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“Record Collecting for Girls is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female), to make your own top-five lists, and then, armed and ready with the book’s fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever-present boys’ club of music snobs in your life.” —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug and This Is Not a Love Song You never leave home without y “Record Collecting for Girls is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female), to make your own top-five lists, and then, armed and ready with the book’s fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever-present boys’ club of music snobs in your life.” —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug and This Is Not a Love Song You never leave home without your iPod. You’re always on the lookout for new bands, and you have strong opinions when it comes to music debates, like Beatles vs. Stones. For years, you’ve listened to guys talk about all things music, but the female perspective has been missing. Until now. Drawing on her personal life as a music enthusiast, as well as her experience working at MTV and in radio, Courtney E. Smith explores what music can tell women about themselves—and the men in their lives. She takes on a range of topics, from the romantic soundtracks of Romeo and Juliet to the evolution of girl bands. She shares stories from her own life that shed light on the phenomenon of guilty pleasures and the incredible power of an Our Song. Along the way, she evaluates the essential role that music plays as we navigate life’s glorious victories and its soul-crushing defeats. Finally, here is a voice that speaks to women—because girls get their hearts broken and make mix tapes about it, too. “Courtney Smith has smarts and sass in spades. Her insights are as hilarious as they are thoughtful, and when you finish reading this book, you’ll feel like you just got home from a perfect night out with your best friend. And you’ll want to listen to Prince. At full volume.” —Megan Jasper, Executive Vice President, Sub Pop Records


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“Record Collecting for Girls is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female), to make your own top-five lists, and then, armed and ready with the book’s fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever-present boys’ club of music snobs in your life.” —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug and This Is Not a Love Song You never leave home without y “Record Collecting for Girls is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female), to make your own top-five lists, and then, armed and ready with the book’s fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever-present boys’ club of music snobs in your life.” —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug and This Is Not a Love Song You never leave home without your iPod. You’re always on the lookout for new bands, and you have strong opinions when it comes to music debates, like Beatles vs. Stones. For years, you’ve listened to guys talk about all things music, but the female perspective has been missing. Until now. Drawing on her personal life as a music enthusiast, as well as her experience working at MTV and in radio, Courtney E. Smith explores what music can tell women about themselves—and the men in their lives. She takes on a range of topics, from the romantic soundtracks of Romeo and Juliet to the evolution of girl bands. She shares stories from her own life that shed light on the phenomenon of guilty pleasures and the incredible power of an Our Song. Along the way, she evaluates the essential role that music plays as we navigate life’s glorious victories and its soul-crushing defeats. Finally, here is a voice that speaks to women—because girls get their hearts broken and make mix tapes about it, too. “Courtney Smith has smarts and sass in spades. Her insights are as hilarious as they are thoughtful, and when you finish reading this book, you’ll feel like you just got home from a perfect night out with your best friend. And you’ll want to listen to Prince. At full volume.” —Megan Jasper, Executive Vice President, Sub Pop Records

30 review for Record Collecting for Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenn(ifer)

