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All That You Leave Behind: A Memoir

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,110 ratings  ·  245 reviews
An acclaimed documentary filmmaker comes to terms with her larger-than-life father, the late New York Times journalist David Carr, in this fierce memoir of love, addiction, and family.

Dad: What will set you apart is not talent, but will and a certain kind of humility. A willingness to let the world show you things that you play back as you grow as an artist. Talent
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  2,110 ratings  ·  245 reviews

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Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All that you leave behind
I'm so thankful to the publisher for sending me a copy of "All That YouLeave Behind" and the author for sharing her story which it should be read or heard by everyone because not everyone has the will or courage to share her/his story to the world without making edits that didn't happen but the author Erin Lee Carr is brave and smart person sharing her memoir into a book that I wish it lasted more but good things always feel short.
It's not up to me to judge someone's
Rachel Jackson
Apr 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
[In full disclosure, I received All That You Leave Behind as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.]

Back in my journalism days, I used to be among the masses who loved David Carr's writing. A highly renowned New York Times journalist, his columns and tweets were legendary among fellow journos, and I remember being enthralled when the documentary "Page One" came out. When I heard about his daughter Erin Lee Carr's memoir about his life and their relationship, I was curious what
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Erin: I have watched you in the middle of the city with a box of your office crap and alone in a room struggling to make beautiful important things. As someone who has seen a fair amount of talented young people up close, I can say that you are in the far reaches of that bunch.

So wrote David Carr, the late New York Times columnist in an email to his daughter, the author of this heart-smart and dazzling memoir. Technically, this is Erin’s story of growing up,
Jennifer Bouchillon
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not a book I normally would have chosen for myself, but I read it as an ARC, and I’m glad I did. It took me a little bit to get into it, maybe because I didn’t know either Erin or David Carr. But ultimately I found it poignant and insightful, both to the relationship between a father and daughter, and as an inside look at generational addiction.

I was inspired by the author’s honesty in sharing her fears, struggles, mistakes, regrets, and her grief. I loved that she didn’t paint herself
May 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Repeat after me: having a good story to tell does not make you an author.
Scott Wilson
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
For a book so frequently humbling to the author, it still suggests that much has been withheld. The net is something affecting but shallow: a grief memoir that, quite reasonably, takes for granted the reader's native interest in David Carr but does so at the expense of maximum interrogation, and an addiction memoir that likewise assumes, and frequently refers to, David Carr's own addiction and addiction memoir as a means to establish genetic connectivity without plumbing it very deeply, either.

May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This wasn’t really what I expected. I expected more about how their relationship worked and formed who she is, but instead it’s mostly about her life. I’m not really interested in reading about a completely random person just because her father was semi-well known. Why publish a book on your life thus far when it’s all about drinking and hating life? It seemed very self centered and narcissistic, for example wondering if her father was part of her success... of course he was! You didn’t get ...more
Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was gifted with a wonderful dad who told me over and over how much he loved me. So many people do not get that. Yes, we want more time but I, right now at this moment feel gratitude for what I had. ..... I try to say “I love you” every day to him. Just in case he is in a place quiet enough to hear it. The skeptic in me doubts that he listens, but I still do it.” I stopped and started Erin Lee Carr's gorgeous memoir about six times last week. The only reason that I kept putting it down was ...more
Denise Cormaney
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I am a fan of the genre, and within a memoir the author has license to go wherever they want: it’s their story, after all! But this book just highlights why books needs editors, even if it just seems like you are simply reading someone’s life story. The best memoirs don’t show the seams that hold the thing together. Every book needs structure.

Is this book supposed to be an homage to her dad and their relationship? An addiction memoir with no real self-reflection and a few throwaway sentences
Athena Mae Rupas
All That You Leave Behind is written by Erin Carr, the beloved New York Times columnist David Carr who passed away February 12, 2015. In this memoir, Erin Carr talks about her own struggles with addiction, which her father battled too as chronicled in his own memoir Night of the Gun. Erin's book is essentially about her relationship with her father who was also her mentor. She tells about how she faces many of the same demons (addiction) that her father did as well.

What I liked the most about
Claire Gibson
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is full of wisdom. I listened on audible, but plan to am buy a copy - if not for the beautiful way Erin shares about her battle with substance abuse/alcoholism, then for the incredible e-mails included that would help me in my efforts as a writer. Every page is full of lessons and kindness and Erin's gut-wrenching vulnerability. Bravo.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, 2019, audiobook
Fantastic memoir written by a woman who loses her (fascinating, complicated, famous in some circles) father far too soon. Beautifully written and an excellent listen on audiobook.
Samantha Grenier
2.5-: I think the best way to summarize this memoir is by the following line: “My dad forwarded my emails from his account with the subject heading ‘My kid, your world,’ knowing that his addy would get better play than” Ain’t that the truth! God bless daddy’s golden key network and contact list.

This book seems to be highly recommended to David Carr’s fans, but I don’t know why. This memoir feels like an attempt to cash in on his reputation, without indulging anything new. Erin
Anthony De Rosa
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Erin's writing debut is crackling. Her words leap off the page. Punchy, to the point but without lacking details that paint a vivid picture of a chaotic life that she's managed to navigate through grit and hustle. The shadow of her legendary father looms large, a double edged sword that helped open doors but also forced her to prove her own talents, which she's done with this memoir and her exceptional documentary work. It stands on its own, but also works as a great compliment to her father's ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I just cannot tease out my feelings about this book from my feelings about the author's father and his writing and thus I cannot really review this. Sorry not sorry.

