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Jul/Aug-Hunger Makes Me.. (2016) > Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert (robertgilescampbell) So far liking it. Last night I only intended to read a chapter but read the entire part 1. Its not that long but still I did not want to put it down. When she talk's about all the bands of the time, late 80's early 90's it makes me all nostalgic, today I think i'm going to go home and pull out the OLD CD binder I have and play some Nirvana or Soundgarden :)

message 2: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh Hyatt (achyatt) | 18 comments The audio book version is good too and it has some of her music playing between chapters. Just a heads up!

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert (robertgilescampbell) I have never listened to her music, my plan is to finish the book before going down that road, i'm sure I will like it though :)

message 4: by Melle (new)

Melle (feministkilljoy13) | 68 comments I'm not exaggerating at all... I LOVE her. I'm seeing Sleater-Kinney in September and I could not be any more excited. I bought and read this book back in January but I downloaded the audiobook and am gonna listen to that again :)

message 5: by Diana (new)

Diana (secondhandrose) I just put a reservation on the book at the library. I saw Sleater Kinney in March and they were fabulous.

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert (robertgilescampbell) Kodak wrote: "I'm in the same boat, Robert ;) I'm sure I've heard her music, however never really gone out of my way. I now feel like I should!! :)"

I'm really excited, normally a person hears the music long before they ever learn what its about, what inspired it or what the musician was thinking when they wrote it. To be able to listen to these songs after learning these things about them is going to be pretty awesome

I've now finished the book, I intended to take it slow and savor it but less then 24 hours after starting it its now behind me. and it was Fantastic.

message 7: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh Hyatt (achyatt) | 18 comments Before beginning this book, I just knew Carrie Brownstein from Portlandia. Her book is opening up a whole new genre of music for me that I didn't even knew existed. Loving the book btw!

message 8: by Evelia (new)

Evelia | 89 comments I am re-reading the book for a second time. I am reading it a long with the audio book version. I did not anything about this group's music. It also makes me to do some research later about their music.

message 9: by Emily (new)

Emily | 8 comments Already read twice and listened to audio twice! You can say I'm a fan :)))

message 10: by Sascha (new)

Sascha | 391 comments Oh I'm excited! I was a big fan of some Riot Grrrl bands like Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and Team Dresch when I was a teenager and I still love listening to Sleater-Kinney, one of my favorite bands of all time. I would also be interested in reading a book by Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill but I doubt she has ever written a book. I will finally have to watch the movie about Kathleen Hanna, "The Punk singer". Did anyone watch "The Punk singer" and can you recommend it?

message 11: by Diana (new)

Diana (secondhandrose) I saw The Punk Singer at the Melbourne Film Festival a couple of years ago. Definitely worth seeing.

message 12: by Gareth (new)

Gareth Harding (grrarrth) | 1 comments Carrie is one of my favorite people , amazing book and feminist, I got mine signed when I saw SK four times in March.. bit wizard

message 13: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Uniform I read it a couple of months ago but sadly didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I listened to a recording of an interview with Carrie Brownstein by Myf Warhurst and thought the book sounded great. It started off well but I found my interest waning quite quickly and it never returned.

message 14: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa Lunday | 43 comments I know Carrie from Portlandia. My sister watches the show. And I am about halfway through the book...loving it. I have never listened to Sleater-Kinney but decided to check them out after I was done. I heard about Riot Grrrl from a friend of my who loved punk when we were in high school but I never really got into it as much as I did rap.

message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (ipomoea) | 1 comments I've been a Sleater-Kinney fan for 19 years-- they're what made me decide to go to Evergreen for college. I've had an autographed copy sitting on my shelf for months, I'm so glad I finally started it.

message 16: by Iván (new)

Iván Viñas | 25 comments I use to play in a band with Le tigre influences which obviously would take us to the Riot Grrl movement and Sleater Kinney was always there in the back. Then I became a fan of Wild Flag. So i'm really excited about this book sadly i'm still behind on some other books, but i'll get to it eventually.

message 17: by Iván (new)

Iván Viñas | 25 comments Sascha wrote: "Oh I'm excited! I was a big fan of some Riot Grrrl bands like Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and Team Dresch when I was a teenager and I still love listening to Sleater-Kinney, one of my favorite band..."

