All posts by Mari M. Farthing

Bibliotherapy: The Girl’s Guide to Books for Every Phase of Our Life

BibliotherapyIt can happen to even those of us with the tallest of to be read piles. Looking for something to read, but nothing sounds good. Maybe you’re just trying to find the perfect literary snack and failing. Or maybe you’re just in a mood.

Bibliotherapy offers a perfect guide when you just can’t find that thing to read, with chapters all neatly sorted out by mood. Whether you’re in crisis (existential or mid-life), you need help getting over that bad boy, you need a kick in the pants or maybe just a bit of encouragement to embrace your inner bitch, there’s a category and a title here to help you out.

Perhaps my favorite parts of the book are the ones labeled “Books to be thrown with great force,” where the authors take to task books that don’t live up to the hype—or that may take their hype too seriously. Here you’ll find some pop culture phenoms (remember The Rules?) and write ups that will make you giggle, even if you blush a little at remembering your love for said tomes.

I was able to revisit some old loves, like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Awakening just to name a few), and see some of my former literary heroes with fresh eyes. One section calls out the Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive and its author Danny Sugerman for his idealization of Jim Morrison, boldly stating “Jim Morrison didn’t die from an excessive thirst for life or death. He died from an excessive thirst for bourbon.” Because yes.

My TBR pile, precariously prodigious already, just got a little bit taller thanks to this fun book.

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An Ode to the Mix Tape

Cassette From My Ex: stories and soundtracks of lost loves (edited by Jason Bitner)

by Mari Farthing

cassettes from my exI love falling into a good book. I found this one when I was surfing the aisles at my local used-book store, and as I am a woman of a certain age, the cover art captured my heart. Oh, cassette tapes; how I love thee!

This book is basically a collection of short essays wrapped around the theme of mix tapes, where the various contributors share their stories of love and loss and the mix tapes that preceded them. In some cases, portended them. Pretty much what you expect from the title of the book, but like a good mix tape, it delivers much more when you really listen.

The essays of heartache and breakup and longing and happenstance are not just stories, they’re memories from a magical, moody time of life when it was easier to speak our big emotions through someone else’s songs. The mix tapes here represent the lost art of the tape, and oh, that makes me sad. I took a trip through my own memories while reading this collection and pondered the sheer volume of mix tapes in my own past.

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