Title: Sounds Like Teen Spirit – Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll

Author: Tim English

Pages: 175 Pages

Publisher: Self Published

The Blurb

This 2016 edition of Sounds Like Teen Spirit provides hundreds of pairings of songs that appear to have “borrowed” their melodies from earlier songs. Readers will discover the music that influnced the songs of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and many more.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit covers recent plagirism cases involveing Robin Thicke, Sam Smith and Coldplay as well as famous cases such as when George Harrison was sued over his song “My Sweet Lord” by the publishers of the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine”

Readers will never hear the familiar songs in quite the same way after reading Sounds Like Teen Spirit. For example, the Doors’ “Hello I Love You” has the same melody and the Kinks’ “All Day and All Night,” and the riff that powered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a variation on the guitar riff from Boston’s “More than a Feeling.”

Sounds Like Teen Spirit explains that creative artists are influenced by a wide and often surprising range of sources. For instance, John Lennon’s song “Imagine” may have have been influenced by a novelty song that his father recorded to cash in on his son’s fame, and Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” contains the melody from “The Banana Splits Theme!”

The Review

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is a music nerds dream book. It looks at the similarity between songs throughout history and the court cases that followed. It is informative and entertaining and also highlights some music similarities that I hadn’t noticed. It is really interesting.

For me, sometimes the sections were too long. If you weren’t a fan of a particular band or artist that had been focused on then the chapter seemed to drag but there is enough more entertaining information in the book to outweigh this small negative.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is the perfect stocking filler book for the music lover in your life. Yes I did just mention stocking fillers in April.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit – Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll by Tim English is available now.

Title: The Moment of Lift

Author: Melinda Gates

Pages: 273 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

‘We need this message more than ever’ Malala Yousafzai

The right to:

Spend your own money. Go to school. Earn an income. Access contraceptives. Work outside the home. Walk outside the home. Choose whom to marry. Get a loan. Start a business. Own property. Divorce a husband. See a doctor. Drive a car.

All of these rights are denied to women in some parts of the world.

A Sunday Times bestselling debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.

‘How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.’

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares the stories of the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world and the lessons she’s learned from them. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book – to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention – from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world – and ourselves.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

The Review

I won’t proclaim to know a lot about the Gates family. Besides knowing that Bill Gates owned Microsoft (I think) before reading this book I wouldn’t have been able to tell you much else except maybe the conspiracy theories surrounding the Covid jab but even then that was all conjecture. What I know now after reading The Moment of Lift is that the Gates family seem like pretty alright people.

Okay, so the book is hardly subjective being written by Melinda Gates and therefore being her perspective and highlighting the positives but if we look at the positives as a whole then the work that she does to help people seems pretty great. Educating girls about how to keep themselves safe, how to deliver babies safely in underpriviliged countries. Encouraging young women to get into STEM – on paper it all sounds wonderful.

Even if it turns out that all the conspiracy theories are true the things that you can take from this book is that it is well written and that it does elevate you to think differently about other people and how we all could do with helping others. That is a message that really resonates.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates is available now.

For more information regarding Melinda Gates (@melindagates) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: I Work at a Public Library

Author: Gina Sheridan

Pages: 160 Pages

Publisher: Adams Media

The Blurb

Straight from the library–the strange and bizarre, ready to be checked out!

From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, I Work at a Public Library showcases the oddities that have come across Gina Sheridan’s circulation desk. Throughout these pages, she catalogs her encounters with local eccentrics as well as the questions that plague her, such as, “What is the standard length of eyebrow hairs?” Whether she’s helping someone scan his face onto an online dating site or explaining why the library doesn’t have any dragon autobiographies, Sheridan’s bizarre tales prove that she’s truly seen it all.

Stacked high with hundreds of strange-but-true stories, I Work at a Public Library celebrates librarians and the unforgettable patrons that roam the stacks every day.

(GOODREADS BLURB)

The Review

I love books like I Work at a Public Library. They put me in mind of Jen Campbell’s two part book series Weird Things People Say in Bookshops. And since I work in a library – a school library that is – I am well versed in hearing the funny conversations around me and being asked random questions. 

The quirkiness of this book is very endearing. The chapters are broken down to numbers within the Dewey-Decimal system and the stories are catalogued alphabetically. 

As you read along – an inevitably snort with laughter – I swear it will make you want to work in a library.

Such a great book.

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan is available now.

Title: Failosophy – A Handbook for When Things Go Wrong

Author: Elizabeth Day

Pages: 112 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

‘Most failures can teach us something meaningful about ourselves if we choose to listen’

In Failosophy Elizabeth Day brings together all the lessons she has learned, from conversations with the guests on her award-winning How to Fail podcast, from stories shared with her by readers and listeners, and from her own life, and distils them into seven principles of failure. Practical, reassuring and inspirational, these principles offer a guide through life’s rough patches.

From failed exams to romantic break-ups, from career setbacks to confidence crises, from navigating anxiety to surviving loss, Failosophy recognises, and celebrates, the fact that failure connects us all. It is what makes us human.

With insights from Malcolm Gladwell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lemn Sissay, Frankie Bridge, Nigel Slater, Emeli Sande, Alain de Botton, Mabel, Fearne Cotton, Meera Syal, Dame Kelly Holmes, Andrew Scott and many, many more, Failosophy is the essential handbook for turning failure into success.

The Review

I really like Elizabeth Day. I enjoy her writing – both fiction and non-fiction and I enjoy listening to her podcast. When I was given the opportunity to read How to Fail I jumped at the chance. The same goes for Failosophy. When you get so much from a writer you gorge yourself on all of their works and fortunately for me I have yet to be disappointed. 

Failosophy is an extension of both he book and the podcast How to Fail. Whereas the book How to Fail was about Elizabeth Day’s journey and the podcast invites us to listen to a plethora or diverse and interesting people and their journey what you get from Failosophy is guidance for your own journey. I’ve said journey far too much and now I feel like I am in a montage at the beginning of The X Factor.

This pocket-sized guide is great to dip in and out of and helps to remind you that not all failures are failures. It really is a joyful things to read 

Failosophy – A Handbook for When Things Go Wrong by Elizabeth Day is available now.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Day (@elizabday) please visit www.elizabethdayonline.co.uk.

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

Title: Back to Amy

Author: Charles Moriarty

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Cassell

The Blurb

Breathtaking photographs of Amy Winehouse on the cusp of fame, including many never-before-seen images

Rare, open and honest, this collection of nearly100 photographs by Charles Moriarty shows Amy Winehouse as you’ve never seen her before.

Consisting of two shoots spread across London and New York in the lead-up to the release of her debut album Frank, these beautiful images capture a sense of fun, mischief and style, giving an early glimpse of a star in the making. The collection includes many photographs that have never been seen before.

With a foreword by Asif Kapadia, Academy Award-winning director of the documentary Amy, and containing contributions from people close to Amy during her career, this book is a celebration of the enduring spirit of a truly special artist.

The Review

The story of Amy Winehouse’s meteoric rise to fame and indeed the crash and burn that led to the death of on of the most talented singer/songwriters of my generation. 

What is beautiful about Back to Amy is that we get to see Amy before she was ravaged by her demons. You get the impression that Moriarty struggled with releasing this book. He seemed torn between showing Amy at her cleanest and how he wants her to be remembered against selling his memories. Personally, I am glad that we got to see these pictures and got to hear about Amy from people in her life who got to see the best side of her.

Back to Amy is a beautiful book and a lovely celebration of her short life. 

Back to Amy by Charles Moriarty is available now.

For more information regarding Charles Moriarty (@charlesmoriarty) please visit his Twitter page.