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Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Rob Sheffield

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Title:Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
Authors:Rob Sheffield
Info:Three Rivers Press (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Charlottesville, Virginia, loss, love story, widower, music, pop music

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Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield (2007)

Recently added byY2Ash, private library, lmm161, snapsandreads, bobhwy, Jill41
1990s (7) 2007 (13) 2008 (12) 90s (12) audiobook (7) autobiography (22) biography (28) death (35) fiction (16) grief (31) library (6) loss (25) love (38) marriage (14) memoir (153) mix tapes (14) music (174) non-fiction (109) own (9) pop culture (19) read (28) read in 2007 (10) read in 2009 (7) relationships (13) Rolling Stone (8) romance (12) to-read (44) unread (8) widower (7) wishlist (8)
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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
A remarkable memoir of Rob Sheffield on finding his wife-his true love, feeling real happiness, and dealing with a broken heart on the loss on his wife, Renee, through the mixes they both shared and compiled.

A beautiful, sad and moving story on dealing with the death of a partner in the midst of the height of happiness in marriage. Rob’s difficult journey truly is heart-wrenching. ( )
  snapsandreads | Mar 29, 2014 |
I read these books out of order, but I previously enjoyed Rob Sheffield's Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, his memoir of life growing up in the 1980s and 1990s told through the music of that era. This book is similar with several mix tapes providing the frame from which each chapter is built and is filled with observations about music not from a dispassionate critic, but from a fan who sees music intersecting with every aspect of human life. I particularly like his insight into the last recordings of Kurt Cobain displaying the worries of being a husband and father. But the central point of this book is Sheffield's relationship with Renee, his first wife who died of an embolism in 1997. The book marinates in honesty as Sheffield details the sometimes tempestuous nature of their relationship and later the overwhelming grief at finding himself a young widower. Sheffield is a talented writer and the fact that this book actually made me laugh more than I cried is a testament to his skill.

Favorite Passages:
“I have built my entire life around loving music, and I surround myself with it. I’m always racing to catch up on my new favorite song. But I never stop playing my mixes. Every fan makes them. The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with — nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.”

“It’s the same with people who say, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Even people who say this must realize that the exact opposite is true. What doesn’t kill you maims you, cripples you, leaves you weak, makes you whiny and full of yourself at the same time. The more pain, the more pompous you get. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you incredibly annoying.” ( )
  Othemts | Dec 30, 2013 |
This is one of my top ten all-time favorite books. It's so touching and funny and loving. And it gives me a sense of hope. Indie kids will love the music references, geeks will appreciate the awkwardness of growing up, saps will eat up the love story... there's something for everyone in this book. Be prepared to cry, though. ( )
  amyolivia | Oct 25, 2013 |
Searing memoir of love and loss with a soundtrack. Sheffield's got a sure hand with prose, never descending into bathos though one would forgive him if he did. Very worth reading. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
p. 12 Tonight, I feel like my whole body is made out of memories. I'm a mix tape, a cassette that's been rewound so many times you can hear the fingerprints smudged on the tape...
Nothing connects to the moment like music. I count on the music to bring me back - or, more precisely, to bring her forward.

p. 24 When you stick a song on a tape, you set it free.

p. 26 I have built my entire life around loving music, and I surround myself with it...[A mix tape] does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they add up to the story of a life.

p. 112 Liz Phair [on Exile in Guyville] was asking, "Whatever happened to a boyfriend?" and I would think, Well, some of us turn into husbands, and then nobody writes songs about us except Carly Simon.

p. 130 (on Kurt Cobain) I hear the noise in his voice, and I hear a boy trying to scare the darkness away. I wish I could hear what happened next, but nothing did.

p. 149 I knew I would have to relearn how to listen to music, and that some of the music we'd loved I'd never be able to hear again.

p. 156-157 I had no voice to talk with because she was my whole language. Without her to talk to, there was nothing to say...Now, we had a whole different language to learn, a new grammar of loss to conjugate: I lose, you lose, we lose; I have lost, you have lost, we have lost.

p. 189-190 "I grieve that grief can teach me nothing." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Experience"

p. 212 ...I will never understand the millions of bizarre ways that music brings people together. ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Epigraph
I wasted all yor precious time. I wasted it all on you. - Pavement
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For mom and dad.
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The playback: late night, Brooklyn, a pot of coffee, and a chair by the window.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Mix tapes. We all have our favorites. Stick one into a deck, press play, and you're instantly transported to another time in your life. For Rob Sheffield, that time was one of miraculous love and unbearable grief. A time that spanned seven years, it started when he met the girl of his dreams, and ended when he watched her die in his arms. Using the listings of fifteen of his favorite mix tapes, Rob shows that the power of music to build a bridge between people is stronger than death. You'll read these words, perhaps surprisingly, with joy in your heart and a song in your head - the one that comes to mind when you think of the love of your life. (918-1-4000-8303-9)
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In the 1990s, "alternative" was suddenly mainstream, and 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. The boundaries of American culture were exploding, and music was leading the way. It was also the 1990s when a shy music geek named Rob Sheffield met a hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl named Renee, 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. 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. Here, Rob, now a writer for Rolling Stone, uses the songs on fifteen mix tapes to tell the story of his brief time with Renee.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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