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Love is a mix tape: life and loss, one song at a time. DOWNLOAD OPTIONS. 14 day loan required to access EPUB and PDF files. Love Is a Mix Tape audiobook, by Rob Sheffield. “The happiest, saddest, sweetest book about rock ‘n’ roll that I’ve ever experienced.”—Chuck Klosterman Mix tapes: We all have our favorites. Stick one into a deck, press play, and you’re instantly transported to another time in your life. Pdfp Love Is a Mix Tape Life and Loss One Song at a Time. Pdfp Better Homes and Gardens 13x9 The Pan That Can 150 Fabulous Recipes. Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time: Life, Loss, and What I Listened To - Kindle edition by Sheffield, Rob. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time: Life, Loss, and What I Listened To.

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
AuthorRob Sheffield
Cover artistGregg Kulick
CountryUnited States
PublisherCrown Publishing Group
January 2, 2007
Media typePrint (Hardback)
781.64092 B 22
LC ClassML423.S537 A3 2007

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time is an autobiographicalmemoir by Rob Sheffield. It follows his first meeting of Renée Crist, their love for each other, and the eventual loss when Renée suddenly passes away from a pulmonary embolism in 1997 after only 5 years of being married. Music is explored throughout the book; how music brought him and his wife together, their shared love of music and how music helped him cope with losing her. Each chapter is prefaced with a mixtape or list of tracks that correspond to the plot.[1]

An audiobook version of the book read by Sheffield was released.[2]


The book received reviews from publications including Publishers Weekly,[3]Kirkus Reviews,[4]The A.V. Club,[5]Creative Loafing,[6]Newsweek,[7]The Austin Chronicle,[8]The Denver Post,[9] and Los Angeles Times.[10]


  1. ^'The day the music died'. Los Angeles Times. Dec 31, 2006. Retrieved Oct 12, 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^'Nonfiction Book Review: Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield, Author . Crown $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4000-8302-2'.
  4. ^'LOVE IS A MIX TAPE Kirkus Reviews' – via
  5. ^'Rob Sheffield: Love Is A Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time'. AUX.
  6. ^January 23, Emily Hansen Wednesday; EST, 2008 12:04 am. 'Book Review - Love Is a Mix Tape: Keeping the beat'. Creative Loafing.
  7. ^
  8. ^'Book Review: Rock & Roll Books'.
  9. ^'The mix tracks of his tears'. January 11, 2007.
  10. ^'The day the music died'. Los Angeles Times. December 31, 2006.

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Purpose: to share; Theme: invoke retrospect Setting This novel takes place primarily in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, during the period of the 1980s to the 2000s. Renee and Rob both met there in a bar named the ‘Eastern Standard’ both at the age of twenty-three. He initially planned to keep his relationship to Charlottesville strictly one of host and guest. Both he and Renee didn’t really favor Charlottesville. Then life had another plan for Rob and it was to fall in love. The setting was also a crucial part in the story because it was a music thriving environment at the time and in Charlottesville.

Also, it shows that it greatly influenced the connection that Renee and Rob made with each other. The setting creates a very social atmosphere, which was something Rob wasn’t accustomed to until he began connecting with Renee. Three years after Renee died Sheffield is thinking of leaving Charlottesville when he states that, “Charlottesville was always going to be her place. I wanted it to stay that way. ” Ergo, this excerpt shows that the setting is a key component to the memory of Renee. Soon after he moves to New York, he returned to Charlottesville to visit friends and he develops new friends.

The entire aura of the book is based upon the setting. From the close bond that both “Robin Renee” shared during their closest times together in Charlottesville to their long distance that is represented symbolically with him living now in Brooklyn and Charlottesville and through all of the travels that they shared together as a couple . It also shows that even though he tries to move on after Renee he just can’t stop but want to return to the past (Charlottesville) and wish that Renee was still a part of his life. Character The main character in “Love is a Mix Tape” is Rob Sheffield, the author of the book.

Rob describes himself as being “a shy, skinny, Irish Catholic geek from Boston” Sheffield is 23 years of age when he begins to go through all of the experiences that dealt with Renee being in them. He is very believable throughout the entire book by providing examples as to how certain songs and mix tapes play a role in his life or somehow connect to experiences Rob has been through. Rob is a round character reason is him being real to the reader as much as someone known in real life. He is the type of person who is an introvert, more to himself.

