30 books like Paradoxia

By Lydia Lunch,

Here are 30 books that Paradoxia fans have personally recommended if you like Paradoxia. 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 Priestdaddy: A Memoir

Ann Nocenti Author Of The Seeds

From my list on books that sweep you into another person’s delightful mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a storyteller. I’ve told stories through journalism, theater, film, and comics. When I was the editor of a film magazine, Scenario: “The Magazine of the Art of Screenwriting” I interviewed filmmakers about the craft of telling a great story. As a journalist, I love original sources and voices, for the way they tell a personal version of history. They say history is told by the winners. I prefer the reverse angle—history told, not by the “losers” but by true, strong, authentic voices. I somehow want to read, reveal, recommend, and illuminate marginalized voices.

Ann's book list on books that sweep you into another person’s delightful mind

Ann Nocenti Why did Ann love this book?

This book is quietly hilarious. I loved being “inside” Patricia Lockwood’s mind. As a fellow lapsed Catholic, I resonated with her upbringing and living in the strange shadow of religion. Lockwood weaves a contradictory coming-of-age story with profound wit and lyricism.

She also explores the complexities of what she calls “The Portal”—the internet of things that boggle the mind even as they bring solace. I loved how Lockwood used “the portal” to understand her conservative upbringing and eventually find her own irreverent path in the world.

The book led me to follow her online presence too, and helped me learn new ways to “be” online. As Lockwood writes in Priestdaddy: “Part of what you have to figure out in this life is, who would I be if I hadn’t been frightened? What hurt me, and what would I be if it hadn’t?” 

By Patricia Lockwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW STATESMAN AND OBSERVER BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017

'Glorious' Sunday Times
'Laugh-out-loud funny' The Times
'Extraordinary' Observer
'Exceptional' Telegraph
'Electric' New York Times
'Snort-out-loud' Financial Times
'Dazzling' Guardian
'Do yourself a favour and read this memoir!' BookPage

The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed' The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas' by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange riddles and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing,…


Book cover of Model Citizen: A Memoir

Jerry Stahl Author Of Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

From my list on turning insane personal history into entertainment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jerry Stahl is an American novelist and screenwriter. His latest release, Nein, Nein, Nein! One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychis Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust relieves Stahl’s group tour to concentration camps in Poland and Germany. He has written a number of novels including Perv: A Love Story, Plainclothes Naked, I, Fatty, Pain Killers, Bad Sex on Speed, and Happy Mutant Baby Pills: A NovelStahl got this start publishing short fiction, winning a Pushcart Prize in 1976 for a story in the Transatlantic Review. His 1995 memoir Permanent Midnight was adapted into a film starring Ben Stiller as well as the screenplay for Bad Boys II, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Jerry's book list on turning insane personal history into entertainment

Jerry Stahl Why did Jerry love this book?

Joshua Mohr should not be alive. Diagnosed young with a medical condition that could kill him any second, the author does what addicts do: continues grinding his own face in the dirt even as he struggles to keep his life together and stop. In vignettes of astonishing violence and poetry, Mohr careens from unspeakable despair to moments of fearless, weirdly laugh-out-loud intensity and beauty—sometimes in the same sentence. All that, and his portrait of San Francisco makes you want to show up, find a dive and bang your head off the floor until you’re healed. Mohr writes with everything on the line. Almost like he’s trying to save his own life as much as yours.

By Joshua Mohr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The intimate, gorgeous, garish confessions of Joshua Mohr—writer, father, alcoholic, addict

Her teeth marks in the wood are some of my favorite things. Every now and again she rips the pick out of my hand and tosses it inside the guitar . . . I hold it over my head, hole down, shaking it back and forth, the pick rattling around in there. And as it ricochets from side to side, I always think about pills. Maybe the pick has turned into oxy. Or Norco, codeine, Demerol. Maybe it’s a pill and when it falls out I can gobble it…


Book cover of Pryor Convictions: And Other Life Sentences

Jerry Stahl Author Of Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

From my list on turning insane personal history into entertainment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jerry Stahl is an American novelist and screenwriter. His latest release, Nein, Nein, Nein! One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychis Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust relieves Stahl’s group tour to concentration camps in Poland and Germany. He has written a number of novels including Perv: A Love Story, Plainclothes Naked, I, Fatty, Pain Killers, Bad Sex on Speed, and Happy Mutant Baby Pills: A NovelStahl got this start publishing short fiction, winning a Pushcart Prize in 1976 for a story in the Transatlantic Review. His 1995 memoir Permanent Midnight was adapted into a film starring Ben Stiller as well as the screenplay for Bad Boys II, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Jerry's book list on turning insane personal history into entertainment

Jerry Stahl Why did Jerry love this book?

