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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lunch Date: Love Is a Mixtape

posted by on April 1 at 13:42 PM


(A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

Who’s your date today? Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, by Rob Sheffield, released in paperback in January.

Where’d you go? Mediterranean Express.

What’d you eat?
The Kafta Kabob ($8.79).

How was the food? Mediterranean Express is pretty damn good. They’ve got that weird, delicious rice that’s so yellow it’s kind of glowing, and the Kabobs reminded me of salisbury steak TV dinners, but in a really good way. The hummus is not so very exciting, but everything else is just spicy enough for a lunch break where I have to talk to people for the rest of the day and not offend them with my breath.

What does your date say about itself?
It’s a memoir about the author, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, and his romance with a woman who would eventually die in his arms. And also the mix tapes that they made. There’s a rave blurb on the back, from Sheffield’s employer, Rolling Stone, calling the book “the finest lines ever written about rock and roll.” Also, Entertainment Weekly calls it “heroic.”

Is there a representative quote?
“….For instance, I hated Pearl Jam at the time. I thought they were pompous blowhards. Now, whenever a Pearl Jam song comes on the car radio, I find myself pounding my fist on the dashboard, screaming, “Pearl JAM! Pearl JAM! Now this is rock and roll! Jeremy’s SPO-ken! But he’s still al-LIIIIIVE!”

Will you two end up in bed together? Sadly, no. While I feel like a douchebag for abandoning a book about a dead woman who the author clearly loves a lot, the vapid writing about bad rock and roll, and the use of a mix tape as a metaphor for, well, everything, makes me not want to read any further. This really does come across as a very long Rolling Stone article about mortality, which isn’t anything that I have any desire to read. Abandoned at page 41.

RSS icon Comments


How clever to provide two reviews for the price of one (I know, they're both free). I really like the format, Paul. More, please.

Posted by Spoogie | April 1, 2008 1:56 PM

brilliant idea!

Posted by adrian | April 1, 2008 1:59 PM

I agree, I like this feature idea a lot. Of course at first I was confused because I thought the title of the book was "Lunch Date: Love is a Mixtape."

Posted by PopTart | April 1, 2008 2:12 PM

This is a great idea. Joining a restaurant review AND a book review gets me a little moist. Please keep it up. ahem.

Posted by sanscalzone | April 1, 2008 2:18 PM

Yeah, that's about where I ended with that book too.

Posted by Tootle | April 1, 2008 2:30 PM

Huh? "... Jeremy's spoken"?? I thought it was "Jeremy spoke in [class today]".

A Rolling Stone editor who can't get the lyrics right? Der. I'd toss the book too.

Posted by city kitty | April 1, 2008 3:38 PM

when i lost someone very close to me, this book was given to me--and among the hundreds of books i read during this time--most of them grief related--this was one of my favorites. if i had read this book in a time when i wasn't dealing with loss, and such a close loss at that, i think it would have been easy for me to dismiss it--as it was for you. too many books that deal with loss do it without love or humor (or the references to music, film, pop culture, etc.), and this one did. in a society that deals so poorly with death, i am happy this book is out there...especially for those who don't dig elizabeth kubler ross or deepak chopra and the like.

god forbid you lose your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife, but if you ever do, maybe give it a re-read. see if your opinion changes.

Posted by July | April 1, 2008 3:39 PM

PS: Love this feature idea though. Please keep it up.

Posted by city kitty | April 1, 2008 3:39 PM

I have to say, I've been so happy reading all your posts to this blog, Paul. Except that time when you dissed a reading that should have been given a fair chance, but I'd like you less if you were perfect.

Posted by In MN | April 1, 2008 4:32 PM

I hate to disagree with you, Paul, but I was really moved by that book, and pretty much just plowed right through it. Sorry it didn't work for you. Glad the kabob worked for you.

Oh, and @6? That's the joke, that he's joyfully, boisterously mangling the lyrics.

Posted by Levislade | April 1, 2008 6:09 PM

P.S. I love the feature idea, though - looking forward to future installments.

Posted by Levislade | April 1, 2008 6:10 PM

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