Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shelving: Beth Ditto - Coal to Diamonds

I don't put much faith in celebrity biographies. I don't hate them -- on the contrary, I've read more than my share -- it's just most of them hold little appeal outside said star's fanbase. This can make for some shoddy writing. Coal To Diamonds is not like that, not by a country mile.

Relatability isn't the first quality I look for in a book. It's nice when you find it, but I find it wholly unnecessary if the quality of writing is good, but Ditto's relatability is the first thing that stood out; by the end of the book, I felt like she was my best friend.

There's a lot here for the nascent feminist, too, who, frankly, is a little short on role models these days. She's openly feminist, openly queer, fat and proud in an industry that guts young women, particularly those who don't measure up to its impossible standards. She talks a lot about the sexism within the music industry, even within the liberal confines of punk rock, her experiences with Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, and her own struggles with depression and the auto-immune disorder, Sarcoidosis. Ditto packs a lot into its 150 pages.

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