100 books like Sweat

By Joe Bonomo,

Here are 100 books that Sweat fans have personally recommended if you like Sweat. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Long and Winding Roads

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?

If you read just one book on The Beatles, read Womack’s Long and Winding Roads. It is a lively account of the development of John, Paul, Ringo, and George as individuals, as musicians, and as artists. At every turn, Womack gives insight into The Beatles’ work from their earliest to their final recordings. It is an outstanding study that celebrates and illuminates the glory of the Beatles and, yes, their sometimes very human failings.

By Kenneth Womack,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In "Long and Winding Roads", Kenneth Womack brings the band's story vividly to life - from their salad days as a Liverpool Skiffle group and their apprenticeship in the nightclubs and mean streets of Hamburg through their early triumphs at the legendary Cavern Club and the massive onslaught of Beatlemania itself. By mapping the group's development as an artistic fusion, Womack traces the Beatles' creative arc from their first, primitive recordings through "Abbey Road" and the twilight of their career. In order to communicate the nature and power of the band's remarkable achievement, Womack examines the Beatles' body of work…


Book cover of Across the Great Divide: The Band and America

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?

Hoskyns’s biography of The Band takes us on journey. We travel with these five distinct individuals as they form a brotherhood as they back Ronnie Hawkins for tour after tour for some seven years before becoming Bob Dylan’s backup band for a couple of more years. The first two albums, Music from Big Pink and The Band (The Brown Album) are now regarded as classics signaling the advent of a new genre, Americana. However, The Band’s story is ultimately sad as their tight brotherhood unravels in a swirl of drugs, alcohol, exhaustion, jealousies, and accusations. Yet despite all the tumult, Hoskyns celebrates the music.

By Barney Hoskyns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Across the Great Divide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a vivid and rollicking account of The Band's journey across three decades. Spanning the history of American rock and boasting a supporting cast that includes Dylan, Janis Joplin, and U2, the book brilliantly captures the raw magic and complex personalities of a group George Harrison called “the best band in the history of the universe.”, This revised U.S. edition includes a postscript, together with an obituary of Rick Danko and a brand-new interview with Robbie Robertson.


Book cover of Swim Through the Darkness: My Search for Craig Smith and the Mystery of Maitreya Kali

Michael Tau Author Of Extreme Music: From Silence to Noise and Everything In Between

From my list on absolutely arcane corners of human existence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Following mysterious trails and uncovering esoteric stories: it’s what I love to do, and it’s also what I love to read about. Before I released Extreme Music, I wrote extensively about unusual music subcultures and audiological anomalies, for example artists who put out hourlong blocks of unchanging white noise. I’ve learned that the most interesting ideas – and tales – exist in these outer fringes.

Michael's book list on absolutely arcane corners of human existence

Michael Tau Why did Michael love this book?

This book tells the story of Craig Smith, a musician and songwriter who had a brush with fame in the sixties before developing mental health issues while on the hippie trail in Afghanistan. Thereafter, he adopted an unusual alter ego, Maitreya Kali, under which he recorded two bizarre and now excruciatingly rare albums. Through years of research, author Mike Stax tells the story by patching together court and medical records, interviews with associates, and other shreds of data, even trying to track down Smith, who had been homeless for many years.

This is a sad but captivating work that uncovers the mysterious story of an obscure cranny of music history.

By Mike Stax,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A successful young songwriter in 1960s becomes derailed by LSD and resulting madness.
Craig Smith was a 1960s golden boy – good looking, charismatic, outgoing; a preternaturally gifted musician and songwriter whose songs were recorded by some of the biggest names in entertainment – Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, the Monkees. His future success seemed assured, until an unexpected turn of events plunged him into a terrifying darkness. Clean-cut Craig Smith became Maitreya Kali, the self-proclaimed psychedelic Messiah. He laid out his poignant, disturbing schizophrenic vision on a sprawling self-released double-album before disappearing completely. Author Mike Stax spent fifteen years piecing…


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…


Book cover of Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock Music Forever

Seth Mallios Author Of Let it Rock! Live From San Diego State

From my list on die-hard rockers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While it is tempting to insist that the reason we wrote a five-volume set on the history of local rock ‘n’ roll was as context for rescuing the famed 1976 “Backdoor Mural,” it’s not entirely true. Jaime and I love live music, mark major life events with important musical milestones, and delight in bizarre musical tangents. Music moves us, history matters, and the intersection of song and society is profound, elucidating, and eternally relevant.

Seth's book list on die-hard rockers

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

Frank Mastropolo gives ample justification for why Fillmore East was hailed as The Church of Rock ’n’ Roll in his book, Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock Music Forever. The text brims with photographs, memorabilia, and first-hand accounts of the most legendary shows to occur at the legendary East Village (NYC) locale.

