- I'm not sure why I picked up Carrie Brownstein's memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl because I've never seen Portlandia or listened to Sleater-Kinney.
- What's more, I usually run like a crazy person from author-narrated audiobooks.
- However, I'm always interested in the truths behind a so-called glamorous or blessed life. As for the audiobook, I figured Brownstein's experience on the music stage, in front of the camera, and in the recording studio would serve her well.
- Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is a well-written and thoughtful memoir by musician, writer, and actor Carrie Brownstein.
- She talks about her childhood, her parents, and the rise of her band Sleater-Kinney.
- More than just a chronology, Brownstein has things to say about sexuality, feminism, the music industry, and friendship. She talks about her insecurities and strengths, her successes and failures.
- Being famous can often mean giving up privacy and control of your personal sphere. For example, Brownstein writes about being outed as gay in a magazine article before she had found the time, place, and way to tell her family and friends.
- Sexism is as present in the music world as it is any other profession. One message of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is the fact that even in the twenty-first century, artists like Brownstein and cutting-edge bands like Sleater-Kinney are always described with some variation of the word female or woman: A great girl band, a powerful female vocalist, and so on. Why not just a great band period?
- I was impressed with Brownstein's honesty and self-awareness, though this is not a tell-all memoir.
- Life on the road sucks.
- It pays to be bold, but not recklessly so.
- This is a fairly literary memoir; Brownstein is articulate and well-spoken. She does, however, engage in some subtle name-dropping, and I wasn't always sure of the point--except perhaps that she wanted to say "I knew this musician / designer / artist."
- Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl has little to say about Portlandia.
- Fans of the Riot Grrrl movement and of Sleater-Kinney will love the details about song writing and album making. Even if you're not familiar with Brownstein's music, these sections are still interesting.
- Carrie Brownstein did a fine job narrating Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. She was easy to understand and expressive. Brownstein was clearly enthusiastic about telling her story but didn't cross the line to over-the-top dramatic. Don't hesitate to try the audiobook.
- Audiobook bonus: Don't miss the interview between Carrie Brownstein and Sarah Jaffe (audiobook producer). I loved hearing Brownstein's unrehearsed reactions to the questions and gaining extra insight into her personality.
- Data: Penguin Audio; 7 hr, 4 min
Source: Review: print & audio (see review policy)
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