100 books like Dreams to Remember

By Mark Ribowsky,

Here are 100 books that Dreams to Remember fans have personally recommended if you like Dreams to Remember. 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 There Was a Time: James Brown, the Chitlin' Circuit, and Me

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

Alan Leeds does a wonderful job presenting his eyewitness experiences as part of the James Brown entourage in the 1960s and beyond. The reader can’t wait to find out what happens next in the riveting story he presents of Soul Brother No. 1, the “hardest working man in show business.” It’s a fascinating tale, which presents Brown as an innovative musical force, determined artist, forceful businessman, and unpredictable personality. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Chitlin’ Circuit when soul music was taking off as a dynamic new genre—as recalled by a young, Jewish kid from Queens who joined James Brown’s team and learned the music business at the hand of the performer who mastered it.

By Alan Leeds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There Was a Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As seen in the Wall Street Journal!

“Alan Leeds was a protegé of James Brown and a true historian of the world that nurtured the great entertainer. Alan was a witness to the vibrant black music scene of the ’60s and ’70s—whose book is both a memoir and a document of a lost world of sound.”—Nelson George, an American author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker

A behind-the-scenes look at the Chitlin’ Circuit during American’s most vital period of soul music—from the eyes and ears of a young, Jewish kid from Queens who joined the team of the…


Book cover of Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

Joni Mitchell’s career extended long after the 1960s, but that was the decade when she burst on the scene with her distinctive voice and incredible song-writing and musical abilities. This book provides in-depth details of how she went from being an unknown blonde girl from Saskatchewan to an undisputed folk music superstar with songs like no one else. As Leonard Cohen put it: “She was like a storm.” To present Joni’s story, the author conducted interviews with Mitchell and her childhood friends, and with the many others who played important roles in her life—including Cohen, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and David Crosby. Along the way, David Yaffe reveals the backstory behind all of Joni’s songs. It’s a fascinating book.

By David Yaffe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"She was like a storm." ―Leonard Cohen

Reckless Daughter is the story of an artist and an era that have left an indelible mark on American music.

Joni Mitchell may be the most influential female recording artist and composer of the late twentieth century. In Reckless Daughter, the music critic David Yaffe tells the remarkable, heart-wrenching story of how the blond girl with the guitar became a superstar of folk music in the 1960s, a key figure in the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s, and the songwriter who spoke resonantly to, and for, audiences across the country.

A…


Book cover of How Sweet It Is: A Songwriter's Reflections on Music, Motown and the Mystery of the Muse

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

If you know the music of the 1960s, you know that Lamont Dozier was at the heart of the hit-producing machine that was Motown Records. He was one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team that came up with hit after hit for an amazing number of celebrated artists. Later, after leaving Motown, Dozier continued to be a creative musical force (and still is today). He contributed his song-writing talents to over 100 Top 10 singles and was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This book is a window into Dozier’s musical world—in the 1960s and beyond. Dozier recalls what it was like to grow up in Detroit when he did and then reveals his experiences collaborating with some of the greatest musical talents of the era.

By Lamont Dozier, Scott B. Bomar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Sweet It Is as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of Motown’s legendary songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Lamont Dozier is responsible for such classics as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Heat Wave,” “Baby Love,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” “Nowhere to Run,” “You Keep Me Hanging On,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” and many more. After leaving Motown, he continued to make his mark as an influential songwriter, artist, and producer with hits such as “Give Me Just a…


Book cover of The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

The title of this book might suggest that it will be a book of lists. It is not, not even close. Instead, Greil Marcus offers something closer to a philosophical meditation on what rock ‘n’ roll is. Or aspires to be when played and sung as a heartfelt, life-altering, reckless abandon musical genre. It’s largely about attitude and feeling. The book is a fascinating read as one travels along with the author while he ruminates on different artists and their work and how some songs have resonated deeply with (and influenced) later musicians across the span of time. 

By Greil Marcus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of our finest critics gives us an altogether original history of rock 'n' roll

Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock 'n' roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out-a new language, something new under the sun.

"Transmission" by Joy Division. "All I Could Do Was Cry" by Etta…


Book cover of Goodbye Without Leaving

JoAnneh Nagler Author Of Stay with Me, Wisconsin

From my list on sensual fiction (that doesn’t leave out the good stuff).

Why am I passionate about this?

I love realm of the sensual. I sometimes call it The Magic Kingdom—the experience that sets us apart from our childhoods and teenage years. Intimacy—not just with people or lovers, but with the stuff we love as adults—is a compelling quest. For me, it lives in writing, cooking, singing, painting, befriending, loving—the things that lift my life out of the ordinary into time-stopping moments. Sharing it my writing, especially in my new fiction (Stay with Me, Wisconsin and my upcoming novel The Seven Mile Bridge) has been an experience of helping us all get our hands and hearts and skin into the things we love and then abide there as long as life allows us.

