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Love Is a Mix Tape (Music #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  23,268 Ratings  ·  2,284 Reviews
In this stunning memoir, Rob Sheffield, a veteran rock and pop culture critic and staff writer for Rolling Stone magazine, tells the story of his musical coming of age, and how rock music, the first love of his life, led him to his second, a girl named Renee. Rob and Renee's life together - they wed after graduate school, both became music journalists, and were married onl ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published January 1st 2007)
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Brett Rohlwing I'll only tell you this- have a large box of Kleenex at your side when reading this.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 20, 2007 Shanna rated it liked it
Recommends it for: music dorks, mixtape lovers, young widows
Shelves: music, biosmemoirs
One of my friends told me to read it and said I would enjoy it.
I liked parts of it a lot: the discussion of the nature of mix tapes v. other mediums and the way that music can define relationships, the fun new songs I found for the first time/remembered, and the really poignant description of his wife's death. This was in some ways more unsettling for me than The Year of Magical Thinking, mainly because they were both so young. They didn't get a chance to live their lives together. It was very,
Emilia P
Jul 08, 2009 Emilia P rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: just the really cool kids
Oh man, shucks.
I loved this book.
I could say that the story arc could have been stronger or that he could have talked about mixtapes more (even though he talked about them a lot, I never get sick of it). But I won't. I don't care about those things.

I care that I basically love this book way too much. There are many reasons.

1) I am a sucker for exercises in love and grief, which a lot of this book is--his wife died suddenly after they were married for like 5 years, and most of the book is about h
May 15, 2008 Phyllis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mmm_memoirs, 4date
Holy Smokes . . . if you've never had a heartbreak where a CD / tape / or album didn't get you through, then this book isn't your calling . . .

Yet, have you ever lost one you've loved and that damn tune makes you shutter when you believe you've escaped the loss, but to have it be relived with recall . . .

This book made me think so much of my college roommate / & high school friend, Amber . . . we swore the only reason we got such crappy grades in college is that we had too many song lyrics
Nov 09, 2007 Heather rated it it was amazing
Love Is A Mix Tape just absolutely knocked my socks off.

I devoured this book in one weekend and enjoyed every single page, heartily. This is ostensibly a book about mix tapes, and looking back at a life spent seeing the world in a series of 45-minute vignettes (then, of course, you flip the tape over). Rob Sheffield has penned an honest (yet wildly entertaining) book that affected me more deeply than any book I've read in recent memory, woven throughout with a genuine and bleeding love for music
Jan 16, 2008 Rory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs-and-bios
I didn't like this as much as others have seemed to. And what I liked most was probably what others discarded--I liked hearing about the signifcance of all the songs and mixes and bands. But the love story? Sap-tastic and hit-me-over-the-head-repetitive.

Every tenth line of the first long chapter is heavy foreshadowing mixed with hipster melodrama--you know, "That music changed my life. But Renee was my life. And then my life went away." Then something like "Love isn't like a cassingle. It's lik
Apr 08, 2008 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any book that describes the summer of '94 as a series of drunken southern barbecues populated by mod-girls and indie rock dudes who always ended the party with the girls singing along to the entirety of Liz Phair's 'Exile In Guyville' on the back porch (word for word) while all the guys listened intrigued and obsessed and befuddled in the kitchen is A+ in my book. See also, the tragic passage inspired by Sleater-Kinney's 'One More Hour', the eulogy to the '90s, and the author's recipe for the pe ...more
May 01, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of memoir I'd like to have written (albeit without the deceased wife).

I've had a few conversations with friends in the last year or so about the long-lost art of the mix tape, which has been delivered a death-blow by the digital age. Burning a CD mix just isn't the same; for one, it doesn't take nearly as long to make a CD mix, which cheapens the sentiment attached to giving one to someone, especially when the hope is that the gesture and the songs themselves with make the reci
This review’s content may be confusing, annoying, trite or downright laughable to persons not born between 1965 and 1978. Hell, it may be all of that and more to just about anyone. Consider yourself warned.

Put your thinking caps on ‘cuz I’ve got some trippin’ down memory lane for you:
Where were you when you first heard ‘A Day in the Life’? What about ‘Wild World’? What did you think when you finally understood the meaning of ‘She Bop’? What does ‘My Heart Will Go On’ mean to you? Do you know whe
Mar 12, 2008 Bryan rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, despite my mild dislike for Sheffield's writing in Rolling Stone magazine. While the story is heartbreaking -- he becomes a widower earlier than anyone should be allowed to -- I was expecting much more insight than what's provided in this slim tome (I read it in one sitting.)