    Since Miss Smith is so keen on lists, here's one for ya! Top ten reasons why this book sucks: 10. The writing is insipid. 9. There is an entire chapter devoted to "groupies" vs. "wives" with a subsection entitled "bros before hos" (I'm not making this up) 8. There is a chapter exploring the ever important "our song" phenomenon, complete with an "our song" playlist containing such gems as U2's "All I Want is You", Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." I might vomit r Since Miss Smith is so keen on lists, here's one for ya! Top ten reasons why this book sucks: 10. The writing is insipid. 9. There is an entire chapter devoted to "groupies" vs. "wives" with a subsection entitled "bros before hos" (I'm not making this up) 8. There is a chapter exploring the ever important "our song" phenomenon, complete with an "our song" playlist containing such gems as U2's "All I Want is You", Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." I might vomit right now. 7. I am not 16 years old 6. This book made me stupider. 5. If this is the "female perspective" on music, I'll go back to reading Klosterman and Bangs (see 10, 7, and 6) 4. As if you didn't see it coming, there is a chapter chock full of break-up songs, and different sub genres of break-up songs (angry, sad, begging, kiss off). How old is this girl and why does everything she write have to refer back to dating in some way? She sounds like a boy crazed teenager. 3. Every time she talks about how she wouldn't date a guy who listened to (fill in the blank), I wanted to punch her right in the face. 2. Make-out music? Really? For fuck sake. 1. She likes the Pussycat Dolls. Sorry honey, if you want to be taken seriously as a writer, if you want to be seen as a "music aficionado," you need to keep that bit of information to yourself.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Boy did I hate this book. I think it is trying to be a "Love is a Mixtape" for girls, but it doesn't succeed. She imparts univerality into the story, and since I don't care about here, it just gets more annoying as you go. Here are some examples: 1. Her Top 5 artists are Elvis Costello (fine), REM(fine) Sleater-Kinney (hi, 90s Indie rocker) Stevie Nicks, (fine) and Fiona Apple (enough said.) 2. Chapter 2 : Where have all the girl bands gone - focuses largely on The GoGos and the Bangles and then j Boy did I hate this book. I think it is trying to be a "Love is a Mixtape" for girls, but it doesn't succeed. She imparts univerality into the story, and since I don't care about here, it just gets more annoying as you go. Here are some examples: 1. Her Top 5 artists are Elvis Costello (fine), REM(fine) Sleater-Kinney (hi, 90s Indie rocker) Stevie Nicks, (fine) and Fiona Apple (enough said.) 2. Chapter 2 : Where have all the girl bands gone - focuses largely on The GoGos and the Bangles and then jumps to the Dixie Chicks. For someone of the 90s to totally ignore "riot grrl" and other bands like L-7 and Babes in Toyland is unconscionable. 3. She states "Never date a boy who likes the Smiths." While I can see where this seed starts, she goes off the rails when she says "Every Smiths fan I ever met was also obsessed with serial killers. " WTF? 4. By the time I got to "The Next Madonna" chapter I was so annoyed with her. I take the greatest issue with her stating why straight guys like Madonna. Who are these straight guys? I don't know any, and they are an exception rather than the rule. 5. She seems totally obsessed with very mainstream online sources, like last.fm, and The All Music Guide. I would think someone could send me off the beaten path. Last straw : The Beatles vs. Stones chapter. She chooses the Beatles. I'd choose the Stones. But that's fine. It's her reasoning that's problematic. 6. Beatles are better than the Stones because they never reunited after breaking up and the Stones keep hacking it out. OK, maybe they never reunited because ONE of them died 31 years ago, and the other died 10 years ago. Her exact quote "Too many bands of the 1960-90s are cashing in with reunion tours from nostalgic fans who will pay to see performers well past their prime. It's embarrassing and I'm glad the Beatles did not partake. They will remain the 1969 versions of themselves in our minds forever ." Might I remind her that McCartney and Starr, the 2 living Beatles played BEATLES SONGS at a SUPER BOWL HALF TIME SHOW in 2005. And McCartney himself certainly still plays shows, charges top dollar for them, and he's singing Beatles songs. So...... And the flip of that "In the deciades since [Altamont] the Stones have devolved into greedy old men of questionable talent. Every world tour as the audience wonders who might break a hip on stage..., their legacy as the most dangerous band in rock and roll unravels just a little more. Once you looked to the Stones and found the definitive rock band, look today and you'll find old men who are in it for a paycheck" I've seen the Stones 3 times, once in 1989 (AWESOME) once in about 1999, and once in 2001. Even though they weren't as good in 2001 as they were in 1989, they were still great and the audience LOVED it. The AUDIENCE wants to hear these songs - it brings back their youth too! I might also tell her that Stevie Nicks is only 5 years younger than MicK Jagger and Elvis Costello only 11 years. I wonder when they will be considered "old people only in it for a paycheck." Courtney smith, I hope you DONT die before you get old, so you can look back on these words with regret.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This was a joke-gift from my guitar-collecting, cymbal-smashing, Pitchfork-reading, vinyl-shopping, tinnitus-suffering boyfriend, who probably thought that I, faux-insulted and too busy swooning around the kitchen to “Brigadoon,” would laugh, toss it up on the bookshelf and never look at it again. But I did! I read it! I hoped a book like this would go for the nuts, honestly. Over the course of my life, I’ve spent a lot of time explaining (or defending) myself both as a fan of music and sports ( This was a joke-gift from my guitar-collecting, cymbal-smashing, Pitchfork-reading, vinyl-shopping, tinnitus-suffering boyfriend, who probably thought that I, faux-insulted and too busy swooning around the kitchen to “Brigadoon,” would laugh, toss it up on the bookshelf and never look at it again. But I did! I read it! I hoped a book like this would go for the nuts, honestly. Over the course of my life, I’ve spent a lot of time explaining (or defending) myself both as a fan of music and sports (there are a lot of assumptions/suspicions about why I, as a woman, like Blue Note and baseball). So I’m interested in how the “acceptable” roles for women (as music listeners, makers, and writers) are coded and then reinforced; how women are commodified, branded, shortchanged, and judged, but also how they innovate, and how they’re recognized for that. I wasn’t expecting an academic polemic here, of course, but I was thinking it might be part sociological study, part illumination of the byzantine recording industry, and part awesome recommendations for my record collection. It started off okay, breezy and likeable and a little acerbic, but then veered into sections that felt more like lightweight bubblegum essays you’d read in a teen magazine (Britney vs. Madonna? Really?). Maybe this book would have been a good primer for me when I was 13 or 14 and began seeking music out on my own, instead of relying on KIIS-FM or my parents’ LPs. And while I’m not a music snob, I am (at 32) a seasoned listener, and one with eclectic tastes. Even though it was a tongue-in-cheek present, I was still hoping I might stumble on some gems – maybe this book would give me a little nudge, a way to think about my music collection or the sounds I surround myself with (what I was listening to, why I responded to what I did). But nothing that complex emerged. The genres were surprisingly narrow (mainstream pop/rock, perhaps owing to the author’s MTV resume), and the advice suspiciously skewed to music’s role in grappling with or decoding romance. I think that’s what really pissed me off in the end. Too much energy was dedicated to the intersection of music and “boys,” or “crushes.” Maybe I’d respond to this if I were a moody adolescent, or if music were the only way I could connect with a guy (hey, we like the same bands! let’s make out!). Or if my designs as a music lover were to get indie rock guys to take me home to their dirty apartments and write songs about me in my cute glasses and ugly sweaters. But that hasn’t been my experience, and I was disappointed that “The Guide” would assume I’m more interested in music’s role in my love life than in the music itself. Simply put, I love music because I grew up with it, because it was always playing in our house, and because I played it myself. I was raised on a strange stew of Spooky Tooth, Judy Garland, Creedence Clearwater, Miles Davis, Huey Lewis, the LA Phil and “West Side Story.” There is music I listen to in order to dance, to brood, to get out aggression, music for exaltation and contemplation, music to rile me up or calm me down, music to allow me to imagine what it’s like to be someone else, somewhere else. So… “choosing a song for your wedding”? Songs to make out to? Songs to break up to? That’s how I should think about when I listen music? And an entire section about the dos and don’ts of dating a musician? That’s a girl’s guide to record collecting?? Music is vital, emotional, but it does a disservice to women and young girls to take the breadth of their emotions – which music, unlike anything else, has the power to tap – and try to bind them to a singular (male-oriented) experience. Unfortunately, for all its rah-rah girl power poppiness, which I really wanted to get behind, this book ultimately reinforced the one stereotype I hoped to god it would dispel: if you like music, boys will like you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Catie

