100 books like Annie Leibovitz

By Annie Leibovitz,

Here are 100 books that Annie Leibovitz fans have personally recommended if you like Annie Leibovitz. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Tune In

Spencer Leigh Author Of Little Richard: Send Me Some Lovin'

From my list on the Beatles.

Why am I passionate about this?

We all know Little Richard’s great hits like "Long Tall, Sally", "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" and Little Richard’s life was as wild as his records. It’s excess all areas as Spencer Leigh tells the story of Little Richard in Send Me Some Lovin. It is a biography of someone who transformed popular music. Spencer Leigh was born in 1945 and hearing Little Richard for the first time in 1956 changed his life. He is a world expert on the Beatles and he has written a series of music-based biographies – Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel – all of which are full of facts and opinions.

Spencer's book list on the Beatles

Spencer Leigh Why did Spencer love this book?

The Beatles in forensic detail up to the first Parlophone single, "Love Me Do".

Mark has interviewed almost everyone who mattered and he knows what to ask them and how to shape a book. I suggest you seek out the two-volume version running to 1,600 pages.

The Beatles are treated with as much reverence as Picasso and Shakespeare, and deservedly so.

By Mark Lewisohn,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Tune In as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in paperback, Tune In is the New York Times bestseller by the world’s leading Beatles authority – the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy about the band that revolutionized music.
 
The Beatles have been in our lives for half a century and surely always will be. Still, somehow, their music excites, their influence resonates, their fame sustains. New generations find and love them, and while many other great artists come and go, the Beatles are beyond eclipse.
 
So . . . who really were these people, and just how did it all happen?
 
'The Beatles story' is everywhere. Told…


Book cover of Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

Julian David Stone Author Of No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer

From my list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

Julian David Stone is an author, screenwriter, photographer, and filmmaker. He shot dozens of the 1980s greatest acts by sneaking his photography equipment into concerts such as Prince, U2, the Police, David Bowie, R.E.M., the Ramones, Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads, the Grateful Dead, Joan Jett, and many, many more. Other work include screenplays for Disney, Paramount, Sony, and MGM. He is also the writer and director of the hit cult comedy feature film, Follow the Bitch, which has played to packed houses all around the country and received numerous awards.

Julian's book list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars

Julian David Stone Why did Julian love this book?

Of all the legendary bands that are part of the history of Rock and Roll, Pink Floyd is the one that appears to have the least amount written about them. That is why this book is so important and so good. Other books had touched on their history, but none of them went as deep and thorough as this one.

By Mark Blake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Comfortably Numb as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mark Blake draws on his own interviews with band members as well as the group's friends, road crew, musical contemporaries, former housemates, and university colleagues to produce a riveting history of one of the biggest rock bands of all time. We follow Pink Floyd from the early psychedelic nights at UFO, to the stadium-rock and concept-album zenith of the seventies, to the acrimonious schisms of the late '80s and '90s. Along the way there are fascinating new revelations about Syd Barrett's chaotic life at the time of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the band's painstaking and Byzantine recording sessions…


Book cover of Who I Am: A Memoir

Julian David Stone Author Of No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer

From my list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

Julian David Stone is an author, screenwriter, photographer, and filmmaker. He shot dozens of the 1980s greatest acts by sneaking his photography equipment into concerts such as Prince, U2, the Police, David Bowie, R.E.M., the Ramones, Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads, the Grateful Dead, Joan Jett, and many, many more. Other work include screenplays for Disney, Paramount, Sony, and MGM. He is also the writer and director of the hit cult comedy feature film, Follow the Bitch, which has played to packed houses all around the country and received numerous awards.

Julian's book list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars

Julian David Stone Why did Julian love this book?

I found this to be one fo the best of the never-evening parade of rockstar autobiographies. Townshend is very honest about his complex personality and his shortcomings, and reading this, you can easily trace how this informed so much of The Who’s amazing music — and the stories of all the craziness of the early days of The Who are a blast, to boot.