The story boils down to this -- music nerd from Boston meets awesome Appalachian girl who is everything he isn't. You know where the story is heading after he is instantly smitten when she
Mar 22, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it
Anybody who grew up in the 80s and 90s remembers making mix tapes. You made them for yourself, you made them for friends, you made them for her (or him, as the case may be). You took songs from records, cassettes, CDs, and the radio and mixed them into the order you wanted and, sometimes, you even had running commentary in the form of your own voice during the gaps or the DJ from the radio station from which you recorded the track.

But have you ever defined your life based on these recordings?

Jan 27, 2011 Malbadeen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: sentimental sappy headed sappy suckers
If you've lost someone that you cared deeply for you know the frustration in not being able to express who that person was to others. The on going loss that comes from meeting new people and knowing they will never know this person (this HUGE part of your life) can seem crippling at times. In some ways this book appears to be Sheffields attempt to make his wife known to us after her very early death. Personally, I don't think he succeeded. His short lived marriage to her seemed sweet in a teen a ...more
Jul 16, 2008 jess rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shawn Sorensen
Now I know someone likes making mix tapes (and by extension mix cds) as much as I do. I also know someone's as crazy about the corniness and desperation of 90s music as I am about 80s music. When I embrace some of mainstream music's most desperate attempts to throw something profound into our pop culture - take Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" or Spandeau Ballet's "True" - I know author Rob Sheffield will join me in my heartfelt applause. And, like Sheffield, I think my generation of music - ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, grief, music
I fell head-over-heels in love with this book, just as Rob Sheffield fell hard and fast when he met Renee. The book is their love story, but it's also a love story about music. Each chapter opens with the song list from a mix tape Rob either made or received. It was fun to skim the titles, looking for tracks I had used in my own mix tapes.

One of my favorite chapters was when Rob got picked to play the music at his junior high dance. He screwed up big time. He filled his tape with power anthems,
Oct 10, 2009 Jamela rated it it was ok
Shelves: music-books
I really expected to like this book, so I'm a bit disappointed to have to give it so few stars. I just wasn't into his writing style. I was moved by the story and the idea of seeing love and loss through a mixtape, but I really did not like him as a storyteller. His treatment of dialogue felt particularly awkward. Sorry to all the fans out there, but I found this one unimpressive.
Opening line:"The playback: late night, Brooklyn, a pot of coffee, and a chair by the window. I'm listening to a mix tape from 1993."

Before I-pods and ripped CDs we all made mix tapes. I'm sure most of us over a certain age still have them safely hidden away somewhere, never quite having had the nerve to throw them out (broken cases and all) We named these tapes, gave them away to friends or lovers and assigned them different purposes. Remember the break-up tape, the I'm so infatuated with you t
Feb 04, 2010 JSou rated it really liked it
I didn't really know what this book was about until I started flipping through it last night. I bought it as a last minute, bargain priced add-on from Barnes & Noble, pretty much just to bump up my total to $25 so I could get free shipping. The title caught my eye since making mixtapes took up a lot of time during my teenage years. Seriously, when the iPod was first introduced, I thought it was the greatest invention since the automobile.

Anyway, I was expecting this to be a humorous, dick-li
Ms. Latchford
May 31, 2011 Ms. Latchford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book broke my heart.

I cried several times reading this book. I think it hit a little too close to home in some aspects. This idea of being connected to one person through music and that forming a base for your relationship and the growing into a beautiful love - that hit home.

The book is about Rob, and how he met his wife - Renee - and the all too soon moment of her death. The interesting part is that he tells this story through mix tapes. A tape they played while driving, a tape they play
Jul 22, 2014 RandomAnthony rated it liked it
Shelves: music
How come, when most authors write about music, they write as if they're trying to sound like scholars of the Pitchfork generation? And how did Rob Sheffield know he should skip all that and write a great book about the intersection of music, tragedy, and everyday existence?

Love is a Mix Tape is Mr. Sheffield's account of his marriage, wife's death, and the role music played in their lives. The couple were one of those with a musical cute meet (Big Star related, even) and a shared Pavement fanati
I started reading this book during the two-day buffer between the beginnings of both 2012 proper and the working year, thinking that I’d have to look no farther than the other end of the couch if the story really destroyed me to the point of needing my myriad mostly-under-control-but-always-threatening-to-surface spousal fears allayed by husbandly hugs. Turns out, catching up on laundry and tidying up our soon-to-be-vacated first home ate into my reading time and I wound up finishing this about ...more
Apr 21, 2013 Annalisa rated it it was ok
I picked up this book because of the title. I loved the idea of the intense power of music to draw on memory and expected my own memories to mesh with the story. But I found Sheffield's mesh of music unusual, sometimes jarring, and I found myself not connecting with it as much as I'd like. It was a bittersweet memoir with a few humorous moments, but there wasn't anything unusual or memorable in his story.