I watched it, in open in a festival here in Mexico. I also help fund the kickstarter to get it made. So the whole process since the beggining. Great doc, specially if your into Kathleen or just music in general, creative people, human beings and all that. My only problem was that as with many kickstarters, the perks that were promised never arrived. I feel bad because the director worked very hard, but still.

message 18: by Alia (new)

Alia It costs twice as much on Amazon Smile as it does on ordinary Amazon.

I read the "preview" on the Kindle version, though, and I don't think it's worth buying right now. Maybe it'll turn up in a bookstore later in the month, if for no other reason than being this book club's summer pick. In the meantime I'm browsing the to-read list.

message 19: by Evelia (last edited Jul 14, 2016 05:34PM) (new)

Evelia | 89 comments After reading the book for a second time, I felt sometimes disconnected with what she was trying to say. She lost me when she talks about relationships with her pets and people and at the end of the book. This book will probably be enjoyed more by fans of her music group.
The things I did like were when she talks about her experience in been in a female group, the process of music for her, and how she dwell into the music world.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Started reading the book today. I like it so far. I saw Brownstein on Portlandia before I knew she was in a band.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) It seems to me like a book by a lonely person. It seems like Carrie Brownstein wanted a fulfilling role, but the nature of music business is roleplay, When that dawned on her - that was she was turning into a band member instead of a musician, she seems to struggle to find her role inside the role play of a music job and some fulfillment in that. It doesn't seem to me she ever found her fulfilling role.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I read the book a few months ago and must admit that I can't remember everything.
But I remember that I really liked the way she adresses so openly the messines of life and the messines of HER life. I feel like in other memoirs, the authors are quick to only talk about the highs and the downs of life but not the dusty and dull inbetween. I also liked, and that kind of goes hand in hand with my first point, how she describes her feelings and emotions. A mixture of rage, adventurousness and also nothingness.

message 23: by Lara (new)

Lara (larah33) I guess I'm in the minority. I found the writing too disjointed, and could never really identify with Brownstein much past a) being female, and b) wanting other people's approval. But that is early in the book and then there's so much about punk music, which isn't my thing. (As I'm not musically inclined myself, her experiences and discoveries are lost on me.)

I stopped maybe a third of the way through, if that.

message 24: by Emily Ruth (new)

Emily Ruth | 2 comments Lara wrote: "I guess I'm in the minority. I found the writing too disjointed, and could never really identify with Brownstein much past a) being female, and b) wanting other people's approval. But that is early..."

I felt that way when I started to read the book. I returned it to the library. I kind of missed the Punk boat when I was younger so it is also not my thing. The book was slow to start for me, as I felt I couldn't get my footing in a world that was not anywhere close to my own. Then, when it was added to this group, I thought I would try again. This time I checked out the audiobook. Very big difference for me. Listening to her read her story turned out to be wonderful, IMO.

message 25: by Emily Ruth (new)

Emily Ruth | 2 comments I'm so glad I gave this book a second chance! In addition to being a moving memoir and a look into a world I did not know, it has helped me move through some very difficult personal feelings. I have been going through a tough time at my job with a coworker, someone I had gotten very close to very quickly. As time has gone by I've discovered that she is pretty racist, and will spout off hateful, ignorant opinions; perhaps feeling it is ok due to my white skin but conveniently forgetting the black skin of my husband and the beautiful mix of my son. Attempts at discussion were merely met with "but I'm not racist." Obviously not the same situation as Carrie, but it was listening to her story that illuminated some feelings I had buried. I couldn't figure out why I had been so weary. Anger made sense. The weariness did not.