    This book, more than anything, made me realize that I will first and foremost always be a book nerd, and my music nerddom will forever live in the backseat. I can spend hours thinking about the four books that I am typically in the middle of at any given time. I have a bookshelf that’s probably at about 200% of its recommended capacity. I have a cat named after a literary character. That bag of books in the corner? I have no idea when I got those or what they are. Unfortunately, my musical nerde This book, more than anything, made me realize that I will first and foremost always be a book nerd, and my music nerddom will forever live in the backseat. I can spend hours thinking about the four books that I am typically in the middle of at any given time. I have a bookshelf that’s probably at about 200% of its recommended capacity. I have a cat named after a literary character. That bag of books in the corner? I have no idea when I got those or what they are. Unfortunately, my musical nerdery is just not up to par. I am not sure who would really appreciate this book: while there are a few more approachable chapters (“Top Five Lists” and “Guilty Pleasures” for example), the rest is full of overly detailed musical history that I found incredibly boring. This book never feels cohesive; I’m not sure if this is true but I strongly suspect that this may be one of those “books” that’s cobbled together from blog posts and articles. It’s titular claim (“Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time”) suggests that it is a guidebook, and it is, for about three chapters. The rest is full of dry recitations of musical history, lots of personal stories about how she found certain bands and why she loves them, and “interludes” about using Last.fm, Rhapsody, music blogs, Second Life, and All Music Guide which are sure to horribly date this book and render it useless in 5-10 years. I mean, sure, I love Goodreads. But hopefully I’ll never write a whole chapter in a book about how to use it. And then there are the chapters that are just shoved in with no purpose that I can see – like an in depth discussion about why The Beatles are better than The Rolling Stones (again, with tons of historical detail that I care nothing about), and a whole chapter about the indignities that have befallen women who date rock stars. How is that relevant to music collecting? There’s no doubt that Courtney E. Smith is a bona fide music nerd, and she’s more than qualified to give the rare woman’s point of view in the music industry – so why wouldn’t she? This book has more than enough personal stories to qualify as a memoir, and I think that it would be a far more interesting read if it would just accept that it really really wants to be a memoir. I was very intrigued by the chapter called “Where Have All the Girl Bands Gone?” I actually really wanted to know. What happened? Why have they all gone underground? But she never really attempts to answer that question. Instead it’s a chronicling of girl bands from the 50’s – present. AGAIN with the history! She also, besides the few more approachable chapters, almost never makes any attempt to make all of this music “riffing” and discussion relevant to anyone but the nerdiest of music nerds. I think that it’s okay that this book won’t have mass commercial appeal, but it feels highbrow enough to be off-putting. Also, a woman who is in her thirties should NEVER use the phrase “a boy I had a crush on recently,” unless she is a pedophile. Perfect Musical Pairing Arcade Fire – Wake Up Yeah, Courtney Smith, I was a little bummed that you dismissed every Arcade Fire album as “over-hyped,” “obnoxious,” and “self-important” except their latest. I know that among indie music nerds, there’s a widely acknowledged negative linear correlation between the enjoyment one gets from listening to a particular band, and the popularity of said band. So, I’m sure that the grammy that they just received has made their yupster status rise even higher in your eyes. Good thing I can claim primary book nerd status so I have a free pass to love them anyway. This song is one of the more well-known tracks from “Funeral” and all I have to say is, stick this in your pipe and smoke it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    fleegan

    The title makes it sound like this book is a music guide for girls. It is not. It reads more like a memoir about her history with music as well as some general music history thrown in. There were two parts of the book that I thought were very clever. One is that she has a playlist at the end of each chapter with all the the groups and songs she mentions in the chapter. That was a neat idea. The last chapter had this really great Choose Your Own Adventure style of how to find music that is simila The title makes it sound like this book is a music guide for girls. It is not. It reads more like a memoir about her history with music as well as some general music history thrown in. There were two parts of the book that I thought were very clever. One is that she has a playlist at the end of each chapter with all the the groups and songs she mentions in the chapter. That was a neat idea. The last chapter had this really great Choose Your Own Adventure style of how to find music that is similar to music you like. It was smart and witty. There are two or three solid chapters in this book, but the rest of it I can’t figure out. I’m also not sure who this book is for. If it is for girls, as the title implies, then I’d think it’s geared for teens and maybe women in their early twenties. I’m fairly certain that the author and I are the same age. Yet throughout the book she keeps talking about having crushes on boys. There comes a time when you stop referring to men or guys as boys. By using the word boys instead of men (or guys or dudes sense we’re going informal here) one implies that the men are immature for their age. That’s fine. But if you keep calling men who are roughly the same age as you boys, that shows a level of disrespect (or creepiness). This author uses the word boys so much that it’s distracting. I can’t tell if she’s calling all of her boyfriends boys because she thinks they were/are immature or if she’s calling them that out of some kind of disrespect for males. I don’t think it’s the latter because she seems to very much like guys. So it might be that she just has a habit of either dating immature guys or overusing the word boys instead of men or guys. A good friend or proofreader/editor could help her with this. Another thing that was distracting was she admits she’s a music nerd and a music snob, and the book touts that she’s bringing a “female perspective” to music, but her music snobbery and the music snobbery of the “boys” she’s trying to impress/date/whatever, is the same music snobbery. She’s acting just like the guys. She’s judging and hating the music she doesn’t like. I don’t see how this is a female perspective. In the chapter Guilty Pleasures, Ms. Smith hates on the Black Eyed Peas and judges others for liking them, then turns around and says she likes The Pussycat Dolls, but that's okay because they are her guilty pleasure. She also says that if someone is proud of all the music they own (meaning they don’t have a group/singer they feel ashamed of liking) that that person is either ignorant about music or they are a “pompous ass.” As a 33 year old woman who does not particularly care for country music, I have to say that I’m not particularly proud of the amount of Glen Campbell songs on my iPod, but I also don’t feel the need to defend them to anyone. Why this would make me ignorant or an ass, I have no idea. I think some of the individual chapters would have made really good magazine articles or something, but the book as a whole just doesn’t really accomplish anything. If this book is for twenty-somethings and teen girls, I wish the author would have been more about building up confidence in liking what you like, and not so much about stalking guys with similar music interests and trying to impress them with musical knowledge. I wish there really had been a female perspective instead of the if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em vibe the book had.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I got instantly excited when I saw that my library had this book and was the first on the list to read it. I completely agree that women's voices are missing from music writing and her attempt to try to fill that void is admirable. It starts out pretty promising but falls so short of what I had hoped it would be. Smith starts out by listing her credentials. She works for MTV. Kind of lame. But, she has helped launched several really good indie bands like The Shins, M.I.A., etc. This leads into t I got instantly excited when I saw that my library had this book and was the first on the list to read it. I completely agree that women's voices are missing from music writing and her attempt to try to fill that void is admirable. It starts out pretty promising but falls so short of what I had hoped it would be. Smith starts out by listing her credentials. She works for MTV. Kind of lame. But, she has helped launched several really good indie bands like The Shins, M.I.A., etc. This leads into the next couple of chapters about creating top 5 lists and some girl band history. But after that is where my interest starts to dwindle. The majority of the book is centered on dating and relationships...and rather immature sounding relationships at that. Too much of her writing and music picks are discussed through the lens of men. Sure, I have been drawn toward certain types of music during bad relationships but life is so much more than that and a true music nerd has playlists for all of those moments. There's music I explored to feel closer to my parents and then to break away from them, music that reminds me of my friends, music that makes me think, makes me dance, etc. The chapters that focus more on advice for seeking out and molding your collection are the best and I wish she would have focused more on this aspect. In the end it isn't useful for seasoned music geeks who have moved beyond boys breaking their hearts. However, I am still going to give this 3 stars. Why? Because I think that if I were in middle school or high school she might have taught me a thing or two. I do not recommend this to adult women, but I would recommend this to a budding girl music nerd.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    There's a great book waiting to be written on this topic, but this isn't it. Instead of the truly insightful examination of gender roles in pop fandom you're probably hoping for, this reads like a patronizing primer for people who have never listened to music -- it assumes you know nothing about anything, which strikes me as a pretty poor supposition for a book reacting against the marginalization of it's target audience, and continually passes off unqualified opinion as fact. The longer I read There's a great book waiting to be written on this topic, but this isn't it. Instead of the truly insightful examination of gender roles in pop fandom you're probably hoping for, this reads like a patronizing primer for people who have never listened to music -- it assumes you know nothing about anything, which strikes me as a pretty poor supposition for a book reacting against the marginalization of it's target audience, and continually passes off unqualified opinion as fact. The longer I read it, the less I could stand the author -- she comes across as pedantic and pretty shallow to boot. Immensely disappointing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alyx

