10 books like Pryor Convictions

By Richard Pryor,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Pryor Convictions. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Priestdaddy

By Patricia Lockwood,

Book cover of Priestdaddy: A Memoir

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.

Priestdaddy

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,…


Model Citizen

By Joshua Mohr,

Book cover of Model Citizen: A Memoir

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.

Model Citizen

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…


Paradoxia

By Lydia Lunch,

Book cover of Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary

Lydia Lunch’s memoir, Paradoxia: A Predator’s Diary, has been compared to Dostoyevsky, De Sade, and William Burroughs. Having toured with her, I would add another name: Mae West. Like West, the author informs her so-called “depravity” with a strain of pure, unfettered comedy. “I’m the bloodsucking murder junkie,” she announces with something like glee, “who loves to watch big strong men beg for their lives like tiny baby girls.” Lunch was subverting gender long before “gender” itself was in the national vocabulary. And she walks the line from victim to perp with her own brand of unapologetic, unflinching truth. At once a portrait of a sui generis literary character—and a portrait of the stark and dangerous landscape of Nineties No-Wave New York.

Paradoxia

By Lydia Lunch,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


Generation Kill

By Evan Wright,

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

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…

Generation Kill

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"…


Easy Meat

By John Harvey,

Book cover of Easy Meat

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." 

Easy Meat

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.…


The Blue Moment

By Richard Williams,

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

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…

The Blue Moment

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…


Thinking in Jazz

By Paul F. Berliner,

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

Christopher Hall made a convincing case that we should think of music not as a thing but as a social activity: musicking. No book does a better job getting inside jazz musicking than Thinking in Jazz. Paul Berliner is a veteran musicologist and trumpet player who spent 15 years embedded in the world of jazz, learning to play jazz and carrying out interviews with dozens of musicians, including the likes of Art Farmer, Max Roach, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Tommy Flanagan, Emily Remler, Barry Harris, Doc Cheatham, Carmen Lundy, and Wynton Marsalis. He analyzes musical examples drawn from the first years of jazz to the present. Most impressively, he takes us into the lightning-fast interplay of muscle memory, spontaneous inspiration, and group dialogue that constitutes jazz at its finest. There is so much going on in the moment of creation and it’s incredible how well Berliner captures it all.…

Thinking in Jazz

By Paul F. Berliner,

Why should I read it?

2 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…


Miles

By Miles Davis, Quincy Troupe,

Book cover of Miles

Miles Davis is one of the two or three ultimate masters of modern music, both as a performer and composer, and although there are excellent books about him (John Szwed’s comes to mind), this is the bedrock source. Troupe got him to look at himself with a wider view than most musicians ever communicate (verbally), and Miles dug deep to get to the stories of his life. And it is without a doubt the greatest example of all the possible grammatical uses of the word “motherfucker” ever written.

Miles

By Miles Davis, Quincy Troupe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Miles: The Autobiography, like the man himself, holds nothing back. He talks about his battles against drugs and racism, and discusses the many women in his life. But above all, Miles talks about music and musicians, including the legends he has played with over the years: Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Trane, Mingus and many others. The man who has given us the most exciting music of recent times has now given us a fascinating and compelling insight into his extraordinary life. 'An engrossing read ...gives fascinating insights into the cult phenomenon' Miles Copeland, Weekend Telegraph 'Magnificently truthful, action packed, raw and…


What It Is

By Dave Liebman,

Book cover of What It Is: The Life of a Jazz Artist (Studies in Jazz)

Saxophonist, flutist, and jazz educator Dave Liebman (born in 1946) was the son of two Jewish Brooklyn schoolteachers, who envisioned the same life for him — all the more so after he contracted polio at age nine. Much to their dismay, Liebman had different ideas. Because he couldn’t play sports, he nourished a passionate interest in music, first taking piano lessons, then moving on to his real interest, the saxophone. A strong student with an interest in history, he might have followed his parents’ wishes and become a teacher — until the night, at age 16, he took a date to the New York jazz club Birdland and heard the saxophone giant John Coltrane for the first time, and realized the one and only thing he wanted to do with his life.

Written in the form of a dialogue with the jazz writer and musician Lewis Porter, What It Is…

What It Is

By Dave Liebman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dave Liebman is one of the leading forces in contemporary jazz. Prominently known for performing with Miles Davis and Elvin Jones, he has exerted considerable influence as a saxophonist, bandleader, composer, author, and educator. In addition to his recent recognition as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, he has received the Order of Arts and Letters from France and holds an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. He has mentored many of today's most notable young jazz musicians worldwide and is a prolific writer on jazz.

In What It Is: The Life of a Jazz…


Just as I Am

By Cicely Tyson, Michelle Burford,

Book cover of Just as I Am: A Memoir

Was an honor to read. To realize that this great woman had struggles, failures, missteps, and triumphs large and small as the rest of us spoke to her true greatness. She made it look easy. Her lifelong love of Miles Davis despite his many transgressions shows a real woman’s love. She modeled sacrifice and being true to yourself as a mother.

Just as I Am

By Cicely Tyson, Michelle Burford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only succeeded as an actor, she has shaped the course of history." -President Barack Obama, 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony

"Just as I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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