October 29, 2018

Shorties (The Books That Defined the 2000s, An Excerpt from the New Beastie Boys Book, and more)

Beastie Boys Book

Literary Hub listed books that defined the 2000s.


The Guardian shared an excerpt from the new Beastie Boys Book.

Mike D and Ad-Rock discussed the book with Morning Edition.


Largehearted Boy's aggregation of 2018 "best books of 2018" lists has begun! 60 lists are currently featured, with a couple thousand more to come.


William Boyle reviewed Cat Power's new album, Wanderer, at the Oxford American.


October's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee

eBook on sale for $2.99 today:

Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre


The A.V. Club and Cincinnati CityBeat shared playlists of songs for Halloween.


The Adroit Journal interviewed author Eleanor Kriseman.


Stream a new song by Beirut.


The New York Times profiled author Anne Lamott.


Rolling Stone profiled the band Metric.


Kathy Wang recommended books about family money at Electric Literature.


Graham Coxon visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed author Alice Bolin.


Stereogum profiled singer-songwriter Miya Folick.


Signature recommended classic novels that are ripe to be retold.


Stream a new song by Pronoun.


Stream a new song by Devouring Mothers.


Literary Hub features a new essay by Laird Hunt.


Stream a new song by the Faint.


BookMarks recommended literary horror in translation.


Stereogum recapped October's best jazz releases.


Five Books interviewed author Olivia Laing.


The Creative Independent interviewed singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry.


Electric Literature interviewed author Keith Gessen.


The Quietus reconsidered David Bowie's Buddha of Suburbia soundtrack 25 years after its release.



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





October 27, 2018

Online "Best of 2018" Book Lists

For the eleventh straight year, I am aggregating every online year-end book list I find in this post. As the lists appear online, I will add them to this master list, updating daily.

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

Daily updates to the master list of online "best books of 2018" lists.

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


Online "Best of 2018" Book Lists:


Adrik Kemp (best books)
Amazon (best books)
Amazon (best art and photography books)
Amazon (best biographies and memoirs)
Amazon (best business and leadership books)
Amazon (best children's books)
Amazon (best comics and graphic novels)
Amazon (best cookbook, food, and wine books)
Amazon (best history books)
Amazon (best humor and entertainment books)
Amazon (best literature and fiction)
Amazon (best mysteries and thrillers)
Amazon (best nonfiction)
Amazon (best romance books)
Amazon (best science books)
Amazon (best science fiction and fantasy)
Amazon (best young adult books)
American Indian Youth Literature Award (best books by and about Native Americans)
Américas Award (children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States)
Arab American Book Awards (best books by and about Arab Americans)
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (books about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage)
Australian Family Therapists’ Award (children's books)

Batchelder Award (children's books in translation)
Book Riot (best cookbooks)
Book Riot (best food books)
Book Riot (great essay collections)
BookClubbish (best books)
Bookforum (authors' favorite books)
Booklist (top arts books)
Booklist (top arts books for youth)
Booklist (top biographies)
Booklist (top biographies for youth)
Booklist (top biographies on audio)
Booklist (top book-group books)
Booklist (top crafts and gardening books)
Booklist (top crime fiction audiobooks)
Booklist (top diverse nonfiction)
Booklist (top diverse fiction for older and middle graders)
Booklist (top diverse nonfiction for older and middle graders)
Booklist (top diverse novels on audio)
Booklist (top diverse picture books)
Booklist (top food books)
Booklist (top graphic novels)
Booklist (top graphic novels for teens)
Booklist (top graphic novels for youth)
Booklist (top historical fiction)
Booklist (top historical fiction for youth)
Booklist (top horror)
Booklist (top literary travel books)
Booklist (top project books for youth)
Booklist (top reference books)
Booklist (top reference for your circulating collection)
Booklist (top romance debuts)
Booklist (top romance fiction)
Booklist (top romance fiction for youth)
Booklist (top series nonfiction)
Booklist (top SF/Fantasy)
Booklist (top SF/fantasy and horror for youth)
Booklist (top sports books for youth)
Booklist (top sports nonfiction)
Booklist (top women's fiction)
Booklist (top women's fiction on audio)
Books Are My Bag Readers Awards (books)
Brightly (must-read picture books)

Caring.com (best caregiver books)
Carnegie Library (best books for babies)
Chicago Review of Books (best horror nonfiction books)
Children’s Africana Book Awards (best children’s and young adult books on Africa)
Contemplative Nostalgia (best books)
Coretta Scott King Book Awards (best books by African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values)
Country Living (best cookbooks)

Daniel Disney (must-have sales books)
Delish (best cookbooks)
Digital Journal (top children's books)
Do Lectures (must-read books)
The Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award (authors, illustrators, and publishers of high quality fictional and biographical children, intermediate, and young adult books that appropriately portray individuals with developmental disabilities)

Eater (books for food lovers)
Eligible Magazine (great feminist books)
Elle Australia (best books)
Elle Australia (best true crime books)
Environment Award for Children’s Literature (ecological books that inspire Australian children)
Essentially a Nerd (diverse literary award lists)
Ezra Jack Keats Award (emerging talent in the field of children’s books)

Fiammetta Rocco (best nonfiction books)
Food Network (best cookbooks)

