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Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time

by

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time Cover

ISBN13: 9781400083022
ISBN10: 1400083028
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

In this incredible work on music and soul mates, Sheffield shares his story of two loves with great humor and pathos. Love Is a Mix Tape is a moving tribute to a lost friend and the power of song.
Recommended by Chandler, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"The inevitable problem is that songs rarely communicate the same emotion to every listener, and too often Sheffield assumes that he and his reader share the same rarified ear. But what saves Sheffield's memoir is the tenderness with which he writes about Renee. Though it's interesting to consider why certain music is so personal and powerful, it is only when Mix Tape's music fades that you understand why it was so important in the first place." Alan Wise, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Renee. 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.

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.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

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.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"No rock critic — living or dead, American or otherwise — has ever written about pop music with the evocative, hyperpoetic perfectitude of Rob Sheffield. Love is a Mix Tape is the happiest, saddest, greatest book about rock'n'roll that I've ever experienced." Chuck Klosterman, bestselling author of Killing Yourself to Live

Review:

"This is a lightly-handed, skillful and sincere celebration of pop, of love, sad songs, bad songs and the long, nearly unbearable ache of being a young widower. Witty and wise; a true candidate for the All-Time Desert Island Top 5 Books About Pop Music." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[Sheffield] writes with brevity, soul and wit....It's a loving homage to an extraordinary relationship, and Sheffield obviously took a great deal of time, nuance, love and care in crafting this, his greatest mix tape yet." Denver Post

Review:

"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." Booklist

Review:

"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." Library Journal

Review:

"[L]oose and shambling, with a tendency to digress on such topics as Zima and the dynamics of synth-pop duos." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"I can't think of many books as appealing as Rob Sheffield's Love is a Mix Tape; Sheffield writes beautifully about music, he's hilarious, and his story is alternatingly joyous and heartbreaking. Plus, everyone knows there's no better way to organize history and make sense of life than through the mix tape." Haven Kimmel, bestselling author of She Got Up Off the Couch

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Rob Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. He has been a rock critic and pop culture journalist for fifteen years, and has appeared on various MTV and VH1 shows. He lives in Brooklyn.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

smartchick.nina, November 11, 2012 (view all comments by smartchick.nina)
As an experienced music writer. Rob Sheffield brings his vast wealth of music knowledge and his love for the subject to narrating an exquisite reminder of what it means to live. Funny, smart, profound but never boring, Sheffield narrates his own story of love, life and loss using music as both a constant background as well as a guide. I loved this book. It made me laugh, made me cry, made me think and made me appreciate the people and the music in my life just a bit more.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
i8pixistix, February 5, 2007 (view all comments by i8pixistix)
This book had me from the first sentence.
I had laughed out loud and shed tears by the end of the first chapter.
I started reading it on a Friday evening and by Friday night when I was out with my friends, after hearing a song that zoomed me back to high school, I was trying to explain to a 22 year-old new acquaintance (I am well over 22), what a mix tape was and the beauty of them. I told her to read this book.
It was an inspiring piece of writing that makes me appreciate my loves (my husband and music) all the more.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(15 of 29 readers found this comment helpful)
freley, January 13, 2007 (view all comments by freley)
Written for lovers of music, both good and bad, who dig out mix tapes from 9th grade and think of that boy we loved so much until we found him making out with our best friend at lunch. Sheffield documents his life through songs and draws the reading in by calling on their own emotional ties to music. If you listened to indie rock in the '80s and '90s you are bound to find a musical connection inside this book whether it's through his school-boy crushes or heart breaking loss.
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(13 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400083022
Subtitle:
Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
Author:
Sheffield, Rob
Publisher:
Crown Archetype
Subject:
General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070102
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
1.25 in.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » History
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Music Appreciation
Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Relationships

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Crown Publishers - English 9781400083022 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In this incredible work on music and soul mates, Sheffield shares his story of two loves with great humor and pathos. Love Is a Mix Tape is a moving tribute to a lost friend and the power of song.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The inevitable problem is that songs rarely communicate the same emotion to every listener, and too often Sheffield assumes that he and his reader share the same rarified ear. But what saves Sheffield's memoir is the tenderness with which he writes about Renee. Though it's interesting to consider why certain music is so personal and powerful, it is only when Mix Tape's music fades that you understand why it was so important in the first place." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "No rock critic — living or dead, American or otherwise — has ever written about pop music with the evocative, hyperpoetic perfectitude of Rob Sheffield. Love is a Mix Tape is the happiest, saddest, greatest book about rock'n'roll that I've ever experienced."
"Review" by , "This is a lightly-handed, skillful and sincere celebration of pop, of love, sad songs, bad songs and the long, nearly unbearable ache of being a young widower. Witty and wise; a true candidate for the All-Time Desert Island Top 5 Books About Pop Music."
"Review" by , "[Sheffield] writes with brevity, soul and wit....It's a loving homage to an extraordinary relationship, and Sheffield obviously took a great deal of time, nuance, love and care in crafting this, his greatest mix tape yet."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "[L]oose and shambling, with a tendency to digress on such topics as Zima and the dynamics of synth-pop duos."
"Review" by , "I can't think of many books as appealing as Rob Sheffield's Love is a Mix Tape; Sheffield writes beautifully about music, he's hilarious, and his story is alternatingly joyous and heartbreaking. Plus, everyone knows there's no better way to organize history and make sense of life than through the mix tape."
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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