"Now I was finally sad. Here it was, that shadow that forms on your insides, a dark pooling, the grief."

It was this quote that made me realize I had been hiding my grief from myself of the inevitability of losing this friendship, the need to let it go and move forward.

message 26: by Sonia (new)

Sonia | 15 comments Lara wrote: "I guess I'm in the minority. I found the writing too disjointed, and could never really identify with Brownstein much past a) being female, and b) wanting other people's approval. But that is early..."

Lara, I'm with you. I listened to the audio book and was mostly unable to relate to her stories, emotions, reactions, and personality. I did finish the book, and I think she is a really great writer. However, the subject matter just wasn't something I could get excited about. I think I was also hoping for a little more humor, given her Portlandia show. I went through it trying to find something I could learn, which I did in terms of how bands function within the music industry, as well as hearing a new perspective on life. That's what I love about this group, getting me to read a book I wouldn't have picked out myself.

If you do listen to it, whether you liked the book or not, be sure to listen to the interview at the end. She felt more real in those clips. (She even mentioned Argonauts!)

I'm glad to hear that the book has really resonated with others. I have enjoyed reading your comments about how you related to her story, and I have learned from you!

message 27: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh Hyatt (achyatt) | 18 comments After reading the book and listening to some of the author interview, I went on Spotify to listen to some of Sleater-Kinney's music. The difference between Carrie's expression in her book and her music is completely different to me. From listening to her and her experiences, I didn't really expect such raw, gritty, rough around the edges music, even though I knew SK was a punk band. Did anyone else have the same experience who didn't know the music before?

message 28: by Svenja (new)

Svenja De Stipp | 1 comments After reading "Tampa", "Middlesex" and "Invisible Monsters Remix" for a seminar,I became interested not only in gender transgressive fiction but in feminist works in general.
"Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl" is (thank god) somewhat tamer than the books mentioned above, but it shares some striking characteristics that are associated with female authors' works. For example, the disjointed kind of storytelling, and the beautiful, enchanting writing style that totally echoes a sense of memory, of emotions and melancholy.
Carrie looks back on her life in a way I found wonderfully authentic and honest.
Many of you wrote that you couldn't identify with her immature behaviour, and I cannot, either...mostly :D. But firstly, I thought it was hilarious nevertheless, and refreshingly bold because she didn't try to blurr the details here in the slightest. She just tells who she was, not proudly, but frankly. Secondly, I was reminded of some of my not-so-formidable moments as a girl or teenager and even as a young woman just a couple of years ago - and found I could laugh about it. Carrie writes about her self-announced character-fault like it is: Something we all go through, somehting we are rarely proud of and prefer it to be hushed-up, and something we grow out of (or at least some of us do).

I had never heard of Sleater-Kinney before, but I will listen into their music as well after finishing the book. I listened to punk and punkrock music as a teenager, but I know very little about the scene or about bands in general. Maybe SK is a starting point :)
Personally, I like songs and bands more if I know a little bit about them, so there is a good chance I enjoy their music quite much!

message 29: by Julia (new)

Julia Scherf | 18 comments After reading the book I tried to listen to some of the mentioned Bands ( mostly SK, of course).
I have found, not for the first time, that Punk's not the kind of music I like to listen to.
I really liked the book and Carrie Brownsteins writing but af tree r a while I kind of started disliking Carrie Brownstein herself.
Like she admitted she was a total brat sometimes and immaturity is no excuse for that behaviour in my opinion. It seems to me that she wrote the whole thing as a justification. I haven't got a matching quote, it's just my overall feeling.
Never the less, as said before she wrote her story excellent, I went through it within a few hours without a minute of boredom. We made good choice together :)

message 30: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones I really liked Sleater-Kinney, and I was really excited to read this, and then I was really disappointed in this book. The writing style drove me crazy, so many jargonistic words used, like nails on a chalkboard for me. Plus, it was confusing - even though I'd been listening to S-K since Call the Doctor, I still had to look up Carrie on wiki afterward to figure out what exactly happened and when. Thirdly, she chose to write this memoir, but yet she was clearly very uncomfortable with really letting the reader in. I felt kept at arm's length. I felt like a jerk for prying. Fourth, with all the navel gazing, she still seemed completely unaware of the pattern she is following: I love the band! I hate the band! I love the band! I hate the band! I didn't feel like she really understood herself, and thus I as the reader never understood her.