Goodreads (best debut authors)
Goodreads (best fantasy)
Goodreads (best fiction)
Goodreads (best food and cookbooks)
Goodreads (best graphic novels and comics)
Goodreads (best historical fiction)
Goodreads (best history and biography)
Goodreads (best horror)
Goodreads (best humor)
Goodreads (best memoir and autobiography)
Goodreads (best middle grade and children's)
Goodreads (best mystery and thriller)
Goodreads (best nonfiction)
Goodreads (best picture books)
Goodreads (best poetry)
Goodreads (best romance)
Goodreads (best science and technology)
Goodreads (best science fiction)
Goodreads (best young adult and science fiction)
Goodreads (best young adult fiction)
Governor General's Literary Awards (Canadian books)

The Happy Foodie (best cookbooks)
Hong Kong Tatler (best cookbooks)
HuffPo (best kids books of 2018 to not raise a jerk)

Indigo (best books)
Indigo (best biographies)
Indigo (best business books)
Indigo (best cookbooks)
Indigo (best fiction)
Indigo (best historical fiction)
Indigo (best non-fiction)
Indigo (best romance)
Indigo (best teen books)
Indigo (best thrillers)
Inverse (best science books)

Kirkus (best debut fiction)
Kirkus (best fiction)
Kirkus (best fiction in translation)
Kirkus (best fiction to get your book club talking)
Kirkus (best historical fiction)
Kirkus (best literary fiction)
Kirkus (best mysteries and thrillers)
Kirkus (best romance novels)
Kirkus (best science fiction and fantasy)
Kirkus (best short fiction)
Kirkus (best up-to-the-minute fiction)
Kirkus Prize (fiction, nonfiction, young readers literature)
Kitchn (hottest new cookbooks)

Lily R. Mason (favorite books)
The List (best comedy books)
Love Sawyer (hottest holiday romance books)

The Manual (best cookbooks)
Marie Claire (best books)
Maris Kreizman (favorite books)
May's Blossom (favourite books)
Melbourne Prize for Literature & Awards (books by Victorian writers)
Metropolis (best Japanese novels)
Minneapolis Star Tribune (best baking books)
Minneapolis Star Tribune (great wine books)
The Morning News (fiction)

New Statesman (best books)
New York Times/New York Public Library (best illustrated children's books)
Newsweek (best comic books and graphic novels)
Notable Books for a Global Society (books that promote understanding of and appreciation for the world's full range of diverse cultures and ethnic and racial groups)

Parents (best children's books)
PDN (notable photo books)
Pebble (non-fiction magazine)
PopSugar (most chilling horror books)
Publishers Weekly (best books)
Publishers Weekly (best comics)
Publishers Weekly (best fiction)
Publishers Weekly (best illustrated books)
Publishers Weekly (best lifestyle books)
Publishers Weekly (best middle-grade books)
Publishers Weekly (best mystery books)
Publishers Weekly (best nonfiction books)
Publishers Weekly (best picture books)
Publishers Weekly (best poetry collections)
Publishers Weekly (best religion books)
Publishers Weekly (best romance books)
Publishers Weekly (best science fiction/fantasy/horror)
Publishers Weekly (best young adult books)

Reader's Digest (best audiobooks)
Reader's Digest (best coffee table books)
Romper (children's picture books that defined 2018)

Schneider Family Book Award (books that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences)
Seventeen (best young adult books)
South Asia Book Award (children's and young adult books about South Asians living abroad)
Spectator (best gardening books)
Spectator (books of the year)
Strategy + Business (best business books)
Strategy + Business (best economics books)
Strategy + Business (best innovation books)
Strategy + Business (best leadership books)
Strategy + Business (best management books)
Strategy + Business (best marketing books)
Strategy + Business (best narratives)
Strategy + Business (best strategy books)

Telegraph (American politics books)
Telegraph (best children's books)
Telegraph (biography)
Telegraph (fiction)
Telegraph (history books)
Telegraph (music books)
Telegraph (science books)
Telegraph (sports books)
TIME (best fiction books)
TIME (best nonfiction books)
Tor.com (best books)
Turntable Kitchen (cookbooks)

Value Walk (most popular investment books)

Walter Awards (diverse books written by diverse authors)
Washington Post (best audiobooks)
Washington Post (best book-to-film adaptations)
Washington Post (best children's books)
Washington Post (best graphic novels)
Washington Post (best poetry collections)
Washington Post (best poetry collections)
Washington Post (best science fiction and fantasy novels)
Washington Post (best thrillers and mysteries)
Washington Post (biggest book news)
Washington Post (notable fiction)
Washington Post (notable nonfiction)
Waterstone (books of the year)
The Week UK (best cookbooks)
The Week UK (best novels)
What She Reads (best holiday books)
What She Reads (top prize-winning books)
Will M Storm (best books)
Wired (favorite books)
Woman's Day (best books for teens)
World Fantasy Awards (fantasy books)

YALSA (top teen books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

2017 Year-End Online Music Lists
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

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

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

October 26, 2018

Mohamed Asem's Playlist for His Memoir "Stranger in the Pen"

Stranger in the Pen

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

Mohamed Asem's memoir Stranger in the Pen is much more than the story of his airport detention, this important book is a treatise on identity and culture.

Ben Parzybok wrote of the book:

"In spare, moving prose, Mohamed Asem takes us through a suspenseful journey of airport immigration detention while painting an endearing and sometimes sad portrait of a life between cultures. Stranger in the Pen is a meditative look at nationality, home, and how we collectively treat strangers."


In his own words, here is Mohamed Asem's Book Notes music playlist for his memoir Stranger in the Pen:



In July 2016, three days after the terror attack in Nice on Bastille Day, British immigration officers in Gatwick Airport detained me overnight without cause. Stranger in the Pen narrates the events of that night, along with the accompanying existential reflections I went through (on my Arab-European identity, on Kuwait, my home, and the path I have set on in life) as I tried to understand why I was detained.

