November 29, 2017

Book Notes - Ross Simonini "The Book of Formation"

The Book of Formation

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.

Ross Simonini's novel-in-interviews The Book of Formation is an imaginatively told and thought-provoking debut.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"A debut reminiscent of modern art—often unsettling, not always easy or beautiful, but rewarding to the reader willing to grapple with its questions."


In his own words, here is Ross Simonini's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel The Book of Formation:



Prologue:

"Prologue"
Klein

The below playlist follows the chronology of The Book of Formation, which take place at 8 moments over 20 years. Each song corresponds to a chapter and the time of that chapter. Over this period, the characters in the book are influenced by the media events and the pop culture around them, just as I was.

1994

Nirvana
"Lake of Fire"

In 1993, at the age of twelve, Polly Klass was having a slumber party at her mother's home in Petaluma, 15 minutes from where I, another twelve year old, was sleeping. A terrifying looking man with a knife entered her home and kidnapped her at knifepoint. Her friends were with her, but they couldn't stop it from happening. All the parents in the area became paranoid. Curfews tightened. But to me, it was a fantasy occurring a million miles away.

1994
Nine Inch Nails
"Closer"

In Detroit, at the beginning of 1994, Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan was hit with a club on the back of her knee and she cried out in pain: "Why me!" The news revealed a nefarious plot behind the attack and my mom and I watched it unfold on the television. I didn't understand ambition yet. I just wanted to be in my room, listening to music, thrashing around like a wild animal.

1996

Sophie B. Hawkins
"As I Lay Me Down"

In late summer of 1995, at age 53, Jerry Garcia died in his room at a rehabilitation clinic from a heart attack. I lived a few minutes down the road from Garcia's house. I attended school with his family members. When I listened to the Dead, I thought of him as a kindly neighbor I had seen driving around town in his BMW. The singer of Sublime, Bradley Nowell died shortly after. I listened to both bands enough to identify myself with whatever philosophies surrounded them. I had recently fallen in love for the first time.

1999

Fiona Apple
"Limp"

Bill Clinton received a blowjob and became the second president to be impeached. Later, at Columbine High School, 15 kids were murdered by two of the their fellow students. I was also in high school. Police officers came to our school to discuss what had happened, and to discourage us from killing each other. Around this time, a boy from my class, who had once thrown rocks at me, killed himself with a shotgun. I had mixed feelings about it.

2002

Clipse
"Grindin'"

At this point, it had been a few months since the country crossed the threshold, from pre- to post-9/11. I was in college, living in a bubble by the sea, playing music every day, eating burritos. I slept late on the morning of the attacks and my mom woke me by turning on the television.

2004

Usher
"Confessions part II"

In December, Saddam Hussein was hanged. Every one I knew hated George Bush. I moved to Los Angeles around this time and lived with my best friend across the street from a music venue. I worked at bookstore in Brentwood, where movie stars came to buy their books. I only listened to music by the band Talk Talk for a year. I signed with a record label owned by the Cocteau Twins and went on tour in Europe playing dreamy music, opening for dreamy bands. When I wasn't on tour, I gave music lessons to my co-worker's daughter in exchange for dinner.

2006

Wyclef Jean
"Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)"

Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's coach and declared his love for Katie Holmes. We could all see the Scientology leaking out of him, and we all stopped respecting him for being so overwhelmed by ideology. I stopped paying attention to the news for several years. I questioned the benefit of it, of being aware of all the events in the world, most of them horrifying. What was it doing for me? Pop music was such an easy, beautiful companion.

2014

Carly Rae Jepsen
"Run Away With Me"

Michael Jackson died. All the pop stars I grew up were dead or irrelevant. I lived in New York where dead or relevant were the only two states of being. When I eventually left New York, I and started reading about the world again. Culture seemed exciting. So much to catch up on. It turns out America had a likable president for a moment. Also, the weather is our fault, and we're all going to die because of it. So it turns out we were right all along: the world really does revolve around us.