message 31: by Evelia (new)

Evelia | 89 comments I did listen to three of their songs. Is not the type of music I like but I understand why they have their fans.

message 32: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Riggs | 8 comments I started reading Carrie's book and found it difficult to relate to her and her experiences. It could be because I am 20 years older then her and have a different taste in music. My childhood growing up was a polar opposite to her more disfunctional childhood even though as a teacher I work with students with different disfunctional homes too. I read to chapter 5 and then read ch 20 near the end of the book. The pages about Buddy and Hector were almost too painful for an animal lover like me to read. Unfortunately I am going to have to give up on this book and wait for the Sept/Oct book.

message 33: by Harm (new)

Harm ten Napel (hnapel) | 94 comments I’m growing into the book and it’s really the writing itself that continues to amaze me almost despite the bare facts being discussed. They are interesting but unsurprising; she starts a band, travels abroad, records an album, has a relationship, breaks up etc. But what makes it captivating is that Corrie senses and explains to us the vibes to every situation and scene and is very introspective, she not just exists but is continually readjusting herself as if fine tuning the levers of her personality to become the person she wants to be. Cerebral yet unsure, highly observant, calculated in her expressions which extends to this very writing. She lays bare a lot, I’m half way and I hope we will get closer to the core: who is this woman?

message 34: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (josiebales71) | 5 comments I've just finished the book and I did enjoy reading it. I am a similar age to CB and listened to much if the music she mentioned while I was at university but there the similarities end.

I find others' comments interesting too. This is a memoir, not a diary so is a collection of memories written in a way that flows. I didn't feel that there was a lack of dates included, in fact, this often puts me off biographies. I often feel that I'm reading a list rather than a story, and biographies are still stories, they just happen to be true stories.

I also didn't feel I was missing out by not knowing the more intimate details - I don't need to know who cheated on CB while she was on tour and feel she was respecting their privacy rather than holding me at arms length.

As I knew I was reading a memoir of a band member, I had a good idea that there would be a lot of memories involving touring. The memories included in these chapters showed subtle differences in CB's behaviours and emotional states between tours rather than being repetitious.

The final section, regarding CB's relationship withe her animals mirrored her relationships with humans and I felt this concluded the book well.

message 35: by Lucas (new)

Lucas Dupuis | 7 comments Hey ! I'm sorry about what I'll have to ask you, but I can't afford a lot of things these days...
Does someone know where I can find it as an ebook for free ?
I know it's bad, but maybe you'll understand that I just can't. But I'd like to be really integrated to this group. I've been able to read Persepolis last month because it was available at the library near my home, but you know, I'm only 16 and my parents really can't afford what they think is useless these days.
I may sound like complaining or something, but, you know, it's life ^_^'

message 36: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Clark | 1 comments I really enjoyed "Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl" having never come across Sleater-Kinney before.
I thought that it was really well written in parts, but I had some problem following at some stages, like others did. I think though the way that Carrie wrote was very reflective of the creative process that she described.

I'm actually really surprised that a lot of people found it so unrelatable, There were, for me, lots of excellent discussions of the position of women at that time, and surprised me that a lot of what was happening 20 years ago is still quite the same today. For example "Anything that isn't traditional for women apparently requires that we remind people what an anomaly it is, even when it becomes less and less of an anomaly" (pg 122 in my version).

