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Talking to the Sky: A Memoir of Living My Best Life in A Sh!t Show

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An unforgettable, harrowing yet hilarious story about growing up in the midst of chaos by award-winning songwriter Aimee Mayo. Aimee Mayo grew up in deep Alabama, rocked by the blow of a drunk man's fist before she even made it out of the womb. Her colorful and charismatic father went from a gambling janitor to a multi-millionaire, but died homeless. Her mother was wonderf An unforgettable, harrowing yet hilarious story about growing up in the midst of chaos by award-winning songwriter Aimee Mayo. Aimee Mayo grew up in deep Alabama, rocked by the blow of a drunk man's fist before she even made it out of the womb. Her colorful and charismatic father went from a gambling janitor to a multi-millionaire, but died homeless. Her mother was wonderful when she wasn't popping pain pills like M&M's and her stepdad made a weird science out of psychological abuse. Throughout her teens, Aimee survived by writing compulsively in diaries, dreaming of becoming a songwriter and finding her soulmate. After accidentally burning down her house—just one in a series of disasters—at twenty years old she found herself lost with no path to the life she had always longed for. She tried to kill herself and almost succeeded. Finally, Aimee made it to Nashville. She started out a waitress, married to a wife-beating country singer, but never lost sight of her dreams. Talking to the Sky is her unforgettable memoir, the harrowing and hilarious story of believing in faith over fear and going after your dreams when everything is going against you.


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An unforgettable, harrowing yet hilarious story about growing up in the midst of chaos by award-winning songwriter Aimee Mayo. Aimee Mayo grew up in deep Alabama, rocked by the blow of a drunk man's fist before she even made it out of the womb. Her colorful and charismatic father went from a gambling janitor to a multi-millionaire, but died homeless. Her mother was wonderf An unforgettable, harrowing yet hilarious story about growing up in the midst of chaos by award-winning songwriter Aimee Mayo. Aimee Mayo grew up in deep Alabama, rocked by the blow of a drunk man's fist before she even made it out of the womb. Her colorful and charismatic father went from a gambling janitor to a multi-millionaire, but died homeless. Her mother was wonderful when she wasn't popping pain pills like M&M's and her stepdad made a weird science out of psychological abuse. Throughout her teens, Aimee survived by writing compulsively in diaries, dreaming of becoming a songwriter and finding her soulmate. After accidentally burning down her house—just one in a series of disasters—at twenty years old she found herself lost with no path to the life she had always longed for. She tried to kill herself and almost succeeded. Finally, Aimee made it to Nashville. She started out a waitress, married to a wife-beating country singer, but never lost sight of her dreams. Talking to the Sky is her unforgettable memoir, the harrowing and hilarious story of believing in faith over fear and going after your dreams when everything is going against you.

30 review for Talking to the Sky: A Memoir of Living My Best Life in A Sh!t Show

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book is one of the best written books I've read. Aimee's story was so visual just like her songs. One of my favorite chapters is the one about Rick Springfield. I can see the outfit she was wearing in my head. I actually read the book in 2 days and for someone who has a hard time finishing a book this one I couldn't put down. I laughed and I cried. As an aspiring songwriter it was a great book about not giving up. It's a must read! This book is one of the best written books I've read. Aimee's story was so visual just like her songs. One of my favorite chapters is the one about Rick Springfield. I can see the outfit she was wearing in my head. I actually read the book in 2 days and for someone who has a hard time finishing a book this one I couldn't put down. I laughed and I cried. As an aspiring songwriter it was a great book about not giving up. It's a must read!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paizlee

    I highlighted many places where her writing simply slayed me and half the book is neon yellow. Incredibly told incredible story! Aimee’s voice on the page is fierce and, entertaining not many authors have the ability to write about their own hardships with the frankness and vulnerability that she does. This is the best memoir I've read since The Glass Castle. I highlighted many places where her writing simply slayed me and half the book is neon yellow. Incredibly told incredible story! Aimee’s voice on the page is fierce and, entertaining not many authors have the ability to write about their own hardships with the frankness and vulnerability that she does. This is the best memoir I've read since The Glass Castle.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Merry Jewelhound

