Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Record Collecting for Girls by Courtney E. Smith

There are lots of books about music, and lots of people who have written about music, but few of these titles have been written for girls by a girl. Courtney E. Smith spent 8 years at MTV as a music programmer and manager of label relations. She's interested in listening to music and sharing music, and those passions come together in this book aimed at young girls who are curious about learning more about music.

I like the idea of a book like this. As Smith was talking about it, I realized that many of the books I had read on music loving were, in fact, written by men. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on girl bands as well as the playlists at the end of the chapters. While the book is titled Record Collecting for Girls, it's largely about Record Collecting for Courtney. Her own preferences are at the core of the book - it's okay to like this band, it's not okay to like this artist. There's nothing wrong about this approach, and of course it's going to be written through the lens of Smith's own experiences, but there's a part of me that had hoped for a more encompassing "it's okay to like whatever you want" message. (I've been spending a lot of time wondering about this reaction, especially in light of its gender-based approach.) Overall, I love reading books by people who are passionate about a subject, and while I might not have agreed with everything, there's no doubt that Courtney E. Smith is passionate about music, bands, and record collecting.

p.s. My deepest apologies to the author for mangling her name so thoroughly. Everything is corrected now.

I read an advanced copy through NetGalley.

Find out more information from the publisher.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Songbook by Nick Hornby
Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
Rock and Roll by Steve Almond
My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star by Joyce Raskin

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