Two reasons I love Richard Pryor’s memoir—his failures and his successes. 1967, Richard Pryor flamed out in front of Dean Martin in Vegas, asking a sold-out crowd: What the fuck am I doing here? A year later, scheduled to open for Miles Davis at the Village Gate, a guy pops backstage to say Miles Davis would be opening for him. A gesture of ultimate respect. From boyhood brothel to Sunset Boulevard icon—there is so much heart in this book, so much raw honesty, so many crazy highs and unbelievable bottoms, I feel almost guilty marching out the killer anecdotes: Yes,  Pryor scored weed for Jackie Gleason. Yes, he smuggled dope into Arizona prisoners filming Stir Crazy. But what makes this memoir essential reading is Richard Pryor’s genius. “You all know how Black humor started? It started on slave ships. Cat was rowing and dude says,…

By Richard Pryor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Richard Pryor journeys from his childhood in a family that worked in whore-houses and bars, through to his years in Hollywood - the money, the women, the drugs - and the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.


Book cover of Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Ice Man, Captain America, and the New Face of American War

Jerry Stahl Author Of Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

From my list on turning insane personal history into entertainment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jerry Stahl is an American novelist and screenwriter. His latest release, Nein, Nein, Nein! One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychis Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust relieves Stahl’s group tour to concentration camps in Poland and Germany. He has written a number of novels including Perv: A Love Story, Plainclothes Naked, I, Fatty, Pain Killers, Bad Sex on Speed, and Happy Mutant Baby Pills: A NovelStahl got this start publishing short fiction, winning a Pushcart Prize in 1976 for a story in the Transatlantic Review. His 1995 memoir Permanent Midnight was adapted into a film starring Ben Stiller as well as the screenplay for Bad Boys II, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Jerry's book list on turning insane personal history into entertainment

Jerry Stahl Why did Jerry love this book?

Technically the reportage of a Rolling Stone writer embedded with Marines 2002, Evan Wright’s first-person account of young men at war is, in some ways, as much a story of the author’s experience of W’s nation building as it the story of the soldiers themselves. Wright earned the respect of the men he rolled with by riding on point, or in the lead vehicle, where he was sure to take enemy fire. It’s his description of what drove him to face such danger that makes the writer at once relatable and brave: “Partly it was about not losing face. I reverted to like, a twelve-year-old on the playground. I wouldn’t back down. And there were times when I knew we’d be shot at, and I’d fantasize about getting taken out of being embedded. But then I’d make it through and not be injured, and I’d be flooded with this deep…

By Evan Wright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Based on Evan Wright's National Magazine Award-winning story in Rolling Stone, this is the raw, firsthand account of the 2003 Iraq invasion that inspired the HBO (R) original mini-series.

Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the twenty-three Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam. They were a new pop-culture breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears-soldiers raised on hip hop, video games and The Real World. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional and moral horrors ahead, the "First Suicide Battalion"…


Book cover of Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in 1954, the same year as rock and roll. I am a product of the era that spawned me. I was that kid at school who would rather read his music mags than his school books. Over a rich and varied career, I have turned those passions into my profession. I have been a singer in a band, a music journalist, a broadcaster with the BBC national radio network, and have had several music related books published by major publishers. I have also been an academic specialist in my field and have managed to turn all those lifelong interests into a Ph.D. and an M.Phil.

Rob's book list on music books that will make you think differently about music and the people who make it

Rob Chapman Why did Rob love this book?

I like books that take me via the scenic route. If I’m reading a history of folk music, I don’t just want dry old discographies and lists of bands and their lineups. I want a living, breathing account of where this all came from and what the modern era has inherited.

I want to know about the collectors and archivists and famous composers like Vaughan Williams and Holst who went from town to town and village to village getting information from people of my Grandad’s age about the songs that were passed down to them through the generations. I want a sense of how this stuff is in the very soil and landscape we inhabit.