    I read this on a recommendation as I am not familiar with the song writer. It is really an engaging book that kept my interest the entire way through it. As much as I enjoyed it....it has a car wreck type story...where you just can't take you eyes off of the wreckage. I read this on a recommendation as I am not familiar with the song writer. It is really an engaging book that kept my interest the entire way through it. As much as I enjoyed it....it has a car wreck type story...where you just can't take you eyes off of the wreckage.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I really enjoyed this book. I was not familiar with Aimee Mayo before I picked this book up, but turns out I know soooo many of her songs. At its core, her memoir is about having a dream/vision for your life…and not giving up on it. She overcame so much - incredible. In reading about what she went through, I couldn’t help but think of how easily her life could have ended up so badly if she didn’t have her talent and perseverance. Fun writing style. Couldn’t put it down.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cara Bristol

    Talking to the Sky: A Memoir of Living My Best Life in a Shit Show was a rollercoaster read, and at one point, I considered stopping the ride because the tragedy was almost too much to bear. Country music songwriter Aimee Mayo writes with stark honesty about her horrendous childhood and young adulthood, illuminating the cycle of domestic violence with brutal clarity. The blurb describes Talking to the Sky as a “harrowing yet hilarious story.” While there were some funny parts, and her story ends Talking to the Sky: A Memoir of Living My Best Life in a Shit Show was a rollercoaster read, and at one point, I considered stopping the ride because the tragedy was almost too much to bear. Country music songwriter Aimee Mayo writes with stark honesty about her horrendous childhood and young adulthood, illuminating the cycle of domestic violence with brutal clarity. The blurb describes Talking to the Sky as a “harrowing yet hilarious story.” While there were some funny parts, and her story ends happily with her getting the love, family, and life she always dreamed of, on the whole, it was more harrowing than hilarious. Her mother was hard-working but clueless, her father gifted, but unstable and mentally ill, and her stepfather physically and psychologically abusive. Through it all she was writing, writing, writing, clinging to the dream of becoming a songwriter. Then she married her first husband, a fellow songwriter, who was the most abusive of all. Just about everything could have happened in her young life did: a fire that destroyed the family home, beatings, psychological abuse, rape, suicide attempts (her father’s and her own). One disappointment and tragedy after another. But she survived, prevailed, and made her dreams come true. Talking to the Sky is a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit. It’s heart-rending, heart-warming and enlightening memoir that reads like a novel. Mayo’s HEA made me cry. Read it. But grab the box of Kleenex.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adam Rhaines

    I LOVED this book! It stuck with me in a way a book hasn’t in a long time. I related to her story deeply. I don’t read a lot of female memoirs, but I’m so glad I took the chance on this one. This book made me laugh out loud and cry. Aimee Mayo is one of the most emotional writers I’ve ever read. It’s like she’s talking straight to you. The bone raw honesty and humor in her writing will have you rooting for her the whole way. I absolutely loved the ending. I could not recommend this book more!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Took her a very long time and a lot of shit to go through to get where she is.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lorrie Patterson

    Best book I’ve read all year! What a story! I am one of the slowest readers around & I finished this book so fast because I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. It reads just like a movie. I can’t believe this was the writer’s real life and that she is able to tell it with such vivid description. Laugh out loud kind of book (as well as heartbreaking at times). My husband had to read it right after me because he saw how much I was enjoying it. I loved watching him read it too. He would s Best book I’ve read all year! What a story! I am one of the slowest readers around & I finished this book so fast because I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. It reads just like a movie. I can’t believe this was the writer’s real life and that she is able to tell it with such vivid description. Laugh out loud kind of book (as well as heartbreaking at times). My husband had to read it right after me because he saw how much I was enjoying it. I loved watching him read it too. He would stop and have to read what he just read to me —something funny or outrageous.... we both loved it so much. I have continued to think about certain parts of the book and think I’ll have to read it again (as soon as my mother returns it!).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lowery

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Easy read and light hearted yet deeply emotional book. I really enjoyed living through Aimee’s life with her. You left me with one question though...when you went to find someone to open the hotel door and then came back to find the light on and sign on the door, how did that happen? A hotel employee went into the room at the same time you went to look for a key?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hailey

    THIS BOOK!!! I’m no reader but I would pick up this book and read it again and again. Talking To the Sky is an emotional roller coaster that will break you to pieces. Aimee’s life is an incredible tragedy that’s beyond inspirational. I recommend this book to anyone and EVERYONE.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tasha Green

    I loved this book! I laughed, I cried and enjoyed every bit of the ride. It’s an easy read and will pull you in from the get go. Aimee will steal your heart. Great debut!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lesa Lusk Hale

    Loved this book! Wonderfully written. Down to earth and so relatable.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Petteys

