Pat Benatar : Between a Heart and a Rock Place

Reading Between a Heart and a Rock Place was a lot of fun. It was definitely a read-a-lot-of-excerpts-to-my-wonderful-and-tolerant-wife book. Benatar’s career trajectory is kinda unusual in rock’n’roll, given that it doesn’t involve a trip to rehab (or its conspicuous lack). It’s sadly more typical in that one defining characteristic of that career is ongoing disputesContinue reading “Pat Benatar : Between a Heart and a Rock Place”

Joyce Linehan & Joe Pernice: Pernice to Me

I’m probably over-thinking my reaction to this book. Joe Pernice, if you don’t know the name, has one of the most honeyed voices in all of indie rock and a heaping helping of songwriting skill, displayed for the past several years/records in his band Pernice Brothers. Joyce Linehan is Pernice’s partner in Ashmont Records. ThisContinue reading “Joyce Linehan & Joe Pernice: Pernice to Me”

Chelsea Handler: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

Here are some of the page-count inflating techniques on display in Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang: half-page half-tone snapshots a purported multi-page e-mail* thread between Handler and her siblings a purported multi-page letter of complaint from a tenant of her father’s rental property whining (in multiple chapters) about the need to write another “stupid book.” OtherwiseContinue reading “Chelsea Handler: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang”

Chelsea Handler: Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; My Horizontal Life

I enjoyed these books more when I stopped thinking of them as literal, factual memoirs, and more as fiction in the uncomfortable-funny vein of Michael Scott or David Brent. Handler’s character is less a poster-girl for bad decision-making (although there’s some of that for sure) than a celebration of unchecked id. I suspect for muchContinue reading “Chelsea Handler: Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; My Horizontal Life”

Julie Klausner: I Don’t Care About Your Band

I had to read this book because of Klausner’s back-cover crack about “guys in their thirties who’ve never been married, ride their bikes to work, and really like Death Cab for Cutie,”* since that acurately described me when my fiancée and I started dating. (I’ve since given up on my thirties and on DCfC (IContinue reading “Julie Klausner: I Don’t Care About Your Band”

Steven Johnson: Mind Wide Open

Steven Johnson opens his whirlwind tour of modern brain science asserting his intent to deliver a “long-decay” idea in each chapter: the sort of thought that will resonate with you after you finish the book, even possibly altering your behavior. And he delivers at least a few that stick for me. I learned things aboutContinue reading “Steven Johnson: Mind Wide Open”

Glen Matlock: I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol

I’ve whined recently about how the London punk scene of ’76-77 gets such a disproportionate share of media attention. So why’d I pick up Matlock’s book? Because his is one of the first-person perspectives I haven’t seen. Lydon’s and McLaren’s versions are amply documented. But Matlock’s part in the Pistols actually ends when Sid ViciousContinue reading “Glen Matlock: I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol”

Jennifer Trynin: Everything I’m Cracked Up to Be

If I were dictator of the world, everybody who wanted to form a band to play in front of people would be legally required to watch Standing in the Shadows of Motown first, and everyone who wanted to sign a record deal would be required to read Everything I’m Cracked Up to Be. In myContinue reading “Jennifer Trynin: Everything I’m Cracked Up to Be”

Laurie Lindeen: Petal Pusher

Laurie Lindeen’s rags-to-well,rags chronicle of her band Zuzu’s Petals reminded strongly of Tommy Womack’s excellent and thematically similar Cheese Chronicles, with the added fillip that Laurie hooks up with someone Much More Famous midway through the band’s career arc. Almost all of the book is written in the present tense. Lindeen is sometimes deliberately cageyContinue reading “Laurie Lindeen: Petal Pusher”

Julie Powell: Julie & Julia

I read this at least partly to challenge my own preconceptions about what kind of books I read. This is a non-cookbook about cooking — worse, French cooking, although I didn’t realize quite how meat-intensive it would actually be. But it’s also a book about a crazy challenge — specifically, cooking every recipe in JuliaContinue reading “Julie Powell: Julie & Julia”