    Sigh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    A better title for this book would be "Record Collecting for Girls who define themselves by the Men." If the author isn't trying to hang with the boys and play their music snob games then she is relying on her step-father's influences. For a self-proclaimed 'taste maker' she doesn't seem like a music fan. Dismissing R.E.M.'s early albums as the same record struck me as weird. This is a personal bias, but I hate the assignation of a "guilty pleasure" song. If a song does it for you, own it. Music A better title for this book would be "Record Collecting for Girls who define themselves by the Men." If the author isn't trying to hang with the boys and play their music snob games then she is relying on her step-father's influences. For a self-proclaimed 'taste maker' she doesn't seem like a music fan. Dismissing R.E.M.'s early albums as the same record struck me as weird. This is a personal bias, but I hate the assignation of a "guilty pleasure" song. If a song does it for you, own it. Music snobbery is an immature game that most people grow out of after college radio days. I found this book to be incredibly pretentious and lacking depth. Ellen Willis's "Out of the Vinyl Deeps" is a much better read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    MyLoveAffairWithTheWrittenWord

    I liked the premise of this book--a sort of How To on record collecting, specifically aimed at girls--but the approach was somewhat problematic and off-putting. The overall attitude of the author is what I find most off-putting. While she admits to being a "music snob", her levels of snobbery borderline condescending. I also found that she contradicted herself quite a few times, such as how she proclaims that no true music fan would EVER purchase an artist's "Best Of" album, even if the artist i I liked the premise of this book--a sort of How To on record collecting, specifically aimed at girls--but the approach was somewhat problematic and off-putting. The overall attitude of the author is what I find most off-putting. While she admits to being a "music snob", her levels of snobbery borderline condescending. I also found that she contradicted herself quite a few times, such as how she proclaims that no true music fan would EVER purchase an artist's "Best Of" album, even if the artist is a favorite, but just a few pages later talks about an Elvis Costello greatest hits album and recommends that "you buy [it] immediately." I found it unforgivable that she puts down artists such as Lady Gaga (whom she claims tries to hard to be the "Next Madonna") but sings the praises of her favorite "guilty pleasure", the Pussycat Dolls. How can you slam someone as iconic and multi-talented as Lady Gaga whilst singing the praises of factory-produced pop garbage like the Pussycat Dolls? If there were a few things that I think she nailed, it's definitely her analysis of the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack for the Baz Luhrmann film of the same name. That album was a huge part of my adolescence, and her in-depth analysis of several of the tracks is insightful, and a clear demonstration of her vast musical knowledge. Her and I are also in agreement that the Twilight: New Moon movie was a tremendous train wreck but damn, is that soundtrack solid! I gave her points for that, too. However, once I got to the section of the book where she uses the word "dadaist" to describe online music blogs, I was completely turned off, and my attention was lost. Another major fail is that for a book about collection records, there are VERY few mentions of the Fab Four, The Beatles. How can you overlook such a major contribution to the world of music?! It's an unforgivable oversight. Another thing I noticed is that for every song about relationships, whether it's how you feel after a bad breakup, an amicable breakup, cheating, etc., it's always addressed as boy/girl relationships. I feel like this ignores an entire demographic of girls in the LGBTQ community. Not every relationship a girl has is with a guy and no matter their sexual orientation, all girls experience emotions; representation of them in the book is completely ignored. Overall it was pretty okay, but I wouldn't consider it a must-read for serious, avid music fans.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Phoenix