    ✨Book Review✨ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’ve never considered myself to be much a memoir reader, so it’s really surprising to me that my two 5 star reads so far of 2021 are both memoirs. I borrowed this book from a friend who told me that if I liked the book Educated then I’d love this book maybe even more. She was right! This book is absolutely amazing. Aimee Mayo, a Grammy award winning country song writer, tells the story of her life with unapologetic honesty. She details years of emotional and physical abus ✨Book Review✨ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’ve never considered myself to be much a memoir reader, so it’s really surprising to me that my two 5 star reads so far of 2021 are both memoirs. I borrowed this book from a friend who told me that if I liked the book Educated then I’d love this book maybe even more. She was right! This book is absolutely amazing. Aimee Mayo, a Grammy award winning country song writer, tells the story of her life with unapologetic honesty. She details years of emotional and physical abuse, trauma and what seems like an endless list of never ending tragedies. Yet through it all she doesn’t give up on her dream of becoming a songwriter. Her spirit is never crushed no matter how bad things seem. She also perfectly describes how you can still deeply love people that have hurt you in unimaginable ways. This book broke my heart, made me want to stand up and cheer and made me laugh out loud at different times. It made me FEEL! One of my favorite parts of the book is when she details her pre teen celebrity crush on Rick Springfield. It perfectly describes the obsession of teenage girls everywhere that think they’ll one day marry a superstar. In the midst of so much tragedy it was amazing how she could bring humor into her story as well. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough! I hope everyone reads it!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This memoir will stay with me for a long time if not forever. It's not for the faint of heart which is not to say that it's depressing. In fact, it is an inspiring story; Aimee Mayo had everything stacked against her but not only did she survive, she thrived. My warning is for anyone who has experienced domestic violence, because there is a lengthy section that is frankly, torturous to hear. I'm assuming that this part of her story might be triggering for a person who's lived through such violen This memoir will stay with me for a long time if not forever. It's not for the faint of heart which is not to say that it's depressing. In fact, it is an inspiring story; Aimee Mayo had everything stacked against her but not only did she survive, she thrived. My warning is for anyone who has experienced domestic violence, because there is a lengthy section that is frankly, torturous to hear. I'm assuming that this part of her story might be triggering for a person who's lived through such violence. In writing her story, Aimee doesn't ask for sympathy or come across as a victim. She just tells it like it was, from the standpoint of a very young woman who made unfortunate choices, something that is relatable to many of us. I was able to get through the worst part of her story (and it's not all bad, in fact some scenes are very funny), because we know that today, she is a successful, award-winning songwriter with a family. I looked forward to getting back to her story (on audible) every day during my walks. It seems to me that "Talking to the Sky" would make a good movie although the screenplay would likely have people saying, "oh come on, that can't be true." Again, she's got an amazing story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Whitehead

    I have yet to LISTEN to a book and love it. To be fair, I’m not sure I would love this book if I read it, but I think I would have liked it more. The audiobook was narrated by the author, Aimee Mayo, which I thought would add to the story - you know, hearing her story in her own words. But, it was actually worse. She paused in weird places - like she was reading something she was unfamiliar with and wasn’t quite sure how the sentences should flow. I have a feeling that I may have been bothered b I have yet to LISTEN to a book and love it. To be fair, I’m not sure I would love this book if I read it, but I think I would have liked it more. The audiobook was narrated by the author, Aimee Mayo, which I thought would add to the story - you know, hearing her story in her own words. But, it was actually worse. She paused in weird places - like she was reading something she was unfamiliar with and wasn’t quite sure how the sentences should flow. I have a feeling that I may have been bothered by the written work too because she often mentioned how poor she was with punctuation. The memoir itself had moments that were inspiring, like when she said - Why would God give me a passion so deep in my soul if I wasn’t meant to do something with it? But her life was so full of BAD decisions that it was frustrating. Granted, she had ZERO role models of how to live a good life or how to make smart decisions. All in all, I am glad she was able to break the terrible cycles that seemed to always exist in her family and she was able to fulfill her dreams. I give it 2.5 Stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura - LaurasLibraryy

    "I felt it take my threshold for pain and shatter it into stardust." If you're looking for a raw and beautifully written nonfiction novel to pick up, look no further. Aimee Mayo's new book is an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end. The story follows her life with a colorful and complex father, an abusive stepfather, and a loving mother dealing with her own demons. As Aimee navigates life, love, and songwriting, she gives us a glimpse into her heart while she grows and goes after her dreams. "I felt it take my threshold for pain and shatter it into stardust." If you're looking for a raw and beautifully written nonfiction novel to pick up, look no further. Aimee Mayo's new book is an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end. The story follows her life with a colorful and complex father, an abusive stepfather, and a loving mother dealing with her own demons. As Aimee navigates life, love, and songwriting, she gives us a glimpse into her heart while she grows and goes after her dreams. As soon as I started this book I couldn't put it down. Aimee is evidently a talented songwriter and has proven that her talent translates to writing novels as well. She has put so much imagery into this book that it is very easy to get sucked into her story. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a bit of humanity to cling to, and especially songwriters and creators who are looking for inspiration in their own journey.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lis Seibel

