16 books like Pryor Convictions

By Richard Pryor,

Here are 16 books that Pryor Convictions fans have personally recommended if you like Pryor Convictions. 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

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?

The author’s chronicle of growing up the child of a married Catholic priest—who lives in his boxer shorts, plays ear-crushing electric guitar, worships action films, and once got arrested at an abortion clinic sit-insomehow manages to be beautiful, cringe-inducing, jaw-dropping and absolutely hilarious at once. When circumstances force the author and her husband to move back in with her Priest-dad in her parents’ rectory, their worlds collide in an explosion of soulful, moving family madness. Woven through the entire saga are strains of love, faith, and the enduring, hysterical bonds of family.

By Patricia Lockwood,

Why should I read it?

3 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 Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary

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?

While the Ripper was abroad in Yorkshire, New York was stalked by its own phantom killer, Son of Sam, while its rapidly diminishing police force were otherwise engaged giving out leaflets entitled Welcome To Fear City: A Survival Guide for Visitors.

Abe Beame was Mayor over a burned-out necropolis of demolished buildings, crumbling infrastructure and tripling crime rates, a city President Gerald Ford told to "drop dead". This was the stage on which Lydia Lunch began her assault on the senses and sensibilities of her nation, at the tender age of 16.

Her account of not only surviving but grabbing every last moment of fun to be had in Fear City is rivalled only by mentor Hubert Selby Jr's Last Exit to Brooklyn as the ultimate in New York stories.

By Lydia Lunch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Paradoxia reveals that Lunch is at her best when she’s at her worst . . . [and] gives voice to her sometimes scary, frequently funny, always canny, never sentimental siren song."—Barbara Kruger, Artforum

Lydia Lunch relays in graphic detail the true psychic repercussions of sexual misadventure. From New York to London to New Orleans, Paradoxia is an uncensored, novelized account of one woman’s assault on men.

Lydia Lunch was the primary instigator of the No Wave Movement and the focal point of the Cinema of Transgression. A musician, writer, and photographer, she exposes the dark underbelly of passion confronting the…


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 Easy Meat

Lloyd Sachs Author Of T Bone Burnett: A Life in Pursuit

From my list on crime with soundtracks you'll want to playlist.

Why am I passionate about this?

My earliest filmgoing memory is of a bad guy getting pushed down the stairs in Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. That shocking scene has stayed with me, leading me into a lifetime of exploring the dark visions of crime stories. It was only natural that my love of rock music, and in its interaction with other media would draw me to mystery writers whose books were fueled by their love of rock, blues and pop. "If not for music and movies, I wouldn't be a novelist," George Pelecanos once told me. "They have influenced me more than any author. I want to shout about it." Me too.

Lloyd's book list on crime with soundtracks you'll want to playlist

Lloyd Sachs Why did Lloyd love this book?

As a jazz critic, I was long struck by the absence of knowledgable (and fun) references to this music in mystery novels, my second love. Then I happened upon a pair of remaindered books by British novelist John Harvey. A blurb referring to his police detective Charlie Resnick's devotion to bebop giants Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk sealed the deal. Harvey doesn't just drop names and titles in Easy Meat, he plays jazz critic himself: "It was a bad sign, Resnick knew, when he played Monk last thing at night, the pianist’s fractured attempts at melody obeying no logic but their own. A big man, as Resnick was big, Monk’s fingers stabbed down at single notes, crushed chords into the beauty of an abstract painting, twisted scaffolding seen in a certain light." 

By John Harvey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fifteen year old Nicky Snape is found hanging from the shower in a local authority home where he is awaiting trial for his involvement in a brutally violent burglary. Charlie Resnick, Nicky's arresting officer, knows the poor, working-class Snape family well and suspects foul play. When the investigation results in a vicious murder on the banks of the River Trent, Resnick's suspicions about the case appear to have been well founded. The deaths coincide with a series of brutal male rapes in the city and Resnick finds himself in charge of investigations that lead to some startling and sinister revelations.…


Book cover of The Blue Moment: Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music

Philip Watson Author Of Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer: The Guitarist Who Changed the Sound of American Music

From my list on jazz (and a whole lot more).

Why am I passionate about this?

I've mostly made my living as a feature writer, covering a broad range of subjects—from 9/11 to the Poker Million tournament, Miles Davis to (a film version of) James Joyce’s Ulysses, British soldiers injured in Afghanistan to the Peace One Day campaign—for numerous UK and Irish newspapers and magazines, including GQ, where I was formerly deputy editor, and Esquire, where I was editor-at-large. I've also written extensively about music, jazz in particular; musicians I've interviewed include Nick Cave, Gil Scott-Heron, McCoy Tyner, Wynton Marsalis, and Maria Schneider. My first book, a biography of the American guitarist Bill Frisell, was published by Faber in the spring of 2022.