    H. and I read when we eat dinner. We spend all our time together, so the whole catching-up-at-dinner bondy thing is not that pressing. Tonight I started "Record Collecting For Girls" by Courtney E. Smith and she asked, "Why would you want to read a book about that?" "Well," I said, "back in the day --" "You used to collect records?" "No. Don't interrupt and let me splain. Back when your Mom was 16 or 17, one of the ways you would show a guy you liked him, or your friend that you cared about them, y H. and I read when we eat dinner. We spend all our time together, so the whole catching-up-at-dinner bondy thing is not that pressing. Tonight I started "Record Collecting For Girls" by Courtney E. Smith and she asked, "Why would you want to read a book about that?" "Well," I said, "back in the day --" "You used to collect records?" "No. Don't interrupt and let me splain. Back when your Mom was 16 or 17, one of the ways you would show a guy you liked him, or your friend that you cared about them, you made them a mixed tape. And you would collect cassette tapes and obsessively organize them. My friend from college, Eva? She cared about music even more than I do." "Then a book called 'High Fidelity' came out and described pretty much how I viewed my music collection and rearranging it and making mixed tapes. But it was really a book for guys. So now this book is out, and it's by a woman, and describes it from that point of view." I refrained from chanting, "One of Us! One of Us!" because I thought it would freak H. out, but that's how this book makes me feel. And it made me really wistful and nostalgic for who I was during those times (as freaked out and unmedicated and unmediated as I was) because I could find a band I liked and just really immerse myself in them and their work. I mean, I still love The Church, and Crowded House, and Nine Inch Nails, and I am probably the only person in the whole wide world that still likes Dada, but it's one of those fond and banked affections, instead of the red-hot conflagration it was when I was in my early twenties. Where I would make a mixed tape for one of my friends because they absolutely had to hear this band, this artist, this song. Or debate with my college friends what would be essential to put on a cassette to have sex to. Of course, I had the time and the emotional energy to devote to those kinds of pursuits back then. These days I watch my daughter discover the bands she likes, and I brace myself for the onslaught of enthusiasm. She is, after all, my daughter. I can't wait to see what she does.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Years ago I loved music, bought LPs and music mags, stayed up late and listened to UK radio, and showing my age watched late night Radio with Pictures on NZ tv. Then collected cassettes and loved my walkman, then CDs came along, with my CD walkman which was a pain in the butt, I hated having to lug all those CDs around. So entered the ipod, which meant all the songs in the CD stacks are at your fingertips. Somehow though I lost my love for music reviews, as they all seemed to be written by perpe Years ago I loved music, bought LPs and music mags, stayed up late and listened to UK radio, and showing my age watched late night Radio with Pictures on NZ tv. Then collected cassettes and loved my walkman, then CDs came along, with my CD walkman which was a pain in the butt, I hated having to lug all those CDs around. So entered the ipod, which meant all the songs in the CD stacks are at your fingertips. Somehow though I lost my love for music reviews, as they all seemed to be written by perpetual 19 year old boys (even though they were probably in their thirties), who all wanted to tell you about the latest obscure group of rockers. So parts of Courtney E. Smiths books resonated with me, as I think the female listening audience has been basically ignored by most music companies. I've never been one for the female rocker bands, and was a bit bored about hearing about the Bangles and the Go Gos. I guess that is the problem with all books written about music, as it is such a personal thing, and everybodies top ten is so different, and we all have associations with differing songs. Still, I think I'll give it a 3/5. It was a quick read, I managed it in two hours in a rainy afternoon, waiting to go to the rugby.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I really enjoyed Courtney Smith's book about how music has shaped her life and what it says about you. At times the book reads like High Fidelity from a female perspective. I laughed a lot as she details what a potential boyfriend's musical tastes says about him (I now know better to date anyone who loves The Smiths too much) and how musical soundtracks determine our lives. A lot of her musical preferences were similar to mine, and anyone who can write in-depth about the Romeo + Juliet soundtrac I really enjoyed Courtney Smith's book about how music has shaped her life and what it says about you. At times the book reads like High Fidelity from a female perspective. I laughed a lot as she details what a potential boyfriend's musical tastes says about him (I now know better to date anyone who loves The Smiths too much) and how musical soundtracks determine our lives. A lot of her musical preferences were similar to mine, and anyone who can write in-depth about the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack is cool in my book. I noticed that I was looking for a lot of the bands she references. Her playlists are also a great touch as they allow you to just look at that part to find what music to find, at times I did this before reading the chapter to know what she was talking about beforehand. Her tone is also very conversational so it reads like talking to a good friend. I'm interested in reading more books by her, this is a great guide for music lovers and girls who want to impress boys with their music knowledge!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erin Tuzuner

    A few things... Steven Morrissey is spelled "Stephen" and the Radiohead song she cites most, "15 Step" is written "15 Steps". These errors in editing pale in comparison to the actual content of this book, which I think might be marketed to 12 year olds. Your credibility as a girl record collector is pretty much null and void when your sole reason for collecting music is to get boys. From crush to pretty frequent breakup, this seems to be the range of your "expertise". A few things... Steven Morrissey is spelled "Stephen" and the Radiohead song she cites most, "15 Step" is written "15 Steps". These errors in editing pale in comparison to the actual content of this book, which I think might be marketed to 12 year olds. Your credibility as a girl record collector is pretty much null and void when your sole reason for collecting music is to get boys. From crush to pretty frequent breakup, this seems to be the range of your "expertise".