By Frank Mastropolo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ONE OF THE BEST MUSIC BOOKS OF THE YEAR! – BEST CLASSIC BANDS

"Fillmore East is the simply the best book on rock and R&B of 2021... a must-read for any fan of the music of the ’60s, ’70s and beyond." — Reel Urban News

"With interviewees including Taj Mahal, John Mayall, Dave Davies, Mark Farner, Roger McGuinn and many more, the story takes in a magical place at a magical time. There are heavy bills and many choice recollections." – MOJO magazine

"Mastropolo’s book will provide a boatload of memories for those lucky enough to have been there and…


Book cover of The Happy Ever After Playlist

DK Marie Author Of Taste of Passion

From my list on summer romance beach reads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a romance writer. I've written four contemporary romances with heat, heart, and humor and have a new series coming out in early 2023. I'm also an avid reader of romanceall genres from rom-com to historical to paranormal. I've been reading them since college and have devoured thousands of romance stories since my loved bloomed for them. I'm a firm believer I need to read stories to be able to write them—or maybe it's just an excuse to read more fantastic books and claim it's part of my writing process. Lol. Either way, it has allowed me to recommend romance stories to you with pleasure and ease.

DK's book list on summer romance beach reads

DK Marie Why did DK love this book?

This is such a great book! I loved it even more than the author's first (which was also very good). Though be warned you might get some side eyes if you read this one on the actual beach as it will have you laughing out loud one minute and swallowing back tears the next. I adore it when books are able to give me a wide range of emotions. This one might be a little heavier than the other books on my list, but the author does a fantastic job balancing humor and heartbreak. I recommend this book to those who love romance mixed with laughter and lots of heart.

By Abby Jimenez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Happy Ever After Playlist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Part of Your World comes a romantic comedy full of "fierce humor and fiercer heart" about how one adorable puppy brings together two perfect strangers (Casey McQuiston, NYT bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue).

Artist Sloan Monroe just can't seem to get her life on track. But one trouble-making pup who randomly jumps into her car with a "take me home" look in his eyes is about to change everything. With Tucker by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker's…


Book cover of Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Grateful Dead's Long, Strange Trip

Stuart Coupe Author Of Roadies: The Secret History of Australian Rock'n'roll

From my list on The Grateful Dead (from a music journalist).

Why am I passionate about this?

Stuart Coupe is an Australian music journalist, author, band manager, promoter, publicist, and music label founder. He's best known for his work as a rock writer with Roadrunner, RAM (Rock Australia Magazine), The Sun Herald, and Dolly magazine; the music labels, GREEN Records and Laughing Outlaw; and the author of books including The Promoters, Gudinski, Paul Kelly and Roadies. Coupe is a former manager of the Australian bands the Hoodoo Gurus and Paul Kelly and is currently a presenter on Sydney radio stations 2SER and FBi Radio. He's also known for his writing as a reviewer of crime fiction for the Sydney Morning Herald and for founding the Australian crime fiction magazine, Mean Streets.

Stuart's book list on The Grateful Dead (from a music journalist)

Stuart Coupe Why did Stuart love this book?

A controversial book amongst Deadheads as Selvin takes a critical and insightful look at the machinations of the post-Garcia band and things don’t always come up smelling roses. Selvin’s not a card-carrying member of the Dead Fanclub – but he can write superbly and has dug very deep and uncovered all sorts of fascinating maneuvering and powerplays between the key participants in the band. It’s not always pretty but it’s certainly fascinating. If you don’t want to know then maybe look away.

By Joel Selvin, Pamela Turley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A tell-all biography of the epic in-fighting of the Grateful Dead in the years following band leader Jerry Garcia's death in 1995The Grateful Dead rose to greatness under the inspired leadership of guitarist Jerry Garcia, but the band very nearly died along with him. When Garcia passed away suddenly in August of 1995, the remaining band members experienced full crises of confidence and identity. So long defined by Garcia's vision for the group, the surviving 'Core Four,' as they came to be called, were reduced to conflicting agendas, strained relationships, and catastrophic business decisions that would leave the iconic band…


Book cover of The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors

Wendy Kenny Author Of Sik-Sik's Summer: An Arctic Ground Squirrel Tale

From my list on reads to your kids that you'll also enjoy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved reading my whole life. So when I became a mom, I started reading to my kids pretty much as soon as they came home from the hospital. They absolutely love to have books read to them, and we have shelves full of picture books. My favorite picture books to read out loud are ones with eye-catching illustrations, witty stories that spark imagination or learning, and rhymes that flow rhythmically. As a bonus, if the characters lend themselves to fun voices, those are always winners. I hope you enjoy reading these books to your kids as much as I do.

Wendy's book list on reads to your kids that you'll also enjoy

Wendy Kenny Why did Wendy love this book?

This is the epic tale of how rock, paper, scissors came to be such a famous trio, and it is the book to read if you want to laugh out loud with your kids.