This book does all that and more. 

By Rob Young,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A new edition as part of the Faber Greatest Hits - books that have taken writing about music in new and exciting directions for the twenty-first century.

Rob Young's Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music is a seminal book on British music and cultural heritage, that spans the visionary classical and folk tradition from the nineteenth-century to the present day.

'A thoroughly enjoyable read and likely to remain the best-written overview for a long time.'
GUARDIAN

'A perfectly timed, perfectly pitched alternative history of English folk music . . . wide-ranging, insightful, authoritative, thoroughly entertaining.'
NEW STATESMAN

'A stunning achievement.'…


Book cover of The Devil Is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley

Cathi Unsworth Author Of Season of the Witch: The Book of Goth

From my list on the magical and horrible history of Goth.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was not hard to grow up Goth in an old farmhouse in Norfolk, one of the most haunted counties in England. Age 11, when the Eighties began, I genuinely believed that ghosts, witches, and a demon dog called Old Shuck stalked this land. John Peel's radio show kept the night terrors at bay and replaced them with the music that became my passion. By 19, I was writing for Sounds and would meet and work with many of the bands and artists who saw me through that dread decade. Forty years on, this is my love letter to a most maligned and misunderstood genre – and why it still matters.

Cathi's book list on the magical and horrible history of Goth

Cathi Unsworth Why did Cathi love this book?

Many children of my generation were turned to the dark side by their parents' collections of Dennis Wheatley's glamorously lurid Black Magic novels.

Key to their appeal was the author's assurance that the diabolical deeds described therein were actually being practised today – from the heart of power in London to the most remote village in the land. Phil Baker's enormously entertaining biography makes it clear that Dennis sincerely believed this, and consulted all the leading magicians of his age – including Aleister Crowley – to get the Goat-based goods from the gate.

Not only that, but his own life was steeped in just as much intrigue and danger as any of his novels, including stints as a WWI solider, peacetime purveyor of Napoleon's own brandy, and WWII member of Churchill's secret services.

By Phil Baker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Devil Is a Gentleman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"It is not only the Hammer films based on Dennis Wheatley's novels that are full-blooded, sensational entertainment, so was Wheatley's life, brilliantly evoked by Phil Baker. This gripping biography draws out all the comedy from Wheatley's history, from his childhood in a family of wine merchants who were dedicated to social climbing (the scrambling for status never left Wheatley either, even in his 70's he was proudly joining gentlemen's clubs such as White's) to his experiences in World War One. Wheatley's main ambition as a soldier was to join a socially acceptable regiment, but the Westminster Dragoons wouldn't have him…


Book cover of Nineteen Eighty-Three

Cathi Unsworth Author Of Season of the Witch: The Book of Goth

From my list on the magical and horrible history of Goth.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was not hard to grow up Goth in an old farmhouse in Norfolk, one of the most haunted counties in England. Age 11, when the Eighties began, I genuinely believed that ghosts, witches, and a demon dog called Old Shuck stalked this land. John Peel's radio show kept the night terrors at bay and replaced them with the music that became my passion. By 19, I was writing for Sounds and would meet and work with many of the bands and artists who saw me through that dread decade. Forty years on, this is my love letter to a most maligned and misunderstood genre – and why it still matters.

Cathi's book list on the magical and horrible history of Goth

Cathi Unsworth Why did Cathi love this book?

No other book captures the darkness at the dawn of the Thatcher decade with such verisimilitude as David Peace's conjuring of its premier bogeyman, the Yorkshire Ripper, in the third of his Red Riding Quartet.

Perhaps that's because the author used his Goth record collection to transport him back to the places where these crimes were committed, at the time of his West Yorkshire youth. Songs like Siouxsie and the Banshees' 'Night Shift' and The Sisters of Mercy's 'Fix' summon back that fearful terrain, where 'cow' was a term of endearment for a woman and the use of hammers to the head a familiar sign of domestic abuse.

Detectives are revealed to be as deadly as their quarry, priests give benediction with nine-inch-nails and stone angels turn their heads away.