Afterword:

Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
"Om Rama"


Ross Simonini and The Book of Formation links:

the author's website

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review

Culture Trip 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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November 29, 2017

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 29th

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:


Bloomberg View (must-read books)
Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards (best Irish books)
Entropy (best poetry books and poetry collections)
The Good Men Project (books)
Guardian (best biography and autobiography)
Guardian (best nature books)
Guardian (best politics books)
Jackson's (top art instruction books)
Natalie's Nook (best books)
National Post (best cookbooks)
New York Public Library (showstopper children's books)
New York Times (best crime novels)
Odyssey (best books)
One Year, One Hundred Books (favorite books)
Radhika's Reading Retreat (top books)
Readings (books in translation)
Red Tricycle (best baby and toddler parenting books)
Shelf Awareness (favorite cookbooks)


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 (Gender Inequality in Literary Prize Culture, 2017's Best Protest Music, and more)

VIDA explored gender inequality in literary prize culture.


Pitchfork listed 2017's best protest music.


34 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists yesterday (bringing the total to 368) , including The New York Times' notable children's books, Library Journal's nonfiction book lists, and Newsday's best books.


Charly Bliss covered Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You."


The OTHRPPL podcast interviewed author Ivy Pochoda.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed Jenn Pelly on her 33 1/3 book about the Raincoats' self-titled album.


The Masters Review interviewed author Carmen Maria Machado.


Stream a new song by Palm.


Jesmyn Ward discussed her novel Sing, Unburied, Sing with Fresh Air.


Ultimate Classic Rock examined the classic Kinks holiday song "Father Christmas."


Signature recommended recently published biographies.


Stream a new S. Carey song.


The Paris Review's 1984 interview with James Baldwin.


Rolling Stone listed the best songs of 2017.


Ben Lerner examined poetry of Claudia Rankine and Maggie Nelson at Literary Hub.


Stream Angel Olsen's cover of David Bowie's "Five Years."


Slate examined what 2017's bestsellers revealed about the year in reading and publishing.


The Autumn Defense (John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco) shared a mixtape at Aquarium Drunkard.


Harper's features new Ocean Vuong poetry.


Stream two new Calexico songs.


BLARB shared a conversation between poets Jennifer S. Cheng and Vi Khi Nao.


Rostam covered Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."


BookPage interviewed author Ivy Pochoda.


Stream a new Okkervil River song.


Damien Jurado covered "Christmas Time Is Here."



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 28, 2017

Book Notes - Dinitia Smith "The Honeymoon"

The Honeymoon

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.

Dinitia Smith's novel The Honeymoon is a skillfully told reimagining of George Eliot's marriage to John Walter Cross.

The Washington Post wrote of the book:

"Smith's portrait of Eliot’s honeymoon with Cross ... plausibly brings to life a puzzling period of her life. With the historical record lacking or shrouded, it is the perfect example of when fictional storytelling about an eminent person is warranted."


In her own words, here is Dinitia Smith's Book Notes music playlist for her novel The Honeymoon:



Music coursed through the life of George Eliot – she was, in addition to being a brilliant writer, an expert piano player. Thus, in writing The Honeymoon, my biographical novel about her, I constantly listened to the music that she played and loved for inspiration.

Für Elise, (Alfred Brendel, Beethoven Bagatelles)

Eliot was a perfectionist in all things, including in her piano playing. When she was a pupil at Miss Lathom's School in Coventry, she was asked to play the piano for visitors. She chose “Fur Elise,” but when she hit a wrong note, she ran weeping from the parlor. I used to listen to it as I tried to envision the life of this very intelligent – and ambitious – young girl.

Mozart, Kyrie in G Major Arnold Schoenberg Choir, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

When Eliot was a young woman she had an affair with John Chapman, the publisher of the Westminster Review. She used to play Mozart's Kyrie in G Major for him which apparently threw him into raptures. Listening to it was a great help in trying to imagine their relationship.

