Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Love Is a Mix Tape - Review

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a TimeLove Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time is Rob Sheffield's memoir of his youth up through graduate school, his marriage and the death of his wife while they were both in their 20s. Unlike Just Kids (my review here) where about I had to look up or skim over about half of the cultural references, Love is a Mix Tape hit my personal demographic dead on. Reading his playlists (they start each chapter) I could hear 85% of the songs playing in my head while reading. Chronicling his life by the mix tapes he made (and still owns) at each stage of his life is such a novel way of journaling - but so accurate because so often hearing a song can bring a whole flood of memories rushing back - and those small details bring his story to life.

Despite the sometimes sad subject matter, I found this book funny, irreverent and poignant. Can you pass up a book that has a chapter titled You Broke My Heart and Made Me Cry and Here Are Twenty or Thirty Songs About It? He'll take you back in time...
Every time I dig up one of the tapes from my adolescence, it's like making the Stations of the Cross, reliving one excruciatingly bad move after another.
 make you fall in love with his wife...
She put a hitch in my git-along. She would wake up int he middle of the night and say things like "What if Bad Bad Leroy Brown was a girl?" or "Why don't they have commercials for salt like they do for milk?"
and survive losing her ... one song at time
After Renee died, I assumed the rest of my life would be just a consolation prize. I would keep living, and keep having new experiences, but none of them would compare to the old days. I would have to settle for a lonely life I didn't want, which would always remind me of the life I couldn't have anymore. But it didn't turn out that way.... Not changing isn't an option. And even though I've changed in so many ways - I'm a different person with a different life - the past is still with me every minute. 
Thanks to my best bud Jennifer who gifted me the book for my birthday. :)


  1. Amy! I Love Rob Sheffield! I read (and reviewed) his other book "How to Talk to Girls About Duran, Duran." So, so funny....and enlightening. Go to iconfetch.com and read my review..... I haven't read "Mix Tape" yet but it is definitely on my list.

  2. Love it, Kenni! I will definitely have to read How to Talk to Girls about Duran Duran!

    Here's a link directly to Kendra's review: http://iconfetch.com/album-and-book-reviews/book-reviews/250-talking-to-girls-about-duran-duran-rob-sheffield-2010.html

  3. Hey thanks for the link! And I am happy to report that I did not melt in Florida last week (awfully darn close tho!)

  4. You have to adore a man who writes, "She put a hitch in my git-along." I mean, can you get any sweeter? I'm afraid I will cry a lot reading the book, but I'm looking forward to it. SO GLAD you enjoyed it PT.

  5. I loved that line too!

    The book is sad but not in a weepy way - it's more the way he captures the shock of losing someone. I think he went through the motions of life not feeling anything for a long time.


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