If You Like . . . Love is a Mix Tape Booklist Books that rock - music and memoirs

Annotations are from Advance, the Ingram Book Magazine, unless noted.

love is a mix tape coverLove is a Mix Tape: Life, Loss, And What I Listened To
Author: Sheffield, Rob
Publisher: Crown $ 22.95 ISBN: 9781400083022 Date: 2007
Sheffield relates the two important love affairs of his life, the first with music and the fine art of the perfect mix tape, and the second with a woman who changes him forever.
Updated 5.11.07

Love is a Mix Tape web site

Publisher Marketing:
What Is love? Great minds have been grappling with this question throughout the ages, and in the modern era, they have come up with many different answers. According to Western philosopher Pat Benatar, love is a battlefield. Her paisan Frank Sinatra would add the corollary that love is a tender trap. Love hurts. Love stinks. Love bites, love bleeds, love is the drug. The troubadours of our times agree: They want to know what love is, and they want you to show them. But the answer is simple: Love is a mix tape.

In the 1990s, when “alternative” was suddenly mainstream, bands like Pearl Jam and Pavement, Nirvana and R.E.M.—bands that a year before would have been too weird for MTV- were MTV. It was the decade of Kurt Cobain and Shania Twain and Taylor Dayne, a time that ended all too soon. The boundaries of American culture were exploding, and music was leading the way.

It was also when a shy music geek named Rob Sheffield met a hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl named Renée, who was way too cool for him but fell in love with him anyway. He was tall. She was short. He was shy. She was a social butterfly. She was the only one who laughed at his jokes when they were so bad, and they were always bad. They had nothing in common except that they both loved music. Music brought them together and kept them together. And it was music that would help Rob through a sudden, unfathomable loss.

In Love Is a Mix Tape, Rob, now a writer for Rolling Stone, uses the songs on fifteen mix tapes to tell the story of his brief time with Renée. From Elvis to Missy Elliott, the Rolling Stones to Yo La Tengo, the songs on these tapes make up the soundtrack to their lives.

Rob Sheffield isn’t a musician, he’s a writer, and Love Is a Mix Tape isn’t a love song- but it might as well be. This is Rob’s tribute to music, to the decade that shaped him, but most of all to one unforgettable woman.

Additional Booklists: Music - Fiction | Music - Nonfiction | All Stars

Nonfiction - Memoirs

  • White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s
    Author: Boyd, Joe
    Publisher: Serpents Tail $ 18 ISBN: 9781852429102bicycle Date: 2007
    "This is the best book about music I've read in years, and a gripping piece of social history."-Brian Eno

    More than any previous sixties music autobiography, Joe Boyd's White Bicycles offers the real story of what it was like to be there at the time. As well as the sixties heavy-hitters, this book also offers wonderfully vivid portraits of a whole host of other musicians: everyone from the great jazzman Coleman Hawkins to the folk diva Sandy Denny, Lonnie Johnson to Eric Clapton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe to Fairport Convention. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 5.11.07

  • Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota
    by Klosterman, Chuck
    Publisher: Scribner $ 23 ISBN: 0743202279 Date: 2001
    star Kirkus
    Powered by a sharp and wholly original voice, Klosterman delivers a real-life High Fidelity in this savvy, deliriously funny memoir of growing up a shameless heavy-metal devotee in 1980s North Dakota.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars | Music
  • Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story
    Author: Lindeen, Laurie
    Publisher: Atria $ 24 ISBN: 9780743292320 Date: 2007
    In the tradition of The Glass Castle and The Idiot Girls Action-Adventure Club, the founding member of an all-girl alternative rock band tells the true story of her quest for stardom and what happens when love, friendship, and home become more important than fame.
    Updated 5.11.07
  • Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, With Music
    Author: Stapinski, Helene
    Publisher: Villard $ 23.95 ISBN: 9781400060146 Date: 2004
    By the author of the bestselling Five-Finger Discount, a hip, funny, and absorbing memoir of a journalist realizing a lifelong dream--playing drums in a rock band--as her marriage hits the rocks. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 5.1.07