    OMG. I could not put it down. She self published her story because no one would pick it up and that's just the kind of woman Aimee is. What a rollercoaster of emotions... I almost dropped it at page 55 because it was so hard (violent + traumatic) to read but I mushed on. Something great would happen and then something awful would happen; but that's life isn't it. Stories like these help put life into perspective. Those who experience childhood trauma don't have to repeat that cycle - they can CH OMG. I could not put it down. She self published her story because no one would pick it up and that's just the kind of woman Aimee is. What a rollercoaster of emotions... I almost dropped it at page 55 because it was so hard (violent + traumatic) to read but I mushed on. Something great would happen and then something awful would happen; but that's life isn't it. Stories like these help put life into perspective. Those who experience childhood trauma don't have to repeat that cycle - they can CHOSE to break it and do better. She is an absolute inspiration for overcoming insecurities. I appreciate her relationship with God too - He gives us opportunities but we have to put in the work and she is the perfect example of that. Thank you for sharing Aimee, and I guarantee you will encourage others get out of abusive relationships.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jess Blake

    Wow! Best book I’ve read all year! What a story! I am one of the slowest readers around & I finished this book so fast because I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. It reads just like a movie. I can’t believe this was the writer’s real life and that she is able to tell it with such vivid description. Laugh out loud kind of book (as well as heartbreaking at times). My husband had to read it right after me because he saw how much I was enjoying it. I loved watching him read it too. He wou Wow! Best book I’ve read all year! What a story! I am one of the slowest readers around & I finished this book so fast because I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next. It reads just like a movie. I can’t believe this was the writer’s real life and that she is able to tell it with such vivid description. Laugh out loud kind of book (as well as heartbreaking at times). My husband had to read it right after me because he saw how much I was enjoying it. I loved watching him read it too. He would stop and have to read what he just read to me —something funny or outrageous.... we both loved it so much. I have continued to think about certain parts of the book and think I’ll have to read it again (as soon as my mother returns it!).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I would give it 3.5 stars. Crazy parents do make for interesting memoirs. Aimee Mayo had a rough life in her younger years. Her strength and belief in her dreams got her through. Even with all the terrible things that happened to her, the book is actually pretty funny. She was a child of the 80s just like me. If I hadn’t lived through it myself, I would have said she was trying too hard with all the 80s references. I would say she either has an excellent memory or kept an extensive diary because I would give it 3.5 stars. Crazy parents do make for interesting memoirs. Aimee Mayo had a rough life in her younger years. Her strength and belief in her dreams got her through. Even with all the terrible things that happened to her, the book is actually pretty funny. She was a child of the 80s just like me. If I hadn’t lived through it myself, I would have said she was trying too hard with all the 80s references. I would say she either has an excellent memory or kept an extensive diary because of all the minute details she includes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danie Jaye

    What a wild ride! Mayo's story had me asking the very same question she asked herself countless times: "How is this your life?" Her characters, although based on true people in her life, were very well written. Even with the explosive and unpredictable personality of her father, you felt like you knew everyone. There were many times throughout her memoir--and in her life in general--that I was completely in awe to how much she had overcome and never once gave up on her dreams. Truly inspiring! One What a wild ride! Mayo's story had me asking the very same question she asked herself countless times: "How is this your life?" Her characters, although based on true people in her life, were very well written. Even with the explosive and unpredictable personality of her father, you felt like you knew everyone. There were many times throughout her memoir--and in her life in general--that I was completely in awe to how much she had overcome and never once gave up on her dreams. Truly inspiring! One of the best memoirs I have read in the past few years.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Delaquila

    FABULOUS BOOK!!! A must read for so many reasons! I love Nashville and Songwriters , but all the family drama alot we all can share with Aimee but she is such a survivor! I am so proud of her journey and many victories . Her compassion and love for everyone is enlightening. Loved hearing her on her husband Chris's podcast "Pitch List", which is amazing g as well. Thank you, Aimee FABULOUS BOOK!!! A must read for so many reasons! I love Nashville and Songwriters , but all the family drama alot we all can share with Aimee but she is such a survivor! I am so proud of her journey and many victories . Her compassion and love for everyone is enlightening. Loved hearing her on her husband Chris's podcast "Pitch List", which is amazing g as well. Thank you, Aimee