Franz Liszt, Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, ( Alfred Brendel, Liszt: the Two Piano Concertos)

In 1854, Eliot made the decision to live with the journalist and critic, George Henry Lewes, out-of-wedlock. The two fled to the Continent and visited Franz Liszt in Weimar. We know that he played a selection from the Harmonies for them and that it was a crucial experience for Eliot, who longed to be a novelist. Hearing Liszt play, Eliot said, was her first experience with true inspiration. During the three years or so it took me to write this novel, I listened to one piece in particular, Bénédiction dans La Solitude. We know that the night before Eliot died, she attended a concert in London with her new young husband, John Walter Cross. Though she was ill, she came home and played the entire concert for him from memory. I chose to have her play the Bénédiction that night, and I listened to it many times as I wrote. It became a kind of anthem for the novel.

Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, (Daniel Barenboim) & Mitsuko Uchida Plays Schubert, (Mitsuko Uchida)

Eliot became a loving stepmother to Lewes' sons. When one of them, Thornie, was dying an agonizing death from tuberculosis of the spine, literally screaming in pain, she played Beethoven and Schubert sonatas for him in an effort to soothe him. And of course, when I was writing those scenes I listened to them, in recordings played by Barenboim and Uchida. As I listened I envisioned a profound part of her personality, her extraordinary kindness, and her great ability to love.

The Four Seasons, Vivaldi. (The Academy of St. Martin's in the Field)

We know that Eliot and John Walter Cross went to Venice on their honeymoon where the central event of my novel occurs. And we know they attended a concert there, though we're not sure who played. I chose a concert of Vivaldi's music, because Vivaldi was a Venetian, and so many tourists in Venice go to Vivaldi concerts. I studied the score carefully while listening to it, and I chose to synchronize Johnnie's nervous breakdown with the various parts of it. Johnnie's breakdown on their honeymoon is the central event of the novel and is the spark that sets the story going.


Dinitia Smith and The Honeymoon links:

the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

The Common review
Necessary Fiction review
New York Journal of Books review
New York Times review
New Yorker review
Washington Post review

Writers & Readers profile of 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

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

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 28th

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:


Adam Rutherford (best science books)
B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog (best horror)
Bustle (books every woman should read)
Confessions of a Science Librarian (best science book lists)
David Litchfield (best picture books)
Fit Pregnancy and Baby (best baby books)
Forbes (best business books)
Jamiya Shine (best books)
Kate Gavino (best books)
Library Journal (best business books)
Library Journal (best cookbooks)
Library Journal (best crafts & DIY books)
Library Journal (best graphic novels)
Library Journal (best health & medicine books)
Library Journal (best memoirs)
Library Journal (best poetry collections)
Library Journal (best religion & spirituality books)
Library Journal (best sci tech books)
Library Journal (best self-e titles)
Library Journal (best short story collections)
Library Journal (best world literature)
Library Journal (notable books)
MoneyStrands (must-read personal finance books)
New York Times (notable children's books)
Newsday (best books)
Pan Macmillan (best history books)
Philip Ardagh (best books)
The Portable Infinite (best books)
Readings (graphic novels & comics)
Readings - Ellen Creagan (books)
Sleek (best art books)
Stone Soup (best cookbooks)
Tracey Corderoy (best children's books for younger readers)
Women's Health (most life-changing wellness 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 (Recommended Books for Fans of Margaret Atwood, Two New Songs by the Hold Steady, and more)

BookPage recommended novels for Margaret Atwood fans.


The Hold Steady shared two new songs.


22 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists yesterday (bringing the total to 334) , including Bookforum Magazine's best books, The Independent's best fiction, the San Jose Mercury News' beer books of the year, and The Telegraph's book lists.


Paste listed 2017's best albums.


eBooks on sale today for $1.99:

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut


NPR Music shared photographs from the new book Prince: A Private View.


Conversational Reading interviewed Jessica Powell about translating Pablo Neruda.


Stream a new Field Music song.


Megan Hunter discussed her book The End We Start From with All Things Considered.