Joanneh's book list on sensual fiction (that doesn’t leave out the good stuff)

JoAnneh Nagler Why did Joanneh love this book?

Laurie Colwin is by far my favorite fiction writer. She died in 1992 at the age of 48, and Goodbye Without Leaving is one of my all-time favorite books of hers.

In it, Geraldine Coleshares—a privileged graduate student who is unmoved by her insulated and expectation-laden world—goes on the road as backup singer for Ruby Shakely and the Shakettes—an Ike and Tina Turner-type rock and roll band.

Her parents are horrified and will barely speak to her when she calls them from the road, but there’s nothing she loves more than to stand on stage in a day-glow fringed dress, singing her heart out.

When love finds her in the form of a straight-ahead lawyer who adores her and knows every rock n roll and rhythm and blues artist from the last century, she grudgingly lets him in, and though she knows she loves him, she resists marriage at every…

By Laurie Colwin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Goodbye Without Leaving as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most beloved novels from the critically acclaimed novelist Laurie Colwin, Goodbye Without Leaving explores a woman’s attempts to reconcile her rock-and-roll past with her significantly more sedate family life as a wife and mother.

As a bored graduate student, Geraldine Colshares is plucked from her too-tame existence when she is invited to tour as the only White backup singer for Vernon and Ruby Shakely and the Shakettes. The exciting years she spends as a Shakette are a mixed blessing, however, because when she ultimately submits to a conventional life of marriage and children, she finds herself stuck…


Book cover of Memphis 68

Ljubinko Zivkovic

From my list on music in the late sixties and seventies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Popular music in all its shapes and forms has permeated my life since my pre-teen years and has remained both an intimate and professional preoccupation of mine throughout my life, even when I was doing other things professionally. Books dealing with all aspects of music, from artist biographies to its cultural and social examinations have been and remain that essential element that both fuel and satisfy that interest and give it that expanded feature it needs. As somebody who has a degree in journalism and had careers as a journalist, diplomat, and a translator, and now as a freelance writer, music and books on music remain that thread that connects them all.

Ljubinko's book list on music in the late sixties and seventies

Ljubinko Zivkovic Why did Ljubinko love this book?

Scottish author Cosgrove wrote probably the ultimate trilogy of books covering the 1967-69 period of soul music, of which the ‘68’ tome dealing with the Memphis sound and southern soul is one. Cosgrove is another author that looks at all the cultural and social aspects of music with an easy and understandable writing style that keeps you turning the pages with ease.

By Stuart Cosgrove,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memphis 68 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PENDERYN MUSIC BOOK PRIZE 2018

In the 1950s and 1960s, Memphis, Tennessee, was the launch pad of musical pioneers such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Al Green and Isaac Hayes, and by 1968 was a city synonymous with soul music. It was a deeply segregated city, ill at ease with the modern world and yet to adjust to the era of civil rights and racial integration. Stax Records offered an escape from the turmoil of the real world for many soul and blues musicians, with much of the music created there becoming the soundtrack to…


Book cover of James Brown: The Godfather of Soul

Richard Niles Author Of The Invisible Artist: Arrangers In Popular Music (1950-2000)

From my list on to get inside popular music.

Why am I passionate about this?

Richard Niles was born in Hollywood but grew up in London where his 50-year professional career as a composer, arranger, record producer led to work with some of the most acclaimed artists of our time, including Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, James Brown, Tina Turner, Cher and jazz icon Pat Metheny. He has worked on 20 Gold and 28 Platinum records. He has published many books on music including The Pat Metheny Interviews, The Invisible Artist, From Dreaming to Gigging, Piano Grooves, Songwriting – The 11-Point Plan, Adventures in Arranging, Adventures in Jazz Composition, What is Melody?, and How to be an Employable Musician. Dr. Niles' PhD is from Brunel University and he has lectured internationally.

Richard's book list on to get inside popular music

Richard Niles Why did Richard love this book?

If any artist invented soul, funk, and rap, it is Mister James Brown.

I worked with him in 1994 and this book captures the spirit of the man,  telling his story from his dirt-poor childhood to becoming a musical icon. He was an innovator who influenced innovators like Michael Jackson, and Prince. It also expresses his deep commitment to social and political issues, and his understanding of the power of music to change our lives.

By James Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He was 'the hardest working man in showbusiness'; he invented modern funk music; he was an electrifying, sweat-drenched live performer; he was the gospel-singing, jiving preacher who stole the show in The Blues Brothers: he spent several periods in jail; he wrote such funk classics as 'Please Please Please', Sex Machine', 'Living in America' and 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag'. James Brown was one of the truly legendary figures of modern pop, soul and rock music, and a seminal influence on countless musicians from Mick Jagger to Prince. Now, two years after his death, Aurum republish Brown's own life…


Book cover of The Commitments

David Starkey Author Of Poor Ghost

From my list on books about Rock and Roll that really rock.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started singing and playing guitar in garage bands in high school, about the same time that I began thinking of myself as a serious writer, so for me the two endeavors have always gone hand in hand. Over the decades, I’ve continued to write creatively—while teaching thousands of students along the way—and also to play in a number of bands that have specialized in everything from country-folk to raucous punk. Like many writer-musicians, I love reading good stories about the challenges and joys of people joining together, and falling apart, as they attempt to transcend ordinary life through the power of music.

