100 books like The Bean Eaters;

By Gwendolyn Brooks,

Here are 100 books that The Bean Eaters; fans have personally recommended if you like The Bean Eaters;. 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 The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Sam Mitrani Author Of The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894

From my list on why takes on the police miss the real problem.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of history at College of DuPage, a community college outside of Chicago. Growing up in New York City and rural Vermont in the 1980s and 1990s around people who questioned everything made me think a lot about how and why the social world is organized in such an obviously unjust and irrational way. I have tried to understand the development of this organization ever since.

Sam's book list on why takes on the police miss the real problem

Sam Mitrani Why did Sam love this book?

This might seem like a strange choice since this book is not directly about policing. But it shows in a powerful and direct way how inextricably bound policing is with the basic organization of this society.

Despite the controversies currently surrounding Hayley’s depiction of Malcolm X’s life, the book retains its power to express Malcolm X’s cutting critique of every one of this country’s justifications for its brutal criminal justice system. No one who engages with it can believe that police exist simply to deal with some criminal element in society.

But the book also shows how impossible it would be for this society to somehow “defund” the force used to keep under control the millions of people who, even with all their talents, this society can find no place for.

By Malcolm X, Alex Haley,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Autobiography of Malcolm X as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF TIME’S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement…


Book cover of Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems

Robert Pinsky Author Of The Sounds of Poetry: a Brief Guide

From my list on that were composed by ear.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a poet, my main gift is related to my first ambition, to be a musician. I like to talk, I like to listen, I like the sounds of words and I like to hear (for example) what Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats have to say.

Robert's book list on that were composed by ear

Robert Pinsky Why did Robert love this book?

Williams, late in his life, can look out the window or at the newspaper and open his mind and eye and breath to catch the truth of the thing in verse-music.

Very early in his life, he memorized a lot of poems, so as a New Jersey improviser he didn’t have to think about the sounds. He composed as an athlete runs, jumps, throws, etc. I can hear him.

By William Carlos Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collection makes available work of one of our greatest American poets in the last decade of his life. The first section, Pictures from Brueghel, contains previously uncollected short poems, while the second and third parts are the complete texts of The Desert Music (1954) and Journey to Love (1955), originally published by Random House. In these books, Dr. Williams perfected his "variable foot" metric and achieved full mastery of the "American idiom" which was his lifelong first concern. Among the poems of this period is the long "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower" which W. H. Auden has called "one of…


Book cover of Straight Life: The Story Of Art Pepper

Robert Pinsky Author Of The Sounds of Poetry: a Brief Guide

From my list on that were composed by ear.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a poet, my main gift is related to my first ambition, to be a musician. I like to talk, I like to listen, I like the sounds of words and I like to hear (for example) what Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats have to say.

Robert's book list on that were composed by ear

Robert Pinsky Why did Robert love this book?

An artist—a wonderful horn player—speaks his candid, clear-eyed, eloquent account of his life: self-destructive, immensely creative.

If the horn is broken, if the player is just out of prison, if he’s drug-riddled... all that might be bad for himself or others, but he improvises with his back to the wall, to get out of it. And in speech as in music, a great improviser.

By Art Pepper, Laurie Pepper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Art Pepper (1925-1982) was called the greatest alto saxophonist of the post-Charlie Parker generation. But his autobiography, Straight Life , is much more than a jazz book,it is one of the most explosive, yet one of the most lyrical, of all autobiographies. This edition is updated with an extensive afterword by Laurie Pepper covering Art Pepper's last years, and a complete and up-to-date discography by Todd Selbert.


Book cover of The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Thief

Robert Pinsky Author Of The Sounds of Poetry: a Brief Guide

From my list on that were composed by ear.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a poet, my main gift is related to my first ambition, to be a musician. I like to talk, I like to listen, I like the sounds of words and I like to hear (for example) what Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats have to say.

Robert's book list on that were composed by ear

Robert Pinsky Why did Robert love this book?

Like most calm, ordinary, cautious people, I enjoy movies and books by and about reckless, clever criminals.

Myles Connor, rock star and felon, may or may not know all about, or played a role in, the famous art theft from Boston’s Isabella Gardner museum. He talks an extremely good game.