DIY profiled the band Bully.


The Millions previewed December's new poetry collections.


Stream a new U.S. Girls song.


Electric Literature interviewed author Jason Reynolds.


The Creative Independent interviewed musician and author Richard Hell.


The Paris Review shared a conversation between authors Eileen Myles and Jeremy Sigler.


Stream a new Ty Segall song.


Fernanda Torres discussed her novel The End with the New Yorker.


Ava Luna covered Serge Gainsbourg's "Ballade De Melody Nelson."


Lawrence Wescher discussed his book Waves Passing in the Night: Walter Much in the Land of the Astrophysicists with Vol. 1 Brooklyn.


Stream a new Ezra Feinberg 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 27, 2017

Book Notes - Maryl Jo Fox "Clara at the Edge"

Clara at the Edge

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.

Maryl Jo Fox's novel Clara at the Edge is an imaginative, lyrical, and often surprising debut.

Foreword Reviews wrote of the book:

"Clara is a fascinating, feisty character….The writing is haunting and lyrical, and frequently ripples with humor and heart….Clara truly is at the edge of something greater than herself....[and her] story unspools in a compelling and engaging way."


In her own words, here is Maryl Jo Fox's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Clara at the Edge:



Clara's ready to pop, that's the long and short of it. She's 73 and hugely needs to speak of old secrets before she dies miserable and alone. But she's too scared to dig up that old rot. Her magic wasps could help her talk if she could let them. So this novel is a process of learning to speak -- sometimes out of raw fear. She must confront her greatest fears or lose what she values most. She's on the edge. She's only got her son Frank left. And he's alienated from her.

I wrote Clara in complete silence, with only the computer, occasional cars, airplanes and flocks of birds to be heard. I played the piano for many years and music is almost as important to me as literature. But I never understood how intertwined they were until, strangely, my husband and I worked together proofreading the novel. We took turns reading certain passages aloud – and I became extremely aware of whether a sentence demanded a comma, a colon or a dash. Each one had a different intonation , becoming almost a piece of music.

But though I wasn't thinking about music, Clara's playlist seems perfectly natural and fitting. It was wonderful to hear Puccini again on my playlist. I have instructed my husband to play some Puccini if I'm ever in a coma because I will surely wake up and smile.

I've lived a large part of my life in desert country (Idaho, California). I do love the desert, its majestic silence and refusal to be anything but what it is. My father was a linotype operator, my mother taught sixth grade. We didn't have much money but they put me and my sister through college. I rode the Greyound to Berkeley and always played the nickel slots in Jackpot when we stopped for a rest stop. Who knew Jackpot would become a setting for this novel?


Clara's Playlist

"Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
Frank hears his mother singing "Some Enchanted Evening” to the wasps. Haskell sees her dance with wasps on her head. So of course they think she's nuts. Barkley disagrees. "Normal people don't know as much as they think they do.” His heroes "had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb” and he wants to be like them. "You really think you're in control? Well I think you're crazy. Maybe we're crazy.” Clara loves this piece, plays it incessantly, defiantly.

"Lonely Woman " – Ornette Coleman, alto sax
This jagged jazz piece stops Clara in her tracks, reminding her of all her losses: her husband, her daughter, her alienated son. The song isn't pretty – it's tortured. She didn't know music could be like this, so honest and raw that she must listen in private. It's ugly if you can't adjust to it. She has to close all the doors when it's playing.

"Our House” - Crosby, Stills & Nash
Then there's the opposite: "Our house is a very, very , very fine house with two cats in the yard --- Now everything is easy ‘cause of you . . . " Clara and Darrell basked in the first idyllic years of marriage before he died. Now the house feels somewhat like a prison to Clara, even though she still loves it. The wasps seem to understand this double meaning and act accordingly.

"Adagio for Strings” – Samuel Barber
This simple, direct adagio is painfully beautiful, enormously sad. The single pure note at the beginning becomes tense rising harmonies that settle into a quiet acceptance of mortality. You could listen to it while watching the sun set over the Nevada desert. And she did.

"Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair”—Nina Simone
Simone's husky voice and detached but utterly focused manner show a strength that anyone would swear by. One of my old boyfriends introduced me to folk music and this song. He was a great dancer. He sang the song in my ear as he led me in dance moves that were just terrific.

"Burning Down the House” – Talking Heads
Clara's life-changing crisis with troubled Dawson Barth and girlfriend Edie Porter (avoiding spoilers) leads to an avalanche of revived memory, feeling and action in Clara. The song embodies her feelings at a critical moment in the story.

"Lady in Red" - Chris de Burgh
In her dramatic trip to Elko, much happens to Clara – in her head. Her imagination and mind have been set free by the shock of what has transpired. "Lady in Red,” one of the most romantic pop love songs from the '80s, appeals directly to women's love of flattery. "Never saw you look so bright . . .” Clara remembers her husband and old boyfriends. She wants to find love again before it's too late. Her yearning finds expression in this over-the-top ballad.

Puccini
Suddenly Clara bursts into tears. She is a total sucker for Puccini arias, and here are two in a row—"Nessun Dorma” from Turandot by Pavoratti and "E Lucevan de Stelle” from Tosca by Placido Domingo. Why is this beauty like a cry? Puccini is too much for her right now. She gets goose pimples and more crying but these tears make her feel better, not worse.

"September Song" - Sarah Vaughan
This song ties together all the themes about mortality, limits, and yearning to live. As the novel draws to an end, Clara suddenly remembers this song, a favorite when she was young.

"Fanfare for the Common Man" – Aaron Copeland
The music has an unpretentious, haunting melody, a quiet strength and nobility. It strikes me as a particularly American song. It reminds me of Clara, a dignified straight shooter. And I remember my father riding to work at the local newspaper on his bike, his lunch kit hanging from the handlebars.


Maryl Jo Fox and Clara at the Edge links:

the author's website

Centered on Books review

Fiction Writers Review 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

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

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 27th

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:


Chicago Public Library (best books)
The Coker Family (best books)
The Columbian (best graphic novels)
Cultivated (top books)
Desiring God (best Christian nonfiction)
Ebook Friendly (top Kindle Unlimited books)
Guardian (best books)
Independent (best fiction)
Island Books (best fiction)
Island Books (best nonfiction)
Kids Stop Press (best cookbooks for kids)
Kirkus (best middle grade family stories)
Kirkus (best middle grade fantasy books)
Kirkus (best middle grade graphic novels)
Kirkus (best middle grade historical fiction)
Kirkus (best middle grade nonfiction)
Kirkus (best middle grade poetry and short story collections)
Kirkus (best middle grade school and friendship stories)
Multnomah County Library (best books)
Neha Yazmin (best books)
Nelson Lowhim (best books)
NetGalley (best UK books)
The Paperback Princess (top books)
San Jose Mercury News (beer books)
Seminary Co-op (notable books)
Sunday Times (best literary nonfiction)
Telegraph (best biographies and memoirs)
Telegraph (best books)
Telegraph (best fiction)
Telegraph (best history books)
Telegraph (best science books)
A Whisper of Pages (disappointing 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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Shorties (Exciting New Nigerian Fiction, Bjork on Her New Album, and more)

The New York Times noted the exciting wave of new Nigerian fiction.


Bjork discussed her new album Utopia with FACT.


33 year-end book lists were added to Largehearted Boy’s master aggregation of “best books of 2017” lists Saturday (bringing the total to 312) , including the Minneapolis Star/Tribune's best book lists, The Times and The Sunday Times' best book lists, the San Francisco Chronicle's favorite cookbooks, and The Globe and Mail's best book.


