Title: Meet Me in the Bathroom – Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001 – 2011

Author: Lizzy Goodman

Pages: 622 Pages

Publisher: Dey Street Books

The Blurb

Joining the ranks of the classics Please Kill Me, Our Band Could Be Your Life, and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, an intriguing oral history of the post-9/11 decline of the old-guard music industry and rebirth of the New York rock scene, led by a group of iconoclastic rock bands.

In the second half of the twentieth-century New York was the source of new sounds, including the Greenwich Village folk scene, punk and new wave, and hip-hop. But as the end of the millennium neared, cutting-edge bands began emerging from Seattle, Austin, and London, pushing New York further from the epicenter. The behemoth music industry, too, found itself in free fall, under siege from technology. Then 9/11/2001 plunged the country into a state of uncertainty and war—and a dozen New York City bands that had been honing their sound and style in relative obscurity suddenly became symbols of glamour for a young, web-savvy, forward-looking generation in need of an anthem.

Meet Me in the Bathroom charts the transformation of the New York music scene in the first decade of the 2000s, the bands behind it—including The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol, and Vampire Weekend—and the cultural forces that shaped it, from the Internet to a booming real estate market that forced artists out of the Lower East Side to Williamsburg. Drawing on 200 original interviews with James Murphy, Julian Casablancas, Karen O, Ezra Koenig, and many others musicians, artists, journalists, bloggers, photographers, managers, music executives, groupies, models, movie stars, and DJs who lived through this explosive time, journalist Lizzy Goodman offers a fascinating portrait of a time and a place that gave birth to a new era in modern rock-and-roll.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Meet Me in the Bathroom is fascinating. I think everyone has that period in time when music plays a vital role in their formative years. For my mum it was the summer of 1976. For me, it was 2000 – 2011. The bands and artists featured in Meet Me in the Bathroom were my musical guides. They were the most played artists on my iPod and they were the bands I rocked out to at gigs and festivals. I never thought I would have a book like this that reflected on such a fluid time period. I especially did not think I would get to read a book that featured Adam Green (one of my musical heroes).

What is absolutely brilliant about Meet Me in the Bathroom is that it isn’t just the voice of the author Lizzy Goodman. These are the stories of the people within that scene. What makes it even better is that the stories all have a connecting root but each artist seems to have lived it slightly differently or had their own take on it. It is truth in its difference. Fascinating.

For those of you who lived and loved music during this time period, when indie bands seemed to rule the world (your own personal world at least) the Meet Me in the Bathroom is the book for you. You get the inside knowledge from the artists who lived it and it allows you to look back on a time when you felt invincible. 

Meet Me in the Bathroom – Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001 – 2011 by Lizzy Goodman is available now.

For more information regarding Lizzy Goodman (@lizzydgoodman) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Dey Street Books (@deystreet) please visit www.DeyStreetBooks.com.

Title: Ella on the Outside

Author: Cath Howe

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Nosy Crow

The Blurb

Ella is the new girl at school. She doesn’t know anyone and she doesn’t have any friends. And she has a terrible secret.

Ella can’t believe her luck when Lydia, the most popular girl in school, decides to be her new best friend – but what does Lydia really want? And what does it all have to do with Molly, the quiet, shy girl who won’t talk to anyone?

A gripping story of lies, friendship, and blackmail…

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Ella has a secret. She can’t tell anybody. No one can know. But Ella has just started a new school and she is struggling to make friends. So telling just one person can’t be that bad, can it?

Ella on the Outside is a lovely story about what it means to truly be friends with somebody. You instantly fall fo Ella even more so when you know what she has gone through and how difficult her young life is. And even when she makes some questionable choices you still want Ella to do well. 

Ella on the Outside is only a short novel but it is on that packs a punch and really does put the reader in someone else’s shoes. The narrative style is very reader friendly – it is told in short chapters and letter form and it really allows the audience to empathise with Ella.

A great book to start a discussion about lifestyles with younger readers.

Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe is available now.

For more information regarding Cath Howe (@cath_howe) please visit www.cathhowe.com.

For more information regarding Nosy Crow (@NosyCrow) please visit www.nosycrow.com.

Title: How to Say Goodbye

Author: Katy Colins

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

No one is ever happy to see Grace Salmon.