By Pete Townshend,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who I Am as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Raw and unsparing...as intimate and as painful as a therapy session, while chronicling the history of the band as it took shape in the Mod scene in 1960s London and became the very embodiment of adolescent rebellion and loud, anarchic rock ‘n’ roll.”   — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

One of rock music's most intelligent and literary performers, Pete Townshend—guitarist, songwriter, editor—tells his closest-held stories about the origins of the preeminent twentieth-century band The Who, his own career as an artist and performer, and his restless life in and out of the public eye in this candid autobiography, Who I…


Book cover of The Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely New Reviews: Every Essential Album, Every Essential Artist

Julian David Stone Author Of No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer

From my list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

Julian David Stone is an author, screenwriter, photographer, and filmmaker. He shot dozens of the 1980s greatest acts by sneaking his photography equipment into concerts such as Prince, U2, the Police, David Bowie, R.E.M., the Ramones, Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads, the Grateful Dead, Joan Jett, and many, many more. Other work include screenplays for Disney, Paramount, Sony, and MGM. He is also the writer and director of the hit cult comedy feature film, Follow the Bitch, which has played to packed houses all around the country and received numerous awards.

Julian's book list on rock and roll and rock and roll stars

Julian David Stone Why did Julian love this book?

The Bible as far as I am concerned. As I was becoming a rock and roll fantastic in the early 80s, this was my go to source whenever encountering a new act that I hadn’t heard of. I would look up the new act, get an overview of their career and then dive in. It was always fun to see how they reviewed each album, using a scale of 1 to 5 stars. I bought every edition of this book (and will continue to do so, if they keep publishing them) and it was also interesting, and great feature of these books, that in each subsequent edition they would revisit their reviews and often change them, along with their star ratings.

By Rolling Stone Magazine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rolling Stone Album Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A completely revised edition of the bestselling guide to popular recordings--featuring 2,500 entries and more than 12,500 album reviews. The definitive guide for the `90s.


Book cover of How Photography Became Contemporary Art: Inside an Artistic Revolution from Pop to the Digital Age

Philip Gefter Author Of What Becomes a Legend Most: A Biography of Richard Avedon

From my list on for understanding photography as art.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in photography began as a student at Pratt Institute, a preeminent art school, and I have worked in the field my entire adult life, not as a photographer but as a picture editor and photography critic. I was the Page One Picture Editor of The New York Times and wrote regularly about photography for the paper. I have published two biographies: one on Richard Avedon, among the more significant artists of the 20th century, and another on Sam Wagstaff, one of the earliest collectors who established the art market for photography; a book of collected reviews and essays called Photography After Frank; and essays on individual photographers for museum catalogues and artist’s monographs. I produced the 2011 documentary, Bill Cunningham New York.

Philip's book list on for understanding photography as art

Philip Gefter Why did Philip love this book?

As a photography critic for The New York Times, Grundberg was present when a generation of artists began to take apart the photographic image and transform its meaning in society. He wrote about post-modern practice in the present tense, as it was happening. This book is a collection of his reviews and essays from the 1980s when the medium was at a crossroads; the factual veracity of photography was enduring challenges at every turn and the valuation of the photograph as an art object was under critical scrutiny.

By Andy Grundberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Photography Became Contemporary Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A leading critic's inside story of "the photo boom" during the crucial decades of the 1970s and 80s

"Grundberg . . . is a vibrant, opinionated, authoritative guide to the medium's past and present."-Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times, "Best Books of 2021: Visual Arts"

When Andy Grundberg landed in New York in the early 1970s as a budding writer, photography was at the margins of the contemporary art world. By 1991, when he left his post as critic for the New York Times, photography was at the vital center of artistic debate. Grundberg writes eloquently and authoritatively about photography's "boom years,"…


Book cover of Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls and Masks

Mitch Cullin Author Of Tideland

From my list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Mitch Cullin, or so I've been told. Besides being the ethical nemesis of the late Jon Lellenberg and his corrupt licensing/copyright trolls at the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., I'm also a documentary photographer, very occasional author of books, and full-time wrangler of feral cats.

Mitch's book list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque

Mitch Cullin Why did Mitch love this book?

The black-and-white images of Ralph Eugene Meatyard have long fascinated me and informed my visual work and writing. Meatyard was, by profession, an optician in Lexington, Kentucky, yet his personal passion was making photographs. His subjects were his wife, children, and family friends, who he often posed in murky settings as they wore masks and held dolls. These images are both disquieting and euphonious, tapping into something primal that hints at the secretive world of childhood.

