I find it slightly amusing that I never ever read memoir/autobiography-type books and then I go ahead and read TWO in one month. One was kind of a fluke and one was highly anticipated. BOTH were pretty awesome.
First off, we have Where I Belong by Alan Doyle. Alan is the lead singer from the Canadian band Great Big Sea, a band I remember listening to PLENTY of times growing up since my brother was a fan. I wouldn’t say that I ever went out of my way to listen to them as I grew older, but after reading Alan’s memoir I really want to go and find some of their music to listen to! I feel like their music is just rooted in Canada and old folk songs and since I’m older (and wiser) I thnk I would really enjoy it.
Anyway, right from the first pages, I was in love with this book. Alan has such a way with words and storytelling that it was hard to NOT get sucked into the stories. It was a lot of fun reading about growing up in Petty Harbour and while Alan’s stories weren’t always easy to stomach (really … there was one story that involved a hook and a hand and I just about got sick), he really conveyed the innocence of growing up in the small town. Not only that, but I could just see the beauty of the land as I read … when I finished reading, I really, really wanted to go visit Petty Harbour and see all the sites Alan talked about — and hopefully one day I’ll be able to!
I had originally started reading this book because Alan was coming to town for a book signing. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the signing (though Brie from A Slice of Brie was nice enough to get a book signed for me!) but I’m so so glad that I read this book! It brought a whole new perspective of growing up in Canada to me and I hope to read more stories from that part of the country. And it just goes to show some of the great talent we have to offer!
And now for something completely different …
I never actually started listening to Amanda Palmer’s music until early this summer, so I am a brand new fan! I completely fell in love with her music and just her as a person, since I was following her on Twitter and Facebook. When I heard she had a book coming out, I was very excited since that meant I could read something by her in conjunction with listening to her albums whenever I’m in the car (my husband can attest to this — I listen to them on repeat ALL the time).
Admittedly, I wasn’t one of those super fans while reading this. I didn’t fall over myself crying and the book didn’t change my life, but it really was an inspiring read. It wasn’t your typical autobiography because the book wasn’t intended to be like that. I personally would love to read more about Amanda growing up and how she got into music and all that, but this book was more about asking for help and how it’s okay to ask for help. Some of it was repetitive but it worked, it really helped the message hit home.
I felt like the whole book was a perfect blend of personal and business and I kind of loved the sections where Amanda talked about her and Neil the most. I will admit, I was one of those people who thought that Neil and Amanda’s relationship was a joke in the beginning, but after I’ve had months to see them interact together and to read about their relationship, I couldn’t see it any other way. I feel like they completely compliment one another and it’s just such a beautiful thing to see them support one another in everything they do.
While I may not have been a superfan before I began reading this book, the whole story made me love Amanda even more and I find myself listening to her music more than I did before (if that’s even possible). Not only that, but I feel like she helped me with not only my business, but also as a person in feeling that it’s okay to ask people for help — I don’t have to feel like everything should be done just by me.
Such a great read for Amanda fans and non-Amanda fans alike!
I’m kind of stoked that I have a signed copy of BOTH of these books. After I finished, I wanted to read more non-fiction books, too! And while Alan and Amanda are completely different in their music, I feel like they’d totally get along if they met in real life.
Have you read either of these books? What did you think? What’s your favourite book by a musician?