Year 9, Book 38

38. The Most Beautiful Girl: A True Story of a Dad, a Daughter, and the Healing Power of Music by Tamara Saviano

The Most Beautiful Girl is a memoir by Grammy Award winning country music producer Tamara Saviano. She writes about the tumultuous relationship she had with the man she believed to be her father for much of her life, and what lead to them not speaking for the decade leading up to his death. She weaves in the importance of music to her father and in her life growing up, and what lead her to eventually pursue a career in the music industry leaving her family and friends far behind. I liked the musical bent to this memoir even as I’ve grown tired of these types of memoirs in general. If you are into memoirs of difficult families though, then you should enjoy this one. I give it a 6 out of 10.

Year 9, Book 37

37. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd

danah boyd has been researching the way teens use social media for many years. She pulls much of her research together in this book examining how teenagers use social media and how it compares to the ways teenagers interacted in the past. She argues that ultimately the tools may have changed, but in reality the way relationships and interactions are very still very similar to those prior to the existence of social media. As such she points to the problems related to fear-mongering about social media and the limitations placed on teenagers’ use of social media as a result. I thought it was an interesting book, and though I can definitely say I am glad I was a teenager before social media was a thing. I give it a 7 out of 10.

YEar 9, Book 36

36. You Are the Music: How Music Reveals What It Means to be Human by Victoria Williamson

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love music, so the subject of this book really appealed to me. The author is a researcher and lecturer in music psychology, and in this book she explores the ways music influences our lives. She starts pre-birth looking at how or if music affects babies in utero. Then she moves on to whether playing classical music for babies actually makes them smarter. She also delves into what affect music has on productivity, whether it can promote healing, and what causes earworms among a variety of other topics.

It was a fascinating book to me, and her research really reinforced some things I experience with music in my own daily life. For anyone who has even the slightest inkling of a love for music and wonders about its affect on humans and how we live I would highly recommend this book. I give it a 9 out of 10.