Rolling Stone listed the best episodes of MTV Unplugged.


eBooks on sale today for $1.99:

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit
July, July by Tim O'Brien
The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
Mudbound by Hilary Jordan
The Muralist by B. A. Shapiro
Pages for Her by Sylvia Brownrigg
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
An Unnamed State by Roxane Gay
Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

eBooks on sale today for $2.99:

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemison
Palm Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut
The Smack by Richard Lange
White Oleander by Janet Fitch

eBooks on sale today for $3.99:

Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Life by Keith Richards
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

eBooks on sale today for $4.99:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Theft by Finding by David Sedaris


NPR Music is streaming the bonus disc from Wilco's remastered and expanded edition of Being There.


Fold recommended unconventional novels.


Drowned in Sound reconsidered Bjork's debut album.


Signature previewed December's best new books.


NYCTaper shared a recording of a recent performance by Luna.


Tyrant Books shared an excerpt from Bud Smith's new memoir Work.


Tobias Carroll reviewed the newly remastered and expanded Sharon Van Etten album because I was in love at ROAR.


The Naples Daily News interviewed author Nathan Hill.


Phoebe Bridges played a Tiny Desk Concert.


Book Riot previewed 2018's best books.


R.I.P., singer-songwriter Tommy Keene.


The Guardian profiled author Jeffrey Eugenides.


Blitzen Trapper shared two cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


Literary Hub interviewed poet Jenny Johnson.


The Creative Independent interviewed Emily Haines of Metric.


The Rumpus interviewed author Alexandra Kleeman.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed Jerry Granelli, who played drums on the Vince Guaraldi Trio's album A Charlie Brown Christmas.


The Granta podcast interviewed author Kamila Shamsie.


NPR Music is streaming Neil Young's new album The Visitor.


Rumaan Alam explained how his children have changed his perception of art at the New Yorker.


Beck visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.



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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November 25, 2017

"Best Books of 2017" Lists Update - November 25th

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:


Alphr (best books)
American Indians in Children's Literature (best books)
Ann Patchett and Daniel Pink (best books)
B & N Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog (best science fiction and fantasy blogs)
The Bottle Imp (best Scottish books)
GeekWire (best science books)
Globe and Mail (best books)
Guardian (best books)
The Happy Foodie (best cookbooks)
Heavy (best books)
HuffPost Canada (best cookbooks)
Indigo (top fiction)
Indigo (top non-fiction)
London Evening Standard (best books)
Minneapolis Star Tribune (best books lists)
Mr. Brian's Picture Books Picks (favorite picture books)
No Superheroes (top books)
San Francisco Chronicle (favorite cookbooks)
San Francisco Chronicle (favorite non-cooking food books)
Scholarly Kitchen (chefs' best books)
StyleCaster (best books)
Sunday Times (best food and drink books)
Sunday Times (best gardening books)
Sunday Times (best history books)
Sunday Times (best nature books)
Sunday Times (best political books)
Sunday Times (best pop and rock books)
Sunday Times (best science books)
Sunday Times (best sport books)
Teaching Biology (best science books about microbes and the reanimated extinct)
Telegraph (best sports books)
Venice Insider (top Venice-inspired books)
Zocalo (favorite nonfiction)


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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November 24, 2017

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - October 20, 2017

Bjork

Björk's Utopia is the lone new album I can recommend this week.

Vinyl reissues are the real highlight this week, including four from Saint Etienne (Finisterre, Good Humor
Sound of water, Tales From Turnpike House), two from Throbbing Gristle (20 Jazz Funk Greats, The Second Annual Report), Tom Waits' Real Gone and Townes Van Zandt's Rear View Mirror.

