Rob Sheffield – Love is a Mix Tape (2007)

“Music allows emotionally warped people to communicate by bombarding each other with pitiful cultural artifacts hat in a saner world would be forgotten before they ever happened.” Rob Sheffield is a man for whom music is almost everything; including the only connection he has left with his now deceased wife. Love is a Mix Tape is his way of dealing with his life, providing some fascinating insights about the nature of love and its relation to music along the way.

Sheffield’s book is structured around mix tapes, each chapter opening with the play list of a tape made by him or his wife. The chapter that follows is full of ruminations that were kick-started in his mind by that particular tape. His writing is warm and personal, inviting the reader into the world of his reminisces.

In its tracing of his relationship with his wife from the day they met until the day she died, the book takes an inevitable turn in to the melancholy without being dark or depressing. Despite his past experiences, Sheffield is a man who believes in love and in music, and he has an optimism and confidence lacking in so many memoirs of personal pain. Sheffield concludes that love is a mix tape–sometimes it’s good, sometimes bad, but always worth the effort.

–nc

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