Sara Bareilles is my favorite singer. If you noticed a lot of my more personal posts and newsletter end with the phrase, “Do it for love,” that is from Sara’s song, “Bottle it up.”
I made a promise to myself long ago, not only would I see her in concert but I would chat with her in a coffee shop trading swear words and stories of lost love or over a bottle next to a baby grand piano. I’d tell her how her words inspired me, how her music got me and how the rawness of her lyrics captivated me. We’d share stories of life and the experiences that made us who we are, then ultimately become great friends.
With Sounds Like Me I got that wish.
By the light of a single lamp with a warm cup of tea in my living room Sara poured her heart out to me.
The way her lyrics make you feel like you know her and she knows every pain you’ve ever felt, her book does the same. The words jump off the page and paint a vivid honest picture of the events that made her who she is.
Even from the foreword by Ben Folds you see that this book is going to be intimate, personal and honest.
The book is ultimately broken into 11 sections. Ben’s foreword, Sara’s personal introduction, 8 different essays inspired and named after her songs and her conclusion.
The clever things she says that make her feel like a friend.
“Bacon call me.”
The horrible experience she had attempting to co-write with a writer she simply refers to as “dick douche.”
She talks about the first few years after college when she floundered, like I did, having obtained the same degree and she captures the feeling most of us Communication majors have felt at one time or another post-graduation, “I had a communication degree which might sound like something but no actual things require this degree.”
She talks about finding her singing career the same way I found my blogging one. While floundering and killing time she submerged herself in something she loved and it grew.
The story of her trip to Italy sparked a desire to travel more in me, her honesty of the loneliness she felt there highlighted every fear I’ve had about starting over and made me see it would work out regardless.
In the chapter Red she reminds us not everything is as it seems and some challenges are for our own good, “We never know which monsters under the bed will become our friends.”
She described people in a way that not only makes you want to know them and also makes you want to be a better person, “He had an enthusiasm for life that makes you question your own tendency to think anything isn’t amazing.”
Her appreciation of the beauty of life and the world is so apparent in her words.
She says things that make the average woman feel a little less basic, “During our month of emailing I wondered if I would fall in love with Jack (because I think that about every new man I meet).”
My only regret of buying this book was not purchasing 2. I was flooded with inspiration and wanted to notate every inspiring or relatable bite size piece of herself she shared with me, and I say me because it was just for me, at least that’s how it felt reading it.
While her voice is captivating Sounds Like Me reiterates what her fans already know, it’s not just her voice that has made millions fall in love and connect to her music but her raw honesty and the way she can put into words what so many of us are feeling.
As I closed the book after I finished the chapter titled Brave, I cried for a solid 5 minutes. Partly because of the way Sara describes her transition from L.A. to New York, her fears that the song, Brave, was more commercial than she wanted to be, was an exact replica of the way I felt as I geared up for what I plan to be my last year working full time before I took my blog on full time and I partly cried because I was imagining Sara watching the little boy with cancer finding courage in her words, “I want to see you be brave.” (My eyes are getting watery just recalling that passage.)
She writes in a way that makes you want to write, just how she sings in a way that makes you wish you could carry a tune.
She uses her carefully chosen words to let you see the world thru her eyes, which she sees beautifully and honestly.
She sees the best in people, the little cracks of light that may be hidden to most. She describes them in a way you’d only wish to be described and in a way that makes you feel like they are old friends.
Having finished the book made me feel happy and hopeful but also lonely because I wanted more.
If you are a Sara Bareilles fan you HAVE to read this book. If you aren’t you need to check her out and you will be.
Check out my list of favorite Sara Bareilles songs:
I’ll limit it to 12 but have a few more… I pretty much love them all!
Who inspires you? Are you a Sara Bareilles Fan? What’s your favorite song?
And for fun here is one of my favorite videos of Sara performing a cover of Sia’s Chandelier.
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Do it for love,