Hello! Thank you for purchasing the FIRST Blanche’s Book Club Guide of 2019! I’ve been thinking of ways to expand the book club ever since it started and I’m thrilled you’re here.
Book Club & Discussion Questions
- Why do you think Justin Timberlake chose not to share much from his *NSYNC years?
- Justin mentions Al Green and Queen as music that inspired and influenced his music. What other artists do you hear when you’ve listened to a Justin Timberlake song or album?
- In the book, Justin talks about memories he has from childhood, watching his dad’s band play. What was your first concert? What was your most memorable concert experience?
- During his time at “The Mickey Mouse Club”, Justin says he and fellow cast-member Ryan Gosling stole a golf cart and drove it into the Tower of Terror. They got in trouble, but he said it was worth it. What’s something you did as a teenager that was troublesome, but worth it?
- There is an extensive section of the book that covers Justin’s time on “Saturday Night Live”. What are some of your favorite sketches of his from SNL?
- Justin had a significant role in the movie “The Social Network”. Have you seen this movie? What parts of Justin’s life do you think he drew from in order to play the character of Sean Parker?
- When songwriting, Justin said he doesn’t write his lyrics down. What songwriting methods have you heard, from other artists, stand out to you?
- New York City is Justin’s favorite place. What is your favorite city, and why?
- After reading this book, did any of your opinions about Justin Timberlake change? What about any perceptions (about anything) – did those change? How?
- Do you think Justin Timberlake will write another book?
I have so many fond memories listening to *NSYNC and Justin Timberlake over the years. I specifically recall two memories involving *NSYNC CDs… The first one happened when the “No Strings Attached” album was released, in 2000.
My best friend and I were on vacation with my parents at the Mall of America. We bought the CD at the music store (probably a Sam Goody, remember those??) inside Mall of America and we thought we were SO cool. I’m pretty sure we were blasting it in our discmans the entire road trip home, too.
The other memory I have is in college… I was driving my friends out to the bar on a Friday night and we all needed to stop at the ATM. So we stopped, got our cash, and got back in my car – a little blue Daewoo – and there were some other college students standing nearby.
I start the car and immediately blast “I Want You Back” and all the people standing there just stared at us while we were all laughing.
I absolutely loved listening to Justin Timberlake’s debut solo album, “Justified” aaallll the time. I have so many memories driving through the streets of Columbus, Indiana with my friends, when we likely should have been at home.
I have always been a fan of Justin Timberlake – his music, his comedy sketches – he just seems cool. For all of those reasons, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was creative and fresh – because of course it was!
Naturally, I wish there was a little more information in there about his *NSYNC years, but perhaps there’s a bigger (and good) reason he didn’t go into much detail.
Will he write another one? I hope so. I’m curious to see what he does next, in general, with his life.
*NSYNC Performs “I Want You Back” Live (Published in 2014)
Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon Open SNL (2015)
Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton @ the 49th Annual CMA Awards (2015)
Justin Timberlake Performs the Halftime Show at Super Bowl LII
Favorite book Quotes
There were a lot of girls on my block, and they all had blonde hair, except for one. she was three years older than me, and she wore jordans, and she played basketball. i was obsessed with her. that’s one part of memphis.
It’s nice to be recognized by your peers. Sure, everyone wants to be invited to the party, and it feels that way when you receive any nomination for your work. it means just as much – or more – when I get a letter from someone about a song, or when someone tells me that my music got them through a hard situation, or that my music makes them dance.
I don’t want to compete, I want to connect. I want to connect to my music and to the audience. I want to do my own best work and support other artists who are doing brilliant work that inspires me.
If you want to do something, if you want to make something, if you want to create something, I’ve learned that you can’t be afraid to do it wrong. You have to dare to suck.
I can’t be defined by anyone but me. I can tell you who I am or what I am, but not if you want me to be one thing. Because the only thing I’m sure of is that I’m not just one thing, nor will I ever be.
No matter what gets thrown at you, you catch it. You learn from it. And you figure out how to throw it back.
Memphis Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
What You Should Read Next
“Out of Sync: A Memoir” by Lance Bass
At sixteen, Lance Bass received a phone call from Justin Timberlake that would change his life forever. Soon after, he left his small-town home in Clinton, Mississippi, to join an emerging musical group called *NSYNC. Two years later *NSYNC was inspiring Beatles-esque mania around the world, becoming the face of the new MTV generation, and earning the all-time record for most album sales in a single day (more than one million) and in a single week for No Strings Attached.
He’s remained in the spotlight ever since, and here he talks in depth for the first time about his childhood, his astonishing experiences as a young man and Christian growing up in one of the biggest bands in the world, his shock and frustration at the band’s eventual dissolution, and his subsequent career, including his four months in Russia, training to become a cosmonaut.
He also frankly discusses life as a gay man — his first same-sex relationship at twenty-one, his struggle to keep his sexuality hidden from *NSYNC’s fans in case it jeopardized the band’s success, and the true circumstances that led to his decision to publicly come out at the age of twenty-seven.
Full of fascinating behind-the-scenes lore and revealing insights from a pop star who, until now, has been notoriously private, Out of Sync is the book that millions of fans have been waiting for.
“Broken Music: A Memoir” by Sting
Having been a songwriter most of my life, condensing my ideas and emotions into short rhyming couplets and setting them to music, I had never really considered writing a book. But upon arriving at the reflective age of fifty, I found myself drawn, for the first time, to write long passages that were as stimulating and intriguing to me as any songwriting I had ever done.
And so Broken Music began to take shape. It is a book about the early part of my life, from childhood through adolescence, right up to the eve of my success with the Police. It is a story very few people know.
I had no interest in writing a traditional autobiographical recitation of everything that’s ever happened to me. Instead I found myself drawn to exploring specific moments, certain people and relationships, and particular events which still resonate powerfully for me as I try to understand the child I was, and the man I became.
“Moonwalk” by Michael Jackson
In this intimate and often moving personal account of Michael Jackson’s public and private life, he recalls a childhood that was both harsh and joyful but always formidable. Michael and his brothers played amateur music shows and seamy Chicago strip joints until Motown’s corporate image makers turned the Jackson 5 into worldwide superstars. He talks about the happy prankster days of his youth, traveling with his brothers, and of his sometimes difficult relationships with his family over the years. He speaks candidly about the inspiration behind his music, his mesmerizing dance moves, and the compulsive drive to create that has made him one of the biggest stars in the music business and a legend in his own time.
Jackson also shares his personal feelings about some of his most public friends…friends like Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, and Katharine Hepburn. He talks openly about the crushing isolation of his fame, of his first love, of his plastic surgery, and of his wholly exceptional career and the often bizarre and unfair rumors that have surrounded it.
Illustrated with rare photographs from Jackson family albums and Michael’s personal photographic archives, as well as a drawing done by Michael exclusively for this book,Moonwalk is a memorable journey to the very heart and soul of a modern musical genius.