Also, sorry not sorry for crying on the bus in the morning reading about her reactions and grief to her father's death.
Ariella Abuaf
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The thing about parents is that to you they seem normal. From the outside, others may perceive them as superhuman, wise beyond belief, a mentor to many, but your kid just sees Fahja. Having an admired parent can be a gift, this person is able to pass along knowledge to you constantly, make you a better person and teach you the ins and outs of life that others are desperately seeking answers to.

In all that you leave behind, David passes along these answers we’re all so desperately seeking, but
Barbara Zeller
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A raw, honest, no punches pulled memoir. For fans of David or Erin Carr, budding journalists, grieving souls, this book is a must read. Superbly written. Could not put it down. Erin talks about how her dad mentored her into journalism, his invaluable advice and tough love. She is brutally honest about her and his struggles with alcohol, the pain it caused them both. She expertly shows the love he felt for his family and work. We are all flawed. Erin puts hers right out there. She has picked up ...more
Laura Tremaine
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This grief memoir was well-written (outside of a few repetitive verbal tics) and the first few chapters took my breath away with sadness over the loss of David Carr. Ultimately, though, this turns into a bit of an addiction memoir, which are tough for me to read. And although I can fully appreciate that the author was a bit of a mess before and after her father's death, this got a little too self-deprecating by the end.
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
It was just okay!
Stacia Manion
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
To disclose all of the reasons why I relate SO hard to this book would be an overshare of the longest and most cringeworthy sort.

The book is short, but I took in every word slowly and will do so again, no doubt. Additionally, I took a night off from reading to watch Thought Crimes, which I can also wholly 5-star recommend (though, I agree with your dad, girl: wayyy too much of Gil eating!)

And finally, I took MANY many moments to text my dad and a full two hours this last Saturday to speak with
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I really liked this book. I’m not big on media or movies or things like that, but still found the story compelling. It was a good tribute to her father and it was really easy to read.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Erin Carr poured utter and raw honesty and emotion in her memoir, All That You Leave Behind. I admire and respect her courage to share her tumultuous past and her intense relationship she had with her dad and family with her readers. She must have struggled as she recounted her life as she chose which parts to share, and I’m guessing she shed many a tear and experienced grief and sorrow again and again as she wrote it. I found her story beautifully told, and though I am not familiar with her or ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings about this one. I respect Carr's honesty about her addiction problems and the extent to which her famous father boosted her career, but didn't much care for her as a person. It also felt like the book was written too soon. She hasn't achieved enough distance or maturity for a truly reflective memoir, and it felt like she wrote it as soon after her father's death as she did as a marketing strategy. The father-child relationship was a complex one. Having a father that's so deeply ...more
Isabel Arjmand
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
Erin Lee Carr has an unusual story, and I admire her willingness to dive into stories that paint her in an unflattering light, and that reveal her father’s weaknesses.

At the same time, I thought this book was too loosely edited, with stories and thoughts that felt half-finished at most, but were never revisited. The first 50 or so pages provide a clear enough picture of Erin and her father’s relationship, and then the next 170 or so pages meander without ever going deeper. Many of the stories
Allison Oliphant
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
To begin, I am not familiar with David Carr and that likely plays a part on my feelings about this book. I heard Erin on Armchair Expert and was instantly interested in reading her book having enjoyed her documentaries, but I think I like her less after reading. She can attribute really all of her accomplishments to the connections and involvement of her father, and the whole narrative seemed very privileged and not self reflective at all. I did cry a bit at the very end and appreciated the last ...more
Shannon Wise
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, won, read-in-2019
David Carr was a reporter for the New York Times. He also was an addict. He wrote about it in his memoir Night of the Gun. He died suddenly a few years ago and his daughter, Erin, has written a memoir about her life, her father, his death, and the aftermath. She has written a wrenching, gut-punch of a book. It was honest and raw and is a must-read.

Erin Lee Carr grew up in the shadow of a larger-than-life man. Her dad was tough on her. But he was also her biggest cheerleader. She shares emails
Richard Clark
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone whose dad also died just as my life was getting started, this read like an aspirational account. Carr understood deeply the nature of her relationship with her dad well before his death.

My dad died when I was in my late twenties. I was filled with regrets. But in All That You Leave Behind, I got to live vicariously through Carr, here, and the numerous opportunities she had to appreciate her father before he was gone. It helped me with closure, and it helped me to understand with more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-bio
Erin Carr, a producer/director of documentaries and the daughter of the late New York Times' venerated media columnist David Carr, writes compellingly about addiction (both hers and her dad's), grief, and finding your place in life. If you've read her dad's memoir The Night of the Gun (and if not, you should), you'll be even more interested in how she navigates-- and doesn't-- his sudden death and moving on without him. A touching, warts-and-all memoir of the healing power of having a champion.
Greg Zimmerman
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I suspect most people will read this to learn more about journalist David Carr - a one-of-a-kind human. And it doesn’t disappoint. His emails and texts to his daughter provide an insight into this flawed, fascinating, complicated person you’d rarely get.

But the memoir itself about Erin’s coming of age in media is really engaging as well. It’s about grief, alcoholism, and media and how her father guided her every step of the way. Strays into self-importance maybe a bit too much, but who wasn’t a
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Book of The Month: All That You Leave Behind 1 13 Mar 31, 2019 05:48AM  

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“I even presume to sit at his desk while I write this book, hoping some magical transference will take place and I’ll be gifted, if only for this moment, with his way with words. I feel like a boy trying to fit into his dad’s running shoes.” 2 likes
“He told us we had to be careful about who we told our story to, but he wouldn’t let us hide from it ourselves.” 1 likes
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