Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Let's Talk About Lindsey Stirling's New Book (which is awesome!!!)

Photo: Lindsey's website
Hello! I'm linking up with Tuesday Talk to discuss an awesome book that I just read. See, Lindsey Stirling just wrote a memoir, The Only Pirate at the Party. It is wonderful for many reasons. Actually, the book is epic, and you should just stop reading this blog and go read the book instead. But, if you don't feel like leaving the house to snatch up a copy of this memoir right now, I'll give you a little teaser. First, if you don't know who Lindsey Stirling is, I think a brief description is in order. She is a young woman, classically trained in the violin, who performs electronic music, dubstep music, and various covers (she has a Lord of the Rings medley! And a Les Miserables medley!) with her violin, often while dancing. She also creates extraordinary music videos. I have many "top favorite" videos and songs done by Lindsey Stirling, so I will just provide you with a couple of them right here:

"Master of Tides"is a fantastic flash mob that Lindsey Stirling participated in. Awesome music, awesome dancing, and fire! (who doesn't love fire?)

 "Roundtable Rival" is a Western-themed piece, and while I love the music and dancing (they are all so coordinated!), I also like gazing at the wonderful costumes and set pieces in this video. 

Lindsey has tons of amazing musical work, ranging from these videos to video game covers to covers of different modern songs. When I first started listening to her music, I decided that I not only like her violin-playing, but I think that she has a great fashion sense (in many of her videos she wears awesome flowy skirts!!) and seems like a genuinely fun person. So, I was super excited to read her new book. 

I've read a handful of biographies and autobiographies, particularly of celebrities, and often as I would read a book, thought, "You know, as much as I appreciate your work, I'm really not a fan of a lot of stuff that you do/did..." Lindsey Stirling is an exception. I rapidly read her book and thought, "I already wanted to be Lindsey's friend; now, I really want to be her friend!!!" Seriously-we both like sushi, we both love flowy skirts, we both are rather awkward at times (don't get me started about that one time I accidentally knocked over a display in a fancy London department store...) and we both like dressing up in unique clothes. Lindsey (not that you'd ever find this random blog post, but if you somehow are reading this right now), if you are ever in Oklahoma, consider yourself invited to hang out. We can eat sushi (I have a huge pack of seaweed sheets in my cupboard!), go thrifting to play dress-up, or do something else totally awesome and random. 

The Only Pirate at the Party is an honest, funny, entertaining, wise examination of the events that have shaped Lindsey's life. Reading the book, I felt as if Lindsey had sat down with me at a coffee shop and started pouring out story after story about herself-even the embarrassing, painful, or regretful ones. Lindsey's conversational tone conveys her childhood antics and failures, her adventures on mission (she's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints), a very painful personal battle, the discouragement of struggling to pursue her music, and the many humorously awkward situations that she has gotten into. With frankness, wisdom, and sincerity, she gives us the story of a young woman who continues to overcome obstacles to do what she loves. I really loved this part of the book-Lindsey shows us that even though she has millions of subscribers and has toured worldwide, she is not  immune to difficulties and trials. Much of her story reveals that she is still a "work in progress," striving to become a better person and musician, which I find really encouraging! 

Furthermore, The Only Pirate at the Party has some beautiful messages about living out one's Faith. Lindsey walks the reader through her struggles and adventures of being a Mormon missionary, and she talks about the difference between selfishly selflessness and selflessly selflessness (I think this part is very valuable for anyone to read, but especially if one intends to participate in a mission trip!!!). She even includes a chapter of "Tips for future missionaries, nuns, or Jehovah's Witnesses," which was enlightening, hilarious, and incredibly practical!  

Many times, it seems that people are willing to leave their religion on the sidelines while they focus on their jobs. However, Lindsey Stirling does not compromise herself or her beliefs, and she lives her life abundantly as a musician and as a Mormon. She honestly tells the reader about her need for rejuvenation in church, and asks that fans not to approach her for pictures or autographs there. She lets her religious beliefs inform her actions, even when it's hard. Candidly, Lindsey talks about the struggle of having certain standards when she is often alone in doing so: 
"Every now and then I wish I wasn't the only one-piece swimsuit at the pool, the only sleeved dress on the red carpet, the only sober performer in the room, or the only pirate at the party. Not because I don't see the value in these things, but because sometimes being different feels a lot like being alone, and being alone is exhausting." 
Throughout this book, Lindsey repeatedly drives home the message of being comfortable in one's skin. Overall, Lindsey reminds us-in heartfelt and hilarious ways-that while being  yourself can be difficult at times, it is very important.  
"When I was younger I thought the best way to get a guy's attention was to fun faster or throw harder than anyone else. Most girls learn early on that this flirtation method doesn't work and they try something else-like being dainty and delicate. I've tried being dainty and delicate, but I'm better at being me. If you want to find me in a club, look for the sexiest girl in the room. Then turn slightly to the left, and you will see me dancing must faster and harder than her."
I highly recommend this book. Over the past few years, I have heard many other women talk repeatedly about "authenticity" and "keeping it real." Well, these are very apt descriptions for The Only Pirate at the Party. Whether Lindsey is talking about forgetting her passport, working at Target, showing up unfashionably early to a party, or talking about dating failures, we know that we're getting a down-to-Earth view of life. Hopefully, this book will inspire other men and women to be the unique individuals that God calls them to be, to overcome obstacles, and to laugh at themselves. 

Sidenote on the topic of laughing at oneself: if you haven't seen videos with Phelba, Lindsey's "#1 fan," then you really need to. Phelba is fantastic

Lindsey, if you're reading this (which I highly doubt, but who knows?)-thank you for humbly giving us this honest, inspirational, empowering book! 


  1. I'm not really one to listen to music...especially if it doesn't have words. The only thing I really enjoy about songs is the lyrics, but I've watched a bunch of her videos because of her clothes and her hair--both are amazing. I'm pretty the violin playing is great too but I don't know anything about that realm The awesome clothes and hair I can relate to. Didn't know she wrote a book!

    1. I totally get that-most of the music I listen to has words, because words allow you to sing along...and most of Lindsey's do not have words ("Shatter Me" is an exception). I watched a tutorial on how to do her hairstyle the other day, but I don't think it would work on my hair, so I"ll just have to be content with admiring how Lindsey rocks it :) I randomly decided to join her e-mail list back in the fall, and that's the only way I found out about the book's release a couple of weeks ago.