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julia Concepcion

    I really wanted to enjoy this book, even choosing to ignore the low average Goodreads rating to make room for the possibility that I may not agree with it. This was not the case for this book. I will start off by saying that I admire Courtney E. Smith's objective to write about the female perspective of music lovers, particularly those inclined to alternative rock. There need to be more books of this kind to balance this gender gap. "High Fidelity", probably the most famous book with rock woven I really wanted to enjoy this book, even choosing to ignore the low average Goodreads rating to make room for the possibility that I may not agree with it. This was not the case for this book. I will start off by saying that I admire Courtney E. Smith's objective to write about the female perspective of music lovers, particularly those inclined to alternative rock. There need to be more books of this kind to balance this gender gap. "High Fidelity", probably the most famous book with rock woven in its pages, is not universally relatable. The main character of Nick Hornby's 1996 novel is not much more than a "man-child" who initially refuses to engage in a healthy relationship. I applaud Ms. Smith for understanding that more women need to write about their musical experiences. I do, however, hate how she chose to title this book because already, it sounds so cheesy, like a "how to" guide for inviting some much-needed culture into your otherwise-philistine life. She raises some excellent points about the need for more girl bands, Madonna's influence on pop culture, the Rolling Stones's ridiculous cash-grab concerts, and the decline of physical record-collecting. The way she writes to explain her views is another matter. How is it a compliment to call yourself a "music Nazi"?? She makes it so that you clearly know nothing about music. Alright, so she's been a programmer with MTV and she has worked over the years to promote bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend, and The Shins. Big deal. It's not the real MTV, even though those bands are actually great. This book was written in 2010/2011, which makes it practically outdated since music platforms have drastically changed since then (for example, she mentions using MySpace.) She seems a little self-centered in talking about all her numerous ex-boyfriends and while I understand this is to relate her life with the music being discussed, it gets a little boring to keep reading on and on about some boy in an unnamed band and another one who she had a fling with. Get on with the story, please. She also includes some super cringey chapters. Who honestly needs a chapter on "make-out music"? If you so insist on creating such a chapter, don't pick movie soundtracks. I suppose I should have shut the book after she listed the "Twilight: New Moon" soundtrack in said chapter. What I'd like is for female authors to write about their own musical experiences and write these books for this end of the decade. The wide availability of online streaming and the parallel between the decline of rock and the rise of rap would make excellent points to talk about. You could even talk about how Ariana Grande is currently at eighties-Madonna-level fame (although nowhere near Madonna's actual coolness or, dare I say it, relatability.) Just don't embarrass us girls with chapters about groupies vs. wives or cheesy "Our Songs" and don't you DARE make a dismissive judgement about someone if they love The Smiths. All Morrissey jokes aside, they were a great and influential band. It's plain pathetic to quite literally judge people based on their music taste. Please. For God's sake, women everywhere: just write!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    3/7 Before kids, I was a total and complete music nerd. So when I found two glaring errors in the first thirty pages of this book, I was a little peeved. (it's Berry, NOT Barry Gordy, and Donovan's song is called "Jennifer Juniper" NOT "Jennifer Jupiter") Did anyone fact check this? Grrr... About halfway through and found one case of omitted words, and a few consistency errors. Hmm... 3/8 I'm about 3/4 through this. I don't want to come across as hating the author because she has/had a job that - a 3/7 Before kids, I was a total and complete music nerd. So when I found two glaring errors in the first thirty pages of this book, I was a little peeved. (it's Berry, NOT Barry Gordy, and Donovan's song is called "Jennifer Juniper" NOT "Jennifer Jupiter") Did anyone fact check this? Grrr... About halfway through and found one case of omitted words, and a few consistency errors. Hmm... 3/8 I'm about 3/4 through this. I don't want to come across as hating the author because she has/had a job that - again, before kids - I would have given my eye teeth for (I don't hate her; in fact I'd bet that if I met her IRL I could see us having many lengthy, amusing, and interesting conversations about music), but... I'm having a hard time reconciling the title with the contents. I thought this was going to be sort of an anthropological study - how women seek out music, what they buy, what formats, how they utilize technology, and maybe some interviews with female rockers to discuss the above. The book instead reads like a blog or a collection of essays, and (to me) feels like the author is validating her assertions by name dropping (I worked at MTV! I *know* the guys in Death Cab for Cutie - I even dated one of their friends!). I don't entirely blame the author for this lack of focus. Where was her editor? Why didn't she help Smith create a more cohesive work? I get why the publisher gave this a green light; women in the music biz is a fertile topic (pun intended), but I wish the publisher and editor challenged Smith a little more, pursued a meatier treatment of the topic or, at the very least, marketed this book differently. Hmm, methinks I have a book treatment to go write... Later on, 3/8 Okay, I've finished the whole thing. I feel... nothing, really. I don't feel any more knowledgeable about how to unleash my inner music nerd than before I picked up this book. Either she's already been unleashed or Smith (or her book's marketing team) has sadly missed her (or their) mark. Additionally, I wish Smith demonstrated more breadth of musical knowledge rather than depth in a few genres, mostly those in the indie/alt-rock universe. There was little to no mention of R&B or hip hop, and only passing mention of any music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s. IMHO, a true music nerd has a working knowledge of ALL genres and eras of music, regardless of your favorites. My impression is that Smith hasn't been exposed to much music earlier than the Beatles or Fleetwood Mac. I get that she's an indie/alt-rock girl, but her experience outside that world seems limited, and I felt that was a disservice to the reader. A great premise but, I'm sorry to say, a weak execution.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    I'll admit there is the possibility that the problems I had with this book were due to the fact that the book was not supposed to be for me, and I should have known that from the title. But I don't think that's the case. To me, the title of the book makes it sound like there will be a focus on music, and that's not the case, or at best it's only the case sporadically. She starts out well enough with a chapter on building a top 5 artists list. The tone is lighthearted and witty, and it seems like I'll admit there is the possibility that the problems I had with this book were due to the fact that the book was not supposed to be for me, and I should have known that from the title. But I don't think that's the case. To me, the title of the book makes it sound like there will be a focus on music, and that's not the case, or at best it's only the case sporadically. She starts out well enough with a chapter on building a top 5 artists list. The tone is lighthearted and witty, and it seems like it will, in fact, be a book about music. But it quickly goes downhill from there. There are chapters about picking the right music for making out or breaking up, and the focus is much more on the mood of the makeout session or the degree of trauma to the breakup. Music takes a back seat. What's more, it seems incredibly odd for a woman in her thirties to be writing about these things--I'm not saying she should be married with two kids by now, but it seems like her ideas on relationships are stuck in high school. Eventually, she gets back to music; unfortunately, she loses the lighthearted tone she started out with. She seems to be aware of how off-putting music snobbery can be without being aware of how big a snob she is. I think she's aiming for the Chuck Klosterman level of writing where he's clearly a snob but remains likeable. She just doesn't get there. Then we get a chapter on the differences between rock star wives and rock star groupies, and the wheels have pretty much come off. It's not an absolute train wreck, but it could have been so much better. It's too bad, because she clearly knows her music and was out to prove that girls can love music and talk music as well as the boys. I don't doubt that she can do that and could easily run circles around me if it came to a music throwdown, but this book and its focus on sappy relationships isn't going to be exhibit A in her defense.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bart

