December 4, 2017

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - December 4th

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:


The A.V. Club (favorite books)
Australian Financial Review (best books)
bookreviewsbybetsy (top books)
The Business Post (fiction)
The Business Post (non-fiction)
Christopher Pound (popular science fiction, fantasy, and horror)
Desiring God (best Christian nonfiction)
Guardian (best architecture books)
Guardian (best art books)
Guardian (best biographies)
Guardian (best fiction)
Guardian (best graphic novels)
Guardian (best history books)
Guardian (best poetry books)
Guardian (best science books)
Megan Stielstra (favorite books)
NOW (best books)
Paste (best audiobooks)
Paste (best book covers)
Pick My YA (best YA books)
The Practical Mystic (favorite books)
Remodelista (best cookbooks)
Smay Prangley (favourite books)
Washington Independent Review of Books (favorite 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

2017 Online Year-end Music 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)

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December 4, 2017

Shorties (An Interview with Kevin Young, Ted Leo's Tiny Desk Concert, and more)

Kevin Young discussed his book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News with Salon.


Ted Leo played a Tiny Desk Concert.


29 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists Saturday (bringing the total to 482) , including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's best books, Marginal Revolution's best nonfiction books, and The Guardian's best children's books.


Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting 2017 music lists, updated daily.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn previewed December's best books.


BrooklynVegan rounded up the year's best new holiday songs.


The Chicago Review of Books interviewed author Megan Stielstra.


NYCTaper shared a recording of a recent show by the Mountain Goats.

John Green on why he is a fan of the band.


Rodrigo Corral talked book cover design and his new anthology Sneakers with Ssense.


Drowned in Sound interviewed members of the band Wolf Alice.


Paste recommended creepy horror novels for holiday reading.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed singer-songwriter Torres.


eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz.


Grizzly Bear visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


Fiona Mozley discussed her debut novel Elmet with Weekend Edition.


The Creative Independent interviewed Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins and Bella Union.


WBEZ interviewed author Jennifer Egan.


Turning the Tables reconsidered Sandy Denny's debut album The North Star Grassman And The Ravens.


The Guardian recommended new Australian writers you should read.


Best Coast covered the Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick."


Emily Wilson discussed her new translation of The Odyssey with Book Riot.


All Things Considered profiled singer-songwriter Victoria Williams.


BOMB features a conversation between authors Alex Gilvarry and Gabe Hudson.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed Ronnie Spector.


The longlist for the inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize has been announced.


The A.V. Club listed December's most anticipated albums.


Porochista Khakpour explained the process of choosing her forthcoming memoir Sick's cover at Literary Hub.


Springtime Carnivore shared two cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


Chris Matthews discussed his new book Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit with Weekend Edition.



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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December 2, 2017

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - December 2nd

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:


BookPage (best books)
CSMCL (best books)
Derek Beaulieu (most engaging books)
Guardian (best books on sport)
Guardian (best children's books)
Irish Times (best books)
Irish Times (best crime books)
justagirlwithabookdream (favourite books)
King County Library System (best children's books)
King County Library System (best fiction)
King County Library System (best nonfiction)
King County Library System (best teen books)
Kitchen Arts & Letters (best recipe books)
Marginal Revolution (best nonfiction books)
MBTB's Mystery Book Blog (best books)
Oh!FortheloveofBooks (favorite scifi books)
Organic Consumers Association (favorite food and farming books)
Personal Growth (top books)
RPM (top Biblical counseling books)
Sara Habein (favorite books)
Sci-fi Fantasy Lit Chick (best books and book covers)
Smithsonian (best travel books)
Southern Living (best books)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (favorite books)
The Times (best art books)
The Times (best children's books)
The Times (best photography books)
The Times (best stocking filler books)
Washington Independent Review of Books (favorite 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

2017 Online Year-end Music 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)

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December 1, 2017

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - December 1st, 2017

Wilco

Interesting reissues include Wilco's remastered and expanded editions of A.M. and Being There (a 5-CD box set) or (4-LP edition), along with The Fall's 7-CD Singles 1978-2016

The Minus 5's holiday album Dear December is my favorite new release.

