I’m All Out of Love

7 Jun

Almost like a birthday present to myself, Thursday I finally finished reading Love Is a Mix Tape.

I say finally, but it only took me a month to read (which, believe it or not, is really quick for me).

As I’ve said before, I don’t read books. It’s not that I’m against the medium, but I just don’t seem to have the patience for anything longer than a typical magazine article. And maybe it’s because Mix Tape is written by Rob Sheffield, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, but damn if I couldn’t put this book down.

When it ended — sort of abruptly, I thought — I was a little let down because I wanted to know more, I wanted a more tidy conclusion.

But I wouldn’t say that tarnished my opinion on the book itself.

Since I’ve already written about Mix Tape, I won’t rehash what I’ve already said, other than to say that whereas the first half is a pretty happy book about Rob and his wife, and their mutual love for all things music, the second half is more somber, with Rob coping with life after his wife has passed (a fact you learn in chapter one).

The mix tape metaphor remains throughout, and through his love of groups like Hanson and Pavement and Big Star, you really get to know who this couple was.

The music serves not just as a way to date the story, but to bond the reader with the narrative, since many of the songs on the mixes were popular enough to be really well-known.

So yeah, maybe it’s because I like music, or maybe it’s because I can be a somber S.O.B., but I really did love this book and couldn’t recommend it more.

I’ve read reviews and commentaries about the book elsewhere — including this one at “I Am Fuel, You Are Friends” (my new favorite blog), which includes MP3s of songs mentioned in the book — and everyone basically has the same reaction: the book’s great, its conversational/stream-of-consciousness tone makes it go down easy, and damn if it doesn’t contain some great music.

And that’s why I’m saying, again, go pick this one up and read it for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

Now I’m on to my next book, Cabin Pressure, by Entertainment Weekly senior writer Josh Wolk. I hope I finish this one too.

… But while I’m making recommendations, can I add a couple more to the list?

* Do you own Amy Winehouse’s CD, Back to Black yet? Why not?? She’s on the cover of the current issue of Rolling Stone and the story is pretty fun.

But the CD itself kicks ass. I’ve been listening to Amy’s music (a great cross between the sound of 1960s girl groups and hip hop) since December, and I still listen to the CD — and this incredible live show — at least a few times every week.

And did you see Amy on the MTV Movie Awards last week? She was great.

So yeah, go pick up Back to Black. You’ll thank me later.

* This weekend, go see Once. I can safely say I haven’t enjoyed a movie this much since The Departed.

The passion that comes through in the performances — both the dramatic and the musical ones — comes right through the screen and grabs you, making you an instant fan and encouraging you to root on the two leads to succeed.

The music’s great, the movie’s great, it’s only an hour and a half long … not sure how much more you need to know, other than where exactly it’s playing. Watch the trailer and see for yourself how good this movie is.

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