When I turned fifteen in august this year I got a book from my grandfather. It was called Just Kids, written by Patti Smith. I started reading it immediately and could not stop. The book is an autobiography where Patti writes about her life as a young artist during the sixties and her relationship with the nowadays extremely famous Robert Mapplethorpe.
What affected me the most was probably the fact that I could relate to a lot of her thoughts and feelings and her world interested me a lot as well. Patti is about twenty years old in the book and although that is my age plus five, I felt like I understood her. Her way of writing, her lifestyle and her whole story inspired a lot. Patti Smith is a very famous woman today, mostly because of her music, but I had never really heard anything about her so when I read her book I had no perjudices or ideas about her.
In the book there were also pictures, of Patti at different ages and places, of her love Robert Mapplethorpe and some of their art. Seeing real pictures of the person/s you are reading about makes the whole story feel closer to you and more trustworthy, I think.
Just Kids is a very honest and part-time sorrowful memoir basically about two young, bohemian, artistic souls in New York that meet, fall in love and become inseparable from each other. The book is not a love story though, I must say. The love between Patti and Robert is everything but perfect, still it plays a huge role.
Patti Smith wrote the book just the last year which I thought was nice. She has written about her youth from an older and more grown-up perspective and I think it astonishing that she remembers everything so well. Also, knowing how famous and big stars both Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe became by the years made reading about them as so very unknown inspiring.
This genre is not what I usually would read so I am happy my grandfather gave the book to me. Books normally does not make any significant changes to your life, I think. Though I do think that with every book you read, you become a little wiser. I always pick the good things from each book I read and bring with me. It could be inspirational or motivational things, characters and environments that I like or sometimes more serious and severe things to keep in mind.
Finally, I would absolutely recommend the book to anyone who is interested. It is a very beautiful one.
Books are great.