Philip's book list on jazz (and a whole lot more)

Philip Watson Why did Philip love this book?

A book about the creation and meaning of the one jazz album that every music fan seems to own, Miles Davis’s meditative and miraculous 1959 masterpiece Kind of Blueand how it connects to a whole lot more. Loudly trumpeted on its back cover as the record that “influenced the whole course of late twentieth-century music,” The Blue Moment takes the album as a starting point and expands ever outwards to trace its wider roots, contexts, echoes, correspondences, undercurrents, and legacies. It’s quite a ride: from Bauhaus to Brian Eno; from the existential modernism of Antonioni to the minimalism of La Monte Young; from Picasso’s Blue Period to the aesthetics of esteemed German record label ECM. For me, not all of the links and associations, some of which are tenuous at best, stand up. Yet Williams is one of music writing’s most elegant chroniclers and insightful thinkers, and The…

By Richard Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"It is the most singular of sounds, yet among the most ubiquitous. It is the sound of isolation that has sold itself to millions." Miles Davis's Kind of Blue is the best-selling piece of music in jazz history and, for many listeners, among the most haunting works of the twentieth century. It is also, notoriously, the only jazz album many people own. Recorded in 1959 (in nine miraculous hours), there has been nothing like it since. Richard Williams's "richly informative" (The Guardian) history considers the album within its wider cultural context, showing how the record influenced such diverse artists as…


Book cover of Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus

Rich Maloof Author Of Jim Marshall - The Father of Loud: The Story of the Man Behind the World's Most Famous Guitar Amplifiers

From my list on books by musicians, for musicians.

Why am I passionate about this?

My tenure as editor-in-chief of Guitar magazine is well behind me now, but it always lights me up to create content for musicians, and to absorb it. These are my people, you see, a community of curious, empathic, chronically late daydreamers and night owls, good listeners all. I’m not qualified to comment on Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory or Stravinsky’s Poetics of Music, but neither do I want to talk about rock-star memoirs or fawning fictionalizations. No fanfare here, thank you. Instead, these are five books in which musicians may recognize some element of their creative self and come away with a little more fuel for the fire.

Rich's book list on books by musicians, for musicians

Rich Maloof Why did Rich love this book?

Mingus reveals a life so foreign to my own upbringing—uninhibited, dangerous, angry, crude, at once vulnerable and invulnerable—that I was shocked by this book as a teenage jazz head.

I found his autobiography intimidating, much the way his music shoved me out of my comfort zone. In Mingus’s prose, there is no mistaking the cadences, dissonance, and strange beauty that characterize his formidable body of musical work.

I’ve never bought into the trope that one has to suffer for one’s art but I believed Mingus when he said, “I'm trying to play the truth of what I am."

By Charles Mingus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bass player extraordinaire Charles Mingus, who died in 1979, is one of the essential composers in the history of jazz, and Beneath the Underdog, his celebrated, wild, funny, demonic, anguished, shocking and profoundly moving memoir, is the greatest autobiography ever written by a jazz musician.

It tells of his God-haunted childhood in Watts during the 1920s and 1930s; his outcast adolescent years; his apprenticeship, not only with jazzmen but also with pimps, hookers, junkies, and hoodlums; and his golden years in New York City with such legendary figures as Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie.…


Book cover of Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz

Marianne Broadbent Author Of The Agile Executive: Embracing Career Risks and Rewards

From my list on aspiring women leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for leadership and aspiring women leaders comes from my own leadership experiences and working with women and men executives and aspiring executives, every day. I had to make some difficult work choices in my 20s and 30s (with four young children) and was wonderfully supported by some wise women. Many of my choices were different from my peers and we continue to have to make more difficult choices than our male colleagues. We need to help each other, every day. I lead a blended life co-leading an executive search and leadership advisory firm, while also being a mother, grandmother, wife, mentor, friend, and lover of good music, theatre, food, wine, and curious people. 

Marianne's book list on aspiring women leaders

Marianne Broadbent Why did Marianne love this book?

Early in my varied career I had musical training in piano and sang in choirs, including with orchestras.

The notion of a leader as an orchestra conductor, never appealed, as orchestras usually play set music. Leadership is usually not like that: situations are unpredictable, crises occur, and we take people in new directions.

