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Falling Backwards: A Memoir by Jann Arden
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Falling Backwards: A Memoir (edition 2012)

by Jann Arden

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323347,362 (3.71)5
Member:bung
Title:Falling Backwards: A Memoir
Authors:Jann Arden
Info:Vintage Canada (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Autobiography, Canadian

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Falling Backwards: A Memoir by Jann Arden

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3.5 stars

Jann Arden is a Canadian singer/songwriter. This is her autobiography, from her childhood up to when she got her first record deal just before she turned 30.

I really enjoyed this. Jann had a fairly normal family and childhood, but it was still interesting to read about her growing up. I live in the city she grew up in (and still lives in), so I recognize many of the places. That's always fun. I was a little surprised that it wasn't funnier than it was, though. To hear her talk, she is absolutely hilarious! There were funny parts in the book, but I had expected more humour than there was. That being said, I still really enjoyed it. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jan 29, 2014 |
The Good Stuff

* I love Jann, she is so delightfully honest and hilariously funny -- and so very accessible, you will feel like you are just shooting the shit with one of your pals while reading it
* She talks about things that we all felt while growing up but didn't always have the honesty to talk out loud about
* The paragraph when she talks about God and wonders if he had a Penis made me laugh so hard coffee came out my nose
* Never lays blame or talks mean spiritedly about anyone
* The love for her family is so real and loving
* I really enjoyed how she describes her passion for music and for the written word
* Self deprecating sense of humour
* In the paperback copy I received for review - my pal Lavender Lines is quoted!
* Honestly she is just a straight forward down to earth fun and wise broad that I would love to hang out with
* Enjoyed the commentary on her parents taste in music - yup my mom and dad loved Nana Mouskouri and Roger Whittaker too -- and I hated that crap as much as she did (My brother and I used to take their albums and play Frisbee with them)
* I totally agree with her description of brussel sprouts as tasting like dog farts and copper pennies!

The Not So Good Stuff

* Sorry Jann if I ever see you out in public I am going to give you a big hug & talk to you like we are old friends
* Might not want to read out in public because you will be laughing so hard
* The last chapter sort of ends abruptly - I can understand why, but still its a little jarring

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"In a womb? My dear mother said it was nothing short of agony. I have given her the odd sympathy card on my birthday. It seems fitting, somehow. The card simply reads, "I am sorry about your vagina. Love, Jann."

"You find out early on that life is not based on a system of punishment and reward. Bad people often get ahead and good people can will die of cancer. There is no sense to be made of any of it. You just have to get up and deal with the day."

"M yidea of pigs has never been the same. Charlotte's Web has never held much water with me. You can forget Babe as well. Pigs are vicious killers with no regard for a child's young life. I am lucky to be alive. Yes,I am dramatic."

"All of the other singers that my parents owned on vinyl seemed to me to have one foot in the grave. Roger Whittaker whistled, for crying out loud, and Nana Mouskouri had big, thick, black glasses. Only old people wore glasses. Only old people whistled. My shop teacher whistled and wore bifocals, that's how I knew the singers on my parents' records were ancient. I was grateful to finally be exposed to artists with whom I had something in common- first and foremost among which was being alive."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read

* If you are a fan of Arden's music, you will love this book
* If you are Canadian -- and most importantly a self deprecating Canadian women (Is there any other such Cdn women) you will frickin love this book

5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review ( )
  mountie9 | Mar 17, 2012 |
I adore Jann Arden and her down to earthiness and sense of humour. You can hear her voice through this memoir, and the way she talks like her mum and all that. That said, I wished for a bit more editing work. Some stories are repeated, and the memoir reads much more like a chat over coffee or a bottle of wine than an organized memoir. Not that there is anything wrong with that - it's cozy and fun and warm. Sometimes you have enough of your friend's tales, though, and just want to go home and sober up. ( )
  Dabble58 | Jan 4, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307399842, Hardcover)

Jann Arden is funny. And sincere. She has legions of devoted fans. And a radio show. She is a darling of the music scene - always candid, always unplugged. You thought you knew Jann Arden, but there is more - to her readers' delight, in Falling Backwards Jann reveals her childhood, her bond with family, her struggle in the formative years and what keeps her so grounded in the whirlwind entertainment industry. Jann has always been true to herself, except for a minor lapse when she was young. Oh wait, wasn't that all of us?

From the tender and honest to the laugh-out-loud funny, Jann's stories from home and from the road during her pre-celebrity years will take you to unexpected places, including high school parties in farmer's fields, sleepovers under the stars, hard-to-believe summer jobs and the time she was stuck upside down in a brick barbecue. She reminds us of the inestimable value to a child of having teachers who believe in you and wide open spaces to play. But with the good times come the bad (and not just the bad perm). Jann opens up about the darker side of her so-called prairie perfect nuclear family and the first signs that her eldest brother was a uniquely troubled young man. In the days when Jann was experiencing a lot of firsts - first school play, first home perm, first kiss - how lucky for all of us that she stole away to her basement and taught herself her first song on her mother's guitar.

In addition to being an incredible musician and multi-award-winning lyricist, Jann is a natural writer and simply an inspiration. Jann will capture your heart - and keep you in stitches - with her powerful stories about coming of age as an artist and as a human being. Jann brings her wit and that infectious sparkle to everything she does. This book is no exception.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

From the tender and honest to the laugh-out-loud funny, Jann's stories from home and from the road during her pre-celebrity years will take you to unexpected places, including high school parties in farmer's fields, sleepovers under the stars, hard-to-believe summer jobs and the time she was stuck upside down in a brick barbecue. She reminds us of the inestimable value to a child of having teachers who believe in you and wide open spaces to play. But with the good times come the bad (and not just the bad perm). Jann opens up about the darker side of her so-called prairie perfect nuclear family and the first signs that her eldest brother was a uniquely troubled young man. In the days when Jann was experiencing a lot of firsts--first school play, first home perm, first kiss--how lucky for all of us that she stole away to her basement and taught herself her first song on her mother's guitar.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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