For instance, in the book it states “Some of us are born Gladys Knights and some of us are born Pips… I marveled into my Pip soul how lucky I was to choo-choo and woo-woo behind a real Gladys girl. ” Rob is a behind the scenes kind of guy. Throughout the novel he shows that he is unsure of himself as an individual, but with Renee entering it, life became easier. In the novel it states that a friend of theirs says, “He would be the kind of guy to stand off to the side and watch, but she would bring him out. ” What Renee did to Rob was help him realize who he could be; she brought out the best in him.

Renee is the same age as Rob when they first met and though they were complete opposites, they made a connection through music. Renee could be described as outgoing, passionate, and adventurous. She was a country girl with red hair, lived a crazy life with adventurous things to keep her occupied. Renee always said, “If any of our kids want to get married when they’re twenty-five, we’ll have to lock them in the attic. ” One of the many sarcastic remarks that were said by Renee allows her character to grow more and ideally makes her look more realistic and relatable to the reader.

She can be portrayed as being a round character she evolved and she was more of an influence on Rob’s life. She helped him with opening up to a altered perspective on life, seeing things through her angle of life. After Renee dies Rob continues moving forward with his life; going through adventures, listening to new music, meeting new people; all along side with the memory of Renee and the difference she made in his life. Diction “Love is a Mix tape”, the author’s word choices are recollected in a sense that Rob wanted to reminisce on his memories with Renee exactly how it occurred.

As this book pertains to his past, the choice of wording by the author shows the youth and free spirit of a twenty-year old that fell in love. For instance, “Have you ever been in a car with a southern girl blasting through South Carolina when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Call Me the Breeze” comes on the radio? Sunday afternoon, sun out, windows down, nowhere to hurry back to? I never had…” shows the youthful spirit that Rob had when he was with Renee, for she truly did show him how to enjoy his youth and to have fun.

However, as he reminisced through the pleasurable memories that Renee brought to him, using diction he was able to express to the reader the sadness her death bestowed upon him. “We met on September 17, 1989. We got married on July 13, 1991. We were married for five years and ten months. Renee died on May 11, 1997, very suddenly and unexpectedly, at home with me, of a pulmonary embolism. She was thirty-one…” Through syntax, he was able to show a change in mood from the serenity and peace that he felt with while being accompanied by Renee to her unexpected death in his arms.

The short sentences in this excerpt from the book show that there was an abrupt interruption in his life and it caused a change in the way the author wrote. Nature took its course. Concrete Detail/Imagery Throughout this novel, Sheffield utilizes various word choices that appeal to the five sensory devices. As the book is based on music and the connection that it brought to him and Renee, he uses very credible (Ethos) and descriptive words to emphasize how the music played a role in his everyday life. Ergo, he uses vivid imagery to describe the impassioned love he had towards Renee. I felt knots untie themselves, knots I didn’t know were there. I could already tell there were things happening deep inside of me that were irreversible. Is there any scarier word than “irreversible”? It’s a hiss of a word, full of side effects and mutilations. Severe tire damage – no backing up. Falling in love with Renee felt that way. ” In this statement, it can be said that Rob uses visual and auditory imagery, for he felt much looser and relaxed when he was with Renee; he was becoming a whole new person, one that has been impacted and influenced by Renee.


The phrase “hiss of a word” gives the auditory imagery feeling that the word irreversible is quite life changing to Rob, but he would go through “irreversible” changes, for that was what would occur if he were falling in love with Renee. Some images that are repeated in the book include him referencing how his life represented a mix tape, the reader can create a mental image (imagery) as to how the parts of a mix tape represent the message he is trying to portray. “The cassette is full of tape hiss and room tone; it’s full of wasted space, unnecessary noise.

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Compared to the go-go-go rhythm of an MP3, mix tapes are hopelessly inefficient. You go back to cassette the way a detective sits and pours drinks for the elderly motel clerk who tells stories about the old days…”This quotation from the novel illustrates one of the many instances that Rob uses imagery to help the reader visualize his life and how a mix tape greatly impacted everything. A mix tape is like a usb in the novel, it stores all the details and emotions in the accumulation of song, once played it is like blasting into the past and remembering every single reason the tape was made.