David's book list on books about Rock and Roll that really rock

David Starkey Why did David love this book?

For my money, the film version of this short novel is the greatest rock and roll movie, but the book itself is no slouch either. A bunch of working-class misfits from north Dublin are molded into a white soul band through the efforts of their manager, Jimmy Rabbitte, and their veteran trumpet player, Joey The Lips Fagan.

Told mostly in the hilariously bawdy demotic of the characters, it takes off from the first page and zips through the band’s rise and demise at the speed of, well…sound itself.

By Roddy Doyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 1988, THE COMMITMENTS follows a small band of musicians from the Barrytown area of Dublin as they try to make the big time. From the author of THE SNAPPER, THE VAN and PADDY CLARKE HA HA HA.


Book cover of Ring Shout

Shannon Fay Author Of Innate Magic

From my list on fantasy novels that will make you look at history in a new way.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and also a history nerd. I love historical fiction—learning about the past through a story just makes the world come alive in a way that non-fiction doesn’t. As I child, I was entranced by middle-grade historical novels like The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and The Shakespeare Stealer. But I also love fantasy novels and how they use magic to make the truths of our world bigger and bolder, turning the elephant in the room into a dragon that can’t be ignored. Mixing history and fantasy together is my book version of peanut butter and chocolate.

Shannon's book list on fantasy novels that will make you look at history in a new way

Shannon Fay Why did Shannon love this book?

This book gave me shivers, both from the monsters and the evil that humans are capable of.

This novella from P. Djeli Clark manages to be action-packed while still dealing with heavy topics like racism and slavery. It’s the 1920s, and Maryse Boudreaux is a Black woman living in the deep south of the United States. Maryse and her friends have formed a militia to fight the ‘Ku Kluxes,’ monsters who take the form of Ku Klux Klan members to spread hate further.

There are points in this book where it seems like all is lost, which makes it all the more satisfying when the heroes rally. 

By P. Djèlí Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns with Ring Shout, a dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan's reign of terror

“A fantastical, brutal and thrilling triumph of the imagination...Clark’s combination of historical and political reimagining is cathartic, exhilarating and fresh.” ―The New York Times

A 2021 Nebula Award Winner
A 2021 Locus Award Winner

A New York Times Editor's Choice Pick!
A Booklist Editor's Choice Pick!

A 2021 Hugo Award Finalist
A 2021 World Fantasy Award Finalist
A 2021 Ignyte Award Finalist
A 2021 Shirley Jackson Award Finalist
A 2021…


Book cover of Beach Heart

Leah St. James Author Of Adrienne's Ghost

From my list on series that should be made into movies or TV shows.

Why am I passionate about this?

Aside from reading (preferably at the beach), one of my favorite pastimes is watching movies or TV with my husband. We enjoy analyzing plots and talking about what we do or don’t like, what surprised us, or how we might have handled a scene differently. It seems the better ones are most often based on novels, usually with strong, well-developed characters, emotional punch, interesting settings, and/or hard-to-guess plot twists. This is my list of stories I think are strong in those characteristics and would make great movies or TV shows/series.

Leah's book list on series that should be made into movies or TV shows

Leah St. James Why did Leah love this book?

This book ticks all my must-haves in a great movie: a compelling story, characters, and setting. Shortly after losing her husband to a debilitating illness, Emma Dance unexpectedly inherits her great-aunt’s beach house where she’d spent happy childhood days. Located at the North Carolina coast, it’s a perfect place to try to hide from the grief and emotional drain of the past few years. Despite her desire to lock herself away from the world, Emma slowly emerges and makes friends, possibly even a new romance. Eventually she finds joy once more in everyday life. While delivering an emotionally satisfying story, the author perfectly captures life at the beach—from the breath-stealing beauty of sunrise and sunset, to the force of a storm’s wind shrieking through the seaside house. 

By Grace Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Visit Emerald Isle, NC again in this single title story about Emma, a woman who spent much of her early life at the beach but then fate took her elsewhere. Now she has a chance to go back and reclaim the happiness she remembers...but is that possible?

Emma Deveraux married Gregory Dance soon after college and now, thirteen years later, she is a widow and about to be homeless. Her husband’s long illness has left her broken financially and emotionally devastated. Over the angry objections of her stepson, Macon, she sold the family home to pay the debts and now,…


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