Married Renee Crist (a rock journalist; died May 11, 1997).
Pop culture journalist, rock critic. Rolling Stone, New York, NY, contributing editor. Has appeared on various MTV and VH1 television shows.
Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time (memoir), Crown Publishing (New York, NY), 2007.
Author of "Pop Life" column for Rolling Stone.
Rock critic Rob Sheffield's first book is a memoir and tribute to his late wife, Renee. Sheffield, a "shy, skinny, Irish Catholic from Boston" and Renee, a Southern Baptist born and raised in rural Virginia, had little in common, but they shared a love of music, from punk rock to country. On a day in 1997, while Renee was working at her sewing machine, she stood, then collapsed and instantly died of a pulmonary embolism.
In Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, Sheffield, who has mixed tapes for every occasion, including doing the dishes, opens each of the fifteen chapters with a playlist. Renee's death comes in the middle of the memoir, and so previous chapters are accompanied by lists he compiled during their dating days and early life together, providing the soundtrack for his story.
Library Journal reviewer Renee Axtell commented that the description he provides of his wife's "brilliant eccentricity and lovable quirkiness causes the reader to fall in love with her just as he does." A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "While eulogizing the punk awesomeness of Renee, Sheffield also throws in a surprisingly heartfelt eulogy for the unsung '90s." A Publishers Weekly writer described Love Is a Mix Tape as "a celebratory eulogy for life in ‘the decade of Nirvana.’"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Sheffield, Rob, Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, Crown Publishing (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, December 15, 2006, June Sawyers, review of Love Is a Mix Tape, p. 11.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2006, review of Love Is a Mix Tape, p. 1060.
Library Journal, November 15, 2006, Renee Axtell, review of Love Is a Mix Tape, p. 73.
Publishers Weekly, December 18, 2006, review of Love Is a Mix Tape, p. 59.
Harp Online,http://harpmagazine.com/ (May 12, 2007), Crystal K. Wiebe, review of Love Is a Mix Tape.