10 books like Goodbye Without Leaving

By Laurie Colwin,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Goodbye Without Leaving. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Still This Love Goes on

By Buffy Sainte-Marie, Julie Flett (illustrator),

Book cover of Still This Love Goes on

Indigenous singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is a music legend in Canada. When illustrator Julie Flett decided to turn one of Sainte-Marie's iconic songs, Still This Love Goes On, in a picture album, it was like the song was brought to life in a whole new way. Readers (or the small children the book can be read to) are able to travel through Buffy's poignant lyrics and Julie Flett's moving, evocative illustrations and truly feel what the song is about. Plus, you can listen to the song while you look at the book and hear Buffy's haunting, heart-breaking voice. Seeing music while hearing it? Sounds like a perfect introduction to me. 

Still This Love Goes on

By Buffy Sainte-Marie, Julie Flett (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Still This Love Goes on as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A love letter to family, home, and Indigenous traditions ... This story reminds readers of the joy we experience upon returning to those whom we love and who love us."-Kirkus

From Cree-Metis artist Julie Flett and Academy Award-winning icon Buffy Sainte-Marie comes a celebration of Indigenous community, and the enduring love we hold for the people and places we are far away from.

Based on Sainte-Marie's song of the same name, Still This Love Goes On combines Flett's breathtaking art with vivid lyrics to craft a stunning portrait of a Cree worldview. At the heart of this picture book is…


Music Legends

By Hervé Guilleminot, Jérôme Masi (illustrator),

Book cover of Music Legends: 40 inspiring icons

The 7-to-10-year-old set will love this one. My own rock-loving son, who inspired the character of Truffle in our book, was addicted to this series of books (which also includes Black Music Greats: 40 inspiring icons), originally published in France. Both informative and filled with fun facts about the 40 artists selected by the authors (readers will learn about Mod culture through The Who, about how ABBA got their name, or how the Wu-Tang Clan influenced hip hop), the book reads like a cheat sheet on pop and rock music, with vivid and colorful illustrations.   

Music Legends

By Hervé Guilleminot, Jérôme Masi (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The biggest bands…the hugest hits…the 40 most memorable music legends of all time are here! In this fun, fact-packed book from the 40 Inspiring Icons series, learn how these musicians became the voice of their generation. 

Meet the King of Pop, find out about the Fab Four, learn how Bob Dylan led a revolution, discover the different identities of David Bowie, and fall "Crazy in Love" with Beyoncé. From the Doors, whose single "Light My Fire" took them to #1 on the US charts after years in obscurity, to the Wu-Tang Clan, whose debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)…


Operatic

By Kyo Maclear, Byron Eggenschwiler (illustrator),

Book cover of Operatic

A wonderful graphic novel for and about teens, Operatic follows Charlie, a teen girl who must find "her song" for a school project, and embarks on an emotional journey about the meaning of music, friendship, love, and opera. The book, gutting and uplifting all at once, is also an homage to the great Maria Callas, while peppered with pop and rock references. A perfect book for readers 12 and up, by which I mean: up to 30, up to 45, up to 99 years old, as music ties us powerfully with our life story, no matter our age. 

Operatic

By Kyo Maclear, Byron Eggenschwiler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A story of friendship, first crushes, opera and the high drama of middle school told by award-winning Kyo Maclear in her debut graphic novel.

Somewhere in the universe, there is the perfect tune for you.

It's almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. But it's hard for Charlie to concentrate when she can't stop noticing her classmate Emile, or wondering about Luka, who hasn't been to school in weeks.

Then, the class learns about opera, and Charlie discovers the music of Maria Callas. The more she learns about…


Stories I Might Regret Telling You

By Martha Wainwright,

Book cover of Stories I Might Regret Telling You

The McGarrigle Sisters are Montreal legends, and I was raised on a steady diet of their brutally honest folk music. It was only natural that I fall for the music of Kate McGarrigle's daughter, singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright (her father is American songwriter Loudon Wainwright) early on. Her memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You, is as compelling, lyrical and candid as her songs and stage presence are. A truly rock-and-roll story filled with adventure and struggle, Martha's journey is also a testament to women's resilience and a plea for leading a creatively fulfilling career without sacrificing family and intimate relationships. Obviously not aimed at teen readers (although I would have devoured it had it fallen into my hands at, say, sixteen), this book will crack any music-loving heart right open.  

