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Falling Backwards: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Jann Arden
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2011
Jann Arden is funny. And sincere. She has legions of devoted fans. And a radio show. She is a darling of the music scene - always candid, always unplugged. You thought you knew Jann Arden, but there is more - to her readers' delight, in Falling Backwards Jann reveals her childhood, her bond with family, her struggle in the formative years and what keeps her so grounded in the whirlwind entertainment industry. Jann has always been true to herself, except for a minor lapse when she was young. Oh wait, wasn't that all of us?

From the tender and honest to the laugh-out-loud funny, Jann's stories from home and from the road during her pre-celebrity years will take you to unexpected places, including high school parties in farmer's fields, sleepovers under the stars, hard-to-believe summer jobs and the time she was stuck upside down in a brick barbecue. She reminds us of the inestimable value to a child of having teachers who believe in you and wide open spaces to play. But with the good times come the bad (and not just the bad perm). Jann opens up about the darker side of her so-called prairie perfect nuclear family and the first signs that her eldest brother was a uniquely troubled young man. In the days when Jann was experiencing a lot of firsts - first school play, first home perm, first kiss - how lucky for all of us that she stole away to her basement and taught herself her first song on her mother's guitar.

In addition to being an incredible musician and multi-award-winning lyricist, Jann is a natural writer and simply an inspiration. Jann will capture your heart - and keep you in stitches - with her powerful stories about coming of age as an artist and as a human being. Jann brings her wit and that infectious sparkle to everything she does. This book is no exception.

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Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“As talented, funny and engaging as Jann Arden can be, perhaps the most impressive thing about the eight-time Juno Award winner is her modesty.”
The Globe and Mail
 
“The type of free-spirited, brutally truthful woman who can stand toe to toe with any man or woman. Funny and not afraid to sprinkle an interview with helpings of words your mother would never allow in the house, Arden is two parts poet and one part your crazy aunt.”
The Toronto Sun
 
“[Jann Arden is] abundantly and humorously generous with herself in public. . . . No doubt Arden holds some secrets, some passions, some pain close to the vest, but, like the best gossip in the neighbourhood, she diverts our attention with titillating yarns.”
Toronto Star“
 
“If it were possible to distil the mirth in a person’s eyes onto the page, this memoir would be the result.... If readers aren’t already fans, they are going to be after taking in her nostalgic, at times even lyrical, and frequently belly-laugh-inducing accounts of growing up.”
Winnipeg Free Press
 
“A pretty great, easy, light read, and succeeds because it’s written entirely in Arden’s voice.”
The Gazette
 
“Incredibly rich...a universally relatable coming-of-age portrait pieced together from 30 years’ worth of sorrow, laughter and joy.”
Ottawa Citizen

“A compelling read, told in Arden’s conversational style.”
The Hamilton Spectator

About the Author

Since releasing her debut album in 1993, Jann Arden has had seventeen top-ten singles from eight albums including “I Would Die for You,” “Could I Be Your Girl” and “Insensitive.” Winner of eight Junos and recipient of the National Achievement Award from SOCAN, Arden was also inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and won the International Achievement Award at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards. She is the author of If I Knew, Don’t You Think I’d Tell You? and I’ll Tell You One Damn Thing, and That’s All I Know! and the host of the #1-rated radio program Being Jann. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Jann: Candid, Poignant, and Funny Jan. 27 2012
By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
A long time ago, I read that the more personal you are, the more universal you are. I always thought these words referred to essays and poetry, but I've just learned how well they apply to memoirs, too. Falling Backwards covers Jann Arden's earliest childhood memories, her school life, and the desire to write and play music, those inevitable young adult struggles and, finally, her first recording contract.

I have to be honest and say that I'm a big fan of Jann Arden's music, which is why I received this book for Christmas, plus her latest CD, and a ticket to an upcoming concert. So, if you think I'm biased when I say that I loved this book, I understand.

The book's appeal isn't merely because of its author, though. Jann's voice is strong, authentic, and candid. She talks about some truly uncomfortable experiences in her life that most of us wouldn't share with friends and family, let alone strangers. Secondly, her writing style is terrific: straightforward, fluid, poignant, funny. She has an ear for the rhythm of the written word, which is hardly a surprise given how much time she put in learning to write songs.

Although our childhoods were quite different, (she from the Alberta countryside and me from the Vancouver suburbs), she had experiences I could relate to so closely that it was weird. Here's one: at her parents' first parent-teacher meeting in grade one, Jann's teacher told her folks that Jann "could very well be somewhat retarded". My teacher told my parents that there was something wrong with me because I cut the legs off the picture of the lamb I'd drawn . . . That was the 60's for you. Obviously, many of her memories triggered memories of my own, but maybe that's what great memoirs do. Still, as Jann says, "It's okay to look in the rear-view mirror now and then, but I don't want to stare." Enjoy!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Nov. 21 2011
Format:Hardcover
Jann's first two books (which are also hilarious) where about her struggle through her adult life. This is the first time she really tackles her sometimes funny, sometimes sad, childhood. Anyone that would like to know what shaped this wonderful woman will get a lot from Falling Backwards. Highly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Aug. 26 2013
Format:Hardcover
I love Jann Arden. Her music, seeing her play live. She's amazing. But this book is not well written in my opinion. I was disappointed and wished I hadn't spent my limited $$ on it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love me some jann arden Nov. 15 2011
Format:Hardcover
I am reading Jann's book and unlike the previous review have enjoyed the recollections of her childhood very much, I find the book very funny,expecially the hotdog in the thermos, and could also relate to the stories of the underlying tensions in her homelife. Maybe at some point she will write about her rise in the music industry,but I think this book was a great jumping off point, if you were raised in the 70's don't miss this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars such a wonderful read Nov. 7 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love, love, love this book. I enjoyed Jann's other books too, but this one is so amazingly open that it touched me deeply, and also made me realize I am not alone when it comes to some of my own childhood experiences. I am purchasing copies of this book for all of my girlfriends.
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