Shorties (An Interview with Andrew Leland, New Music by Jolie Holland, and more)

Daily book & music news & links

Andrew Leland discussed his new memoir, The Country of the Blind, with Fresh Air.

Stream a new song by Jolie Holland.

eBook free today:

The Night Trembles: A Sampler of New Writing by Women in Translation

All today’s eBook deals

All August’s eBook deals

This week’s Largehearted Boy newsletter shared a back-to-school playlist as well as the usual links, likes, and weekly recap.

Stream new music by Prewn.

Book Riot and Literary Hub recommended the week’s best new books.

NPR Music interviewed composer Joan Tower.

You mentioned finding your own voice. How would you describe the Joan Tower sound?

I think it’s hard to know. It’s sort of like describing yourself: You’ll say, “Well, I’m funny, I’m intelligent, I’m empathetic.” You pick all these positive things, right? You don’t say, “I’m a depressive and I drink too much.” It’s the same thing with music. But I can describe what I care about. My music is about rhythm, predominantly, the rhythm of ideas. And it’s also organic, and it has a large-scale narrative. Usually, I only write in one movement, so I try to create an overall architecture for that one moment. It’s also very important for me to be clear: I don’t think my music ever gets complicated enough that you don’t hear everything.

Ben Purkert talked to Debutiful about his debut novel.

Stream a new song by Molly Burch.

Pitchfork recommended the year’s best albums (so far).

CrimeReads listed the year’s best historical fiction (so far).

Stream a new song by Goat.

Ashley Wurzbacher discussed her novel, How To Care for a Human Girl, with Electric Literature.

I’ve found that readers often express frustration when they can’t find a clear “moral” in the book they’re reading. My students sometimes tease me about how exasperated I get when they try to determine a book’s “message,” or when I challenge their negative reactions to difficult characters. I think a lot of readers want literature to confirm their biases or reaffirm the correctness of whatever political or moral position they hold, because it feels good to be able to pinpoint who is right and who is wrong, but I don’t think that’s what literature is for. Morally obvious fiction is usually boring.

El Pais profiled Big Thief’s Buck Meek.

Elizabeth Acevedo talked to Shondaland about her novel Family Lore.

Folks always want forward movement in a story, maybe a couple of flashbacks, but we don’t want to spend so much time there. But it felt important to me that it is back and forth and back and forth. The present is completely informed by the choices of the past, over and over. Until the last day, when they’re at the wake, where all of the flashbacks stop because they’re now together. They’ve now all thought through what has brought them to this moment. It is an atypical form.

Stream a new song by Teenage Fanclub.

The Washington Post profiled author David James Duncan.

Stream Sparklehorse’s cover of Robyn Hitchcock’s “Listening to the Higsons.”

Shondaland profiled author Kyle Dillon Hertz.

Stream a new song by Spencer Krug.

Autostraddle recommended LGBTQ+ books every queer writer should read.

Stream a new song by Great Grandpa’s Al Menne.

Literary Hub interviewed author Lydia Kiesling.

Stream a new song by Faith Healer.

Ideas Don’t Bleed interviewed author Benjamin Percy.

Stream a new song by Laurel Halo.

Literary Hub shared a story from Diane Williams’ new collection, I Hear You’re Rich.

Stream a new song by P.G. Six.

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