By Eugenia Parry, Elizabeth Siegel, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (photographer)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ralph Eugene Meatyard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Family man, optician, avid reader and photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard created and explored a fantasy world of dolls and masks, in which his family and friends played the central roles on an ever-changing stage. His monograph, The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater, published posthumously in 1974, recorded his wife and family posed in various disquieting settings, wearing masks and holding dolls and evoking a penetrating emotional and psychological landscape. The book won his work critical acclaim and has been hugely influential in the intervening decades. Dolls and Masks opens the doors on the decade of rich experimentation that immediately preceded…


Book cover of On Photography

Barry Sandywell Author Of Dictionary of Visual Discourse: A Dialectical Lexicon of Terms

From my list on beginning the study of visual culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm currently an Honorary Fellow in Social Theory at the University of York, U.K. For more than five decades I've been working to promote more reflexive perspectives in philosophy, sociology, social theory, and sociological research. I've written and edited many books in the field of social theory with particular emphasis upon questions of culture and critical research in the expanding field of visual culture. Recent projects include Interpreting Visual Culture (with Ian Heywood), The Handbook of Visual Culture, and an edited multi-volume textbook to be published by Bloomsbury, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Visual Culture. The passion to understand the thought and visual culture of both the ancient and modern world continues to inform my work. 

Barry's book list on beginning the study of visual culture

Barry Sandywell Why did Barry love this book?

On Photography is Sontag’s attempt to develop the thought of Barthes, Benjamin, and others and apply the resultant perspective to the critical understanding of the fundamental role of photography in modern life. The book is constructed as a series of interconnected essays, each of which explores the moral and dialectical character of photographic interventions. Photography embodies the moral ambiguity of human activity: the camera claims to deliver truth but is essentially selective and partial; photography reveals and conceals the real; the photograph is an artificial mode of representation but claims to provide a `picture’ of life that can only be captured through the camera.

This ambiguous ontology of the image impacts upon both the act of image-making and the interpretive task of reading and understanding the image. With modern photography the viewer is constituted in a dual movement of separation (and alienation) and connectivity (and communality). Photographic engagement constitutes, so…

By Susan Sontag,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On Photography as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The most original and illuminating study of the subject.' The New Yorker

Photographs are everywhere. From high art to family albums to legal evidence, they capture and document the world around us. And whether we use them to expose, reveal or remember, they hold an enduring power.

In this essential and revelatory volume, Susan Sontag confronts important questions surrounding the power dynamics between photographer and subject, the blurred boundary between lived events and recreated images, and the desires that lead us to record our lives.

'Complex and contradictory... one of America's greatest public intellectuals' Observer

'Susan Sontag offers enough food…


Book cover of Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

Barry Sandywell Author Of Dictionary of Visual Discourse: A Dialectical Lexicon of Terms

From my list on beginning the study of visual culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm currently an Honorary Fellow in Social Theory at the University of York, U.K. For more than five decades I've been working to promote more reflexive perspectives in philosophy, sociology, social theory, and sociological research. I've written and edited many books in the field of social theory with particular emphasis upon questions of culture and critical research in the expanding field of visual culture. Recent projects include Interpreting Visual Culture (with Ian Heywood), The Handbook of Visual Culture, and an edited multi-volume textbook to be published by Bloomsbury, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Visual Culture. The passion to understand the thought and visual culture of both the ancient and modern world continues to inform my work. 

Barry's book list on beginning the study of visual culture

Barry Sandywell Why did Barry love this book?

In contrast to John Berger’s Marxist aesthetic, Barthes’s approach to visual experience and photographic images draws upon the tradition of semiotics and, to a degree, postmodern theories of text and intertextuality. Barthes leads his reader into the codes and conventions of the image. How images signify is thus made a central topic that provokes self-reflection and reflexive challenges to conventional image analysis. Where Berger’s work is expository and analytic, Barthes's book is exploratory and novelistic (Barthes would have his reader approach the work as a kind of intertextual fiction). As the title of the work suggests, this is Barthes at his most personal and reflective. His fascination remains with the photographic image which is presented as one of the defining aesthetic objects of modernity. But the act of photography is now itself complex, mediated, and open to a range of concrete experiential impulses.