By David Peace,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nineteen Eighty-Three as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nineteen Eighty Three's three intertwining storylines see the Quartet's central themes of corruption and the perversion of justice come to a head as BJ, the rent boy from Nineteen Seventy Four, the lawyer Big John Piggott - who's as near as you get to a hero in Peace's world - and Maurice Jobson, the senior cop whose career of corruption and brutality has set all this in motion, find themselves on a collision course that can only end in a terrible vengeance.

Nineteen Eighty Three is an epic tale which concluded an extraordinary body of work confirming Peace as the…


Book cover of Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars

Cathi Unsworth Author Of Season of the Witch: The Book of Goth

From my list on the magical and horrible history of Goth.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was not hard to grow up Goth in an old farmhouse in Norfolk, one of the most haunted counties in England. Age 11, when the Eighties began, I genuinely believed that ghosts, witches, and a demon dog called Old Shuck stalked this land. John Peel's radio show kept the night terrors at bay and replaced them with the music that became my passion. By 19, I was writing for Sounds and would meet and work with many of the bands and artists who saw me through that dread decade. Forty years on, this is my love letter to a most maligned and misunderstood genre – and why it still matters.

Cathi's book list on the magical and horrible history of Goth

Cathi Unsworth Why did Cathi love this book?

The Manchester evoked by Joy Division and Barry Adamson's first band, Magazine, also entered the Eighties a ravaged post-industrial city, strafed first by the Luftwaffe and then its own planners, who erected Brutalist estates over its Victorian past.

The son of a white Mancunian mother and black Jamaican father, Adamson grew up in some of the worst of the city's social housing in the Hulme of the Sixties. Another Selby aficionado, Barry recounts the story his challenging childhood with a picaresque, magical realist flair.

Music offers both salvation and damnation – as he progresses through Magazine and into Nick Cave's Bad Seeds, so too do all his most self-sabotaging addictions, until death brings a reckoning and a salvation in the first fruit of his solo career, the LP Moss Side Story. 

By Barry Adamson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars, the enigmatic Barry Adamson shines a probing light into his own heart of darkness.

Born in the black and white world of post-industrial Manchester, Adamson saw music as a chance to turn his world technicolour. Propelled into punk via Magazine, he was the founding bass player in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, before stumbling too far down a dark, drug-induced path.

Unflinchingly candid, Adamson steers the reader through a mix of harrowing, tragic, funny and often life-affirming straights. Throughout it all, music - be it bass lines, melodies or film…


Book cover of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation

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 compelling, detailed history of three influential singer/songwriters – Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Their early careers were wildly different, yet intersected in unexpected ways as they each found their unique paths to success. What I love most about this deftly written account is that specific songs are set in their historical context, so you better understand what was happening with the artist at that time and gain new insights into the songs that still resonate today, fifty years later.

By Sheila Weller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America’s most important musical artists—Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon—charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.

Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of…


Book cover of Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars

Thomas Kitts Author Of Ray Davies: Not Like Everybody Else

From my list on rock music and rock bands.

Why am I passionate about this?

Over the years, as a Professor of English at St. John's University, NY, I have shifted my research from American literature to popular culture, specifically rock music, a passion first ignited when I watched the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, and re-ignited time and time again over the years. I have written articles, reviews, interviews, and a few books and I edit Popular Music and Society and Rock Music Studies.

Thomas' book list on rock music and rock bands

Thomas Kitts Why did Thomas love this book?

With Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry, Kristin Lieb provides an enlightening but often troubling account of the contemporary pop music industry. By focusing on women artists in the post-MTV era, Lieb demonstrates that female pop singers are judged more than ever on their sex appeal—despite the advances of the women’s movement over the past several decades. Lieb draws from both theorists and music industry insiders, giving her conclusions weight and credibility. Yet despite its frequently disturbing findings, the book is not overly cynical. Lieb, an energetic writer, has managed to maintain her enthusiasm for pop music.

By Kristin J. Lieb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gender, Branding, and The Modern Music Industry combines interview data with music industry professionals with theoretical frameworks from sociology, mass communication, and marketing to explain and explore the gender differences female artists experience.

This book provides a rare lens on the rigid packaging process that transforms female artists of various genres into female pop stars. Stars -- and the industry power brokers who make their fortunes -- have learned to prioritize sexual attractiveness over talent as they fight a crowded field for movie deals, magazine covers, and fashion lines, let alone record deals. This focus on the female pop star's…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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