Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Only Pirate At The Party

The Only Pirate At The Party Book Cover The Only Pirate At The Party 
 Lindsey Stirling, Brooke S. Passey
 Gallery Books 
 January 12, 2016 
Electronic and dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling shares her unconventional journey in an inspiring memoir filled with the energy, persistence, and humor that have helped her successfully pursue a passion outside the box.
A classically trained musician gone rogue, Lindsey Stirling is the epitome of independent, millennial-defined success: after being voted off the set of America’s Got Talent, she went on to amass more than ten million social media fans, record two full-length albums, release multiple hits with billions of YouTube views, and tour sold-out venues across the world.
Lindsey is not afraid to be herself. In fact, it’s her confidence and individuality that have propelled her into the spotlight. But the road hasn’t been easy. After being rejected by talent scouts, music reps, and eventually national television, Lindsey forged her own path, step by step. Here, for the first time, she shares every triumph and trial she has faced until now. Beginning in a humble yet charmed childhood, this book follows Lindsey through a humorous adolescence, to her life as a struggling musician, through her personal struggles with anorexia, and finally all the way to her success as a world-class entertainer. Lindsey’s magnetizing story is at once remarkable and universal—a testimony that there is no singular recipe for success. And a witness that, despite what people may say, sometimes it’s okay to be The Only Pirate at the Party.

Those of you who pick up this book of your own volition are likely fans of Lindsey Stirling’s music and probably know more or less what you can expect if you follow her regularly on YouTube. For those of you who are not too familiar with her work, here is a brief overview. Lindsey Stirling is a unique musician and performer who plays an electric violin and incorporates dance routines into her performances. No other entertainer really does the same thing as her and she managed to get to where she is without financial help from a major investor. Many people first came to know her on the television show America’s Got Talent, where she was eliminated (rather harshly) by the judges. But whereas many other individuals would have been so distraught they gave up, Lindsey Stirling has moved on to self-release two albums, make countless videos alone and alongside other artists, and tour on a global scale.
Biographies are not for everyone. They are their own little niche of literature that is likely to either fascinate you or leave you thinking, “Am I done with this yet?” Obviously, readers should pick up biographies pertaining to individuals that they are interested in. One of the first things that may strike readers before even beginning this book is how young Lindsey Stirling is. At only 29 years old at the book’s publication, how much could she really have to fit into a biography at this point in her life? Granted the book is not terribly long, but it is very well paced and felt like she had just enough points in her life that she wanted to highlight in order to fill the pages. This is not a complete life story; there is a bit of skipping around and the sense of some missing details that Ms. Stirling does not currently wish to share with the public.
The way The Only Pirate At The Party was written feels very personal. Reading the book, you almost get the sense that you have sat down with Lindsey Stirling and she is telling you all of this as a storyteller would. While not every single little detail of her personal life is in the book, she does open up regarding the struggles she went through in order to get where she is as a musician and, even more impressively, the struggles she went through just as an adult in order to develop into the person she is today. In several points of the book, she points out how she and other celebrities are not just celebrities; they are people with the same wide array of emotions, problems, hopes, and dreams as any of the rest of us. Lindsey Stirling very much views herself as a regular everyday person in many regards and that makes her pleasantly relatable.
Some biographies, particularly autobiographies, are written to the point where the subject person is put (or puts themselves) on a pedestal. The book is more them saying, “Look at me, I am great!” than anything else. That is not at all what The Only Pirate At The Party does. Lindsey Stirling has been through a lot emotionally and was only able to make it through some of her problems due to the support of her family, friends, and faith. Not everyone has those luxuries, but many individuals who do have them take those things for granted. There are few successful individuals who could honestly be described as hardworking, sincere, and overall a good person but Lindsey Stirling is definitely one of those few and her book is without question worth a read even if biographies are not your usual cup of tea.

Editor's note: This review was written by Nicholas Watkins, originally published in Literature is Life, and has been reposted with permission. It is available under Creative Commons and the original page can be found here

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