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

This week's interesting music releases:


Alan Parsons Project: Eye In The Sky - 35th Anniversary Edition
Andy Grammer: The Good Parts
At the Drive-in: Diamante
Bananarama: Greatest Hits Collection
Chief Keef: The Dedication
Chris Stapleton: From A Room: Volume 2
Cindy Wilson: Change
Elbow: The Best of
The Fall: Singles 1978-2016 (7-CD box set)
Four Tet: New Energy [vinyl]
Frank Turner: Songbook
George Strait: Strait Out Of The Box: Part 2 (3-CD box set)
Glassjaw: Material Control
Jim James: Tribute To 2
Leslie Odom Jr.: Simply Christmas (reissue & expanded) [vinyl]
Miguel: War & Leisure
Minus 5: Dear December
Motorhead: Motorhead - 40th Anniversary Edition
Neil Young: The Visitor
Nicholas Krgovich: In An Open Field
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Who Built the Moon [vinyl]
Over the Rhine: Drunkard's Prayer [vinyl]
REO Speedwagon: Not So Silent...Christmas With REO Speedwagon (reissue) [vinyl]
Rolling Stones: On Air
Roy Wood$: Say Less
Rush: A Farewell To Kings - 40th Anniversary Edition (3-CDs) (remastered and expanded)
STRFKR: Vault Vol. 1-3
Tyler the Creator: Flower Boy [vinyl]
U2: Songs Of Experience
Wilco: A.M. (remastered and expanded)
Wilco: Being There (5-CD box set) (remastered and expanded)
Wilco: Being There (4-LP box set) (remastered and expanded) [vinyl]
Van Morrison: Versatile
Various Artists: Am I Dreaming: 80 Brit Girl Sounds of the 60s
Various Artists: A Capitol Christmas Vol. 2 [vinyl]
Various Artists: Smokey & The Bandit, Soundtrack I And II 40th Anniversary Release
Various Artists: Soul on Fire: Detroit Soul Story 1957-1977


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)

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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - November 23, 2017

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

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


Mrs Caliban

Mrs Caliban
by Rachel Ingalls

A housewife begins an affair with a large green alien. Originally written in 1982, this genre-bending story mixes domestic realism with sci-fi strangeness, camp with romance, desire with sadness. A must read.


Artemis

Artemis
by Andy Weir

From the author of The Martian comes a heist story set on the moon. Sold! This near future thriller is destined to be the season's ultimate frosty winter read.


No Man's Land magazine

No Man's Land magazine

Say hello to the ultimate feminist magazine. Published by The Wing, an ambitious and mighty women's club in NYC, this publication is about inclusively creating something special where men no longer exclusively define the content. In this glowing inaugural issue, you'll find features on Tavi Gevinson, J.D. Samson, and rapper Remy Ma.


Venture of an Infinite Man

Venture of an Infinite Man
by Pablo Neruda

Here is a beautiful new bilingual edition of Neruda' 1926 epic poem, a late departure from his more commonly known love poems. Minimal and delicate, experimental and dream-like, this work was considered by the artist himself to be one of his most important works.


Kinfolk: Entrepreneur

Kinfolk: Entrepreneur

The creators behind the mega successful Kinfolk magazine have branched out with a book on something they know all too well: creative business-making. With interviews form over 40 entrepreneurs on how they consider of and sell their work, this book will be something special for the growing creative class making their professional way.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

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


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

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

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"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - December 1st

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 (new bookish podcasts)
Civil Eats (favorite food and farming books)
Conversational Reading (small/indie press books)
Elsbeth J. Magilton (favorite books)
Entropy (best presses, magazines, publishers & journals)
Financial Times (best art, architecture, and cinema books)
Financial Times (best books)
Financial Times (best business books)
Financial Times (best economics books)
Financial Times (best fiction)
Financial Times (best fiction in translation)
Financial Times (best food and travel books)
Financial Times (best history books)
Financial Times (best literary non-fiction)
Financial Times (best picture books, children's books, and young adult)
Financial Times (best poetry collections)
Financial Times (best politics books)
Financial Times (best science books)
Financial Times (best sports books)
Financial Times (best style and gardening books)
Food for Fitness (best health, fitness, and nutrition books)
Guardian (best books on drink)
Guardian (best books on food)
Guardian (best music books)
Guardian (best stocking-filler books)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly - Alyssa (top books)
Library Reads (favorite books)
Los Angeles Times (audiobooks)
Los Angeles Times (best fiction)
Los Angeles Times (best nonfiction)
Los Angeles Times (books for the teens, toddlers and kids in between)
Los Angeles Times (coffee table books)
Los Angeles Times (stocking stuffer books)
The Millions (authors' and critics' favorite books)
New York Times (wine books)
Paste (best audiobooks)
Planetizen (top books)
Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Australian books)
Scots Whay Hae! (best books)
Shelf Talk (favorite picture books)
South China Morning Post (best children's books)
Southern Living (best cookbooks)
Wide Open Eats (best cookbooks for amateur chefs)
Work-in-Progress (best 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)

