Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Reading and Review of Moby's Memoir

I love going to book readings.  Unfortunately, I don't make it to very many.  About a week before he was going to be in Minneapolis, I'd found out about Moby's book reading.  Of course I had to work. A 13 hour shift. Fortunately, I realized it wasn't absolutely necessary for me to be there for the last few hours and I was able to get the time off to go. HUZZAH!!
I hadn't yet read Moby's book.  I'd planned on buying it at some point but when I decided to go to the reading I knew I had to buy my book there.  I always buy books at stores that host readings as a way of thanking them for their trouble and effort.  So, I was going into this pretty blind.  I consider myself a fan of Moby's music (I have a lot but not all of his CD's) but I honestly didn't know anything else about him.  Needless to say, I learned a lot. :)  Now, I'm just talking about the reading still because I didn't read the book until after.  First off, did not know he was a Vegan.  I'm sure everyone else who knows anything about him knew this already but, as I said, I only listened to his music.  But this was very interesting to me as I had just spent the last month eating (mostly, let's be honest) a vegan diet.  It was going really well for me and I'd been feeling great so it was an interesting coincidence for me.  Moby read from 3 different sections of his book and it was cool getting the bit of back story he could provide that wouldn't be included in the book itself.

At the beginning of the reading, the bookstore rep asked us to turn off our phones.  Does that mean we can't take pictures???  There were people with regular cameras taking photos...Phones didn't always use to be synonymous with cameras.... I really wanted a picture so here's my guerrilla shot.

After the reading, he did a Q & A that was very cool.  He was very kind to everyone that asked a question and had more great stories to tell.  I did not ask a question.  Being an introvert, I'm awkwardly shy around anyone I don't know.  If I know the person and they don't know me....problem magnified to Kepler territory.

Which brings us to the signing.  The bookstore rep was walking down the queue with post-its for people who wanted their book inscribed with a personal message.  I could feel the deviant side of my personality scratching on the door to be let in.  All the possible things I could have Moby write in my book..... "Dear Amy, Thank you for being my soul mate.  I'm lost without you. Love, Moby"  "Dear Amy, I wrote this book just for you. I hope you it doesn't disappoint. Love, Moby"  "Dear Amy, What is the air speed velocity of an unladen African Swallow?  Love, Moby."  I decided I didn't want to get kicked out of the line so just went with a signature.

As I got closer to the counter, I could hear people having conversations with Moby and him laughing and saying "That's a really good question" several times.  I had no funny stories to share and no interesting questions.  What to do?  I realized I had no idea what I was going to say.  I should have been better prepared.  I'd made a mumbling moron out of myself twice before Neil Gaiman and now I was about to do it in front of Moby.  Do I ask him for tips about Veganism?  Then I remembered I was clutching the leather jacket I knew I'd never be able to give up. Doh!  Do I tell him about the cook I knew who introduced me to his music by yelling "Rock the body!" at me over and over while I stood there clueless.  Probably not flattering.  My turn was up.  "Hi.  I'm afraid I don't have any witty questions to ask you."  I'm nothing if not honest.  At least that got a smile.  There was a very nice lady with the bookstore that was taking pictures for everyone so I did get some cool photos after all.

After he did his cool little self-portrait doodle and signed my book, he asked me "What does it say?" Huh?  What does what say?  Turns out he was asking about the tattoo that I had temporarily forgotten I have.

He said he liked it.  What?  Really?  I know I must have had a weird expression on my face because it felt so weird to have Moby think I'd done something cool.  I didn't see this until I got home but I love that the bookstore employee is making a funny face at me considering my tattoo is a quote from Shakespeare.  You'd think he'd have had more appreciation.  Geez.  Seriously, you gotta love the way cameras catch us when we're making funny faces.

Anyway, I stumbled through my social ineptitude and got my book signed and met a really cool person.  It was an excellent evening.

Now, on to the book itself.  When it comes to memoirs, you never really know what you're going to get.  Sometimes, you finish the book and you're not even sure if you can trust what you've read.  The author can say anything, after all, and call it true.  How are we to know?  This felt like a very honest book.  Moby doesn't spare himself his indignities in order to make himself sound cooler.  He's open with his failings and problems and insecurities.  I almost wish I would have read it before meeting him as you realize how normal he is, I probably would have been less nervous.  I'm not going to tell you about any of his stories in particular or give you a broken down critique, that would spoil the reading for you.  I will say that this has enhanced my understand of what musicians go through to get their music heard.  And although the music industry is constantly evolving to the point where musicians don't always feel like their personal and artistic messages are being heard, I hope Moby realizes he still has fans and keeps producing more of this wonderful work.

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