I suppose I read less of a story about personal chaos and more of a story about politics and philosophy.

message 37: by Lucas (new)

Lucas Dupuis | 7 comments Meelie wrote: "Lucas wrote: "Hey ! I'm sorry about what I'll have to ask you, but I can't afford a lot of things these days...
Does someone know where I can find it as an ebook for free ?
I know it's bad, but may..."

Ok, I'll try that, thanks a lot ^_^ !

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) If you have a smart cellphone or a tablet, you can get an app called Overdrive. You also need a library card.

Below is a link which might help:


The Overdrive app allows a library user to access digitalized content from a participating library. This content can be ebooks, audiobooks and videos, which are checked out to the user through the Overdrive app and the library.

The app will ask you to set up an account with Overdrive for free. After that, it will ask which library is the one you belong to. It will go to your library's ebook website and the library will ask you to sign in, using the number on your library card, and your email address. At this point, it will depend on what materials your library has bought rights to have available. If you cannot find the ebook, audiobook, or video you want, you can request through the app that your library buy the material. I have asked my library through Overdrive to buy ebooks. In fact, I asked them to buy 'The Argonauts' ebook... and they did.

Overdrive app is available through Google Play if you have an Android, or the Apple app store if you have an iPhone or iPad, or the Kindle app store at Amazon if you have a Kindle.

Also, if you do not have an electronic device which can download the Overdrive app, and you need a book but your library does not have it, you can ask the librarian for an interlibrary loan and it can transfer the book from any library in the country.

These are instructions for USA residents. I'm sorry, but I don't know the resources of other countries

message 39: by Harm (new)

Harm ten Napel (hnapel) | 94 comments I find chapter 17 “Opening Up” one of the best chapters so far, it’s more chronicle and less drama and also elevates the whole book above the dread tangible in the first half (see my previous comment) and connects it more to the better known parts of rock history.

message 40: by Tawny (new)

Tawny (tawnyburgess) I was a fan of Sleater-Kinney and the Riot Grrrl movement growing up, so reading this book was a delight. It brought me back to my childhood and gave me perspective on what was happening from the stage perspective.

I thought this book was well written. And I enjoyed her perspective. There's so much more to the world of music than what is perceived.

message 41: by Jordan (new)

Jordan E | 7 comments I thought it was a decent read. It was insightful in some parts and WAY over my head in others. However, I appreciated Carrie's narrative and her history both as a creative person and as an active artist. I also appreciated her honesty about her mother's issues as well as her own--the stigma that is carried with these issues makes it hard to discuss, let alone appreciate or even relate to.

message 42: by Ana Pau (new)

Ana Pau De la Borbolla (ananas99) | 3 comments This is the second time I'm using an audiobook, the first one was earlier this year with "My life on the Road" from this very bookclub... I listened to the story while painting my nails and doing things semiautomatically... I just don't know how and hour passed without me even looking outside my window, I became quickly immersed in the story, by the honest narrative that made me remember my own puberty.
Nostalgia all over me. I just hope the book will keep up with the great insights.

message 43: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments This is the second book I've unexpectedly stumbled upon recently that has its origins where I grew up, in the Pacific Northwest, and in both cases (the other being The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which is excellent), I was chastising myself for knowing so little about the history of my own "neck of the woods!" I had no idea that a lot of the punk scene originated in the area. Granted, it's not my typical flavor of music, and I'd never heard of most of the bands Brownstein mentions throughout the entirely of the memoir, but the idea of connection was compelling for me.

This is actually an out-of-comfort-zone read for me, as I like music, but can almost never pair a song with a name and certainly not with an artist. My husband is a music junkie and photographs bands all the time (which is where he's off to tonight, oddly enough), so the behind-the-scenes look into how the music is developed and the whole tour scene, the makeup of various bands, etc, was kind of an eye into his world and I can see what he finds so interesting about the whole process of music-making.

