Sunday, August 09, 2009

Book 87: Love is a Mix Tape

Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield

I read about this at Pandagon, ordered it and promptly forgot what it was about. Of course the first chapter already tells the reader that Sheffield is writing about the woman he loved and lost, Renee, his wife who died after five years of marriage, so the grief does not come as a surprise.

Naturally, when seeing the words mix tape, the first movie I think of is High Fidelity. However, Sheffield doesn't try to come up with rules and lists in this book (though each chapter begins with a mix tape mix he or Renee made at one point); he's using his love of music to talk about his wife and his loss. Music was their common bond, and as a result, he has hundreds of mix tapes lying around the house that he and Renee made. I didn't get many of the references or even know most of the bands he talked about - a few years can make quite a difference in the music scene, and I've never really been enough of a music lover to explore the indie scene - I pretty much just listen to mainstream radio.

Overall, it was a sweet book. Sheffield had some amusing anecdotes that kept the book from getting too heavy or sad since it wasn't just about his wife's death. Amanda at Pandagon at some interesting things to say about it as well, and I don't want to simply copy or plagiarize her, so I'd definitely recommend going to the link above for more in depth analysis.

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