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Learning to Sing Hardcover – Bargain Price, November, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, November, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Clay Aiken, the undeniably talented American Idol runner up and self-proclaimed "nerdy, geeky, momma's boy" (and boy, does he love to talk about his momma), has written a strange hybrid of memoir, self-help and religious testimony--and in spite of it being so slight that it feels like it will float right out of your hands--he almost pulls it off. Learning to Sing is a book only his most rabid fans (and admittedly, there are millions of 'em) will be able to fully embrace. Anyone looking for American Idol dirt will have to go elsewhere, as Aiken always takes the high road, whether discussing his Idol experience (given surprisingly short shrift), the torment and damage done by the bullies of his youth, or his fractious, difficult relationship and ultimate estrangement from both his birth father and stepfather. When recounting the origin and progression of his true passion--teaching special needs children--his sincerity and dedication feels real and admirable. Towards the end of Learning to Sing, Aiken's writing teeters from subtly spiritual to zealously polemic, but surely there are worse things for young people (and some adults) to be exposed to than a wildly successful entertainer advising them to embrace their inner nerd, find and follow their passion and treat others with respect and kindness. We should all be so nerdy. --Terry Goodman --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

About the Authors

CLAY AIKEN was one of the two finalists in the 2003 American Idol season, and is undoubtedly the biggest star to emerge from that hit show. Aiken’s debut album, Measure of a Man, hit number 1 on the Billboard 200 in October 2003, selling 612,000 copies during its first week. Aiken’s single “This Is the Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water” won the 2003 Billboard Music Award for Bestselling Single. He was honored as the Fan’s Choice winner at the 2003 American Music Awards. Also in 2003, People magazine named the North Carolina crooner one of its Top Entertainers of the Year and one of its Sexiest Men Alive, and he became TV Guide’ s Fan’s Favorite Reality Star. For more information on Clay Aiken, go to www.clayaiken.com.

ALLISON GLOCK is the author of Beauty Before Comfort, an acclaimed memoir about life in West Virginia, now available from Random House Trade Paperbacks. She has written articles for many magazines, including GQ and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W Publishing Group (November 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849900077
  • ASIN: B003E7F1M8
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,804,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was amazed to see people writing reviews before reading the book, both overly enthusiastic fans and sarcastic non-fans. I have read it, and will read it again. There is a lot to absorb in it, but the first thing that I found is that there is a strong message for young people struggling with acceptance in school. This is a major issue in schools today, and here is someone who has been through it. Aiken is young enough to remember it vividly, and can relate to those going through it now.

The book also has a strong message for those children of broken homes and abusive family situations. If parents in these situations read this book, they may also get a good look at the pain they are causing, and realize that they have the ability to change.

This book challenges young people to consider a life of service, and talks about the great rewards of helping others. It encourages young people to consider the less glamorous, but equally or more rewarding career of teaching.

I found the book to be sad, funny, and encouraging, written by a young man with a pretty level head on his shoulders.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do NOT mistake Learning to Sing for some standard-issue ghost-written celebrity autobiography with all the content of a marshmallow. Neither should you discount singer Clay Aiken's life history because of his youth. Capably assisted by Alison Glock, Clay tells his story with his trademark wit and charm, and without a trace of ego or self-pity. Plenty of people would pity themselves if faced with the situations he has seen. Instead, Clay's heart, brains and faith led him into a career path he thought settled--teaching children with special needs--before the mother of one of his students encouraged him to enter a TV talent show, and his life changed forever. He is as honest, sometimes brutally so, about himself, his shortcomings and fears, as he is about the strange new world of pop superstardom he now lives in.

If you are a fan, read this book. If you just wonder what all the fuss over Clay Aiken is about, read this book. If you want to be moved by an uplifting story of human faith and spirit...well, you get the idea. This is one powerful book, and not to be missed!
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It reminds us that many of the things that we go through as children and teenagers can be overcome as adults if we have the right positive attitude... and the right role model whoever that may be. I found "Learning To Sing" inspirational and plan to share it with my church and their library.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, Elrica, hate much??? You haven't even read the book, by your own admission, & already you run over here to try & discourage prospective buyers. It's pretty obvious where your type is coming from ... the Kelly & Ruben boards, as usual. Amazon, watch out, you can expect a whole bunch of 1-Star ratings from jealous fans of other "Idols." I have read the book in its abridged form selling now at Christian bookstores & everyone in the shop was raving about it. It's been a long time since a celebrity has been so brutally honest with the details of his life so early in his career. Clay's experiences with a violent, alcoholic & disinterested birth father, a strictly religious mother & a hard-nosed military step-dad & his ability to emerge as a level-headed, positive & upbeat young man with a burning faith in his Creator & in the inherent goodness & generosity of mankind is extremely inspiring to all but the hardest of hearts. I highly recommend this lovely book to Christians everywhere. But please don't be put off by the "inspirational" moniker - this is a story that all young people of middle school age & beyond should read, no matter their religious beliefs. And plenty of adults will gain insight into their own life experiences as well by the example Clay has set in learning from his misfortunes & mistakes. If Clay Aiken isn't a fine role model for the youth of this day & age, then no one is.
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, this book should put the naysayers of Clay Aiken at rest unless that is, they have no soul because to read this book is to read the life of a man who has been through hard times (the teasing I can relate to, I too was a "geek"), has had anything and everything thrown at him and perservered despite all of that. He shows us that with extreme devotion to everything that is important to him and also being accountable for his flaws and faults he can still rise up and be the man that God intended him to. He shows us that as a celebrity you don't have to be just in it for the "bling bling"; the fame, the fortune and every salicious temptation that comes with it. He shows us what a celebrity should and could be if extreme egoism and selfishness didn't get in the way. He shows us what it is to look deep inside yourself and find an inner peace, to reach out to those less fortunate and do everything you can to help. He shows us that despite those that give him bad reviews (not just those here on Amazon that profess to be giving "honest" opinions but as was evidenced last year when MOAM was released are simply out to derail his success. Hello, he does not have to fail for your favorite to be successful. Read the book and you will see) he can stand up, rise up and display the maturity that he did on American Idol. This is a must read for everyone I truly believe.
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