Recipes and Road Stories
written by Hannah and Caroline Melby
published by Smashwords, 2014
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: I don’t know who these two pretty girls are, but not knowing the subject of a memoir has never stopped me from reading before, so I dug in. I shouldn’t have. If you’re a music star and the only publisher you can get for your book is Smashwords (no offense, Smashwords), then perhaps you should do a bit more editing. Or hire a ghost writer. Probably both.
The stories were poorly written, not that interesting, and completely missing the stuff that gets people to read memoirs–the juicy details. Yeah, it’s cool that you jumped on a trampoline once. I’ve done that too. The recipes weren’t that great either, unless you’re used to using ingredients like “hot dog buns” and “cake mix” in your cuisine.
HINT: Next time, try interspersing the recipes with the anecdotes, and oh, I don’t know, mention something about when you actually ATE the food instead of mumbling something about a drive-thru burger. Just a thought.
Would I recommend it: If you’re a HanaLena fangirl, you probably want this in your collection, but I’m going to laugh at you if you buy it for the hot dog recipes.
About the book – from Goodreads: A Remarkable Coming of Age Story About Two Young Girls Growing Into Womanhood on the Bluegrass Circuit.
By the time Hannah was in the 11th grade and Caroline was in the 7th grade, the Melby sisters were touring the country in bluegrass bands, with Hannah on fiddle and Caroline on mandolin. Today the sisters are the front persons of a very popular Nashville-based country music touring band named HanaLena.
Do they ever have some great stories to tell about coming of age on the concert trail!
Recipes and Road Stories: Life on the Road with Sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby of the duo HanaLena blends touching and rollicking road stories with an assortment of tasty recipes, and then tops everything off with plenty of exciting photographs.
Also contributing recipes are friends they made on the road, including Rhonda Vincent, a 5-time Grammy nominee who has been called the “Queen of Bluegrass,” and Claire Lynch, who is the reigning Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Association.
The sisters, who grew up in Starkville, Mississippi, performed from an early age—Hannah is now 28, Caroline is 24—evolving from bluegrass to progressive country as they perfected their songwriting and performance skills out on the road. In 2008 they won the “Best New Act in Country Music” competition at the Colgate Country Showdown in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville—and took home a check for a cool $100,000 presented by country music star LeAnn Rimes.
On the road they have opened for stars such as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and performed with Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Louvin and the “King of Bluegrass” Jimmy Martin, who was a frequent performer on the Opry before his death in 2005.