As a funeral arranger, she’s responsible for steering strangers through the hardest day of their lives. It’s not a task many would want – but, for Grace, giving people the chance to say a proper goodbye to the ones they love is the most important job in the world.

From the flowers in the church to the drinks served at the wake,Grace knows it’s the personal touches that count – and it’s amazing what you can find out about someone from their grieving relatives … or their Facebook page. But when she accidentally finds out too much about someone who’s died, Grace is finally forced to step out of the shadows… and start living.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

How to Say Goodbye is the beautiful story of how it is heartbreaking but healing to deal with grief. Our protagonist – Grace Salmon – works as a funeral arranger however, she feels that her job is more than that. Her job is allowing people to say goodbye to their loved ones and making their goodbyes memorable. It is this level of concern and care that leads her in to trouble.

I loved How to Say Goodbye. Considering the setting and topic of the novel it is surprisingly uplifting. We get completely swept up in this small world of grief and the healing power of friendship. 

I am not ashamed to say that I shed a little tear when reading this book. Colins storytelling was simple but effective. Colins adds twists to the story to keep you on your toes which only adds to the drama and serves to keep you reading. How to Say Goodbye is a triumph of a novel.

How to Say Goodbye by Katy Colins is available now.

For more information regarding Katy Colins (@Notwedordead) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQStories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: Nightbird

Author: Alice Hoffman

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

Twig lives in a remote area of town with her mysterious brother and her mother, baker of irresistible apple pies. A new girl in town might just be Twig’s first true friend, and ally in vanquishing an ancient family curse. A spellbinding tale of modern folklore set in the Berkshires, where rumours of a winged beast draw in as much tourism as the town’s famed apple orchards.

The Review

I am not a huge fan of fantasy books. The odd one I am okay with but it certainly isn’t my “go-to” genre. However, there is one author who always manages to seamlessly weave the fantasy element into her stories that you don’t even question any of the out of the ordinary moments. That author is Alice Hoffman. 

In her book Nightbird we meet Twig. Twig is lonely. She has never really had any friends. She has been told not to get close to people because her family have a dark secret. However, when her new next door neighbour persists in forming a friendship Twig realises that it may come at a cost. 

Nightbird is magical. I loved Twig. I loved the story. I loved the setting. I loved the element of magic and mystery. I just loved everything about it. Alice Hoffman has written a winner of a story.

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Hoffman (@ahoffmanwriter) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: Threepenny Memoir

Author: Carl Barat

Pages: 227 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

‘Looking back at The Libertines is like catching flashes of sunlight between buildings as you race by on a train. An old film reel where the spools are weathered and worn, leaving empty frames on the screen.’ 

In the final years of the last millennium, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty forged a deep musical bond, formed The Libertines and set sail for Arcadia in the good ship Albion; a decade later, Carl would emerge from his second band, the Dirty Pretty Things, after one of the most significant — and turbulent — rock ‘n’ roll trajectories of recent times. Threepenny Memoir navigates the choppy waters of memory, and gives an inside look at life in the eye of the storm, chronicling how a pair of romantics armed with little more than poetry and a punk attitude inspired adoration in millions worldwide — and proceeded to tear apart everything they had. 

With unflinching honesty but real warmth, Carl — who has recently performed with The Libertines for the first time since 2004, and released a solo album — looks back at the creative highs and the drug-addled lows of life with both bands, as well as giving an intimate account of the people and places that have informed his songwriting. From Camden bedsits, impromptu gigs and minesweeping drinks in the Dublin Castle to Japanese groupies, benders in Moscow and chatting to Slash, Threepenny Memoir charts a fantastic course through recent musical history. And, in the aftermath, Carl reflects on the pressures — both external and self-inflicted — that led to each band’s demise, and on the challenges and rewards that life as a solo artist now holds. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

None who know The Libertines can ever accuse Carl Barat of living a boring life. In Threepenny Memoir we see the inception, the excitement and indeed the demise of the the most important bands of the noughties.

What is wonderful about Threepenny Memoir is seeing the love affair (because although it was a platonic thing it has to be called a love affair) between Carl Barat and Pete Doherty from the perspective of an actual Libertine and not from someone at the sidelines of musical history.

What this memoir has managed to do is to remind me just how much I love the music of this era and how much I miss the person I was back then.

Threepenny Memoir by Carl Barat is available now.

For more information regarding Carl Barat (@carlbaratmusic) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.