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

This week's interesting music releases:


Björk: Utopia
Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician EP (reissue) [vinyl]
Danny Elfman: Justice League (soundtrack)
Eagles: Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition (remastered and expanded)
Electric Light Orchestra: Out of Blue (reissue) [vinyl]
Elvis Presley: Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
INXS: Full Moon Dirty Hearts (reissue) [vinyl]
INXS: Kick (reissue) [vinyl]
INXS: Very Best (reissue) [vinyl]
INXS: Welcome to Wherever You Are (reissue) [vinyl]
Jason Molina: The Black Sabbath Covers [vinyl]
Madness: Full House: Very Best of Madness
Madvillain: Four Tet Remixes [vinyl]
The Mavericks: Christmas Time Is Coming 'Round Again [vinyl]
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Who Built The Moon?
Patti LaBelle: Home for the Holidays with Friends
Phil Collins: Take A Look At Me Now... The Complete Studio Collection (8-CD box set)
Ramones: Rocket To Russia 40th Anniversary Deluxe (3-CD and LP box set) (remastered and expanded)
Saint Etienne: Finisterre (reissue) [vinyl]
Saint Etienne: Good Humor (reissue) [vinyl]
Saint Etienne: Sound of water (reissue) [vinyl]
Saint Etienne: Tales From Turnpike House (reissue) [vinyl]
SECT: No Cure For Death
Simeon Walker: Mono
Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier: Les Chemins De Katmandou (soundtrack) (reissue) [vinyl]
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell Live [vinyl]
Sun Ra: My Brother The Wind, Vol. I (reissue) (expanded) [vinyl]
Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (reissue) [vinyl]
Throbbing Gristle: The Taste of TG A Beginner's Guide to the Music of Throbbing Gristle [vinyl]
Throbbing Gristle: The Second Annual Report [vinyl]
Tom Waits: Real Gone (remastered) [vinyl]
Townes Van Zandt: Rear View Mirror (reissue) [vinyl]
Various Artists: The 80s Pop Annual [vinyl]
Various Artists: BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge 2017
Various Artists: Rodney On The Rock presents Santa's Got a GTO Vol. 2
"Weird Al" Yankovic: Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of "Weird Al" Yankovic
Wu-Tang Clan: The Saga Continues [vinyl]
Wu-Tang Clan: Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nothin' To F' Wit/C.R.E.A.M. [vinyl]
XTC: Black Sea: Definitive Edition (remastered and expanded)
Yardbirds: Yardbirds '68
Yes: Topographic Drama - Live Across America


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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November 23, 2017

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.


Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God
by Louise Erdrich

Following in the tradition of writers like Margaret Atwood, Lois Lowry, and Octavia Butler, Erdrich's new rich novel zeroes in on reproduction in a dystopian future of state control and biological reversals. While externalizing present-day anxieties, this book is about a world that doesn't make sense and the imaginative ways in which we cope through the unthinkable.


Debriefing: Collected Stories

Debriefing: Collected Stories
by Susan Sontag, edited by Benjamin Taylor

This intriguing collection of writing by literary and social critic Susan Sontag compiles the short fiction that she wrote during her lifetime, employing styles ranging from allegorical to autobiographical. To stress the intimate sensibility of this collection and to give you a sense of how Sontag perceived fiction in her work, consider this: Sontag said that while the living room was fine for essays, short stories needed to be written in the bedroom.


Malacqua

Malacqua
by Nicola Pugliese

While this 1977 Italian cult classic will satisfy readers who eagerly inhabited Ferrante's storied Naples, it is a more surreal tale of The city. One where the city is flooded after a four-day rainfall, left on the brink of disaster. Readers are in for a strange wild trip with this novel as they follow a journalist recording the stories and voices of those experiencing a city sliding into madness.


Satania

Satania
by Vehlmann and Kerascoët

The authors of the weird and wonderful Beautiful Darkness (Drawn & Quarterly) have come out with this new weird and wonderful graphic novel. A ragag set of characters travel underground towards Hell in search of a lost scientist, only to slowly lose sense of reality and encounter an uneasy innocence of horror.


Granta 141: CANADA

Granta 141: CANADA
edited by Catherine Leroux and Madeleine Thien

This new issue of Granta on Canada is a good one. Edited by Giller Prize winner Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux, this collection of stories by contemporary Canadian writers reflects on land, language, and mythology in beautifully considered and creative ways. And with a beautiful singular cover art by Leanne Shapton, en plus.


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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