Stories I Might Regret Telling You

By Martha Wainwright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stories I Might Regret Telling You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'With disarming candour and courage, Martha tells us of finding her own voice and peace as a working artist and mother. Her story is made more unique because of the remarkably gifted musical family she was born into.' EMMYLOU HARRIS

This is Martha Wainwright's heartfelt memoir about growing up in a bohemian musical family and her experiences with love, loss, motherhood, divorce, the music industry and more.

Born into music royalty, the daughter of folk legends Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III and sister to the highly-acclaimed singer Rufus Wainwright, Martha grew up in a world filled with such incomparable…


Dreams to Remember

By Mark Ribowsky,

Book cover of Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul

This is an in-depth look at the life and career of the magnetic Otis Redding Jr., soul singer extraordinaire. We learn tons about Redding’s family background and his hometown of Macon, Georgia (also the hometown of Little Richard). Redding died at 26 in a 1967 plane crash just as he was starting to climb to the heights of the music industry. Even so, he left behind a much-admired body of work though his time was cut so tragically short. The author did an enormous amount of research for the book, then crafted an energetic and easy-reading story that captures the remarkable journey that was Otis Redding’s—from preacher’s son to charismatic soul singer who touched millions.

Dreams to Remember

By Mark Ribowsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dreams to Remember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When he died suddenly at the age of twenty-six, Otis Redding (1941-1967) was the conscience of a new kind of soul music. Berry Gordy built the first black-owned music empire at Motown but Redding was doing something as historic: mainstreaming black music within the whitest bastions of the post-Confederate south. As a result, the Redding story-still largely untold-is one of great conquest but grand tragedy. Now, in this transformative work, Mark Ribowsky contextualises Redding's life within the larger cultural movements of his era. What emerges in Dreams to Remember is not only a triumph of music history but also a…


How Sweet It Is

By Lamont Dozier, Scott B. Bomar,

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

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.

How Sweet It Is

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…


Memphis 68

By Stuart Cosgrove,

Book cover of Memphis 68: The Tragedy of Southern Soul

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.

Memphis 68

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…


The Commitments

By Roddy Doyle,

Book cover of The Commitments

In my opinion, few writers have expressed in words the sensation of what it's like to make and listen to music quite like Roddy Doyle has in The Commitments. The book abounds with youthful energy and humor. His nearly complete reliance on dialogue rather than description creates an immediacy that I've rarely experienced elsewhere. He eschews tired cliches in favor of presenting music-making as a craft that requires prodigious amounts of labor and a high tolerance for BS. This also happens to be the source material for one of the best band movies ever made.

The Commitments

By Roddy Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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.


Make Way for Ducklings

By Robert McCloskey,

Book cover of Make Way for Ducklings

I love stories where animals are the main characters and kids do, too! Robert McCloskey's tale about Mr. and Mrs. Duck taking their ducklings across Boston to the pond in the public garden is sometimes harrowing, entertaining, and always charming. Published in 1941, it is a  classic in children's literature that simply doesn't grow old, by one of my favorite children's authors. I remember Captain Kangaroo reading the book on TV to me, I read it to my preschoolers, and naturally to my own kids...more than once! 

Make Way for Ducklings

By Robert McCloskey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Make Way for Ducklings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This brilliantly illustrated, amusingly observed tale of Mallards on the move has won the hearts of generations of readers. Awarded the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children in 1941, it has since become a favourite of millions. This classic tale of the famous Mallard ducks of Boston is available for the first time in a full-sized paperback edition. Make Way for Ducklings has been described as "one of the merriest picture books ever" (The New York Times). Ideal for reading aloud, this book deserves a place of honor on every child's bookshelf.


Thunderstruck & Other Stories

By Elizabeth McCracken,

Book cover of Thunderstruck & Other Stories

McCracken was a librarian at my local library before she was a New York Times bestseller, so I’ve always eagerly read her books, beginning with The Giant’s House. I love Thunderstruck because it’s typical McCracken – unique, funny, tragic, and smart. In spite of the fact that accidents and death are ubiquitous, that wounds don’t magically heal, and that grief haunts many of the stories, this is not a maudlin book. McCracken can make you laugh out loud. Irony, wry humor, and joy live right next to cruel tragedy throughout the book. Best of all, compassion and tenderness abound.

Thunderstruck & Other Stories

By Elizabeth McCracken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thunderstruck & Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE STORY PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NEWSDAY

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • San Francisco Chronicle • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Miami Herald • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

From the author of the beloved novel The Giant’s House—finalist for the National Book Award—comes a beautiful new story collection, her first in twenty years. Laced through…


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