I had one of the funnest afternoons of my life with Amy Rigby, author of the plucky and audacious Girl to City: A Memoir, back in about 1992, when she was in a indie-country trio called The Shams, and I was writing about rock music and working at Sassy. We met at South by Southwest—this is back when it was just a feisty little music festival—but I was already a fan of her band, and I got to spend time with them and we bonded instantly. The day after SXSW ended, I needed to get to Houston to see my grandmother, and they were headed there for a gig, so they offered me a ride, and it was just one of those epic, cinematic afternoons that you remember always, full of detours involving Mexican food, a massive flea market, and lots of music. Later on, Amy left the Shams and embarked on a solo career (do yourself a favor and listen to this some time) and she’s still at it, touring a lot and also playing upstate, where she lives with her husband. Amy also has a very witty and engaging blog, which is where I first heard about this book, which I realize I am realllly taking a long time to get to, but which you will love. Amy writes with such satisfying detail about arriving in Manhattan for art school in 1976, and zeroing in on the city’s nascent punk scene in no time, hanging out at CBGB and co-founding punk venue Tier 3. It’s really cool to read about that scene from a female perspective, and Amy’s is so spot-on: funny, honest, and wise. It’s also a really poignant look at the sacrifice involved in living the life of an artist. I read most books on my phone these days, but a hard copy of this one was sent to me, and I’m so glad: it’s one I want sitting on my bookshelf.