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eBook Deals - December 2017

eBooks on sale for $1.99 this month:


The Sisters Brothers Dylan: The Biography


Beer Money by Frances Stroh
City of Spies by Sorayya Khan
Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
Dylan: The Biography by Dennis McDougal
Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends by Barney Hoskyns
Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat
Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
The Westies by T. J. English
You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt


eBooks on sale for $2.99 this month:


How Music Works An Inconvenient Sequel


Age of Folly by Lewis H. Lapham
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
The Crack-up by F. Scott Fitzgerals
East Wind: West Wind by Pearl S. Buck
The Final Days by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies
The Game by Ken Dryden
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
How Music Works by John Powell
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power by Al Gore
Lenin 2017 by Slavoj Zizek
Umami by Laia Jufresa


eBooks on sale for $3.49 this month:


Slaughterhouse-Five Breakfast of Champions


Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


eBooks on sale for $3.99 this month:


Media Control Profit Over People


Media Control by Noam Chomsky
Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby
Profit Over People by Noam Chomsky


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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)

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

Shorties (An Interview with Daniel Alarcón, An Interview with Kim Gordon, and more)

Electric Literature interviewed author Daniel Alarcón.


Apiece Apart interviewed Kim Gordon.


23 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists yesterday (bringing the total to 409) , including The New York Times' best books, Smithsonian Magazine's best photography books, and Maisonneuve's best books.


Launched yesterday: Largehearted Boy's list of essential and interesting 2017 music lists, which will be updated daily.


Drowned in Sound interviewed The Pains of Being Pure at Heart frontman Kip Berman.


Harper's recommended 2018's best books.


The Hold Steady covered the Mountain Goats' "Fault Lines."


The Brooklyn Rail interviewed author Tessa Hadley.


Stream a new No Age song.


The Millions has launched its annual "Year in Reading" feature.


The Walkmen's Walter Martin played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The Rumpus interviewed cartoonist Roz Chast.


Gorilla Vs. Bear shared a mix of November's best songs.


Book Riot listed December's must-read books.


The Bucks County Courier-Times profiled Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers.


BookMarks listed the best-reviewed books of the week.


Baeble listed cover songs that bettered their originals.


Unbound Worlds recommended entry points into American Gothic literature.


Rolling Stone shared photos from the new book Eyes of the World: Grateful Dead Photography 1965 – 1995.


Book Riot recommended strange comics for strange times.


Kevin Morby covered "Blue Christmas."


Stereogum listed strange Christmas song covers.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Ivy Pochoda's novel Wonder Valley.


Stream a new First Aid Kit 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

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

November 30, 2017

Book Notes - Joseph Keckler "Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World"

Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World

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.

Joseph Keckler's first book Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World is an impressive collection of essays and stories.

Wayne Koestenbaum wrote of the book:

"Joseph Keckler is a captivating raconteur, with a delicious ability to transform scenes of dread into comedic triumph. His deadpan delivery contrasts brilliantly with his virtuoso appetite for moody glissandi and hectic staccati. I marvel at the social incongruities--the faux pas, the accidental couplings, the identity slippages--that he narratively dishes out as if they were artisanal pizzas, seasoned with a hilarity and drama that add up to box office boffo."


In his own words, here is Joseph Keckler 's Book Notes music playlist for his book Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World:




My new book of humorous essays and stories is filled with portraits of outré characters I've known and been--often people who want to be somewhere or someone beyond where and who they are. As far as I can tell, the book is mostly about the persistence of desire. The title refers to ancient cartography, where dragons were drawn at the edge of mapped territory. In one essay I refer to the life one wants as being nearly unimaginable, "the dragon at the edge of a flat world." This means that the way you wish to live is located on the outside of what's been mapped, lurking dangerously at the outskirts of possibility. But it is 3-dimensional and alive, a creature and a fire.

Here are some songs that are in the book, literally or in spirit. Some intersections.

"Breaking Glass" by David Bowie

Sometimes a song is so brief that a new world springs out of it. You might wish the song were longer, but you can just play it again and again.

