Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Falling Backwards by Jann Arden

Falling Backwards
by Jann Arden
Vintage Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-307-39985-4
Buy from Indigo

Description: This long-time darling of the music industry and singer-songwriter of international renown will capture your heart--and keep you in stitches--with her powerful stories about coming of age as an artist and as a human being.

Jann's legions of fans are drawn to her sincerity, wit, humour and that infectious sparkle she brings to everything she does. Oh, and did we mention her sense of humour? Jann's natural comedic talents translate seamlessly into her writing, and her dedicated fans will delight in the details of this memoir--where there is no such thing as too much information. Readers will learn about how her brother used to steal her maxi pads to repurpose as GI Joe bunk beds and how she once got gum stuck in her hair so badly that when she woke up her head was glued to the pillow. But with the good times come the bad, and Jann opens up about the darker side of her so-called prairie-perfect nuclear family and the first signs that her brother was a uniquely troubled young man. Jann's readable prose keeps the reader tuned in as she reminds us of the inestimable value of having a teacher who believes in you, wide-open spaces to play and be a child, and a good mother

The Good Stuff
  • I love Jann, she is so delightfully honest and hilariously funny -- and so very accessible, you will feel like you are just shooting the shit with one of your pals while reading it
  • She talks about things that we all felt while growing up but didn't always have the honesty to talk out loud about
  • The paragraph when she talks about God and wonders if he had a Penis made me laugh so hard coffee came out my nose
  • Never lays blame or talks mean spiritedly about anyone
  • The love for her family is so real and loving
  • I really enjoyed how she describes her passion for music and for the written word
  • Self deprecating sense of humour
  • In the paperback copy I received for review - my pal Lavender Lines is quoted!
  • Honestly she is just a straight forward down to earth fun and wise broad that I would love to hang out with 
  • Enjoyed the commentary on her parents taste in music - yup my mom and dad loved Nana Mouskouri and Roger Whittaker too -- and I hated that crap as much as she did (My brother and I used to take their albums and play Frisbee with them)
  • I totally agree with her description of brussel sprouts as tasting like dog farts and copper pennies!
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Sorry Jann if I ever see you out in public I am going to give you a big hug & talk to you like we are old friends
  • Might not want to read out in public because you will be laughing so hard
  • The last chapter sort of ends abruptly - I can understand why, but still its a little jarring 
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"In a womb? My dear mother said it was nothing short of agony. I have given her the odd sympathy card on my birthday. It seems fitting, somehow. The card simply reads, "I am sorry about your vagina. Love, Jann."

"You find out early on that life is not based on a system of punishment and reward. Bad people often get ahead and good people can will die of cancer. There is no sense to be made of any of it. You just have to get up and deal with the day."

"M yidea of pigs has never been the same. Charlotte's Web has never held much water with me. You can forget Babe as well. Pigs are vicious killers with no regard for a child's young life. I am lucky to be alive. Yes,I  am dramatic."

"All of the other singers that my parents owned on vinyl seemed to me to have one foot in the grave. Roger Whittaker whistled, for crying out loud, and Nana Mouskouri had big, thick, black glasses. Only old  people wore glasses. Only old people whistled. My shop teacher whistled and wore bifocals, that's how I knew the singers on my parents' records were ancient. I was grateful to finally be exposed to artists with whom I had something in common- first and foremost among which was being alive."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • If you are a fan of Arden's music,  you will love this book
  • If you are Canadian -- and most importantly a self deprecating Canadian women (Is there any other such Cdn women) you will frickin love this book
5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed Falling Backwards as well! I reviewed it earlier this year and am so glad I had the opportunity to read Jann Ardens memoir.