I tend to focus better in an environment where there’s music or activity in the background, so, during the writing of this book, I’d usually play a Google-curated radio station through my headphones or the speakers of my laptop. Occasionally, I’d come across a gem (to name a few: “Changes” by Charles Bradley, “See Me Out” by Hales Corner, “Caught a Long Wind” by Feist), but, for the most part, the tracks did not go beyond serving their utilitarian purpose of setting an introspective mood in my studio. Even so, there were a few songs (and albums) that I’d regularly play, or keep in the back of my mind while I worked on the book. It’s a pleasure to be able to share them and explore their influence on Stranger in the Pen.

“Nobody Else Will Be There” by The National

After my morning routine of brewing coffee and tuning in to the BBC, I’d sit at my writing desk, put on my headphones, and listen to this track. Its calm, brooding and atmospheric character would ease me into the introspective mindset I needed to be in to write. It’s my favorite off their latest album due to its subtle details: the change in the melody’s key, the addition and subtraction of ambient sounds, the singer’s voice coming in an octave higher than before. These effects are all used with great economy and precision to create a rich atmosphere and powerful drama.

“Song Seven” by Interpol

Chekhov’s short stories, Christopher Nolan’s Memento and Interpol’s Black EP are among the works of art I revisit, every now and again, to be dazzled and inspired. I’ve heard the songs in the Black EP more times than I can remember, yet I’m still blown away. Sometimes the music veers from the wistful to the manic (sometimes psychotic) all in one song! I definitely have Interpol (and, to a certain degree, Christopher Nolan) to thank for my interest in playing around with narrative structure and the habit of looking for unexpected paths and tangents in my own storytelling. Although “Song Seven,” musically, is more restrained than other songs on the EP, I really enjoy listening to how its reflective mood suddenly gives way to an outpouring of yearning. This transition and contrast compliments well the emotional journey I took myself through in my book, from being aloof and analytical to yearning for the intimacy of communication.

“How to Disappear Completely” by Radiohead

In my book, there are scenes of me sitting alone in a busy café, drinking wine and gazing out the front window; me walking up a street past lively restaurants and bars; me in my apartment, looking out the window and observing people going about their lives. “How to Disappear Completely” has always, to me, evoked the image of someone who is still while the rest of the world moves by without noticing that person’s presence or existence.

“Fall In Love Too Easily” played by Miles Davis

Around the mid-point of my book, bored out of my mind from waiting in a pen-like sitting area for immigration officers to let me go, I recall my first love and the first time we met. That memory, on the page, comes across as a scene where two people meet for the first time and develop what could be the start of a special relationship, but, to me, it comes attached with underlying sadness, for my mind cannot divorce that memory from the knowledge of how the relationship ended. The love and heartbreak I experienced while working on that scene is wonderfully evoked by Miles Davis’s interpretation of “Fall In Love too Easily.” His playing imbues the song’s melody with a melancholy and sensuality I understand so well that it’s haunting.

“Ya Rayah” played by Rachid Taha

The Arabic title of this song roughly translates to ‘Oh, Departing One.’ The lyrics, written by Dahmane el Harachi (1926-1980), an Algerian singer who immigrated to France around the mid-twentieth century, provide a message to people who choose to leave their home for the hope of finding a better life in a foreign land. The lyrics refer to the hardship of travel, the feeling of alienation from living in a foreign culture, and the eternal call of home. These themes were very present in my mind during my detainment, as I wrestled with the nature of my difficult relationship with Kuwait, my home, and why I keep on leaving it for the Western world.

“Ne me quitte pas” by Jacques Brel

I suspect that everyone has a song, out there, that musically or lyrically (or both) speaks to the core of their person in a way that no living person can. In my case, “Ne me quitte pas,” sung by Jacques Brel, is that song. The romantic/Dostoyevskian lyrics (“let me become/the shadow of your shadow/the shadow of your hand/the shadow of your hound”) and Brel’s straightforward singing are so moving, so gut-wrenching that I struggle to listen to this song without getting emotional. Nevertheless, in one of the more dramatic moments in my book, I attempted to channel my inner Brel and Dostoyevsky into a pathetic yet heartfelt scene.

“Don’t Move” by Phantogram

In my high school, a loud and clang-y bell would ring at the end of each class and at the end of recess. Although each ring sounded the same, the last one of the day was special. When it rang, we felt an immediate release of tension, a surge of relief that learning had finally ended (at least for the day) and that we could finally return home to remove our school uniform (white shirt, maroon trousers, black socks, black shoes – the meaning of those color combinations remains a mystery to me). During the writing of my book, the song “Don’t Move” was that last bell of the day. I’d turn up the volume, put the song on repeat and prepare to go out for a walk, or busy myself with some mundane task like cooking or cleaning my place, anything to distract me from my work until the following day when, early in the morning, I would return to my writing table, put on my headphones and listen to The National’s “Nobody Else will be There.”


Mohamed Asem and Stranger in the Pen links:

Portland Mercury review

Think Out Loud 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

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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This Week's Interesting Music Releases - October 26, 2018

Julia Holter

Julia Holter's Aviary is challenging and rewarding, one of the year's best albums.

Georgia Anne Muldrow's Overload, Laura Gibson's Goners, and Ty Segall's covers album Fudge Sandwich are other new releases I can recommend.

Vinyl reissues include two albums by This Mortal Coil (Blood, Filigree & Shadow) and four from Bruce Springsteen (The Ghost of Tom Joad, Human Touch, Lucky Town, Tunnel of Love).