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynda Coleman Chilton

    Amazing story of one woman’s strength and determination to get through everything that life threw at her. You’re not in control of the life you are born into, but you can take control in the smallest of ways and come out the other side living your best life. This book will have you crying, laughing, but most of all will give you an appreciation of life and empowerment! Listen on audiobook if you can!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Davidson

    I recommend this book to everyone I meet! Whether you’re an avid reader or not, this book is one you will not want to put down. It takes you on a journey of emotions: heartbreak, excitement, and hope. Aimee’s story is so inspiring and I know this book will help many dreamers in this world get the courage to chase after their dreams!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Carlyle

    I'm 'love drunk' with this book! The place of authenticity from which Aimee writes overflows and oozes everywhere, from the language/dialog to the emotions/feelings evoked consistently. I'm left sitting here with my mouth gaping wide open! To say Aimee Mayo's voice is original and fresh is an understatement. I didn't want the book to end, but the ending was brilliant. I'm 'love drunk' with this book! The place of authenticity from which Aimee writes overflows and oozes everywhere, from the language/dialog to the emotions/feelings evoked consistently. I'm left sitting here with my mouth gaping wide open! To say Aimee Mayo's voice is original and fresh is an understatement. I didn't want the book to end, but the ending was brilliant.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Obermeyer

    I thought this was a excellent book! I love memoirs and this one had it all.......The basement apt with the mice darting around, her father......... her car on fire, all the intreating true stories in here add up to one very good read. i wish Amie well and the part about her dad passing was so sad as I lost my partner recently in a similar manner, the honesty is real and I definitely cried near the end, but was so happy she has pulled thru with a family of her own and so many stories to tell, I I thought this was a excellent book! I love memoirs and this one had it all.......The basement apt with the mice darting around, her father......... her car on fire, all the intreating true stories in here add up to one very good read. i wish Amie well and the part about her dad passing was so sad as I lost my partner recently in a similar manner, the honesty is real and I definitely cried near the end, but was so happy she has pulled thru with a family of her own and so many stories to tell, I can see why this took a long time to write, its brilliant!

  26. 5 out of 5

    UpstateNYgal

    I started this book last weekend and hurried to get all my chores done this weekend so I could finish it. I have been right with Aimee every step of the way. Holding my breath to see if she came through everything that was being thrown at her. I was SO CLOSE. Page 261 when the call to Sunday dinner came. I cannot wait to finish and hopefully share her triumph. I have dog eared a ton of pages to go back and listen to songs when I am finished. I am resisting the pull to look up and listen to Aimee hersel I started this book last weekend and hurried to get all my chores done this weekend so I could finish it. I have been right with Aimee every step of the way. Holding my breath to see if she came through everything that was being thrown at her. I was SO CLOSE. Page 261 when the call to Sunday dinner came. I cannot wait to finish and hopefully share her triumph. I have dog eared a ton of pages to go back and listen to songs when I am finished. I am resisting the pull to look up and listen to Aimee herself if I can find her singing. I’m hoping that will be my sweet reward 🎶 I might not get the chance to finish until next weekend but this tale of strength, resilience, humor, self depreciation and hope has had me riveted. I finished and it was a sweet ending, I was “amazed” at those last few pages and when I was done I just sat back and said “good for you, girlfriend, good for you”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Verges

    This memoir is the epitome of a page-turner. Hilarious and heartbreaking and original in the best way. You can never guess what’s coming next and that is the beauty of it. Such a engaging read. I loved it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher C

    This book is destined to be a classic. I see why Jeannette Walls ( The Glass Castle ) and Augustan Burroughs (Running with Scissors) recommended it so highly. If those books had a crazy little sister it would be this book. Bravo!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol Carlson

    An incredible true story of Aimee who survived all sorts of pain. The truthfulness and her easy way with words made this a quick read. I ached for her and rooted for her along the way. I enjoyed the Nashville descriptions. Highly recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    I really enjoyed this book, but I think it's mostly because I like learning about other peoples childhoods when they are similar to mine. I know there are a lot of reviews that praise the author's writing, but I actually found her use of incorrect grammar and disjointed thoughts pretty distracting. I really enjoyed this book, but I think it's mostly because I like learning about other peoples childhoods when they are similar to mine. I know there are a lot of reviews that praise the author's writing, but I actually found her use of incorrect grammar and disjointed thoughts pretty distracting.

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