Friday, June 26, 2009

Book Smart - Wish You Were Here

Welcome to the first edition of Book Smart, my attempt at furthering your reading beyond this blog. 

Are you in the need of a good beach book for the summer? Something preferably easy to read, informative and funny? Well you're in luck.

Wish You Were Here is your answer. No, not the Pink Floyd album. It's the second book published by
senior editor Leslie Simon. Remember her? She co-authored everyone's favorite piece of emo approved literature, Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide To Emo Culture

Well, she's back with a mission to give you all a bit of history on what makes punk punk, and where the best places in the country are to further your street cred in the scene.

Wish You Were Here is part travel companion, part history and all punk. Simon dissects everything from Washington D.C.'s hardcore roots, suburban Florida's pop-punk influence, East Bay's snotty punk scene and Long Island's heartfelt emo core. You'll learn about the bands you love, the bands they love and some bands you've never even heard of.

Simon's work is once again fused with humor throughout, which proves vital in those spots when she rants about Fugazi and Jawbreaker. Good bands, yes, but I think she could have kept it a bit more current.

What does work for Simon is her ability to map out each city by means of clubs, record shops, restaurants and bars. Complete with addresses and websites, this little book can give you a killer to-do list if you happen to be visiting one of these many punk hot-spots this summer. Trust me, I'll have this book in hand on my travels to Seattle in a few weeks. Easy Street Records here I come!

The great aspect of Wish You Were Here is that it's almost like a departure from the "emo" scene in general. It's a coming of age book. You can tell our author has grown up. She's right by our side rejecting today's endless stream of crap by getting back to the basics. 

Packed with illustrations to help relieve your eyes from all those damn words, Wish You Were Here is the perfect kick-off to your summer reading list. So go pick it up, like... today. Or just get it here.

My only gripe about this read is that Boston is no where to be found. Guess we're just too cool. But it balances out 'cause Leslie is hot, and who doesn't appreciate a pretty girl? Case in point.

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