Title: Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
Author: Rob Sheffield
Release Date: January 2, 2007
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Audiobook
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In Love is a Mix Tape, Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield writes an ode to the power of music. He discusses the love of his life, Renee, and how music brought them together. After she died, music helped him grieve and learn to live again, in a world without Renee.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that I try to reveal as little as possible in my summaries of books. I want readers to discover the secrets of each book on their own terms, rather than knowing too much going in. I often criticize publisher summaries because they tend to give away too much of the plot in order to hook the reader. With that in the back of my mind, I had trouble decided whether to include the information about Renee in my summary. Is that something the reader needs to know going in, I wondered. In the end, I (clearly) decided yes – when I picked up Love is a Mix Tape, I had no idea that it was about a death. When I mentioned on Twitter that I was starting it, multiple people told me that they cried during it, which prepared me for the sadness. It’s pretty clear from the beginning that something is going to happen to Renee, and the reveal happens pretty quickly. I’m glad I was prepared for it, as it would have caught me totally off guard had I not known something bad was going to happen, hence my decision to share that information.
I heard from many people that Love is a Mix Tape is a favorite, and it’s easy to understand why. This is a book filled to the brim with heart. Sheffield clearly speaks from the depths of his soul, baring it for all his readers to see. I appreciated his honesty and candor about his feelings, and felt for him so much when he was discussing Renee. It’s so clear how much she meant to him, and it’s heartbreaking to be a witness to his grief after she dies.
If you’re a music lover, especially one who enjoys the music of the 80’s and early ‘90s, you will really appreciate this memoir. Sheffield discusses songs and bands that are so familiar. He starts out each chapter with the song listing of a mix tape, and it’s really clever. It sets the tone for the chapter and also evokes nostalgia in the reader. I also loved his main message: music can bring people together, music can heal. For anyone who’s turned to the solace of music at a difficult time in their life, this is a very personal and true message.
I chose to listen to Love is a Mix Tape in audio, and I enjoyed it very much in this format. It runs 5 hours and 45 minutes and is unabridged. The narrator is the author, Rob Sheffield. His voice is a little wooden at the beginning, but he quickly warms up and draws the reader in. For someone who is not a career narrator, he did a wonderful job with this book.
Love is a Mix Tape was an enjoyable, sweet, and heartbreaking read that I highly recommend. I am happy I chose to consume it in audio, as it really works well in that format. Whether you’re a memoir lover or music lover, you’ll find something to appreciate in this wonderful book.