Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

From a leader of feminist punk music at the dawn of the riot-grrrl era, a candid and deeply personal look at life in rock and roll. Before Carrie Brownstein codeveloped and starred in the wildly popular TV comedy Portlandia, she was already an icon to young women for her role as a musician in the feminist punk band Sleater-Kinney. The band was a key part of the early riot- grrrl and indie rock scenes in the Pacific Northwest, known for their prod...

Details Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

TitleHunger Makes Me a Modern Girl
Release DateOct 27th, 2015
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Music, Feminism, Biography

Reviews Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

  • Sharon
    This isn't a book for readers looking for voyeuristic thrills from their memoirs. It's a passable music memoir, certainly of interest to all the Sleater-Kinney fans out there, but even they will be disappointed (as I was) by a book that feels too thin.It takes a while for this work to hit its stride. The first third is spent recounting Brownstein's early years. This is the least compelling section of the memoir, poorly paced and thin. There's lit...
  • Diane
    What a fantastic music memoir! Carrie Brownstein writes beautifully about her development as an artist and how she became a successful musician. Carrie grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington, and she started playing the guitar at a young age. She says she was an anxious and melodramatic child, but she loved to perform. In high school she started playing with bands, and eventually formed Sleater-Kinney, which Time magazine once described as...
  • Idarah
    “All we [Sleater-Kinney] ever wanted was just to play songs and shows that mattered to people, that mattered to us. Music that summed up the messiness of life, that mitigated that nagging fear of hopelessness, loneliness and death.” –Carrie Brownstein I’ve been floundering in my reading pool, trying to stay afloat and not sink into a reading slump. I can usually tell I’m headed that way when it takes me days to decide what to read next....
  • Elizabeth
    First, I LOVE SLEATER-KINNEY. I was so excited to read this and what an excellent read! Some might be disappointed- this is not a typical memoir. Carrie Brownstein is one cerebral lady. She tells a story that supports the idea that art saves lives. She does not dish. Not even once. Instead she explains how Sleater-Kinney saved her. She explains about tour. She shows us her regard for Corin Tucker & Janet Weiss. And she tells us how she broke up t...
  • Elyse Walters
    Audiobook.... read by the author!I had never heard of Carrie Brownstein until I read Vanessa’s review. ( thank you Vanessa).Still jazzed from “Daisy Jones and The Six”, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I thought it might be fun to listen to Carrie read her memoir....AND IT WAS!!!Carrie has a dynamite voice with a bubbly disposition. We learn about her family - ( her escape from the toxicity), and her music. It’s intimate- raw - honest.Wonderfully ...
  • Julie
    Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein is a 2015 Riverhead Books publication. I must confess I know next to nothing about this artist, the rock band ‘Sleater-Kinney’ or punk music. I never fully embraced that form of music, pretty much sticking to my classic rock, blues, and jazz formats, especially during the time this band was at its peak. By the mid-nineties, I was working sixty to seventy hours a week, dealing with two pre-tee...
  • Maxwell
    At once an honest depiction of otherness and an interesting examination of the 1990's music scene--especially punk rock in the PNW. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, the title coming from a Sleater-Kinney track, covers Brownstein's youth and emergence into a career in music. She's genuine, indulgent and witty. Though I know very little about the Riot grrrl scene, and I'll be honest, care very little about it, her writing was superb and infused the n...
  • Joe Valdez
    This 2015 memoir by Carrie Brownstein, co-founder of grunge rock trio Sleater-Kinney (and known far and wide today for the IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia she acts in, writes and created with Fred Armisen) is devoted purely to Brownstein's emergence from uncool teenager and suburban music geek in Redmond, Washington to recording and touring with what a critic at Time Magazine called in 2002 the best rock 'n' roll band in America. Rather than ...
  • Vanessa
    I totally ate this book up. Thanks Carrie for your brave honesty and intelligence. Your personality shines through so strongly, not only through your music but through this well written memoir. A perfect mix of her not so glamorous rock and roll life and her personal struggles. Her love for animals and her pets really won my heart over. I’m totally a fan after this.
  • Alex Laughlin
    I love Carrie but this was mad overwritten.
  • Snotchocheez
    It pains me to say I'm not a Sleater-Kinney fan. (I own exactly one of their seven albums--2002's "One Beat", given to me by a fellow "college rock"-aficionado who insisted I should be a Sleater-Kinney fan--but could only find sonic love with their anthemic "Far Away"...and nothing else). Don't know why I have had this total disconnect with them. They just always...I don't know...intimidated me? I'd read about their successes as seminal (if unwi...
  • Lisa
    Terrific: sharp, smart, introspective, complex, funny, and sad. What you (I) want in a music memoir—a little creative process, a little zeitgeist of the times, a lot of self-awareness without too much self-indulgence. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that Brownstein can really write, but it made me happy. Real review to follow.
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I actually am not overly familiar with the band Sleater Kinney. Look, I grew up in the northwest in the 90s but because I was overly sheltered and only "allowed" to listen to Christian music, the most daring I got was sneaking a listen to Z100 or secretly borrowing Ani DiFranco and Lilith Fair level music from friends. Sleater Kinney is more a product of the grunge-riot-grrrl bands that would have been more on the periphery as it was, and I am fu...
  • Barbara
    Many people probably know Carrie Brownstein best as an actress on the TV sketch-comedy show "Portlandia." Prior to starring in this hit show, however, Brownstein was (and is) a successful guitarist and singer in the feminist punk rock band Sleater-Kinney, which emerged from the Pacific Northwest region that spawned a slew of alternative rock bands.In this memoir, Brownstein reveals a love of performing that began in childhood, when she would rega...