I couldn't relate to much of the personal issues and dilemmas (obviously, as I've never been a rock star) but who CAN'T relate to the feelings of isolation, of finding yourself, of wanting to be something more? That's pretty basic to human nature...and I suppose it's why we find music so engaging in the first place, because it's the shared experience.

I also applaud Brownstein for telling her story raw and with feeling, but being classy and sensible enough to leave some details alone and not drag anyone through the mud. I'm sure she could tell some horrible stories about people she interacted with, but she chose to focus on her own experience and how it formed HER, and didn't fall into the pit of blaming others or slinging mud just because she has the stage to do it from.

Now to go look for some 90s cds so I can revel in a little nostalgia.... :)

message 44: by Laura (new)

Laura Banuelos Can someone please make a playlist to go with reading the book?? Some Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsey, Cat Power, etc?? Because that would totally rock. Thanks!

message 45: by Jade (new)

Jade Louvat (jadekimcannelle) | 21 comments I have ordered "Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl" and I am eager to read it, especially as I am going to a modern music school this september, and this book was written by a musician, so this might be helpful for me :) ! I can't read the reviews yet!

I have read one femminist book so far which was "Revolution From Within" by Gloria Steinem which is also a lot about self growth but still feminist so it is really great, you can check my review of it on my profile if you want.

message 46: by Harm (new)

Harm ten Napel (hnapel) | 94 comments Jade wrote: "I am going to a modern music school this september " Carrie Brownstein actually writes something about the potential benefits of a school of rock to learn at least the basics of producing a coherent sound on stage, she herself appears an autodidact. As the saying goes: never let your schooling interfere with your education.

message 47: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 2 comments Although I ended up really enjoying the book as a whole once I finished it, I found the book disjointed in some parts and it felt a little jumpy in certain areas. It really affected my sense of music in regard to artists performing. I just saw Gwen Stefani perform with Eve as her opener and couldn't help but think of when Carrie was mentioning being an opener for a band and that most of the people there were to see the headliner, not the opening band. So watching Eve play to a not-yet full audience, daylight still beaming (thus no sparkling lights and colors on stage), and a lack of people who know her music, I felt a sort of sympathy for her like I did for Carrie when she wrote about the shows she would play. It has to be deflating to get onstage when people aren't paying attention or aren't singing along.

It gave me a new perspective about musicians and the demands that we, the audience, unknowingly place on them.

The book also helped me realize the sexism that occurs within 'females in music'. One that I usually overlook because it is so quotidian. How will we stop looking at "female in music" until it's just 'musician'? What has to happen? The opinionated review of one person have to be difficult to read and I don't blame her for deciding to quit reading them.

The end about her pets was difficult for me to read, because it felt slightly tangential and sad, but in the end I realized the importance of including it. It gave a better description of Carrie.

I applaud Carried for writing this book; I was an eye-opener for me and I really did enjoy it. Someone above wrote that she feels like Carrie never found her 'nitch' or thing that made her the happiest and I agree to a certain extent. When you lose sight of the original reasons for doing something, it's easy to question yourself and get lost. But she came full circle and returned to the music because that it was drove her, what made her happiest. In the end, that's all we want for ourselves.

message 48: by James (new)

James Corprew Emily wrote: "Lara wrote: "I guess I'm in the minority. I found the writing too disjointed, and could never really identify with Brownstein much past a) being female, and b) wanting other people's approval. But ..."

Thats how i did it as well. They didnt have the hard copy so i ended up just listening to it which seemed to hit home more.

message 49: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 66 comments Harm wrote: "As the saying goes: never let your schooling interfere with your education."

Indeed, I liked her balance of real experience while also being able to see her own potential areas of weakness. Choosing to see experience as a strength instead of a weakness was one of her driving forces.

message 50: by Harm (new)

Harm ten Napel (hnapel) | 94 comments Alana wrote:
Indeed, I liked her balance of real experience while also being able to see her own potential areas of wea..."

I was thinking more in the spirit of the opening lyrics of Bruce Springsteens "No Surrender"

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