This week's interesting music releases:

Barry White: The 20th Century Records Albums 1973-1979 (9-CD box set)
Barry White: The 20th Century Records Albums 1973-1979 (9-LP box set)
Bauhaus: In the Flat Field Bronze (reissue) [vinyl]
Bauhaus: Mask (reissue) [vinyl]
Bee Gees: Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits [vinyl]
Bondie: Heart of Glass (reissue) [vinyl]
Bloodbath: The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn
Boy George And Culture Club: Life
Bruce Springsteen: The Ghost of Tom Joad (reissue) [vinyl]
Bruce Springsteen: Human Touch (reissue) [vinyl]
Bruce Springsteen: Lucky Town (reissue) [vinyl]
Bruce Springsteen: Tunnel of Love (reissue) [vinyl]
Cloud Nothings: Last Building Burning [vinyl]
Daughters: You Won't Get What You Want
David Bowie: Heathen (reissue) [vinyl]
David Crosby: Here If You Listen
Dean Wareham Vs. Cheval Sombre: A Sentimental Education
Diana Ross: Wonderful Christmas Time
Dinosaur Jr.: Ear Bleeding Country: The Best Of (reissue) [vinyl]
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Overload
Gwen Stefani: You Make It Feel Like Christmas
Ingrid Michaelson: Songs for the Season
Jessica Moss: Entanglement
John Legend: A Legendary Christmas
Julia Holter: Aviary
Kaia Kater: Grenades
KC and the Sunshine Band: A Sunshine Christmas (Special Edition)
King Crimson: Meltdown: Live in Mexico City
Keith Jarrett: La Fenice
The Kinks: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (remastered and expanded)
Laura Gibson: Goners
Local H: Pack Up the Cats (reissue) [vinyl]
Los Campesinos!: Hold On Now, Youngster... (reissue) [vinyl]
Madonna: Erotica (reissue) [vinyl]
Madonna: Music (reissue) [vinyl]
Mitch Ryder: Christmas (Take a Ride)
MO: Forever Neverland
NAO: Saturn
NRBQ: All Hopped Up (reissue) [vinyl[]
Oh Pep!: I Wasn't Only Thinking About You...
Pixies: Come On Pilgrim... It's Surfer Rosa (reissue and expanded)
Robyn: Honey
Saves the Day: 9
Semisonic: Feeling Strangely Fine (reissue and expanded)
Shad: A Short Story About A War
The Struts: Young & Dangerous
They Might Be Giants: Lincoln (reissue) [vinyl]
This Mortal Coil: Blood (remastered) [vinyl]
This Mortal Coil: Filigree & Shadow (remastered) [vinyl]
Thom Yorke: Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film)
Todd Snyder: Songs for the Daily Planet (reissue) [vinyl]
Tommy Guerrero: Road to Nowhere
Ty Segall: Fudge Sandwich
Various Artists: BACH 333 – The New Complete Edition (223-CD box set)
Various Artists: Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound
Whitey Morgan: White Lines and Hard Times
William Shatner: Shatner Claus


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)

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

Shorties (A Profile of Well Read Black Girl's Glory Edim, A Profile of Julia Holter, and more)

Well Read Black Girl

The New York Times profiled Well Read Black Girl's Glory Edim.

The anthology she edited, Well Read Black Girl, is one of the year's most impressive and important books.


SPIN profiled singer-songwriter Julia Holter.


October's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

The Best of Us by Joyce Maynard
The Devil's Advocate by Taylor Caldwell
Shatterday by Harlan Ellison


Jim James played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The Washington Post recommended great horror fiction.


Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus played a solo acoustic set at Drowned in Sound.


Bookworm interviewed author Susan Orlean.


Vulture recommended fall books by and about women who rock.


The Creative Independent interviewed poet Andrew Weatherhead.


SPIN listed the best alternative rock songs of 1988.


Literary Hub listed the books that defined the 1990s.


Gorilla Vs. Bear shared a Halloween mix.


The Millions interviewed author Karl Ove Knausgard.


Turning the Tables profiled Tegan and Sara.


The winners of the 2018 Kirkus Prizes have been announced.


Stereogum previewed this year's holiday albums.


The Millions interviewed author David Shields.


Mountain Man visited World Cafe for a live performance and interview.


Chelsey Johnson discussed her novel Stray City with Steph Burt at the Los Angeles Review of Books.


Stream a new song by Grandaddy's Jason Lytle.


Autostraddle recommended mind-expanding books to read for LGBTQ history month.


The Quietus recapped October's heavy metal releases.



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

October 25, 2018

Erin Hoover's Playlist for Her Poetry Collection "Barnburner"

Barnburner

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

Erin Hoover's Barnburner, awarded the 2017 Elixir Press Antivenom Poetry Award, is a timely work of politics, feminism, and humanity.

PANK wrote of the collection:

"Erin Hoover’s debut poetry collection Barnburner is replete with powerful and timely character-studies. Each character, whether a bad boss, a junkie, a peer on a different path, a boyfriend, or a mugger is examined with the same mordant empathy Hoover is incredibly adept at employing."


In her own words, here is Erin Hoover's Book Notes music playlist for her poetry collection Barnburner:



I am not a musician. As a poet, I’m more in love with the syntax of the sentence complicated by line break than with the music of words. But for much of my life, I have been musician adjacent, hanging out with people in bands and going to shows and then to parties after shows. There was a time in my life where I was likely to be in a reasonably sized party with Interpol or living in the loft where Matt and Kim were setting up a show. And I have always been a “hard listener” to music. I will analyze a song like a text: what a song means, why it’s important, the context of its writing.

