings of A(nother) Frustrated Writer (top books)
Reading with Robin (favorite books)
Readings (comics and graphic novels)
Remodelista (best cookbooks)
Rick O'Shea (books)
San Francisco Chronicle Style (favorite books)
San Jose Mercury (best boozy books)
School Library Journal (great board books)
Seattle Times (best books)
Side Trek . NYC (best books)
Smart Football (best books)
Something Else Reviews (best Beatles books)
Spectator (best gardening books)
Telegraph (best gardening books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily updates to the master list

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

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)

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