I don’t want to give away the funniest moment, but let me just say that my kids and I busted up laughing when we got to page 7. Even now, after countless times reading it, they can’t contain their giggles as we approach their favorite line.

It is a fun book to read melodramatically (“Are you not entertained?!” on page 11) and you won’t be able to help creating your own character voices.

By Drew Daywalt, Adam Rex (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A laugh-out-loud funny new children's book from the author of The Day the Crayons Quit. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors reveals the epic tale behind everyone's favourite playground game!

You've played the game...now read the book.

Long ago in the Kingdom of Backgarden lived a fearsome warrior named ROCK. ROCK was undefeated in battle, and yet, he felt unfulfilled. So he went in search of a worthy opponent. Little did he know that at that very moment two more warriors were setting forth with the very same idea. When ROCK collides with SCISSORS from the village of Junk Drawer,…


Book cover of The Grande Ballroom: Detroit's Rock 'n' Roll Palace

Krysta Ryzewski Author Of Detroit Remains: Archaeology and Community Histories of Six Legendary Places

From my list on Detroit’s hidden histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Few things bother me more than the negative stereotypes that portray Detroit as a deserted city in ruins - a crime-infested, neglected place where residents don’t care about their connections to the city’s history or its future. Detroit is a proud, living city. As a historical archaeologist at Wayne State University, I’ve been on the front lines of leading community-based archaeology projects in Detroit for the past decade. These projects involve advocacy for more inclusive historic preservation efforts, youth training initiatives, collaborative exhibits, and lots of interactions with the media and public. I view historical archaeology as a tool for serving local community interests, unearthing underrepresented histories, and addressing the legacies of social justice issues.

Krysta's book list on Detroit’s hidden histories

Krysta Ryzewski Why did Krysta love this book?

From Motown to techno, twentieth-century Detroit was an incubator for world-famous popular music, yet the city has not followed the lead of Memphis and New Orleans by investing in preserving its music heritage sites. Meanwhile, memories of the city’s once-vibrant music scenes are fading as the generations who experienced them pass. The Grande Ballroom: Detroit’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Palace is a tribute to the fierce ingenuity, creativity, and activism of Detroit’s music-loving baby boomers. Between 1966 and 1972 the ballroom was the city’s most iconic counterculture music venue. Local legends Iggy Pop and the MC5 took to the Grande’s psychedelic stage alongside soon-to-be world-famous groups, including Led Zeppelin, the Who, and Fleetwood Mac. In 2003, as the long-vacant building fell into a seemingly irreversible state of decay, musician and local historian Leo Early established the Friends of the Grande group.

Now with over 2,000 members, Early and the Friends have…

By Leo Early,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the 1920s, a jewel of Detroit entertainment arose on the Westside--the Grande Ballroom. The venue flourished under the ownership of infamous gambler Harry Weitzman and management of dance scion Paul Strasburg. The advent of rock "n" roll pushed the ballroom into hard times, but in 1966, local schoolteacher and disc jockey Russ Gibb resurrected it with the promise of live rock music. The new psychedelic ballroom style attracted scores of suburban baby boomers and helped launch the careers of local legends like the MC5, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. Soon the ballroom's prestige attracted international acts like…


Book cover of Tony Visconti: The Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy

Richard Niles Author Of The Invisible Artist: Arrangers In Popular Music (1950-2000)

From my list on to get inside popular music.

Why am I passionate about this?

Richard Niles was born in Hollywood but grew up in London where his 50-year professional career as a composer, arranger, record producer led to work with some of the most acclaimed artists of our time, including Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, James Brown, Tina Turner, Cher and jazz icon Pat Metheny. He has worked on 20 Gold and 28 Platinum records. He has published many books on music including The Pat Metheny Interviews, The Invisible Artist, From Dreaming to Gigging, Piano Grooves, Songwriting – The 11-Point Plan, Adventures in Arranging, Adventures in Jazz Composition, What is Melody?, and How to be an Employable Musician. Dr. Niles' PhD is from Brunel University and he has lectured internationally.

Richard's book list on to get inside popular music

Richard Niles Why did Richard love this book?

One of the most legendary producers in music history, Visconti enabled the talent and genius of ground-breaking artists such as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, T Rex, Thin Lizzy, Wings, and U2.

This is an insider’s view from a brilliant musician and arranger, an intimate view from a man whose talent earned the trust of the talented. The book is filled with fascinating personal tales of his work, and photos from his private collection.

By Tony Visconti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A name synonymous with ground-breaking music, Tony Visconti has worked with the most dynamic and influential names in pop, from T.Rex and Iggy Pop to David Bowie and U2. This is the compelling life story of the man who helped shape music history, and gives a unique, first-hand insight into life in London during the late 1960s and '70s.

This memoir takes you on a roller-coaster journey through the glory days of pop music, when men wore sequins and pop could truly rock. Featuring behind-the-scenes stories of big names such as Bowie, Visconti's unique access to the hottest talent, both…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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