I listened to this one over and over again the first day I had my driver's license. The opening guitar riffs gave me some self-aware sense of sleaze and a true feeling of freedom as I lurched around my small town in the beaten up old station wagon I'd borrowed from my mom. I was moving through familiar landscapes but I suddenly existed in a new form-- not pedestrian nor passenger, but driver!

I'd been transfixed by David Bowie for a while, fascinated by the way he built shape-shifting into his identity and therefore had been able to continuously change—and, more shockingly, was permitted by the culture to do so-- decade after decade. I was particularly taken with"Breaking Glass," now the soundtrack to my own transformation, as I became the captain of this silver boat on wheels. The lyrics are made up of just a few, somewhat disconnected statements, several of which seem to be about vandalizing someone else's bedroom.

Breaking glass is a gesture of release, and released is how I felt.


“Shave Em Dry" by Lucille Bogan

I included this song in one of the stories in the book,"Sounds and Unsounds of the City." As its name implies, that story is about all the noises going on inside and outside my apartment-- a preacher sermonizing under the floor, a train rattling by out the window-- as well as different versions of sanity/insanity and systems of belief swirling around inside and just outside the building. Anyway, at one point my character and his friend are listening to this goody, one of my favorites.

“Shave Em Dry" is a 1930s blues classic celebrated for dispensing with mere sexual innuendo in favor of vivid, X-rated similes, at one point mapping a church onto genitalia. I had to get permission to quote the song, so Turtle Point Press sent a wonderful email to the copyright holder. "I am writing to request permission to reprint the following lyrics: Your balls hang down like a big bell clapper and your dick stands up like a steeple. Your goddamn asshole stands open like a church door and crabs walks in like people!"

I remember hearing the song first as a teenager and being somehow stunned that people used "dirty language" in any sort of distant past. Sadly, they did not teach Petronius at my high school. So this singer of sex, Lucille Bogan, seemed more real to me, in a way, than other early blues musicians. And I suddenly understood that everyone has always been a regular old lustful, puerile human.

At one point in the song Lucille can't help herself and she breaks into laugher. Then she whoops and just keeps going. And that's a take they used. An eruption of laughter is not a blooper; it's a burst of reality!


“Fiji Mermaid" by Joseph Keckler (arr. John Moran)

I wrote and recorded this song a while back and then wrote a story around it for this book. Despite being largely autobiographical, the book suffers from occasional fits of surrealism-- and this is one of only a couple more fictional pieces in there. The Fiji Mermaid is a grotesque siren, made of monkey and fish parts sewn together, a sideshow hoax come to life. She's a different sort of creature at the edge, and this is her beckoning, her weird siren song (though she'd sing it differently.) I claim to have met her in Brooklyn.

“…. a desolate intersection that felt to me like The Crossroads, though perhaps not a crossroads where you could make a deal with the devil. More like a crossroads where you've made an appointment with the devil but he stands you up. There is a McDonald's there, with a pagoda. It is the McDonald's at the edge of the world." – "Fiji Mermaid" in Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World


“Crossroads" by Tracy Chapman

My mother always listened to Tracy Chapman when I was little. My impression was that my mother mainly, or only, listened to Tracy Chapman.

And her songs are filled with stories of escape, sacrifice; quests of the soul, problems of money and possibilities of freedom. Then as a teenager I borrowed these albums of my mother's and listened to them as I drove home from work, drowsily thinking of my own future.

Years later, I performed a part of "Cat Lady," a piece about my mother (which is in the book) in San Francisco. Afterwards I was in the dressing room and Penny Arcade tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Joseph, this is Tracy Chapman. She wants to meet you." I thought Penny was making a joke at first, about a woman who resembled Tracy Chapman. But she was the real one. She told me how she liked my work and wanted to keep track of me. What world had I slipped into where Tracy Chapman was watching me perform?

Recently I (re?) discovered her song"Crossroads," which is about saving one's soul in a culture where you are constantly being sold to, and being bought. A socially critical twist on the blues tradition of crossroads songs, it's hypnotic and addictive, melancholy but with an appealing groove. It's the kind of song I'll play over and over, until it becomes smoke that has filled the room.


“Vecchia Zimarra" ("Old Coat") by Puccini, sung by Ezio Pinza

Another expansive fragment, somehow perfect in its brevity, an aria from La Boheme: this lament appears in the book, following a possible interaction with a ghost, and in the midst of a good friend and mentor, Sheila, telling me she's moving away after struggling too hard and too long in New York.

