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Love is a mix tape /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Crown Pub., 2007
Edition: First edition.
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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 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. 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 Rene e. From Elvis to Missy Elliott, the Rolling Stones to Yo La Tengo, the songs on these tapes make up the soundtrack totheir 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.


Rumblefishp. 1
Hey judep. 16
Roller boogiep. 27
Tape 635p. 38
Love makes me do foolish thingsp. 48
Big star: for reneep. 55
Sheena was a manp. 65
Personicsp. 71
A little down, a little duvetp. 77
That's entertainmentp. 87
The comfort zonep. 96
Dancing with myselfp. 108
How i got that lookp. 118
52 girls on filmp. 131
Crazy feelingp. 139
Paramount hotelp. 152
Mmmrobp. 158
Hypnotizep. 170
Jackie bluep. 180
Glossin' and flossin'p. 192
Blue ridge goldp. 201
Via vespuccip. 208
Acknowledgmentsp. 221

Review by Booklist Review

Sheffield was a shy, skinny, Irish Catholic geek from Boston when he first met Renee. Southern born and bred, she was warm and loud and impulsive. They had nothing in common except a love of music. Since he made music tapes for all occasions, he and Renee listened together, shared tapes, and though never formally planning to, married. On May 11, 1997, everything changed. He was in the kitchen making lunch. Suddenly, she collapsed, dying instantly of a pulmonary embolism. Devastated, he quickly realized that he couldn't listen to certain songs again, and that life as he knew it would never be the same. Fun and funny, moving and unbearably sad, Sheffield's account at its quirkiest, and because of his penchant for lists, is reminiscent of Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity (1995). Anyone who loves music and appreciates the unspoken ways that music can bring people together will respond warmly to this gentle, bittersweet reflection on love won and love irrevocably lost. --June Sawyers Copyright 2006 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A celebratory eulogy for life in "the decade of Nirvana," rock critic Sheffield's captivating memoir uses 22 "mix tapes" to describe his being "tangled up" in the "noisy, juicy, sparkly life" of his wife, Renee, from the time they met in 1989 to her sudden death from a pulmonary embolism in 1997. Each chapter begins with song titles from the couple's myriad mixes-"Tapes for making out, tapes for dancing, tapes for falling asleep"-and uses them to describe a beautiful love story: "a real cool hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl" meeting in graduate school a "hermit wolfboy, scared of life, hiding in my room with my records," and how they built a tender relationship on the music they loved, from the Meat Puppets to Hank Williams. Their bond as soul mates makes his reaction to her death deeply moving: "I had no voice to talk with because she was my whole language." But Sheffield's wonderful, often hilarious and lovingly detailed stories about their early romance and their later domestic life show how they created their own personal "mix tape" of life in the same way a music mix tape "steals moments from all over the musical cosmos and splices them into a whole new groove." (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Rolling Stone contributing editor Sheffield's memoir is a beautiful and poignant portrayal of the author's relationship with his late wife, Renee. The gimmick of using a mix tape as a theme for each chapter (there are 15 in all) seems silly at first, but Sheffield's talents as a music writer ensure that each list of songs provides the perfect mental soundtrack. Sheffield's description of Renee's brilliant eccentricity and lovable quirkiness causes the reader to fall in love with her just as he does: she was raised a Southern Baptist in rural Virginia and turned out a punk rocker; he's a Boston Irish Catholic. As they date, marry, and begin their life together, their story is joyful and lighthearted. Then you turn the page, Renee gets up from the sewing machine, and she dies of a pulmonary embolism. This tragedy doesn't happen at the end of the narrative but in the middle, mimicking how it struck Sheffield in life-suddenly and devastatingly. The author's grief and recovery are just as integral to the story as the couple's first date. Somewhere, Renee is beaming with pride at her husband's achievement. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/06.]-Renee Axtell, Independence, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Rob Sheffield was born on February 2, 1966 in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Yale University and the University of Virginia. He is a music journalist and author. He acts as a contributing editor at Rolling Stone Magazine where he writes reviews and commentaries on current music culture. Before this, he was a contributing editor at Spin Magazine. He is also a DJ at the radio station WTJU in New York. His first book is Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time. The sequel to this is a book entitled Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut.

(Bowker Author Biography)