Nërd Girl Rocks Paradise City

Fargo Rock CityAnne Thomas Soffee

For anyone harboring a soft spot in their heart for 80s hair metal bands, replete with spandex pants and girly faces, this is the book for you. Soffee chronicles her years of being the only rivethead at a prestigious and very preppie college. She describes her decision to make her fortune writing for heavy metal magazines in L.A. in an attempt to convey the mind-boggling coolness of metal to the world:

“These guys on the cover are from Guns N’ Roses,” I say, making a futile stab at relaying their coolness in words. “Hang out for a little while and maybe the video will come on. The guy on the right does this snake dance thing, and he’s got on purple eye-shadow and his voice is all screechy,”

“And that’s supposed to make me want to stay why, exactly?”

“No, it’s really cool! And he goes ‘and you know where you are? You’re in the jungle , baby! You’re gonna die!’ It’s cool.”

“Yeah, you said that already,” Stacy says, leafing half-heartedly through the magazine. “Hey, look. These girls don’t shave under their arms! Is that the new style? Does that mean I can stop shaving under mine? Because that would really save me some hassle.”

“Those aren’t girls. That’s Poison.”

Lots of great funny commentary on the world of music journalism, surviving in L.A., the grocery shopping of Glenn Danzig and more, intertwined with the sadder story of Soffee’s addiction to drugs and alcohol. I can’t wait to start her next book, Snake Hips, on her “redemption” through bellydance.