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In this hilariously affecting follow-up to his Love Is a Mix Tape and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, Rolling Stone writer Sheffield sings us through his journey to rebuild his life with the help of good lovin' and a hot karaoke machine. After the untimely death of his first wife, a bereft Sheffield moves from Charlottesville, Va., to New York City, where he casts about the streets of lower Manhattan in search of meaning in life; eventually, he remembers the joys of staying out late and discovers the healing power of karaoke bars and clubs. Sheffield regales us with tales of a world unknown to most of us, but precious to the faithful: there's J.J., the guy in Brooklyn who gets paid for singing karaoke, and the bar in the Mojave Desert where Sheffield croons Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" to group of stone-faced, die-hard Haggard fans. Through it all, Sheffield discovers that karaoke creates community that provides universal support for everyone who tries to sing the songs. He is also hopelessly "obsessed with karaoke because it lets me do the one thing I've craved every minute of my life." It lets him sing. He also learns that karaoke is there to remind us that it's never too late to let a song ruin your life by shaking you out of your emotional doldrums. Agent: Daniel Greenberg, Levine Greenberg Literary. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Part love story, part ode to music by a lifelong fan, this follow-up to the best-selling memoir Love Is a Mix Tape (2007) celebrates the weird world of karaoke. A young widower and writer for Rolling Stone, Sheffield finds in karaoke a way to climb out of his grief and even look to a new future. Like a hazy night where only the best songs stand out, Sheffield's ballad to karaoke hits the highlights of both the development of a cultural phenomenon and his own journey to living life again. It's a fun ramble, filled with ruminations on rock stars and stardom, along with his interactions with celebrities, and it's crammed with references that pop-music geeks will love. Sheffield doesn't just know about songs, he feels them and what they do to him, and his fervent writing part disciple, part critic makes you feel the music, too. His insights into music's importance for life and love are refreshing rather than cheesy. Overall, his deep wonderment at finding love again comes across as clearly as singing Forever's gonna start tonight. --Thoreson, Bridget Copyright 2010 Booklist