Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist


Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn | LibraryThing

Cohn, R., & Levithan, D. (2006). Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist. New York: Knopf. 9780375835315

Reasons for Reading : Okay, as a music lover, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to read a book about other music lovers. I requested Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist through HCPL.

Summary : Nick sees his ex-girlfriend heading his way at a concert. He turns to the girl next to him, Norah, and asks her “Will you be my girlfriend for the next five minutes?” Thus, the adventure of Nick and Norah begins.

What I Liked : The idea of a five minute relationship has potential for a great novel. Mostly, Cohn and Levithan navigated this concept well.

I appreciated how Cohn wrote from Norah’s point of view while Levithan handled Nick’s angle. Also, I liked that Cohn wrote the part of the female character and left the male character to Levithan.

It was cool seeing how Nick’s bandmate came through for him, too.

What I Disliked :  While I know a few things about music, I barely knew of the existence of “queer core.” Also, I didn’t like the dig at Weezer.

I doubt Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist would be good for the less mature teenager. There’s lots of cussing (i.e. the name of Nick’s band) and sexual situations.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: (Where’s Fluffy Music) – Last Words – YouTube

Setting : New York City

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John D. Luerssen’s Rivers’ Edge: The Weezer Story


Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story by John D. Luerssen | LibraryThing

Luerssen, J. D. (2004). Rivers’ edge: The Weezer story. Toronto: ECW Press. 9781550226195

Reasons for Reading: As a child, one of things my family saw to was that I listened to good music. Now, I’m not necessarily talking about classical, opera, or show tunes. No, I mean Oldies – real Rock ‘n’ Roll,  MoTown, Rhythm & Blues (rather than R&B), and Jazz. Country Western wasn’t considered music 🙂 . So, while I owned  Debbie Gibson and MC Hammer tapes, I also heard my dad’s records of Elvis Presley, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Animals, etc (not an exhaustive list). On road trips, we listened to one of his favorites – Buddy Holly. Let’s just say the other kids weren’t down with these old guys, especially that nerdy guy on my t-shirt.

Fast forward to 1994, my classmates and I weren’t just listening to Nirvana and Ace of Base, but to Weezer, a new group where frontman Rivers Cuomo crooned “I look just like Buddy Holly.” Like the pioneer rocker, Cuomo also wore horn rimmed glasses. Yeah, life went on but Weezer continued to resonate. Thus, growing up listening to Weezer made me want to read a book about one of my all-time favorite groups. At first, I requested John D. Luerssen’s Rivers’ Edge: The Weezer Story via Inter-Library Loan (ILL). Ultimately, I purchased the book from Amazon.

Summary: Undeterred by the group not endorsing his proposed biography, Luerssen set out to write about Weezer, a music group he enjoyed. He describes Weezer’s ascent to super stardom and chronicles the bands ups (Blue Album, Green Album, and Maladroit)  and downs (Pinkerton – “El Scorcho,” and “The Good Life.”)

At the center of this narrative is founder Rivers Cuomo, a brilliant musician and introvert who dons “Buddy Holly” glasses and other articles of nerdiness. Other founding members are the humorous drummer Patrick Wilson (definitely in “Keep Fishin‘”), “not second string to anyone” bassist Matt Sharp (check him out in this performance on The Late Show), and guitarist Jason Cropper. When Cropper left, he’s replaced by “Sass Master” Brian Bell (see the “The Impossible Bend“). Sharp left and was replaced by Mikey Welsh (Green Album – can be seen in “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun“.) Welsh exited, his void being filled by current member Scott “Shrine Dog” Shriner (look at “Photograph” and “Dope Nose.”) Luerssen offers a “no stone unturned” account of this contemporary group.

What I Liked: It was good finding out what Cuomo’s songs meant to Cuomo and what they all felt about making videos, particularly “Undone – The Sweater Song.”

I admired Bell’s support of Cuomo during their hiatus and the loyalty of unofficial fifth member Karl Koch, fans Mykel, Carli, and the Rebel Weezer Alliance.

Lastly, I loved how I could recall where I was when most of these events took place – definitely when reading about NASA Commander William McCool.  In other words, we’re contemporaries.

What I Disliked: This book was published in 2004. That means the book predates the following:

Also, I didn’t care for the tangents of the band member’s other projects. Sorry, I’m not that crazy about “Friends of P.” Doesn’t the title suggest that it should focus on Rivers Cuomo, anyhow?

Then, there’s the belaboring of Cuomo’s affinity for Asian women. Of course, the book came out before Cuomo married in 2006. Cuomo address this in the general media in 2007 “Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on Asian Women.” Luerssen paints Cuomo as a fetishist control freak, too.

Oh, and before I forget, I would’ve loved for this book to have an index!

Three Out of Five Pearls

Setting: United States

Song: Weezer – Say It Ain’t So – YouTube

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  • Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
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  • Jack Kerouc’s On the Road

For more on John D. Luerssen’s Rivers’ edge: The Weezer story, please check out the following links :

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