    This is an interesting book that betrays an intellect superior to the author's voice and occasionally suffers from an identity crisis of sorts. Most of the third-person reporting is informative and engaging, even, or perhaps especially, if a reader knows nothing about the history of girl bands or girlfriends of boy bands. Most of the first-person storytelling merits praise for its sincerity. And the final chapter - as an ode to the twistaplot - is novel indeed. Trouble is, the three approaches do This is an interesting book that betrays an intellect superior to the author's voice and occasionally suffers from an identity crisis of sorts. Most of the third-person reporting is informative and engaging, even, or perhaps especially, if a reader knows nothing about the history of girl bands or girlfriends of boy bands. Most of the first-person storytelling merits praise for its sincerity. And the final chapter - as an ode to the twistaplot - is novel indeed. Trouble is, the three approaches don't seem to go together very well. Smith's book careers from observations any adult should admire to confessions few adults would recognize. Most guys don't realize how shortchanged women have been by the predominately male retelling of music history. We're segmented to the level of specialty audience and programmed-to in a cloud of pink fairy dust. I don't want another Rihanna. I want to know this: Where's the female equivalent of the Foo Fighters? (p. 15) There is an authority in that passage that disappears when the author next draws up soundtracks for teenage make-out sessions. Smith, who at times exhibits a capacity for thinking deeply about relationships, too often chooses a voice such as: Teen emotions tend toward the exaggerated; rejection feels as awful as the seventh circle of hell, while love feels like that all-encompassing center of the universe. (p. 47) Exaggerated need not be cliched. There are probably good-faith reasons for revisiting teenage emotions regularly in a book about pop music - and the book's title does use girls, not women - but there are moments when a reader wishes the text would trust itself and ask why playing music while kissing boys should be such a priority in the first place. Smith is no doubt capable of a deeper book than this one. Now that Record Collecting for Girls is out of the way, her next book should transcend its genre.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Frankly, this book is not for girls. The hidden print in the title of this book is probably something like: Record Collecting for the Female Music Snob. And I know that's a bit harsh, but I really don't think that this book is accessible enough for anyone to read it and really glean something for it. Courtney E. Smith references a ton of music that I've never heard of. And the thing is that I can't even get a clear idea of what it sounds like - looking up all the songs mentioned just keep me fro Frankly, this book is not for girls. The hidden print in the title of this book is probably something like: Record Collecting for the Female Music Snob. And I know that's a bit harsh, but I really don't think that this book is accessible enough for anyone to read it and really glean something for it. Courtney E. Smith references a ton of music that I've never heard of. And the thing is that I can't even get a clear idea of what it sounds like - looking up all the songs mentioned just keep me from reading. So all the talk about specific music blows right over my head Also. Courtney E. Smith is very specific about which music is okay and not-okay to listen to (that's music snobbery, to those of you unfamiliar to the term). I was really hoping that this book would focus more on developing personal music tastes rather than just copying the author's. Smith just doesn't spend enough time considering that readers will want to learn about record collecting of all genres. That was kind of a downer, because I kind of have this indie-folk vibe going where I like listening to stripped down acoustic guitar. I wish there was more flexibility and variety in this book so I could work with the sort of music that I already like. But that flexibility wasn't there, so I couldn't really fit this into my own music collecting. If you are the kind of music snob that's very specific about vinyl and music and stuff, maybe you'll connect with this book. But I don't think that the rest of the world will. So, I guess I'm very nostalgic and wistful and wishing that this book was better. I just didn't get good vibes from this book (man I love that word, even though it sounds pretty out-of-place). Sadly, the only thing that I really connected to in this book is a quote from Elvis Costello - "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture - it's really a stupid thing to want to do."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    I love music. I love getting turned on to new music. Even books I've read books about music that I haven't particularly liked, they've always helped me to discover bands or songs I'd never heard of before. I don't really consider myself a music "snob," however. Actually, a lot of the "snob" music she referred to here turned out to be stuff that I didn't particularly care for. I guess I'm a bit mainstream, haha. (not really) I like this concept - a book about cool music written by a woman. The rec I love music. I love getting turned on to new music. Even books I've read books about music that I haven't particularly liked, they've always helped me to discover bands or songs I'd never heard of before. I don't really consider myself a music "snob," however. Actually, a lot of the "snob" music she referred to here turned out to be stuff that I didn't particularly care for. I guess I'm a bit mainstream, haha. (not really) I like this concept - a book about cool music written by a woman. The recording industry seems to be male-dominated from start to finish, right down to the majority of reviewers. So I thought it would be good to get a feminine perspective. However, my one big beef with this book is that the author laments early on about how most music performed by females revolves around issues of love. She then proceeds to center several of her chapters around issues of love. Seriously? She didn't see the hypocrisy in that? There's a chapter of "make out" songs and one of "break up" songs, etc. I could have done without the gimmick. There are a lot of other chapters that aren't love-centered, but the ones that were kind of threw me off. Why were they there? They didn't need to be. There were so many other things she could have talked about. Women are interested in politics as well, for example, aren't they? Why put us in this box where we need her advice on good love songs? Oh, and one other nitpick, what was up with that chapter about dating a rockstar? I felt like it was there just so she could brag that she had dated one, even though she didn't (probably couldn't legally) say who it was. It made little sense in relation to the rest of the book. Other than that, I really enjoyed it. I listened to it with iTunes open so I could listen to every song that she mentioned. I found a lot of great new music. What could be better than that?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susannah

    I had the highest hopes for Courtney E. Smith's Record Collecting for Girls. With chapters on bands like The Smiths and about college music in the 1990s, I thought I would find a lot of my own experience as a music fan mirrored by the writer's. I was wrong. Unfortunately, Smith's two goals in writing about her life as a music fan were 1) to share that she knew all about the coolest bands first; and 2) to imply that she was unique because she was the only female she knew who had true appreciation I had the highest hopes for Courtney E. Smith's Record Collecting for Girls. With chapters on bands like The Smiths and about college music in the 1990s, I thought I would find a lot of my own experience as a music fan mirrored by the writer's. I was wrong. Unfortunately, Smith's two goals in writing about her life as a music fan were 1) to share that she knew all about the coolest bands first; and 2) to imply that she was unique because she was the only female she knew who had true appreciation for music. To me, this is the equivalent of women who say, "I don't know why, but I've just never been able to have women friends." (Judgment bordering on sexism is inherent to a statement like this - "women don't really understand me the way men do" - and I say "bordering" only because I'm not convinced that women can be sexist.) Full disclosure: I only read the first four or five chapters.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Terri Light

    Though the author and I clearly differ in generation and on the feminist agenda of one's music collection, I applaud her love of Elvis Costello and her virtual cojones at challenging the boys' music knowledge via the ever-present cool-a-thon of musicspeak. I was once nearly proposed to at a party by a fellow Pete Townshend fan who had never run into a PDBT enthusiast with actual girlparts. Seriously. He presented me his draft card and passed out on a chair. All my teen through adult life, I have Though the author and I clearly differ in generation and on the feminist agenda of one's music collection, I applaud her love of Elvis Costello and her virtual cojones at challenging the boys' music knowledge via the ever-present cool-a-thon of musicspeak. I was once nearly proposed to at a party by a fellow Pete Townshend fan who had never run into a PDBT enthusiast with actual girlparts. Seriously. He presented me his draft card and passed out on a chair. All my teen through adult life, I have been parked over in the corner comparing Zappa instrumentals and Talking Heads postprojects with boys of all ages who eventually write me off as pedantic or become obsessed and send me mixlists of their crush on me. It is all good...at least once we admit that the feelings are all about the music we adore, not the hormones in our bloodstreams. Brava, Ms. Smith, Brava INDEED! I would consider this a must-read for a girl music-nerd of any age!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deirdre