I created this playlist for Barnburner from the time period in which I had certain experiences that inspired the fictional narratives of the book. Barnburner is a group of poems organized around tone. The book’s epigraph describes the origin of the word ‘barnburner’: the farmer who burns down his barn to get rid of a rat infestation. I’m not sure if this comes out of America’s puritanical origins, but I think that in our country political and personal commitment is tied to risking annihilation. Not nihilism, where nothing holds meaning, but the opposite: whatever concerns the barnburner at a particular moment in time must mean everything. As my most rock-n-roll friend used to say, riffing on This Is Spinal Tap: “I go up to eleven.”

1. “Clampdown” – The Clash

I used to drive around central Pennsylvania listening to the Clash in high school. I was college bound, but I understood the energetic hopelessness behind “Clampdown,” certain that I was in some way entering into the service economy version of factory life. I don’t think I got the double meaning of working for in “Working for the clampdown” until later on. Now I also know firsthand how you can be both a victim of the clampdown but also one of its unwitting agents. The first poem in Barnburner, “The Lovely Voice of Samantha West,” is about global capitalism, and there are others about labor in general. As a bonus for me, the Clash shout out my hometown of Harrisburg at the end of “Clampdown” because international media attention around the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 made Harrisburg into an emblem of the American working-class city. I’m not sure that people now living in Harrisburg conceive of the place that way, but I did, growing up there.

2. “50ft Queenie” – P J Harvey

P J Harvey blew off the top of my head with this song, which I first saw as a video on MTV’s 120 Minutes. I loved all of Rid of Me. I, too, wanted to be a tough, unapologetic bitch and to turn the tables on people, mostly men, who had made me feel powerless. That’s how I read “50ft Queenie.” Although now I reject the idea that I have to appropriate masculine ideas of power to be powerful, I will love all of P J Harvey’s music until the end of time.

3. “Open Heart Surgery” – The Brian Jonestown Massacre

My affection for “Open Heart Surgery” is heavily influenced by the video for it, which pairs Survival Town Atom Test footage from 1955 with a sound characteristic of one of my favorite bands. The U.S. military built “Survival Town” in the middle of the Nevada desert—the video includes construction scenes too, mannequins being placed in domestic poses—to test the effects of detonating an atomic weapon. What results is something like the mental landscape that produced the poems in Barnburner, an impression helped along by Anton Newcombe wailing and a barebones guitar riff. Not that I’ve suffered more than anybody else—I’m absolutely sure that’s not true—but I’ve tried to interrogate what I know of anguish, in particular, belonging to a cultural system that fundamentally doesn’t respect the same things I do.

4. “Head Like a Hole” – Nine Inch Nails

As a pure expression of rage, “Head Like a Hole” fits the feeling some readers will find in Barnburner. The book has been called angry. I’m including this song for the addict friend of mine who inspired the M. character in several poems, for the endless hours we spent driving through Pennsylvania back roads listening to industrial music because somebody might have a pill to sell us. The lyric “I’d rather die than give you control” is ironic in this context, because like the characters in the song, we had no control outside of using twenty bucks we’d scared up to fulfill our own death wish. Americans prefer to see addiction as an individual moral failing rather than a natural response to late-stage capitalism, calibrated according to various social factors. I wish it were different.

5. “It’s So Hard to Fall in Love” – Sebadoh

I’m not a monster. There are tender poems in Barnburner, mostly about children and wanting to protect them, and poems about being naive myself. Even as a teenager, when I first heard this Sebadoh song, I was amused by the line, “It’s so hard to fall in love / Knowin’ all I know / Seeing all the things I see,” because how does any young lover know anything? And yet I knew that I loved Lou Barlow for writing those lyrics, for making a lo-fi song about falling in love built on the rhythm of a heart beating.

6. “Taste the Floor” – Jesus and Mary Chain

I’ve heard this band called pure dirt. The Jesus and Mary Chain are too much. Fuzzed-out melodies played loud as fuck. Lyrics tinged with bored masochism and sung without affect. I’d nominate the whole album Psychocandy for this playlist. “Taste the Floor” struts in a dark room and then kicks in the way a strong drink or a drug kicks in. And while I don’t understand the lyrics, I don’t have to. No, I will not turn the music down.

7. “New Year” – The Breeders

May I present the Breeders, loud women (and one man) writing powerful songs and playing kick-ass guitars and drums. You can blow out a car speaker with these songs. As for “New Year,” it’s a hard-driving race to the finish once you get past the line “It’s true,” which is a nice pivot if you think about it. I conceive of Barnburner as a race-to-the-finish book, with narratives that I hope propel the reader to go on. Additionally, the Breeders recorded one of two songs I’ve ever learned how to play on guitar (though not this one). See my poem “What Is the Sisterhood to Me?” for the other.

8. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” – The Stooges

Although the Stooges are an American band, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” was standard at early-2000s New York City Britpop nights at Don Hill’s or Bar 13, and it will always put me right back at last call with a mouth tasting like tonic water and ashtray. When Iggy Pop sings, “And now I'm ready to feel your hand / And lose my heart on the burning sands,” I’m ready to jump up and down with everybody else. Barnburner tries in places to capture a post-9/11 feeling as experienced by a certain group of people who were newly adult in 2001 or 2002, when we all thought we were going to die, not from terrorists, but from the stupid actions of our own government, and we danced like it.

9. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – Cat Power

Chan Marshall’s version of the Rolling Stones song is stripped down and contemplative. I don’t think that I could hear, really hear, Mick Jagger sing “Satisfaction” until I heard Cat Power. I also liked a woman singing this song, the woman as the protagonist who grapples with the emptiness of capitalism. I have wanted to be a woman who could do that. Also, that last line. And I’m tryin’.

10. “Resist Psychic Death” – Bikini Kill

I listened to many riot grrrl bands in high school and college because it felt incredible to hear shouted alternate ideas about sexuality and gender after absorbing so much toxic masculinity, especially in punk rock circles. Bikini Kill is the band I continue to listen to. For me, “Resist Psychic Death” is about pushing back against someone else’s narrative, and thus agenda, for your own life. Those false narratives are part of what I’m trying to pull apart and take down with Barnburner. I want to be the author of my own life, and to me that’s still revolutionary. These lyrics! Listen and learn: “There’s more than two ways of thinking / There’s more than one way of knowing / There’s more than two ways of being / There’s more than one way of going somewhere.”

11. “Prayer to God” – Shellac

Two girls from Washington, D.C. who were into hardcore taught me how to dance, and it was one of those girls who introduced me to Shellac back when 1000 Hurts was new. After listening to me go off about some injustice I’d experienced from a dude, she whispered, “You’ve got to hear this song” and played it for me. “Prayer to God” is more melodic than other Shellac songs, but true to the band’s usual driving rhythms and angular guitars. Like a prayer, the song begins with an address to God and ends with an Amen. The diction switches between holy and profane, between the poetry of a man asking God to strike his beloved “Where her necklaces close / Where her garments come together / Where I used to lay my face” and increasingly loud refrains to kill the lover who has replaced him: “Fuckin’ kill him already, kill him.” For me, there is an important distinction between making poetry that is crafted vs. poetry that is merely polished. Craft can evoke rawness, too. Shellac nails that distinction for me, musically speaking. Sometimes fuck is the word that you need.


Erin Hoover and Barnburner links:

the author's website

Glass review
Grist review
PANK review
Publishers Weekly review

Connotation Press interview with the author
The Pinch interview with the author
Rob McLennnan interview with the author
Tallahassee Democrat 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

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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Shorties (Barbara Kingsolver on Books and Reading, A Stream of Songs from Bob Dylan's New More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 Box Set, and more)

Bob Dylan

Barbara Kingsolver talked books and reading with the New York Times.


NPR Music is streaming a selection of tracks from Bob Dylan's More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14.


October's best eBook deals.


Stream Tyler, the Creator's cover of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch."


Electric Literature interviewed author Édouard Louis.


NPR Music is streaming Molly Nilsson's new album Twenty Twenty.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Jeff Jackson.


Ultimate Classic Rock listed the top southern rock albums.


BuzzFeed shared an excerpt from Glory Edim's anthology Well-Read Black Girl, Kaitlyn Greenidge's essay.


The Niche ranked all of Sufjan Stevens' songs.


Meg Wolitzer discussed her favorite books at Vulture.


Stream a new Swervedriver song.


All Things Considered interviewed Edward Carey about his new novel, Little.


Stream a new Moonface song.


Sarah Gerard talked to Sarasota magazine about building a literary community in the city.


Stream a new Bob Mould song.


The Creative Independent interviewed poet Eileen Myles.


Stream a new song by Jessica Pratt.


The Rumpus Book Club interviewed author Nicole Chung.


Stream a new song by Hatchie.


Literary Hub recommended books that defined the 1980s.


Stream a new song by Miya Folick.


Literary Hub shared a story from May-lee Chai's collection, Useful Phrases for Immigrants.


Stereogum is streaming Pill's new album, Soft Hell.


Singer-songwriter Sadie Dupuis talked music and beer with October.



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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October 24, 2018

May-lee Chai's Playlist for Her Story Collection "Useful Phrases for Immigrants"

Useful Phrases for Immigrants

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

May-lee Chai's brilliant Useful Phrases for Immigrants is one of the year's finest short story collections.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"With her masterful short story collection, Chai proves with exquisite craftsmanship that less can be so much more. The eight stories making up this slim volume focus on characters trying to make sense of changing literal and metaphorical landscapes."


In her own words, here is May-lee Chai's Book Notes music playlist for her story collection Useful Phrases for Immigrants:



1) Useful Phrases for Immigrants

At its core, Useful Phrases for Immigrants is a kind of love story--there's multiple kinds of love here as well as anxiety about love and being loved and finding strength in love. So I thought Faye Wong's classic "Hong Dou 紅豆," which has such an air of wistfulness and longing, fits the themes so well.



2) Fish Boy

The protagonist in "Fish Boy" (if he were real) would most likely be listening to American rap in 2002 when the story is taking place as he tries to figure out how to survive in the big city when you're poor and the odds against you. To accompany this story I picked a song by contemporary Chinese rap artist Ty. The official English title is "Street Smarts" but the literal translation of the Chinese title is "Didn't Do Well in School" and it depicts the frustration that many students feel about the uselessness of their exam-based, memorization-based school curriculum.

Ty. (featuring Cyndi Wang)
"Shu Mei Du Hao" 書沒讀好 ("Street Smarts")



3) The Body

The short story "The Body" was inspired in part by the Ming Dynasty Chinese play from 1598 "The Peony Pavilion" by Tang Xianzu. I've seen several adaptions over the years, including the masterful opera that premiered at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley in 1998, directed by Peter Sellars. It featured a rock-jazz-kunqu opera-fusion score by Tan Dun, who would later go on to fame for his Oscar-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In the original play, a young scholar stops at a pavilion and is visited by a ghost of a young woman who had died while pining for a lover whom she could see only in her dreams. Traditionally the two lovers--young man and ghost--are always from the elite, upper classes of society. I wondered what would happen if instead the lovers were poor, migrant workers in 21st century China? What does it mean--for society, for them-- that they could only encounter each other once one was already dead?

