Leah Greenblatt
October 30, 2015 AT 03:40 PM EDT

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir

Current Status
In Season
Carrie Brownstein
Riverhead Books

We gave it an A

You don’t need to be a fan of Brownstein’s seminal ’90s band, Sleater-Kinney—or know how many r’s are supposed to go in riot grrrl—to love her frank, funny, fantastically smart memoir. Over the course of 21 snapshot-dotted chapters, she recounts how music offered her a way out of the bland Seattle suburb she grew up in and the broken family she couldn’t fix. Rock & roll saved her—but success, she found, wasn’t an easy panacea for the anxiety and self-doubt that rarely left her. If that sounds like a downer, it’s not; her honesty is disarming, and buoyed by the same dry wit that makes her scenester-lacerating IFC series Portlandia so good. That’s how she artfully manages to transcend the backstage tropes of the rock-bio genre, and why Hunger should become the new handbook for every modern girl (and yes, boys, too) looking for the courage to pursue a life less ordinary. A

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