Nonfiction - Music

  • Guitar: An American Life
    Author: Brookes, Tim
    Publisher: Grove $ 24 ISBN: 0802117961 Date: 2005
    When the author wasn't breathing over a guitar maker's shoulder, he was trying to unravel the symbolic associations a guitar holds for musicians and nonmusicians alike. His quest took him across the country talking to historians, curators, and guitar makers.
    Suggested Reading: Music - Nonfiction Stars
    Updated 4.7.05
  • This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
    Author: Levitin, Daniel J.
    Publisher: Dutton $ 24.95 ISBN: 9780525949695 Date: 2006
    Neuroscientist and professional musician Daniel Levitin presents a fascinating exploration of the relationship between music and the mind--and the role of melodies in shaping our lives.
    Updated 5.1.07
  • Where You're At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip Hop Planet
    Author: Neate, Patrick
    Publisher: Riverhead $ 14 ISBN: 9781594480126 Date: 2004
    Neate embarks on a global tour of planet Earth with hip-hop, in all its multifarious forms, as the main character.
    Updated 5.1.07
  • Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed
    Author: Trynka, Paul
    Publisher: Broadway $ 23.95 ISBN: 9780767923194 Date: 2007
    Iggy Pop transcended life in Michigan to become the "Godfather of Punk." Although his struggles with drug addiction, mental illness, and his problematic question of commercial success were well known, his groundbreaking style profoundly influenced the genres of punk, glam, and New Wave.
    Suggested Reading: Music-Nonfiction | All Stars
    Updated 5.11.07


  • A & R
    Author: Flanagan, Bill
    Publisher: Random House $ 23.95 ISBN: 0375502661 Date: 2000
    star Kirkus
    James Joyce meets Hunter S. Thompson" (Boston Globe), in this wise and wickedly funny story - written by a music industry veteran and senior VP of VH1 - about a new golden boy at a major record label who uncovers a plot to depose its founder.
    Suggested Reading: Music - Fiction Stars
    Updated 6/22/00.
  • High Fidelity
    Author: Hornby, Nick
    Publisher: Putnam $ 21.95 ISBN: 1573220167 Date: 1996
    In "as funny, compulsive and contemporary a first novel as you could wish for" (GQ), a young pop music junkie finds that his myriad diversions after the breakup with his longtime girlfriend are not as entertaining as he thought they would be. "A total howl".--Mirabella.
    Updated 5.11.07
  • The Dead Circus
    Author: Kaye, John
    Publisher: Atlantic $ 24 ISBN: 0871138492 Date: 2002
    Kaye's two novels have established him as one of today's most stunning chroniclers of Los Angeles. Of The Dead Circus, David Ebershoff wrote in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, "The reader is compelled to turn the page . . . Once the novel's momentum takes hold, it's pursuit becomes ours."
    Updated 5.9.02
  • Be Cool
    Author: Leonard, Elmore
    Publisher: Delacorte Price: $ 24.95 ISBN: 0385333919 Date: 1999
    With his unique combination of the good, the bad, and the unexpected, the bestselling author of Get Shorty gives readers a new Chili Palmer novel that twists and turns to the very end. From screen tests to jam sessions, from the Hills and the Valley to Hollywood and Vine, Be Cool is all new, all clever, and most definitely, all that.
  • The Words of Every Song
    Author: Moore, Liz
    Publisher: Broadway $ 12.95 ISBN: 9780767926423 Date: 2007
    The Words of Every Song is a literate and original debut novel in the form of fourteen linked episodes, each centered on a character involved with the music industry in some fashion. The Words of Every Song offers an authenticity drawn from Liz Moore’ s own experience and brings an insider’ s touch to its depiction of the music industry and its denizens. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 5.11.07
  • The Ground Beneath Her Feet
    Author: Rushdie, Salman
    Publisher: Henry Holt List Price: $ 27.50 ISBN: 0805053085 Date: 1999
    Vina Aspara, a famous and much-loved singer, is caught up in a devastating earthquake and never seen again by human eyes. This is her story, and that of Ormus Cama, the lover who finds, loses, seeks, and again finds her over and over throughout his own extraordinary life in music.
    Suggested Reading: Music & Fiction | All Stars
  • The Song Reader
    Author: Tucker, Lisa
    Publisher: Pocket/Downtown $ 12 (paper) ISBN: 0743464451 Date: 2003
    When two sisters are left alone after the death of their mother and the disappearance of their father, Mary Beth becomes the hero of both her younger sister and their entire town. She is a "song reader." She doesn't read palms or tarot cards; she reads people's secrets and desires from the songs they can't get out of their minds.
    Suggested Reading: Music & Fiction | Debuts | Reading Group Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 3.17.03

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