  • Jenna
    I'm never often enough left to my own devices these days - not nearly as often as my taste would dictate. However, when ever I AM left to my own devices, I'm apt to binge watch Portlandia, revisit the Sleater--Kinney Spotify and You Tube catalog, reminisce about my grungy, nascent feminist, Oregonian youth by reading wonderful books like Sara Marcus's "Girls to the Front" and watching great documentaries like "The Punk Singer," both about Kathlee...
  • Jason Koivu
    Way more serious and far less funny than I expected. Also, very little about Portlandia. One sentence to be precise.But that's okay! Having loved Sleater-Kinney and collected 7"s from that band and her prior, Excuse 17, back in the 90s, I probably would've read this book anyway. I'm always ready to hear more stories about riot grrrl and Olympia!Back then her S-K bandmate Corin Tucker was the one I gave a shit about. I'd fallen in love with Tucker...
  • Mariel
    I felt like no one was really looking out for me, that I was marginal and incidental. I compensated by being spongelike, impressionable, and available to whatever and who whoever provided the most comfort, the most sense of belonging. I was learning two sets of skills simultaneously: adaptation- linguistic and aesthetic- in order to fit in, but also, how to survive on my own.There was an imaginary listener who would find the pink, gold, faberge a...
  • Jill
    "Riot grrrl is not for girls like me," she thought wistfully, confidently, behind layers of black lipstick and pale foundation, blinking thickly lined eyes, retreating to the safety of Marilyn Manson and Inkubus Sukkubus; Lacuna Coil and Videodrone. The righteously angry, thrashing punk; the seemingly-false claims of camaraderie -- none of it sat quite right. She was alternative, she hated all that mainstream bullshit, but she hated it as a goth ...
  • Rose Behar
    I'm a fan of Carrie Brownstein from Portlandia, as I think probably most of the readers of this book are, so I'd like to issue a general warning that there is no insight in to her comedy prowess here, nor the creation of Portlandia, nor her motivations, her fears, her beliefs-- in fact, there's barely anything in this book at all apart from an incomplete chronological list of events and the frequent repetition of the word "insular." Is my frustra...
  • El
    Earlier this year I had the opportunity to see Sleater-Kinney perform live at Stage AE here in Pittsburgh with my brother and his girlfriend. Sleater-Kinney has long been one of those bands I've been itching to see for the last 20 years or so, but have never made it happen for one reason or another - lived in the wrong place, knew the wrong people, didn't have money, was too well-behaved, whatever. Going to see them this year was like making the ...
  • Tobi
    I read it last night - review forthcoming - undeniable Nietzschean expression of feminist life force. Really great.
  • Heather Funk
    So far, I've found Carrie to be a charismatic, compelling, authentic narrator. This book is authentic to the point that it's a little tough to read as someone who has written on a professional level, which is something I hate to say. I KNOW Carrie is a guitarist and singer, not a writer. But didn't she have an editor? There are two things that I can't get over: her compulsive use of the thesaurus, using words like "ennervated" when "sick" would d...
  • Adam
    Put plainly: I did not enjoy Carrie Brownstein's writing style. Not one bit. I managed to finish the book despite nearly constant eye-rolling at the incredibly overblown, try-too-hard, simile ridden, overwrought prose. The pacing was just brutal to my ear. Unfortunately for this review I have already given the book back to the library, but here are some of the kinds of sentences that appeared all over the book. (Note: these are not quotes, rather...
  • Randee
    I probably should not have read this book. I've never been a fan of Sleater Kinney or Carrie Brownstein for that matter. But, I have a close friend who is a fan, so I've heard them more often that I would like. I've also watched Portlandia. I like Fred Armisen but I think the show is very hit or miss. I saw this book on the popular picks shelf at my library and I like biographies, so I thought I would give it a shot. I think that Carrie comes off...
  • Zack Ruskin
    Before Portlandia, before Sleater-Kinney, there was a girl living in the Pacific Northwest with big ambitions, desperately yearning for an identity all her own. In Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Carrie Brownstein strays from the normal parameters of the memoir format to give readers an insightful, raw look into her past and the moments that shaped her into the person who would later co-found one of the world’s most influential rock bands. Navig...
  • Rachel León
    (4.5 stars, rounded up because I have a huge art crush on Carrie Brownstein) I'm not a huge fan of memoirs, but I read them when there is enough buzz about a book--or as in this case, I love the author. My only complaint with this book is that it wasn't longer because I didn't want it to end. Brownstein is smart, funny, witty, and totally kicks ass and this book is all those things.
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    'Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl' seems to me like a book written by a lonely person. It is very good, and I recommend reading it if, gentle reader, you enjoy lucid intelligent autobiographies and you are curious about music groups which have had a certain level of critical success, but not a huge general public exposure. I recognized a very Pacific Northwest character in the author Carrie Brownstein, having been born and raised in western Washingt...
  • Cat Woods
    Whether you know Carrie Brownstein from Portlandia or Sleater Kinney, or even if you don't know her, be prepared to embrace her weird wonderful frankness. Honestly, I thought my family was a mess but a gay lawyer dad and a runaway anorexic mum? I pass my trophy on! Emerging in the exciting, petticoat wearing eyeliner smudging, feminist polemic touting Riot Grrrl scene of the early 90s along with Bikini Girl, Babes in Toyland and L7, Sleater Kinne...
  • Roberto
    I was about 18 when i first heard 'One More Hour', such a brilliantly angular, uncomfortable, angsty, catchy song, i probably taped it off the radio or something, and from then on i loved that band but they kinda made me feel anxious. Sleater-Kinney always stayed that weird apoplectic mix of things through the years and Carrie Brownstein's memoir backs that up by being the least rock n' roll memoir ever. Less drugs, groupies and booze, more shing...