I've chosen a track from Tan Dun's Bitter Love soundtrack, the fusion score that he composed for the Peony Pavilion retelling.

"Against Time of Desire" (sung by Ying Huang)



4) Canada

In this story, a young Chinese American girl in New Jersey, obsessed with Nancy Drew mysteries, is looking for clues to what makes her parents argue, and what it means to be growing up female and why everyone --from her school to her friends to her family--seems to have different and conflicting ideas about what that means.

I think Awkwafina's "NYC Bitche$" would have appealed to the protagonist.



5) Ghost Festivals

For this story of longing and societal prejudice, I thought Grace Chang's classic "I Want Your Love (我要 你的愛) played on the characters' desire for love very well. The song was also famously featured in Ts'ai Ming-liang's apocalyptic musical, The Hole (2000), about characters having to overcome great obstacles in their quest for human connection.



6) The Lucky Day

In this story, a prodigal daughter returns to help her mother, who is in the final stages of cancer. While the daughter was hoping for acknowledgement from her mother, the mother has an entirely different idea of how they should spend their time together. I felt Cyndi Lauper's anthem, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," ultimately captured the spirit of the story.



7) First Carvel in Beijing

Ultimately this is a story about forgiveness, about letting go of the past, and accepting one's self. So Faye Wong's beautiful rendition of the Heart Sutra felt like a match.



8) Shouting Means I Love You

The father and daughter in this story argue (albeit humorously) about gentrification, family, who loved whom more, and many, many other things, so I thought Cui Jian's classic rock anthem "I Have Nothing 一無所有" fit their mood.

"Yi wu suo you"



May-lee Chai and Useful Phrases for Immigrants links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Booklist review
Foreword review
Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review

Poets & Writers 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

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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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - October 24th, 2018

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.


Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet

Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet by Julie Doucet

Julie Doucet’s entire revolutionary body of work is collected in this new box set, spanning from the acclaimed My New York Diary to rare comics and previously unpublished material. Emerging onto the 1990s comic scene a fully formed cartoonist, Doucet’s work is dense, witty, and fully confident as she explores the depths of the female psyche, and the fragility of the men around her.


Chlorine Gardens

Chlorine Gardens by Keiler Roberts

After the success of her 2017 Sunburning, Roberts is back, deftly dealing with pregnancy, art-making, and mental illness. It’s with her signature humour that the Chicago-based artist faces life’s darker moments, in a comic collection that Publisher’s Weekly deems poignant and “deeply satisfying.”


Friday Black

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Roxane Gay’s commanding “read this book” rings true for Adjei-Brenyah’s debut, a collection of stories haunting in their portrayal of the dangers and absurdities faced by black Americans. From an all-too-real account of the injustices of the justice system to an all-too-easy-to-imagine tale of racism as sport, these stories grip and never let go.


Roaming Foliage

Roaming Foliage by Patrick Kyle

Following the journey of two boys, a girl, a small head without a body, a humanoid robot, and a pumpkin through the wild overgrowth of a mysterious garden, Kyle’s latest offering is a feast of fantastical flora and fauna. It’s only the latest world to be built by the Toronto-based artist’s unique touch.


Shame is an Ocean I Swim Across

Shame is an Ocean I Swim Across by Mary Lambert

Known in equal measure as singer, songwriter, and spoken word artist, Lambert includes poet in her impressive list of accomplishments with this new collection, a stark and vulnerable discussion of sexual assault, mental illness, and body acceptance. In healing herself through poetry, Lambert provides guidance and hope for those who have been beaten down, but aim to lift themselves back up.


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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Shorties (Sarah Perry on Her New Novel, An Excerpt from the 33 1/3 Book on Tori Amos's Boys for Pele Album, and more)

Melmoth

Sarah Perry talked to Vulture about her new novel Melmoth.


The Guardian shared an excerpt from Amy Gentry's 33 1/3 book on Tori Amos's Boys for Pele.


October's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909–1950 by T. S. Eliot
Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos
October 1964 by David Halberstam
Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry


Stream a new song by Whim.


Lisa Moore shared short story writing tips at the CBC.


Mountain Man shared cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


Comics Beat shared an excerpt from Natalie Nourigat's autobiographical graphic novel I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation.


Paste listed the best albums of 2008.


The New York Times recommended books on trans rights and gender identity.


Mikaela Davis visited The Current for a live performance and imterview.


Entropy interviewed author Litsa Dremousis.


Mike D and Ad-Rock discussed the new Beastie Boys book with the New York Times and What's Good.


The Paris Review recommended books for a trans literary canon.


Stream a new Beach House song.


Entertainment Weekly interviewed author Sheila Heti.


Stream a new song by the Glands.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Ben Marcus.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III.


Literary Hub recommended books that bare witness to America's prison state.


Elvis Costello visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


The Quietus recapped October's best cassette releases.



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

October 23, 2018

Michelle Bailat-Jones's Playlist for Her Novel "Unfurled"

Unfurled

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

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Bailat-Jones creates a complex and nuanced portrait of a family torn apart by mental illness and of the rebuilding process, making this novel both fascinating and stirring."