Here the viewer of the photograph is…

By Roland Barthes, Richard Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Camera Lucida as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This personal, wide-ranging, and contemplative volume--and the last book Barthes published--finds the author applying his influential perceptiveness and associative insight to the subject of photography. To this end, several black-and-white photos (by the likes of Avedon, Clifford, Hine, Mapplethorpe, Nadar, Van Der Zee, and so forth) are reprinted throughout the text.


Book cover of Nadav Kander: Yangtze, The Long River

Adrian Bradshaw Author Of The Door Opened: 1980s China: Photography: Adrian Bradshaw

From my list on colour photography books on China.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first went as a student to Beijing in 1984 with a camera and a suitcase of film but not much of a plan. I found myself in a country whose young people were suddenly empowered to put their skills to use rather than let state planning order every aspect of their lives. My academic studies rapidly evolved into a vocation to photograph the changes around me. There was demand for this: one of my first assignments being for Life magazine and then a slew of US and European publications eager to expand their coverage of all that was reshaping China and in turn the world. I chose street-level life as the most relatable to an international audience and in recent years also for Chinese eager to see how this era began.

Adrian's book list on colour photography books on China

Adrian Bradshaw Why did Adrian love this book?

The Yangtze River is only how outsiders know it: to Chinese it is simply ‘Changjiang’ or ‘Long River’. Flowing through the heart of the country from the Tibetan Plateau to Shanghai it is central to the lives and imagination of countless generations of Chinese. Kander, better known for his advertising and commercial work, brings a sedate and contemplative approach to this huge subject. The silt-laden river and the smoggy air around it present a challenge to any photographer as shapes and shadows melt into the yellow and grey. Here they provide a palette of otherworldly views, anchored by careful placement of the human elements we can identify with.

By Jean Paul Tchang, Nadav Kander (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nadav Kander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Yangtze river flows 4,100 miles across China, traveling from its furthest westerly point in the Qinghai province to Shanghai in the east. The river is embedded in the consciousness of the Chinese, and plays a significant role in both the spiritual and physical life of the people. Using the river as a metaphor for constant change, Nadav Kander (born 1961) has photographed the landscape and people along its banks from mouth to source. "After several trips to different parts of the river, it became clear that what I was responding to and how I felt whilst being in China…


Book cover of South Southeast

Tom Carter Author Of China: Portrait of a People

From my list on travel photography.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peeking over the American fence, I found myself in China in 2004 as the nation was transitioning from its quaint 1980s/90s self into the futuristic “China 2.0” we know it today. My occupation, like many expats, was small-town English teacher. I later departed for a two-year backpacking sojourn across the country. I took a bunch of snapshots along the way with a little point-and-shoot camera. 800 of those images became my first book. Photography – be it travel, documentary, street or reportage – is my passion. The following are but five of five hundred books I’d love to recommend.

Tom's book list on travel photography

Tom Carter Why did Tom love this book?

Legendary travel photog Steve McCurry has developed a bad reputation over the decades for reportedly mistreating his subjects (notably “Afghan Girl” Sharbat Gula), for allegedly staging and digitally manipulating images (as opposed to the candid shots he claims they are), and for profiting handsomely from it all. But gosh dang if his photographs aren’t gorgeous! In light of his purported misdeeds, I do not intend on dropping any more money on his newest retrospective books, but 2000’s South Southeast – based on his early work in Asia – will always remain on my bookshelf.

By Steve McCurry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked South Southeast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a portfolio of the best of Steve McCurry's photography, showing classical, magical and powerful images from South and Southeast Asia.

McCurry takes photographs all over the world, for National Geographic magazine and his own projects, but it is the people, places, colours and forms of South and Southeast Asia that Steve has found most inspiring. It is in Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Mynamar (Burma) that McCurry has captured his most sublime photographs to create images that transcend their original editorial purpose to become timeless classics of our era.

South Southeast features 69 photographs, each one with…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in fine art photography, rock and roll, and pop culture?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about fine art photography, rock and roll, and pop culture.

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