In La Boheme it's the aria Colline, the philosopher, sings to his coat before selling it in order to buy medicine for his dying friend Mimi. The moment takes place late in the opera, after the youthful hijinks of Acts I and II are long gone. Though the aria is just a passing moment in the show, it's weighted; it's written in the manner of a funeral march and the final notes of the opera quote it musically. As Sheila reminds me in the chapter, Colline is really saying goodbye not only to his coat but to his friend, his youth, lost hopes and ideals, and an entire way of life. He is shedding a skin.


Nos esprits libres et contents (“Our Minds Are Free and Content") by Antoine Boësset, performed by Le Poème Harmonique

I just love the sound of this 1609 gem. In fact, I'm so obsessed I'm going to make a feature film just so this can be its theme song. I was listening to it a lot this year, during the final stages of revision and editing and so on.

So could it be part of my list? I've investigated and, lo and behold, the lyrics seem to be all about the nature of desire.

The singers chant about dancing through the woods and allowing innocent pleasures to banish other desires (less innocent, one imagines.) They brag of dodging Eros through their constant movement, though near the end of the song, they admit, "finally he enters our eyes."


Joseph Keckler and Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World links:

the author's website

Lambda Literary review
Publishers Weekly review

WYBC 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

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Essential and Interesting 2017 Year-End Music Lists

The Largehearted Boy List of Essential and Interesting 2017 Year-End Music Lists

I will aggregate essential and most interesting "best of 2017" year-end music lists as I have for the past nine years, and update this post regularly.


The A.V. Club (best albums)
The A.V. Club (year in band names)
Alternative Press (best songs)
American Songwriter (top albums)
Aquarium Drunkard (favorite reissues)
Atlanta Music Scene (Christmas albums)
The Atlantic (best albums)
AXS (best Americana albums)
Baeble (most inspiring politically-charged songs)
Baeble (top albums)
BBC6 Music (top albums)
Berkeley Place (best albums)
Berkeley Place (best cover songs)
Billboard (top albums)
The Boot (top Americana, alt-country, bluegrass, and folk albums)
Brides (best wedding songs)
The Boot (underrated country albums)
BrooklynVegan (great metal albums you may have missed)
BrooklynVegan (musicians' top album lists)
CBC Music (best Canadian songs)
CBC Music (best Canadian albums)
Complex (best albums)
Consequence of Sound (top albums)
Consequence of Sound (top songs)
Cover Me (best cover and tribute albums)
Cover Me (best cover songs)
Creative Loafing Atlanta (best Atlanta albums)
Crying All the Way to the Chip Shop (albums)
Cultured Vultures (worst pop songs)
The Current (top songs)
Dazed (best K-pop songs)
Decibel (overlooked albums)
Decibel (top albums)
Double J (best albums)
Drowned in Sound (albums)
Edgar Wright (best songs)
Entertainment Weekly (best albums)
Esquire (best songs)
Esquire UK (best albums)
Exclaim! (best music lists)
The Fader (best songs)
Fakaza (best South African albums)
Felix (most disappointing albums)
The Florentine (top Tuscany albums)
Fuse (best songs)
Galway Advertiser (best Galway songs)
Game Skinny (best songs from games)
Glide Magazine (best albums)
Gorilla vs. Bear (favorite albums)
Gorilla vs. Bear (favorite songs)
GreenLeft Weekly (best political albums)
Guardian (best classical albums)
Guardian (best music books)
Guardian (top pop albums)
Guardian (top songs)
Guitar World (best roots albums)
Harper's Bazaar (best new Christmas songs)
Independent (best albums)
Independent (top rock & metal albums)
Invisible Oranges (staff top albums lists)
Jazzwise (top jazz albums)
Kathmandu Tribune (best Nepali songs)
Kerrang! (top albums)
The Key (top albums)
Loud and Quiet (albums)
Metacritic (best albums)
Metacritic (best debut albums)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (best Milwaukee albums)
Milwaukee Record (best Milwaukee albums)
MOJO (top albums)
New York Daily News (best albums)
New York Times (best albums)
New York Times (best songs)
New Yorker (best albums)
NME (best debut albums)
NME (top songs)
Noisey (best albums)
Noisey (best songs)
NPR Music (best albums)
NPR Music (best songs)
Overblown (top Japanese albums)
Pandora (most thumbed-up songs)
Paper (top songs to soundtrack your sex life)
Paste (best new artists)
Paste (boxed sets and deluxe reissues)
Paste (best albums)
Paste (best songs)
Philadelphia Inquirer (best albums)
Philadelphia Inquirer (best albums from Philadelphians)
Philadelphia Inquirer (best country & roots albums)
Philadelphia Inquirer (best songs)
Pitchfork (best albums)
Pitchfork (best band merch gifts)
Pitchfork (best rock albums)
Pitchfork (protest songs)
Pitchfork (top songs)
PopCrush (best albums)
PopCrush (best songs)
PopMatters (best music lists)
Pretty Much Amazing (best albums)
Pretty Much Amazing (best songs)
Prog Sphere (best albums)
Pulse (best Ghanaian albums)
Q (top albums)
The Quietus (albums)
The Quietus (best electronic music albums)
The Quietus (best French albums)
The Quietus (best jazz albums)
The Quietus (best psych-rock albums)
The Quietus (best R&B albums)
The Quietus (best reissues)
The Quietus - Noel Gardner (best albums)
RadioX (best deluxe vinyl box sets)
Revolver (best albums)
Revue (West Michigan's best local albums)
The Ringer (best albums)
The Ringer (best songs)
Rolling Stone (best albums)
Rolling Stone (best box sets)
Rolling Stone (best country albums)
Rolling Stone (best metal albums)
Rolling Stone (best music books)
Rolling Stone (best pop albums)
Rolling Stone (best songs)
Rough Trade (top albums)
Routes & Branches (favorite albums)
Salon (best new and reissued Christmas albums)
Seventeen (best Christmas songs)
Shazam (most Shazamed songs)
The Skinny (top albums)
Slant (best albums)
Sound Opinions (best albums)
SPIN (favorite overlooked albums)
Spotify (most popular albums and songs)
Stereogum (best albums)
Stereogum (best new bands)
Stereogum (best rap albums)
Stereogum (favorite songs)
Stereogum (great EPs)
Stereogum (juiciest music beefs)
The Stranger (top Seattle and National albums)
TIME (best albums)
TIME (best songs)
Time Out London (best songs)
The Times (best albums)
Treble (best electronic albums)
Treble (best hip-hop albums)
Treble (best metal albums)
Treble (best songs)
Treble (overlooked albums)
Treble (top albums)
Ultimate Classic Rock (top songs)
Uncut (top albums)
Uproxx (best rap songs)
Uproxx (best songs)
USA Today (favorite albums)
Vanity Fair (best pop songs)
The Vinyl Factory (best music books)
The Vinyl Factory (favourite albums)
Vinyl Me, Please (most overlooked albums)
Vulture (best albums)
The Week UK (best albums)
You Know I Got Soul (top R&B albums)


