Patti Smith’s M Train

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Patti Smith

M Train by Patti Smith

If you are into drinking coffee and love the idea of spending time in cafés, M Train is a book for you. The book is all about atmosphere and capturing those moments when you are taking the first sip of coffee in a cozy café. Smith writes about her favorite cafés where she loves to drink her black coffee and take notes in her black Moleskine. The book is also about traveling, hotel rooms and a little bit about detective shows, too. (She loves to watch crime fiction, especially the tv series The Killing). M Train stands somewhere between self-reflection and nostalgia; in her book Smith is looking back on her life through traveling and different cafés. She shares her ideas, memories and dreams without adding an extra filter. She talks about her passion and places and people who have inspired her. Also, Smith shares her passion for reading, and as a reader you can find a list of good books to look into.

I started to like Patti Smith even more, when she mentioned that she liked the poetry of Sylvia Plath. She has even visited the poet’s grave in England three times. For me Plath represents a poet who I feel attached. It was her and her poetry, that kind of made me choose my path to study a theory of literature, in addition to Virginia Woolf, of course! At university I remember writing an essay on Plath’s published diary. In the future I also want to visit Sylvia Plath’s grave like she did.

M Train

In M Train I found that Smith has captured well the original, everyday moments, and especially those moments when you feel present and like “home”. As I was reading the book, I started to think of how often a cup of coffee is linked to some place I have felt present, happy and alive. For example having a coffee on an early summer morning by the sea. When you open the door and walk to the terrace with you’re a hot cup of coffee in your hands, looking over the sea. You know what I am talking about?

Funnily, through Patti Smith there is also link to my mother, who loves her books. Last Christmas I ordered Smith’s M Train, which was recently translated into Finnish, for my mother as a present. My mother was happy about the present, and she started to read the book immediately. My mother loved the book as she liked Just Kids the previous book by Smith. Also, I found certain similarities between my mother and Smith: they are both modest, down to earth kind of people who have a high regard to nature.


As I finished M Train, you might guess what I did. Well, I made myself a big mug of coffee, of course! And then I started a new book, this time about tea drinking.


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