Having observed one of my jazz-playing sons, I started using jazz groups and improvisation as a better analogy: a group of people who have a common goal, each have their own talents and want to explore musical journeys differently. They allow each other to ‘shine’ in a supportive and trusted environment.

The journey is greater than the individual parts. Barrett’s book then validated my messy thinking, and articulated these leadership lessons very well.  

By Frank J. Barrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What Duke Ellington and Miles Davis teach us about leadership How do you cope when faced with complexity and constant change at work? Here's what the world's best leaders and teams do: they improvise. They invent novel responses and take calculated risks without a scripted plan or a safety net that guarantees specific outcomes. They negotiate with each other as they proceed, and they don't dwell on mistakes or stifle each other's ideas. In short, they say "yes to the mess" that is today's hurried, harried, yet enormously innovative and fertile world of work. This is exactly what great jazz…


Book cover of Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50

Katrina Lawrence Author Of Paris Dreaming: What the City of Light Taught Me About Life, Love & Lipstick

From my list on the history of Paris (and Parisians).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with Paris since the age of five. For most of my life I’ve travelled there regularly and read every book on the subject I could find. After working as a beauty editor, I decided to try to make my passion my day job. That inspired me to write Paris Dreaming: What the City of Light Taught Me About Life, Love & Lipstick, and launch a travel consultancy business, Paris for Dreamers. I work with like-minded lovers of Paris, who constantly yearn for the city’s beguiling beauty and fascinating history, and who are always planning their next trip—or visiting Paris virtually, through the pages of a book!

Katrina's book list on the history of Paris (and Parisians)

Katrina Lawrence Why did Katrina love this book?

While Poirier’s book covers the same period as Sebba’s, the mood is completely different. Her focus is on artists, with a cast that reads as your ultimate dinner-party guest wishlist: Juliette Gréco, Simone de Beauvoir, James Baldwin, Miles Davis... Such creators couldn’t help but salvage something from their war experiences, create a new world on their own terms. Poirier knows that history is made of people. And Paris is a rich source, for it’s a city that has attracted a multitude of movers and shakers for centuries. Poirier shows how such creators can produce much more than art, or a movement—they can mould an entire period. Poirier also knows that this personal telling of history makes reading it more enjoyable; her plotting is on point, her sprinkle of gossipy anecdotes just-so.

By Agnes Poirier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An incandescent group portrait of the midcentury artists and thinkers whose lives, loves, collaborations, and passions were forged against the wartime destruction and postwar rebirth of Paris.

In this fascinating tour of a celebrated city during one of its most trying, significant, and ultimately triumphant eras, Agnès Poirier unspools the stories of the poets, writers, painters, and philosophers whose lives collided to extraordinary effect between 1940 and 1950. She gives us the human drama behind some of the most celebrated works of the 20th century, from Richard Wright’s Native Son, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and James Baldwin's Giovanni's…


Book cover of Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation

Katherine Giuffre Author Of Outrage: The Arts and the Creation of Modernity

From my list on maverick creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my career as a sociologist studying how creative people work, what social settings are most conducive to creativity, and how to foster creativity for everyone in our daily lives. I know that creativity is often not easy and can even be met with hostility much more frequently than we might think. Creativity is, after all, a type of deviance and creative people can face real obstacles in finding and following their vision. But a richer understanding of how and why creativity happens – and of its obstacles – can be a tool for making a more vibrant, creative, inclusive, and just world.

Katherine's book list on maverick creativity

Katherine Giuffre Why did Katherine love this book?

How do jazz musicians think about what they are doing when they are improvising within a group? How do they learn to do such a thing in the first place – going their own way, but still going there together?

This is an immersion into the minds of musicians, starting with their earliest days and going through the rigors of learning their craft and then mastering it. The combination of discipline and freedom, hard work and wild inventive joy, finding an individual voice, and being part of the larger whole – the things that make improvisation a breath-taking artistic high-wire act – come together in this book.

I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but this book made me wish I was a jazz musician.

By Paul F. Berliner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Thinking in Jazz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This text reveals how musicians, both individually and collectively, learn to improvise. It aims to illuminate the distinctive creative processes that comprise improvisation. Chronicling leading musicians from their first encounters with jazz to the development of a unique improvisatory voice, Paul Berliner demonstrates that a lifetime of preparation lies behind the skilled improviser's every note. Berliner's integration of data concerning musical development, the rigorous practice and thought artists devote to jazz outside performance, and the complexities of composing in the moment leads to a new understanding of jazz improvisation as a language, an aesthetic and a tradition. The product of…


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