Start reading Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time [Kindle Edition]

Rob Sheffield
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $8.00 (57%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $10.99 after you buy the Kindle book. Learn More

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $5.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $8.85  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged --  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $17.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

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 Renée, 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 Renée. 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.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred 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." (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Sheffield was a "shy, skinny, Irish Catholic geek from Boston" when he first met Renee. Southern born and bred, "she was warm and loud and impulsive." They had nothing in common except a love of music. Since he made music tapes for all occasions, he and Renee listened together, shared tapes, and though never formally planning to, married. On May 11, 1997, everything changed. He was in the kitchen making lunch. Suddenly, she collapsed, dying instantly of a pulmonary embolism. Devastated, he quickly realized that he couldn't listen to certain songs again, and that life as he knew it would never be the same. Fun and funny, moving and unbearably sad, Sheffield's account at its quirkiest, and because of his penchant for lists, is reminiscent of Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity (1995). 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. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 3375 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; Reprint edition (January 2, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000N2HCMY
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up All Night January 25, 2007
By suzy
Format:Hardcover
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pop References A-Poppin' April 18, 2007
Format:Hardcover
You either made mix tapes as a kid or you didn't, and this book speaks to those of us who, though we may have moved on to iPods and ripped CDs, appreciate the emotive power and nostalgia-inducing ability of a customized cassette. [In many cases, we still have those cassettes though lack the means to play them.] Sheffield, a music writer since at least the early 90s (still with Rolling Stone), knows his stuff, and fills this autobiographical account of his love affair with wife Renee with as many pop references as the pages can handle. A beautiful story is woven about the geeky Massachusetts boy's instant and soulful connection with a loud and extroverted Southerner, originating with their shared interest in music and continuing in that melodic vein until Renee's timely 1997 death in Rob's arms (from a pulmonary embolism that hit her in their kitchen while Rob made French toast).

Sheffield is as deft writing about love as he is about music, which is saying an awful lot; he expertly captures the thrill and helplessness of falling in love, and his worship of Renee is heart-achingly poignant. Anyone who reads this and doesn't identify with Sheffield's powerful descriptions of fully giving his heart to another, and of loving someone to the point of fear (of losing oneself, of not being able to keep the other safe enough, of recognizing the other will be on hand to witness your inevitable worst), should leave his current relationship and immediately begin searching for the true "right one."

It's all about the music, though, descriptions of which are shored up by Sheffield's encyclopedic knowledge of songs and the artists who make them. Mix tapes are described in general (the Break Up tape, the Fall In Love tape, etc.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIXED EMOTIONS January 8, 2007
By DELETED
Format:Audio CD
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.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music as metaphor for life March 3, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching story presented with candor, humor and witty reflection ...
Touching story presented with candor, humor and witty reflection. I didn't want Rob to end his conversation with us, the readers.
Published 1 day ago by John K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great novel
Published 7 days ago by Josielyn Vere
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It's an ok read.
Published 10 days ago by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Fun, Sad
This was such a good read, start to finish. Music has such power over us, and I love that Rob Sheffield shared his life, his music and his wife with us. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TrisRich
1.0 out of 5 stars So do not waste your money
POORLY WRITTEN.
So do not waste your money.
Published 1 month ago by RuthAnn Swain
4.0 out of 5 stars This book broke my heart and filled me with love all at the same time
This book broke my heart and filled me with love all at the same time. The author does a wonderful job of intertwining his love of music with his love for his wife.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing tale I found by accident.
I love music...
I love reading...

I love the fact that Mr. Sheffield took me into his very soul with this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christopher A. Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars A touching tribute
I love mixtapes. Make them to this day, but with discs and music apps. So, the title pulled me in, anyone who appreciates the heart of a mixtape is my familiar. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H. Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected.
As a lover of music, I really enjoyed this book. I believe any person who views music as a necessity will relate to the comparison of love being a mix tape. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maris G
5.0 out of 5 stars Immortal mix tape, you were not absent from our loneliness
my '81 Buick skylark, lauren's converse footprints on my burgundy dashboard, and everything but the girl's "when all's well" and "are you trying to be funny" playing over and over... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jaime Tabachnik
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Rob Sheffield has been a music journalist for more than twenty years. He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he writes about music, TV, and pop culture, and regularly appears on MTV and VH1. He is the author of the national bestseller Love is a Mix Tape, which has been translated into French, German, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and other languages he cannot read. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category