Monday, May 19

Battle of the Books

I've just finished two memoirs about music and writing; "New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye" by Ronen Kauffman and "But Enough About Me" by Jancee Dunn.

The first is a memoir about coming of age in the New Jersey punk and hardcore scene in the early 1990s. Ronen Kauffman, also the man behind the podcast Issue Oriented, does a great job of showing how DIY culture and basement shows made him who he is today.

Ronen Kauffman's first book is a great story about discovering who you wanna be and how you reconcile your ideals with the real world that most of us have to face after college.
It's funny, insightful and not just for hardcore kids. I've already told my sister, the librarian, to get a few copies for the school where she works. You should get a copy too.

Jancee Dunn's "But Enough About Me" is part memoir about her journey from a New Jersey suburb to New York and a career as a writer for Rolling Stone and, part advice on how to behave in the presence of some of the most famous people in the world.

It's an enjoyable book and Jancee Dunn knows how to keep it funny and interesting. While she is clearly a more experienced writer than Ronen Kauffman, she sometimes lacks that heart on her sleeve that makes "New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye" such a compelling read.

"But Enough About Me" has gossip about Dolly Parton and Barry White and is very well-written, but my winner is "New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye", simply because it has more heart. And without heart, you got nothing.

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