100 books like Music Legends

By Hervé Guilleminot, Jérôme Masi (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Music Legends fans have personally recommended if you like Music Legends. 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 Still This Love Goes on

Fanny Britt Author Of Forever Truffle

From my list on music-loving readers in your family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I often (half-) jokingly say that I'm a failed musician. Growing up in Montreal in the eighties, music was my deepest joy. I sang in choirs for years, and even fancied myself the next great baroque singer (I guess I was a nerd.) Nerves, however, got the best of me, and I turned to the next best thing, writing. In my family, music is a meeting place, a shared language; my kids have taught me as much about music as I have taught them. Nothing pleases me more than to see on a playlist of theirs a tune that I listened to before their birth. Music is the golden thread of my life. 

Fanny's book list on music-loving readers in your family

Fanny Britt Why did Fanny love this book?

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. 

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…


Book cover of Operatic

Fanny Britt Author Of Forever Truffle

From my list on music-loving readers in your family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I often (half-) jokingly say that I'm a failed musician. Growing up in Montreal in the eighties, music was my deepest joy. I sang in choirs for years, and even fancied myself the next great baroque singer (I guess I was a nerd.) Nerves, however, got the best of me, and I turned to the next best thing, writing. In my family, music is a meeting place, a shared language; my kids have taught me as much about music as I have taught them. Nothing pleases me more than to see on a playlist of theirs a tune that I listened to before their birth. Music is the golden thread of my life. 

Fanny's book list on music-loving readers in your family

Fanny Britt Why did Fanny love this book?

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. 

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…


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 Stories I Might Regret Telling You

Fanny Britt Author Of Forever Truffle

From my list on music-loving readers in your family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I often (half-) jokingly say that I'm a failed musician. Growing up in Montreal in the eighties, music was my deepest joy. I sang in choirs for years, and even fancied myself the next great baroque singer (I guess I was a nerd.) Nerves, however, got the best of me, and I turned to the next best thing, writing. In my family, music is a meeting place, a shared language; my kids have taught me as much about music as I have taught them. Nothing pleases me more than to see on a playlist of theirs a tune that I listened to before their birth. Music is the golden thread of my life. 

Fanny's book list on music-loving readers in your family

Fanny Britt Why did Fanny love this book?

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.  

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…


Book cover of On Time: A Princely Life in Funk

Matt Thorne Author Of Prince: The Man and His Music

From my list on by Prince associates.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having spent seven years researching and writing about Prince (and another year updating the book), I spoke to as many people who worked and lived with him as I could. While my book is rich with information gleaned from interviews, alongside my own analysis, there were a few people who didn’t talk to me. Of the above, I did talk to Dez Dickerson, but the others were holding off (presumably because their own books were in the works). All the books below work as perfect compliments to mine and are all must-haves for any Prince fan’s purple library.

Matt's book list on by Prince associates

Matt Thorne Why did Matt love this book?

One of the few musicians who continued to interact with Prince (on and off) from the beginning to near the end of his career, Morris Day was well-placed to write an account of the musician. Written in collaboration with the excellent biographer and music writer, David Ritz, this is an interesting (if whacky) book.

By Morris Day, David Ritz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To tell the story of Morris Day is to tell the story of Prince. Not because they were inseparable or because their paths never diverged, but because, even when their paths did diverge, they always intersected again. Each artist lifted the other up, pushing one another to be something bigger and better than they thought themselves capable of. There was plenty of one-upmanship and some (un)healthy competition, but the respect Day and Prince had for one another never wavered, from the time they met in junior high until His Royal Badness's untimely death in 2016.

In telling his own story…


Book cover of Crying in H Mart

Christine Ma-Kellams Author Of The Band

From my list on From Christine's list of books for BTS fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I discovered BTS a few years ago right in the middle of an era when the world was falling apart and everyone was stuck at home. I know they’ve gotten a lot of people through hard times, but for me they did something arguably more life-changing: they inspired me to write my debut novel featuring a Kpop band who has also achieved worldwide domination, but in my fictional story, must face cancellation, violence, and a retributive girl band who disbanded under the most tragic of circumstances. Now that we’re waiting for BTS’ return from military service, I hope that these books will help hold us over until their return. 

Christine's book list on From Christine's list of books for BTS fans

Christine Ma-Kellams Why did Christine love this book?

In my defense, I read this book long before Jungkook recommended it, and it single-handedly became my gateway drug into memoir. I had never heard of Japanese Breakfast beforehand, but no matter—hers was the kind of story around food and loss that I found incredibly relatable in feeling, even if not in the actual details. 

By Michelle Zauner,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Crying in H Mart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2021

The New York Times bestseller from the Grammy-nominated indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, an unflinching, deeply moving memoir about growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity in the wake of her loss.

'As good as everyone says it is and, yes, it will have you in tears. An essential read for anybody who has lost a loved one, as well as those who haven't' - Marie-Claire

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer,…


Book cover of Daisy Jones & The Six

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?

Taylor Jenkins Reid is not the first or only person to adapt the nonfiction oral history format into a work of fiction, but she does it with the most panache.

