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

ISBN: 1400083036

ISBN13: 9781400083039

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

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

"The happiest, saddest, sweetest book about rock 'n' roll that I've ever experienced."--Chuck Klosterman 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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

music as metaphor for life

I purchased this book, after little more than a cursory glance at the dust cover info, because of the title. Sheffield shares the essence of his love, loss and journey of healing through a series of mix tapes. The alt music of the 90s isn't my music, but mix tapes have a universality that transcends time and genre. As someone who has made and received mix tapes, I relate to the careful thought and ordering process behind them, and appreciate their importance. I took great delight in the revelation of Rob and Renee's relationship through the music that brought them together. Sheffield's writing is crisp and edgy enough to hold your attention. He is never maudlin, yet his despair over his wife's death is evident. Even though I knew from the beginning of the book that Renee died, I was still stunned when I actually read that chapter. Sheffield evokes such a tangible energy and vibrant personality that I found it incomprehensible that Renee could be dead. Love is a Mix Tape serves as much more than a memorial; it is an explosive celebration of life and an affirmation of the power of music to bind people together.

Up All Night

Started the book somewhat resistantly, because I am grieving my sister's recent death, and was not sure that I was ready to become involved with a sad subject. Only reason that I went ahead is because I heard that he recently married again (I don't know if this is true, it's just what I heard) so at least I felt that no matter how tragic the story was, there was a someday things can be ok out there. Read it cover to cover, stayed up all night to finish it, fell in love with Rob, Renee, and rediscovered my own mix tapes and added lots of new stuff to my iPod. Really great book about dealing with bereavement and it is helping me cope with my own tragedy around my dear sis. I will recommend this book to everyone that I know who loves music.

Oh How it Takes me Back to 8th Grade

I find it sad to imagine my own 8th grade students will never have the joy/pain/sadness/unanswered questions that come from digging out their own mix tape collection 20 years after they were made. Sheffield writes a heart breaking book that takes you on a journey through your own life as you think about your own memories behind songs he chooses for mix tapes, begging you to dig them out and give them a listen. He is able to make the reader feel the excitement and aching of new love and the sorrow and emptiness it leaves in its wake. I haven't cried while reading a book in many years, however this one brought me to the weepies. Cheers to Rob Sheffield for writing a book that puts in to words how people who love music create their own life soundtrack, and how that soundtrack doesn't always keep the same meaning regardless of how much we want it to.


I knew I was in trouble when page 2 of this book was soiled by tears. Especially because they were fresh and mine. This book had it's way with me for the next several hours. By the end I had experianced a wild ride of emotional peaks and valleys. Belly-aching laughter & woeful sobbing. The Sturm und Drang. The stuff of life. Rob Sheffield & Renee Crist were contributers to the SPIN ALTERNATIVE RECORD GUIDE. A book I've kept close at hand for years and referenced time and time again. It's led me to bands like The Wipers & The Only Ones. For which I'm eternally grateful. I haven't always agreed with Rob. In fact, once upon a time, I sent a spiteful diatribe to him because he used the word "miasma" to describe the sound of a Jane's Addiction song in a Rolling Stone review. I was too young then to freely admit that sometimes I like a little noxious foreboding in my Zeppelin spawns. Rob, I take it all back. I was unaware that Rob & Renee were married, or that Renee had passed in a sad & sudden manner. This book is their story told through the hiss & crackle of mix tapes. It's also about the journey from adolescence to adulthood and the music that gets you there. It is so gut-wrenching and, by turns, hysterical you devour it in one sitting and if you (like me)have any of your old mix-tapes around, you'll dig them up immediately. You'll play them and they will caress and maim you...or at the very least show you how much you've grown. It's hard for me to imagine anyone reading this book not being extremely moved. However, I know people for whom music is just background noise. They don't listen to it. They just consume it. These people have never made a mix-tape for anyone. These people are not my friends. These people have no soul. If music is how you enter this mortal coil...if it's how you you you cope...if music has ever been the only place you've found solace...if it's been your bridge to the next unfathomable day, then I'm bettin' you've made a mix tape. Probably dozens. You've courted people with them. You've crushed people with them. You've had fights about them. Maybe your spouse has thrown them out and with them the story of your life. You need to read this book.

Great blend of pop-culture and memoir

Sheffield expertly combines his pop-culture chops with a moving account of his grief over his wife's death. Not too sappy, not too snarky, but very real and down-to-earth. Music fans will love the chapters-as-mix-tape structure.

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