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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

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"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 30th

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:


Alamosa News (best comics)
Amber Sparks (best books)
Book Riot (best mystery & thrillers)
BookBub (authors' best books)
The Dirt (best books)
Entropy (best non-fiction books)
Guardian (best crime books and thrillers)
Guardian (best fiction)
Guardian (best science fiction and fantasy)
London Evening Standard (best Christmas books)
Maisonneuve (best books)
New York Times (best books)
Readings (favourite book covers)
Readings - George Delaney (books)
Peak Performance (top books)
San Francisco Chronicle (books)
San Francisco Chronicle Style (best books)
Smithsonian (best photography books)
Steele House Kitchen (favorite cookbooks)
Style & Shenanigans (favourite books)
Thrillist (best books)
Two Drifters (favorite books)
You've Got This (favorite 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)

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

Shorties (An Interview with Marie Darrieussecq, DMX's Cover of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," and more)

The Times Literary Supplement interviewed author Marie Darrieussecq.


DMX covered "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."


34 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists yesterday (bringing the total to 386) , including The New York Times' best crime novels, The Guardian's best biographies & autobiographies, and the National Post's best cookbooks.


Drowned in Sound interviewed members of the band Wolf Alice.


Hazlitt interviewed author Ayobami Adebayo.


Stream a new song by Ilyas Ahmed.


The New Yorker features a new comic by Emily Flake.


The Daily Trojan interviewed Peter Jesperson about managing the Replacements.


Paste recommended novels by comic book writers.


Stream a new holiday song by BEAK>.


John Hodgman talked books and reading with the New York Times.


Stream a new song by Moaning.


The Guardian profiled author Omar Musa.


Stream a new Django Django song.


Electric Literature shared a previously unpublished short story by Dashiell Hammett.


Stream a new song by Soft Moon.


Jesmyn Ward profiled filmmaker Ava DuVernay at Smithsonian.



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

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

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