Quotable moments:

But most of all, I regret turning thirteen, and staying that way for the n
Dec 30, 2014 Bill rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
Let's get one thing straight right here, right now; Robby doesn't know a thing about making a mix tape. And this quickly becomes a metaphor for what he knows about writing books.
I understand that mix tapes are a rather personal preference. Even though I was gnashing my teeth through the first couple of chapters, I managed to tell myself that, hey, not everyone has a rule about not repeating the same artists on mix tapes. After all, the more you repeat an artist on a mix tape, the less a "mix"
Aug 29, 2014 Lavinia rated it really liked it
I'm so excited about discovering Rob Sheffield, I can't even begin to tell you. For the first time in years, I didn't find about the book on websites, blogs, magazines or friend recommendations, I just stumbled upon it and decided I wanted to read it. OK, truth be told, it was his other book, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut that caught my eye first, but however...

I never made a mix tape. Because I was never into making them, you know, t
Jan 29, 2016 Anya rated it really liked it
*so many feelings*

Okay, so this review is pretty much going to be a tribute to the 90's and I'll-tell-you-my-feelings-you-tell-me-yours sort of thing, SO all non touchy-feely persons, exit right.

I admit, I'm quintessentially a 90's kid. I love everything about this decade- be it the irrational exuberance, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, The Lion King, My So-Called Life, listening to music on cassette tapes, the music itself, growing up without Facebook or the internet etcetera etcetera. Basica
any memoir that references the band Pavement as a touchstone band in their lives is off to a pretty good start as far as I'm concerned. humorous, endearing, witty pop culture references, the book definitely checked off some boxes. and while this wasn't the most perfect book from cover to cover, it still managed to be highly evocative to me in terms of the role that music plays in my life and my relationships. At the same time, it's also a very endearing love letter to the author's wife.

My husba
Aug 23, 2014 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Любовта е сборна касетка" определено не е литературен шедьовър, но е много по-затрогваща, топла и запомняща се от много набедени за такива заглавия. Тя е от онези книги, за които Селинджър казва, че "след като си я прочел, ти се ще авторът, който я е написал, да ти е страшно близък приятел, та да можеш да го повикаш по телефона когато ти се поиска".
Роб Шефийлд е написал тази за хора от своята кръвна група – оглушаващите без музика. На първо четене е като част от енциклопедия на популярната муз
Sean Owen
Nov 19, 2014 Sean Owen rated it it was ok
I have played in bands. I have released albums and played all kinds of venues big and small. I've even worked at clubs. Most of my friends that have been around for the long run are people I met through music. Despite this, I still don't get those music obsessed guys like Rob Sheffield. Music is great, but it's always been more of the background incidental music for me than the central focus. It's hard to relate to someone who makes something like music the central focus of his life.

"Love is a
Apr 16, 2015 N.miller rated it liked it
Life is filled with the most beautiful moments one can imagine but these beautiful moments could also end in some of the most painful times. Although this may be a scary concept that many avoid talking about, it is this reality that will set us on our path to enjoying these precious moments to the max. In the memoir, Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield, this concept of losing love and enjoying what you have while you have it is shown through the musically bonded love of two music journalist, Rob ...more
Apr 17, 2015 Rashmi added it
Not everybody finds love in there live time, but when they do find there true love it is hard to let it go. In the book "Love is a Mix Tape" by Rob Sheffield and through out the book the readers get to see how Rob's struggle with his love. Rob finally finds his dream girl Renee and he also sees her die in his arms. When we love someone is it hard to let them go because they take a special role in our lives. Life is not a movie but music is a huge part in love because it connects people and it le ...more
Aug 18, 2016 Mitchell rated it really liked it
My father is a musician and my grandfather was, so I totally digged the musical aspect of this book. Mr. Sheffield's love of music, and his incredible knowledge of it in general, is both inspirational and charming.

This book is about Sheffield's early life, his marriage to an amazing woman, and the abrupt, tragic death of his spouse at 31. Using the above as a backdrop, Sheffield mixes in his love of music in general, and his love of mix tapes in particular, to show how much he loved his wife, an
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goodreads group Mixtape Your Book 1 66 Jul 02, 2007 10:03AM  
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Rob Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine. In addition to writing music reviews and profile stories, Sheffield also writes the Pop Life column in the Mixed Media section of the magazine. His work has also been featured in The Village Voice and Spin. A native of Boston, Sheffield attended Yale and the University of Virginia, and is six foot five.

His first book, Love is a Mix
More about Rob Sheffield...

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“It’s the same with people who say, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Even people who say this must realize that the exact opposite is true. What doesn’t kill you maims you, cripples you, leaves you weak, makes you whiny and full of yourself at the same time. The more pain, the more pompous you get. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you incredibly annoying.” 750 likes
“When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other.” 665 likes
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