    I have mixed feelings about this book. Smith has some funny and smart things to say about music, relationships, and the connections between the two. However, certain aspects of the book really rubbed me the wrong way. Towards the beginning, some offhand lines about Star Wars "fanboys"/"dorks" made me feel defensive. In a book focused on the gender equality of music geeks, why be disdainful towards non-musical geekery? Overall, the book felt, to me, like a series of skimmable observations and hal I have mixed feelings about this book. Smith has some funny and smart things to say about music, relationships, and the connections between the two. However, certain aspects of the book really rubbed me the wrong way. Towards the beginning, some offhand lines about Star Wars "fanboys"/"dorks" made me feel defensive. In a book focused on the gender equality of music geeks, why be disdainful towards non-musical geekery? Overall, the book felt, to me, like a series of skimmable observations and half-hearted histories with a few gems--the section "Never Date a Man Who Loves the Smiths Too Much" was very funny. I was disappointed, but I feel bad about my disappointment because I appreciate the idea of the book so much. And even if you don't read the book, the promotional video on Courtney Smith's YouTube channel is hilarious.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is a well-written, witty book that weaves the stories of music over the last fifty years (focusing on the semi-indie scene of someone in their 30's) with the author's stories from the music biz (working for MTV) as well as the business of men (dealing with their music nerdiness as well as romantic disasters). I really enjoyed reading this book - I learned fun new things and also found myself laughing out loud at many points. Plus, I have many new "musical k-holes" (read the last chapter for This is a well-written, witty book that weaves the stories of music over the last fifty years (focusing on the semi-indie scene of someone in their 30's) with the author's stories from the music biz (working for MTV) as well as the business of men (dealing with their music nerdiness as well as romantic disasters). I really enjoyed reading this book - I learned fun new things and also found myself laughing out loud at many points. Plus, I have many new "musical k-holes" (read the last chapter for a definition) to head down after finishing. This isn't really a how-to book, so don't expect that...but if you are a music fan, and especially if you're a woman (I think dudes could enjoy it too), definitely check this out!

  25. 5 out of 5

    lauren

    I picked up this book at first because I read the back of the book and fell in love. I turned to my mom and said, "This woman is narrating my life." After reading the book, the title kind of is misleading. It is mostly a book about music and relationships, and the author's experience's with men and the music she listens to (with a bit of music history). Although I was not looking for a relationship guide type book, I really enjoyed it. I loved her sense of humour and the playlists she put at the I picked up this book at first because I read the back of the book and fell in love. I turned to my mom and said, "This woman is narrating my life." After reading the book, the title kind of is misleading. It is mostly a book about music and relationships, and the author's experience's with men and the music she listens to (with a bit of music history). Although I was not looking for a relationship guide type book, I really enjoyed it. I loved her sense of humour and the playlists she put at the end of each chapter. This book may be difficult for some people to read because it's very opinionated, especially if she talks badly about one of your favorite bands (example: Pearl Jam). Overall, it's a cute and funny quick read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Disappointing, drivel that did not resonate. Even my 12 yr old self would have given this the kiss-off. Breakup songs, chapters on The Smiths, Madonna, Go-Gos, the Bangles, Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. Girlie to the extreme and ultimately that served to turn this in to the stereotype she was trying to avoid. I'm all for power and success to female artists of all genres, but seriously just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I have to listen to the girl artists marketed to me! And to blatantly state Disappointing, drivel that did not resonate. Even my 12 yr old self would have given this the kiss-off. Breakup songs, chapters on The Smiths, Madonna, Go-Gos, the Bangles, Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. Girlie to the extreme and ultimately that served to turn this in to the stereotype she was trying to avoid. I'm all for power and success to female artists of all genres, but seriously just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I have to listen to the girl artists marketed to me! And to blatantly state that the girls who listen to The Stones listen to them for different reasons than boys??? Uh, sorry, you can have the Beatles, I'll take The Stones. This should have been with the biographies not the 780s. This was not serious journalism.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. I should have put it down when the author claimed 2 of her top 5 artists are Stevie Nicks and REM. Yikes. She seemed very childish and really liked to name drop and whine about all her failed relationships. I think I was supposed to consider her cool because she worked at MTV? Quite the opposite, mam. It also bothered me to no end that she used the term "sad bastard" music, which is clearly stolen from High Fidelity. She redeemed herself a I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. I should have put it down when the author claimed 2 of her top 5 artists are Stevie Nicks and REM. Yikes. She seemed very childish and really liked to name drop and whine about all her failed relationships. I think I was supposed to consider her cool because she worked at MTV? Quite the opposite, mam. It also bothered me to no end that she used the term "sad bastard" music, which is clearly stolen from High Fidelity. She redeemed herself a little bit by liking PJ Harvey and also by dedicating a section of the book to the movie, Valley Girl. A female Rob Sheffield, she is not.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    This is a fun book for people who love pop music and the hipster music snob subculture that it has spawned. I got a kick out out Courtney's extreme opinions, her chronic troubles with men, and her classic music nerd attitude, but I can see why her book isn't for everyone -- and judging from the other reviews, Record Collecting for Girls rubbed a lot of readers the wrong way. Don't let the title fool you. The book won't help you with your record collection, as it's a handful of personal essays wi This is a fun book for people who love pop music and the hipster music snob subculture that it has spawned. I got a kick out out Courtney's extreme opinions, her chronic troubles with men, and her classic music nerd attitude, but I can see why her book isn't for everyone -- and judging from the other reviews, Record Collecting for Girls rubbed a lot of readers the wrong way. Don't let the title fool you. The book won't help you with your record collection, as it's a handful of personal essays with lists of related songs tacked on to the end of each chapter. Still, what music nerd cannot resist song lists?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    NOT a guide for collecting records, more of a women's real-life High Fidelity. Smith was a music programmer of sorts for MTV during the early parts of the decade and is, ye verily, a major music geek. She talks about it in a series of short essays on the subjects of dating, identifying the Next Madonna, and creating one's Top Five list. Smith and I appear to be the same age, have the same musical background, and listen to many of the same bands - at least on a high level. To say I over identifie NOT a guide for collecting records, more of a women's real-life High Fidelity. Smith was a music programmer of sorts for MTV during the early parts of the decade and is, ye verily, a major music geek. She talks about it in a series of short essays on the subjects of dating, identifying the Next Madonna, and creating one's Top Five list. Smith and I appear to be the same age, have the same musical background, and listen to many of the same bands - at least on a high level. To say I over identified with a lot of the things she talks about in this book would be an understatement.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Irwin

    Yes! A book that shares the female perspective on music! While not a music fanatic, I could appreciate the struggles of girl bands, the choices of music we make that reflect what's happening in our lives, and her funny and witty insights into the world of music. It made me think of bands I dislike and could not like someone who really likes them (Depeche Mode, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, Yes - mostly older bands that I just can't stand), and introduced me to the awesomeness of Yacht Rock. similar Yes! A book that shares the female perspective on music! While not a music fanatic, I could appreciate the struggles of girl bands, the choices of music we make that reflect what's happening in our lives, and her funny and witty insights into the world of music. It made me think of bands I dislike and could not like someone who really likes them (Depeche Mode, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, Yes - mostly older bands that I just can't stand), and introduced me to the awesomeness of Yacht Rock. similar to "Talking to Girls About Duran Duran" by Rob Sheffield, but from a girl's point of view.

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