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A Largehearted Holiday Playlist
and recommended books by Luke Dani Blue, Mason Boyles, & Kevin Maloney; as well as music from Weyes Blood
In this week’s newsletter I shared my love for Low’s “Just Like Christmas,” my favorite holiday song by far, along with some experiences with bookstore holiday music and thoughts on the genre.
For years I made a holiday mix to send out with holiday cards. Some were themed, others collected from new releases. This playlist is filled with some of my favorite winter songs, spanning from Thanksgiving (Dar Williams’ “The Christians and the Pagans”) to New Year’s Eve (Dismemberment Plan’s “Ice of Boston”). There is folk, indie pop, indie rock, punk, and more in this mix that will live on as long as Spotify does, but effectively expires New Year’s Day. I hope you enjoy.
Books & Music I’ve Been Loving This Week:
Luke Dani Blue’s story collection Pretend It’s My Body explores themes of gender through the lens of identity. The stories intensely focus on characters in transition, and are as moving and surprising as anything I have read all year.
Kevin Maloney’s comic novel The Red-Headed Pilgrim (out in January from the ever-impressive Two Dollar Radio) is a propulsive read, a book as entertaining as it is moving, and one of the funniest books I have ever read.
Bark On by Mason Boyles
Driftwood Press has published some of the most thought-provoking books I have read over the past several years. Mason Boyles’ debut novel Bark On is a lyrical whirlwind, a book that is firmly rooted in the American south but thoroughly modern in its storytelling.
Weyes Blood’s new album And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow further cements my theory that Natalie Mehring is a modern reincarnation of Karen Carpenter. The second installment in the trilogy begun by her Titanic Rising release might be the year’s smartest and most moving pop album, a record that explores our collective disillusionment and anger.