In her own words, here is Michelle Bailat-Jones's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Unfurled:


Unfurled is a novel of the ocean, specifically of Seattle’s Puget Sound. It’s a novel of a family broken apart by mental illness, and of a woman trying her hardest to use anger to beat back her sorrow. While it was really tempting to put together a list of the grunge songs that make me nostalgic for Seattle of the '80s and '90s, I’ve made an eclectic tribute playlist to Unfurled's characters instead with a not-so-subtle nautical theme.

For Ella: Nirvana – Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
For a book written about Seattle and in many ways for the Seattle of my childhood, this song is a must. And it fits the main character of Unfurled, Ella, who is so angry at what has happened and what is happening in her life that she’s making a series of increasingly bad decisions.

For John: Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
In the novel, Ella’s father John is a captain for the Washington State Ferry Service and he raises Ella mostly on his own. His entire life revolves around taking care of his young daughter and being out on the water, fishing or piloting his boat. John’s presence is one of two shadows cast across the novel, and it is mostly a benevolent one. This is a song I imagine he would have played for Ella when she was a child, out on their boat somewhere or in the wheelhouse on his last run across the water while Ella worked quietly on her homework.

For Maggie: Sophie Hunger – Shape
Most of Unfurled was written in Switzerland and I wanted to include a song from a Swiss artist. With its dark tone, eerie underlying vocals and cryptic lyrics, this song is very Maggie to me – Maggie who is the hardest character to know in the novel, a woman struggling with her mental health, whose decisions are unfathomable and often hurtful to those around her.

For Ella: Muppet Show Theme Song by OK GO
This is a very dark and almost spooky version of a childhood classic. Ella’s life until her mother left when she was ten was an unsettling place as she coped with her mother’s increasing instability. I like how this song conjures up a very different feeling from the original even if the words remain playful – Ella’s childhood was this confusing mix of silly and disturbing.

For Neil: Ayron Jones – Take Your Time
Ella’s husband Neil is a biologist and teacher, and, unlike Ella, he’s someone who lives almost completely in the present tense. He’s a man who has naively taken on Ella’s past, unaware that it may end up hurting him as well. He would love Seattle artist Ayron Jones’s music with its particular blend mix of rock and hip-hop.

For George: Butterfield Blues Band – Walkin’ Blues
One secret about Unfurled is that George, John’s lifelong best friend, is my favorite character. There are several short stories that never made it into the novel about the friendship between John and George, which is more like a brotherhood. George is very present for Ella throughout her childhood and when John dies, George takes right over in his gruff and beautiful way despite his own troubles and his own deep grief.

For Lisa: Dar Williams – The Christians and the Pagans
A secondary character who deserves a song of her own is Lisa, George’s partner. Lisa is an old northwest hippie, who wafts around in a cloud of patchouli and marijuana. Her personality takes up space, but she is the soft to George’s curmudgeon, and she is a wide-open person completely unafraid to push emotions onto a center stage. She has her own difficult situation with her daughter, but she handles it openly and is never ashamed. This song is both silly and beautiful, and although I fear my playlist has now gone from eclectic to incoherent, it had to go on the list.

For Ella: Sleater Kinney – Modern Girl
As a teenager and young woman in Seattle in the 90s and the 00s, Ella would have listened for hours and hours to Seattle band Sleater Kinney. The anger and irony in “Modern Girl” is also just perfect for Ella’s tightly controlled interior life.

For John: Eric Clapton – How Deep is the Ocean
An old standard and Clapton’s version is just very smooth, very contained. I wanted there to be a happy song on this playlist because although the book deals with grief and family tragedy, it’s still a story about love.

For Maggie: Meg Hutchinson – Home
Mental illness is so often hidden away or kept silent behind veils of shame. I really admire Hutchinson whose lyrics include complex and honest discussions of her own mental health experiences, and who also works as a mental health advocate. I don’t want to include any spoilers in these song notes but this song speaks to a hope I held out for Maggie while writing the novel.

For Neil: Blind Pilot – The Story I Heard
Despite the larger story occurring to Ella throughout the novel, I often feel that Neil bears the brunt of her mistakes – and is thus the one confronted with the hardest choices. This song from Blind Pilot, a northwest band with intricate, often poetic lyrics and a bittersweet vibe, is one for Neil.

For Ella: Queens of the Stone Age – Smooth Sailing
A last song for Ella, and it’s rowdy and noisy and a little ironic. There’s a singed-at-the-edges-while-escaping-from-fire feel to this song which I think fits Ella quite well. Also, yes, smooth sailing.


Michelle Bailat-Jones and Unfurled links:

the author's website

Ploughshares review
Publishers Weekly review

Literary Hub essay by 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

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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Shorties (Books That Defined the 1960s, New Music by Beirut, and more)

Sylvia Plath

Literary Hub listed books that defined the 1960s.


Stream a new Beirut song.


October's best eBook deals.

eBook on sale for $1.99 today:

Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed musician Sarah Davachi.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed Danielle Dutton and Martin Riker, publishers of the small press Dorothy.


Ad Hoc interviewed Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up.


The Barnes and Noble Review interviewed author Nicole Chung.


Pitchfork reconsidered Talking Heads' Remain in Light album.


Vulture interviewed author Julie Doucet.


Zumi recommended women Nigerian authors.


Paste listed the top 10 albums from Mom + Pop's first ten years,


Book Riot recommended audiobooks for writers.


Rolling Stone's country podcast interviewed singer-songwriter Amanda Shires.


The Millions interviewed author Octavio Solis.


Richard Thompson visited World Cafe for a live performance and interview.


Edward Carey discussed illustrating his books at Literary Hub.


Stream a new song by Nick Zammuto (of the Books).


Book Riot recommended short story collections about race and color.



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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