Symbolism Although there are many symbolic images used to suggest various meanings, the one that stood out the most was the symbolic meaning of a mix tape. As quote, “Tonight, I feel like my whole body is made out of memories. I’m a mix-tape, a cassette that’s been rewound so many times you can hear the fingerprints smudged on the tape…” shows that during his entire retrospect of memories with Renee, he felt the influence she had on his life, and it isn’t something that could be wiped away from his mind or life.


The novel is very symbolic, but it mainly focuses on one form of symbolism, and entails to how everything connects to music and a mix tape. “Our lives were just beginning, our favorite moment was right now, our favorite songs were unwritten. ” He lived in the present, alongside with Renee, as they spoke a language that only they could interpret as a loving bond, music. A mix tape symbolizes the moments of reminiscing of the past that Rob encounters through the entire book, as it is a recollection of his life spent with Renee. There are all kinds of mix tapes. There is always a reason to make one. ” He felt as though that every event that occurred in his life significant or not deserved a mix tape to describe the emotional state at the time. As displayed in the book, he separates each chapter with a mix tape, for each signifies a different occurrence in his life. However, they all served one purpose, to not let the memories be forgotten or the emotions that were felt in that moment in time. With this statement, “But the answer is simple. Love is a mix tape. Rob ends the book with a strong statement that basically sums up what he had been trying to say within the entire novel; love cannot be defined, for there are many distinct sorts of love and different ways of showing it, just like a mix tape. Tone Rob displays different tones within each chapter to express what he had been feeling at every moment of time with his wife Renee. The overall tone of the book is a constant with all of the experiences that were shoved his way, he manages to still be breathing and living today. For instance, “The way I pictured it, all this grief would be like a winter night when you’re standing outside.

You’ll warm up once you get used to the cold. Except after you’ve been out there for awhile, you feel the warmth draining out of you and you realize the opposite is happening…” Though he has a saddened tone and wants the reader to truly comprehend the grief he is currently facing, he implies that no matter what, he will keep on living and surviving with Renee’s memory, being the most influential person to have ever entered his life. “Renee was my hero. Have you ever had a hero? Someone who says, I think it would be a good idea for you to steal a car and set it on fire and drive it off a cliff, and you say, Automatic or standard?

That’s what Renee was. A lion-hearted take-charge southern gal,” he writes. He expresses that she was an amazing and unique individual; her death when it arrives inevitably is brutal in its shortness. There’s no drawn out hospital stay and such in her departure. It’s a tragedy but it is to the author’s credit that he shares the terrible emotional cost not through exaggerating his sentimental state of remorse but through the small details of grief he expressing his durability of being able to endure. Theme The theme in this book is rather the insight of the writer from what he had experienced with Renee and also to invoke retrospect.

Through his 7 year relationship with her, he acquired how to truly display love, and all of the memories it developed along with it. He brought the reader to the past through literary devices to show how love happened for him, and even after her death, her memory and love still remained with him. With Renee out of the story, he implied to the reader that love is everlasting, just like the memories formed through making mix tapes for different occasions in life. Overall, this novel was a memoir to Renee and also a tool to help Rob truly get over the burden of Renee’s death.

Rob Sheffield

Rob states, “But for me, if we’re talking about romance, cassettes wipe the floor with MP3s. This has nothing to do with superstition, or nostalgia. MP3s buzz straight to your brain. That’s part of what I love about them. But the rhythm of the mix tape is the rhythm of romance, the analog hum of a physical connection between two sloppy human bodies. The cassette is full of tape hiss and room tone; it’s full of wasted space, unnecessary noise. Compared to the go-go-go rhythm of an MP3, mix tapes are hopelessly inefficient.

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You go back to a cassette the way a detective sits and pours drinks for the elderly motel clerk who tells stories about the old days–you know you might be somewhat bored, but there might be a clue in there somewhere. And if there isn’t what the hell? It’s not a bad time. You know you will waste time. You plan on it. ” This further suggests that with love, time will be wasted, with grief and situations that arise, but, in the conclusion, it all is worth it for it always remains etched within the structures of the mind, heart, body, and soul.