We all know R.E.M. broke up recently and those who care are probably done mourning at this point. Personally, I was never a die-hard fan. I have to say, though, the best thing to come out of the band’s career, at least for me (I said for me, not universally, please don’t hate on me in the comments guys), is Matthue Roth’s book Automatic.
Basically, he goes through each track on R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People and turns it into a chapter on what the song means to him. Ultimately it’s not so much about the music but about growing up and the people you gain and lose along the way. He captures adolescence in a visceral, charming, touching way, and after blazing through the whole book in one sitting, I sat lost in a puddle of memories I had forgotten I experienced.
I love this book. I also love that even though you can get it for a kindle or as a pdf, you can also get a real life copy that’s handmade. And for $4.99. Including shipping. That’s way more than worth it. I don’t even understand that pricing. I’ve paid $25 for books that didn’t touch me as much as this one did.
Order one HERE
Matthue is also on twitter (@matthue) which I’m telling you because I’m kind of a huge fan of his.