Loosely based on the mid-seventies romance between Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, Daisy Jones & the Six offers a nonstop procession of drama and conflict, but there’s a tender heart beating at its center and a heartbreaking reveal at the end.

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Daisy Jones & The Six as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE AN AMAZON PRIME TV SERIES STARRING SAM CLAFLIN, RILEY KEOUGH AND CAMILA MORRONE

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the author of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO and the bestselling MALIBU RISING

'I LOVE it . . . I can't remember the last time I read a book that was so fun' DOLLY ALDERTON

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation.

Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They…


Book cover of Rememberings

Allyson McCabe Author Of Why Sinead O'Connor Matters

From my list on music that put women center stage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a journalist whose work is often heard on NPR's national news magazines, and read in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine’s Vulture, BBC Culture, Wired, and Bandcamp. I'm most interested in stories about people, communities, and scenes that have been overlooked, forgotten, seen through a distorted lens, or perhaps never seen at all. I’m on a mission to get to a deeper understanding of what’s at stake in the way we see music and art- and the way we see ourselves.

Allyson's book list on music that put women center stage

Allyson McCabe Why did Allyson love this book?

Sinéad O’Connor rose to fame in the early 1990s, before social media, when tabloids made millions taking women down, as did the music press.

Back then there were few mechanisms to clap back, so much of what we thought we knew about her, before and after SNL, was warped by that perspective. Left with little sense of who O’Connor really was, we also had limited awareness of the great music she made long after she stopped making hits.

Unlike a lot of celebrity memoirs, O’Connor’s isn’t a victory lap or a bitter tell-all. Nor does it try to gloss over the difficult parts. Instead, it’s a chance for her to tell her story herself, and for us to finally see her for the brilliant and complicated artist she truly is.

By Sinead O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the acclaimed, controversial singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor comes a revelatory memoir of her fraught childhood, musical triumphs, fearless activism, and of the enduring power of song.
 
Blessed with a singular voice and a fiery temperament, Sinéad O’Connor rose to massive fame in the late 1980s and 1990s with a string of gold records. By the time she was twenty, she was world famous—living a rock star life out loud. From her trademark shaved head to her 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live when she tore up Pope John Paul II’s photograph, Sinéad has fascinated and outraged millions. 

In Rememberings, O’Connor…


Book cover of The Idea of You

Jessica Saunders Author Of Love, Me

From my list on books that feature a celebrity falling for a “normal” person.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved singing and acting and fantasized about what it might be like to be a famous movie star. Though the practical side of my brain led me to become a lawyer instead, my fascination with Hollywood never waned. When I set out to write my first novel, I finally had the opportunity to explore celebrity culture. But I'm just a regular person, living a very normal life. The books I’m recommending lift the curtain on fame and explore the ultimate fantasy: what if a beloved, uber-famous actor or actress actually fell in love with you? 

Jessica's book list on books that feature a celebrity falling for a “normal” person

Jessica Saunders Why did Jessica love this book?

The very opposite of my last recommendation, this book was wildly spicy!

The main character is a mom who has a love affair with a famous and very young pop star, and rumor has it it’s based on the author’s crush on Harry Styles. It was really easy to lose myself in the fantasy; I, too, am a mom in her forties who finds pop stars attractive and certainly wouldn’t mind taking a little vacation from reality.

I got so sucked into this one that I stayed up for hours past my bedtime reading it multiple nights in a row!

By Robinne Lee,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Idea of You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Solene Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favourite boy band, she doesP so reluctantly and at her ex-husband's request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things. What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as…


Book cover of Boys in the Trees: A Memoir

Liisa Kyle Author Of Be More Creative: 101 Activities to Unleash and Grow Your Creativity

From my list on the early lives of rock stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a life coach and author of two dozen self-help books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people to be more creative. I love reading about the early lives of artists because it is an engaging way to learn about the creative process. Even rock stars have doubts, insecurities, regrets, and setbacks. Yet, fueled by their passions, they persist. They overcome their obstacles and pursue unique paths to success. These books are inspirational and informative for anyone with a creative dream.

Liisa's book list on the early lives of rock stars

Liisa Kyle Why did Liisa love this book?

This is a candid autobiography of an unlikely rock star. Relying on her early journals, Carly Simon conveys the details of her privileged childhood and storybook career as a singer/songwriter. Woven through her musical accomplishments are her relationships – primarily her marriage to James Taylor – but also with Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Jack Nicholson, Cat Stephens, and Kris Kristofferson. 

By Carly Simon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Boys in the Trees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller A People Magazine Top Ten Book of the Year 'A sensational memoir ...brilliantly well written. Carly Simon is incapable of writing a boring sentence ...you can forgive anything for the unparalleled brilliance of her writing' - Lynn Barber, Sunday Times 'Hugely affecting memoir ...heartfelt and remarkable' - Fiona Sturges, Independent Carly Simon is a household name. She was the staple of the '70s and '80s Billboard charts and was famously married to James Taylor with whom she has two children. She has had a career that has spanned four decades, resulting in thirteen top 40…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in rock music, singers, and popular music?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about rock music, singers, and popular music.

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