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Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett
     

Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett

5.0 4
by Tony Bennett
 

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One of the most well-known and beloved vocalists of our time, Tony Bennett is an American icon. Now, in this rich and beautiful memoir, the legendary Grammy and Emmy Award–winning singer takes us behind the scenes of his multi-platinum career. Revealing, insightful, and always moving, Life Is a Gift tells the stories of Bennett’s experiences in the

Overview

One of the most well-known and beloved vocalists of our time, Tony Bennett is an American icon. Now, in this rich and beautiful memoir, the legendary Grammy and Emmy Award–winning singer takes us behind the scenes of his multi-platinum career. Revealing, insightful, and always moving, Life Is a Gift tells the stories of Bennett’s experiences in the music industry, what he learned, and who he met along the way, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and Duke Ellington, as well as Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, and Lady Gaga. A "master class in life," this revealing retrospective offers an intimate look at Tony Bennett's journey, from growing up during the Great Depression to carving a career in popular music that has spanned more than six decades as his popularity among all generations continues to grow.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"Bennett offers inspiring observations from a joyful life fully lived … [in] this generous, upbeat memoir."
Booklist (starred review)
“Bennett offers inspiring observations from a joyful life fully lived … [in] this generous, upbeat memoir.”
Publishers Weekly
Relaxed and comfortable but full of vigor, Bennett’s voice has charmed audiences for more than 60 years. Writing in the same style as he sings, in this new work he shares meditative lessons culled from his amazing life. Having learned the value of hard work during the Great Depression, the pointlessness of war during WWII, and the importance of being true to yourself during a career that has seen musical fads come and go over and over, Bennett (The Good Life, with Will Friedwald) has developed a loose set of rules by which he lives. Whether he is suggesting people “Only Sing Good Songs” or “Everything Should be Done with Love,” Bennett explains how these tenets have shaped his success and makes suggestions about how others can apply them to their lives. Though not an autobiography per se, Bennett shares countless tales about showbiz, his famous friends, his family, and his artistic career. Still, it doesn’t matter if he is recounting being awestruck by Frank Sinatra, disagreeing with Columbia Records honcho Clive Davis, or lamenting overindulgence on drugs and alcohol, he remains Zen-like in his delivery. Though slight and not a full account, Bennett’s tips for happiness, success, and longevity are like music to the ears. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Not your standard memoir: Bennett examines how his music has evolved over a six-decade career that has seen a relentless march of styles and stars. Yes, there's an audience; note the 100,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
The legendary master of the American songbook shares stories and lessons learned from a life in music. As Bennett (The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett, 1998) notes, Frank Sinatra called him "my favorite singer" on more than one occasion. The effect of this endorsement on Bennett's career was, of course, enormous. From a generation of singers still inclined to refer to his work as "showbiz," Bennett's career has had a peerless longevity and has likely provided him with wisdom and anecdotes for two or three books of this nature. The stories are wide-ranging, calling on his relationships with the best-known jazz singers and musicians from the 20th century--stories of collaborations, disagreements and adventures. His passion for art, travel and learning also take the stage. Each chapter showcases what Bennett sees as the necessities for a successful life--e.g., respecting others, hard work, ignoring "trends," and focusing on what you know and love. Bennett is also willing to call bologna by its name when he sees it, and he decries what he calls the "flattening out" of the music industry and of the tendency to prioritize all aspects of the business aside from the quality of the music. Some of the "Zen" suggestions at the close of each chapter fall flat--e.g., there's nothing particularly useful in stating that the world will be a better place if everyone can learn to get along and appreciate each others' differences. There is, however, a great deal of wisdom in the suggestions when they stem directly from Bennett's own richly lived life. Like Bennett's catalog of music--you may not fall in love with each individual story, but it's hard to argue with the way it's being told.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062207074
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/29/2013
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
321,046
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Tony Bennett has sold millions of albums, earned multiple platinum and gold records, and won two Emmy Awards as well as seventeen Grammys, including the Recording Academy's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also named a Kennedy Center Honoree.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
August 3, 1926
Place of Birth:
Astoria, Queens, New York, New York
Website:
http://www.exploringthearts.org

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Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
MAGGIEHOLT More than 1 year ago
I would buy anything by Tony Bennett!!! I am 70 yrs old and have loved his music since I was a teenager. he never fails to produce a beautiful product. keep them coming Tony!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sang to my spirit when my spirit needed a song...that says it all.
Ann40AW More than 1 year ago
What can I say? BRAVO!! Mr. Bennett...I absolutely, unequivocally, loved this book. Tony Bennett has been one of my favorite singers since way back when I was a teen-ager. I remember listening to his music over and over. I think the first song I remember hearing him sing was "Rags to Riches." Which if I remember correctly, it was a Number 1 hit, at the time way back in the early 1950s. He is like the energizing bunny, he just keeps going, and only gets better with age. I loved his "Duets" albums, what a treat they were. I never tire of listening to him sing.... I loved reading this book, I never highlighted a book as much as I did this one. I loved all his little gems or should I say... "The Zen of Bennett"... There were pictures of his many drawings, many photos of him with friends and family. What can I say? BRAVO!! Mr. Bennett... This book is part of my Nook library. I loved this book, therefore I am awarding it 5 Gold *****
Anonymous More than 1 year ago