Amanda Mark

Amanda Mark loves music and she loves books, so it naturally follows that she would love to read books about music. Her goal in life is not to read every book in the Nashville Public Library, though, no matter what her grandma might say.

A native Hoosier, Ms. Mark now lives in Music City with her piano, her books, and a never-ending pile of half-finished crossword puzzles. In the five minutes of free time she has each day, Amanda might have a chance to watch “Glee” (which her neighbors love . . . sing-a-long, anyone?), “Burn Notice” (love Fiona!), or “Chopped” (even though she’d never eat any of the dishes they prepare).

Book Reviews by Amanda Mark

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“Because singing is fun.”

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“. . . an amazingly accurate biographical account of today’s music school life.”

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Some people are smart. Like “Jeopardy” smart, right? All kidding aside, everyone knows someone who would be their go-to first-pick for Trivial Pursuit.

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Society, as a whole, has become accustomed to convenience.

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“. . . needed to be more about the who and why, but instead it got stuck in the how and what.”

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“Adele: The Biography would fit perfectly in the waiting room at a doctor’s office . . .”

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“The Great Animal Orchestra is an interesting look at how we, as humans, define music. Are we musical because the environments surrounding us are?

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“Changing Lives gives appropriate credit where credit is due; however, it would have been more engaging had the author given us a more balanced portrayal of the system that is trul

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“Anyone can pick up an instrument in the middle of his/her life and gain enough proficiency to enjoy playing favorite songs. Learning music is not limited to any class or race of people.

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“As an academic study in 18th century music and use of castrati, Ms.

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“Don’t like The Doors or wondering who this Jim Morrison guy is?

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“. . . all these fun facts get lost in the choppiness of I Want My MTV as a whole, and very few people will be willing to read 600+ pages of sound bytes.

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“David’s Browne book does a nice job of tying The Beatles, James Taylor, CSNY, and Simon and Garfunkel together: who played on which album, who was friends with who, and so on.

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“. . . as the reader makes his/her way through the pages, it is hard not to think first, ‘How did I not know that?’ and then, ‘I want to watch it again!’”

Snap.

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“Engineers like Phill Brown had to pioneer the way music was recorded, giving the albums more life, not less. Perhaps it is time to return to the good old days Mr.

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An abortionist, a whore, and a dope dealer walk into a bar . . .

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Music has power. The kind of power that causes an individual to run up a flight of stairs and start victoriously shadow boxing.

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Cost to see the Beatles during their first North American tour in Vancouver, Canada on August 22, 1964: $3.50.

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Books should be an adventure. They should either tell stories that pull us in and keep us reading, or they should teach us unique and marvelous feats.

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Conductors are people, too.

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The world of music can be kind of clique-ish. It is a sad, but true, fact. Anybody who has any kind of name in music wants to be friends with everybody else who has any kind of a name in music.

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If a record label could have program notes to describe its history and catalogue then this book would be it (and it has pictures for the kids![1]).

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Like, OMG, Tiffy. Did you, like, totally see what happened last night on “The Big Payback”?

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Listener’s guide.

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Louis Armstrong was (and still is) a popular figure in 20th century American jazz.

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So . . . who saw School of Rock? That 2004 movie with Jack Black? Anyone . . . anyone? Bueller?

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Sometimes music writing feels like high school—all cliquish and exclusive.

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Leonard Bernstein was not a classically beautiful man. He was not the type of person to be featured on the cover of GQ or Vogue.

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So how does music work? In this age of instant gratification, most of us do not care how music works, so long as it does.

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Webster’s dictionary defines the word icon as an object of uncritical devotion.

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This is a cool book.

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Successful musicians connect and relate to their audience on an emotional level. Often, they channel some great pain from their past in order to give their work an even deeper meaning.

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Music, music everywhere. But is anyone making any money?

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Few works of art (or artists) have those special sparks that give them staying power. Some flare brightly for a moment, but then are lost to the relentless march of time.

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Some books are speedy reads. A few stolen hours here or there and then it is finished, more often than not to be forgotten before the end of one’s next read.

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