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Happy Anniversary, Mad World!

Four years ago, I spent my extra time reading a new book that I continue to avidly use as a reference. Mad World, a book written by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein, was released on April 15, 2014. It blows my mind that four years has gone by so quickly.

I know that today is April 16, but I don’t post on Sundays. A day late, but with no less enthusiasm, I wanted to celebrate the anniversary of Mad World.

I am a very avid reader, although lately I’ve found less and less time to dedicate to reading much beyond the current curriculum I’m using to teach my youngest. Over the years, I’ve read books about 1980’s music as quickly as they’ve been released. I tend to read them twice: once at my normal lightning speed, and the next, to savor and digest each word. Don’t ask how many times I’ve read and listened to John Taylor’s autobiography at this point. (Enough to have some sentences memorized. What can I say? I love audiobooks!) Mad World is without question one of the best books about the music that made me into the person, no…into the fan I am. It is by far, my most favorite book about New Wave music. I don’t write those words lightly, and I don’t post them just because I consider Lori a friend.

I didn’t know Lori Majewski before Mad World. She and I are easily as different as Amanda and I, on nearly every level imaginable. Lori is an avid vegan, I am, well…not. (Although I do sneak in a meatless meal to the family—don’t tell them—and even on my own, on occasion!) She has always had appreciation for Red Carpet Massacre, I’ve had to work on my feelings about that album over the years. She’s a John-girl, I’ve been a Roger fan since Planet Earth. Like Amanda, she is far more politically savvy, and definitely more active than I am. Lori is delightfully positive and centered, and me? Well, I’m more of an un-centered, slightly critical, realist. People tend to either like me, or they want me burned at the stake…or both, actually.

Despite…or more likely because of all of those things, I respect Lori. Whereas I have sat and dreamed of what I want to do with my life, she’s done it, and then some. She is unafraid to try, and I am incredibly fearful of failing. Lori is a powerful, positive force to admire. She’s a great listener and advice-giver, too. I consider her a friend and mentor, and someone I obviously don’t mind gushing about on Daily Duranie.

Mad World is an excellent book. Jonathan and Lori devised the book in such a way that they chose a number of bands from the New Wave era, and out of those bands, they chose a song to focus on. They interviewed the artists and bands who wrote (or performed) the songs, and wove those interviews into a very substantial music history of the 80s. Even though I’ve read nearly everything that has been written about 1980’s music, I learned a lot from Mad World.  I continue to pull that book down from my shelf as a resource, noted by the binding that has given way over the years. My copy is well-loved.

Since Mad World, Lori has been working on her own Sirius XM morning radio show with Nik Carter. She’s been featured on more than one documentary about New Wave music, and she’s even broadcasted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies. I realize this is more gushing than necessary, but I think it’s awesome that someone I know is actually on the radio, and not because he/she won a contest by calling in, but because they host the show!

Jonathan continues to write his Bridget Wilder book series (my nearly ten-year-old daughter gives them a big thumbs-up), along with a plethora of other books that every one should have already read or is reading currently. He is the also a co-writer for Unsane, a movie that I am, honestly, too frightened to even go see. (I don’t do scary movies. It’s a mom-thing and I’m not even kidding about that.)

What I really want though, is a follow-up to Mad World. What I don’t understand, is why publishers aren’t busting down their door(s) to get one. Someone, fix this. Immediately.  In the meantime, I’m going to go back to brainstorming about my own next attempt at a book proposal. As I’m sitting here writing about the fabulous careers of others, I realize that giving up is not an option.

Happy Anniversary, Mad World! I don’t know where the time went, but I’m awfully glad to have the book on my shelf, and great people continuing to inspire me!

-R