By Myles J Connor, Jenny Siler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“One of the most beguiling criminal memoirs ever written. . . . A rare gem of a book.” — T. J. English, New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne

How did the son of a decorated policeman grow up to be one of Boston’s most notorious criminals? How did he survive a decades-long feud with the FBI? How did he escape one jail sentence with a fake gun carved out of soap? How did he trade the return of a famous Rembrandt for early release from another sentence? The Art of the Heist is a roller-coaster ride of a…


Book cover of Stomping the Blues

David W. Stowe Author Of Swing Changes: Big-Band Jazz in New Deal America

From my list on the social history of jazz.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up hearing jazz thanks to my dad, a big swing fan who allegedly played Duke Ellington for me in the crib. My father couldn’t believe it when I developed a taste for “modern jazz,” bebop, even Coltrane, but he never threw me out. Fifty years later I still love to play jazz on drums and listen to as much as I can. But along the way, I realized the world might be better served by me writing about the music than trying to make a living performing it. I had the great privilege of studying jazz in graduate school and wrote about big-band jazz for my first book, which helped launch my career.

David's book list on the social history of jazz

David W. Stowe Why did David love this book?

I came across this book when I decided to focus my graduate study on the history of jazz and was reading everything I could find. It’s a short book, full of incredible vintage photographs, and it taught me so much about what swing is, how music and dance are joined at the hip. How it’s all rooted in the blues. And about the link between the “Saturday Night Function” of celebrating life with music and dance, followed a few hours later by the “Sunday Morning Function,” singing and celebrating God and community in church. The two are not all that far apart. Along with Ralph Ellison, Albert Murray was probably the first author to write about jazz with a real sense of lyricism and poetry. In this book, the writing itself carries the energy and exuberance of jazz.

By Albert Murray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this classic work of American music writing, renowned critic Albert Murray argues beautifully and authoritatively that "the blues as such are synonymous with low spirits. Not only is its express purpose to make people feel good, which is to say in high spirits, but in the process of doing so it is actually expected to generate a disposition that is both elegantly playful and heroic in its nonchalance."

In Stomping the Blues Murray explores its history, influences, development, and meaning as only he can. More than two hundred vintage photographs capture the ambiance Murray evokes in lyrical prose. Only…


Book cover of Blues People: Negro Music in White America

Dennis McNally Author Of On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

From my list on jazz and the story it tells about America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a sophisticated education, including a Ph.D. in History from the University of Massachusetts. I have had a career, if that’s precisely the word, in the music business as the publicist for the Grateful Dead. I spent ten years researching what became On Highway 61. I have been a close observer of America’s racial politics at least since 1962, when the head of the Hollywood NAACP, James Tolbert, and his family, moved in next door to my family’s home in the white working-class neighborhood of Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley. Mr. Tolbert instructed me in music among other things, and I’ve been studying ever since.

Dennis' book list on jazz and the story it tells about America

Dennis McNally Why did Dennis love this book?

I have gone back to Blues People for all three of my books. His insight into the blues, jazz, and the relationship of white people and Black music still resonates, and the book is now 60 years old. Things would get much weirder in his life personally and between the races socially in the years after, but this book is no-bullshit truth.

By Leroi Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A must for all who would more knowledgeably appreciate and better comprehend America's most popular music." — Langston Hughes

"The path the slave took to 'citizenship' is what I want to look at. And I make my analogy through the slave citizen's music—through the music that is most closely associated with him: blues and a later, but parallel development, jazz... [If] the Negro represents, or is symbolic of, something in and about the nature of American culture, this certainly should be revealed by his characteristic music."

So says Amiri Baraka (previously known as LeRoi Jones) in the Introduction to Blues…


Book cover of The World Don't Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards

Adam Gussow Author Of Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition

From my list on the Blues set in Mississippi, Chicago, Florida.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a working blues musician for almost half a century, a blues harmonica teacher for much of that time. Twenty-five years ago I first began offering university-level courses on the blues literary tradition. My experience as a Harlem busker back in the 1980s and a touring performer in the 1990s as part of the duo Satan & Adam critically shaped my approach, anchoring me in the wisdom, humor, and deep-groove aesthetics of partner, Mississippi native Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee. The blues is or the blues are? It’s complicated! I try to honor that multiplicity and the people who put it there.

Adam's book list on the Blues set in Mississippi, Chicago, Florida

Adam Gussow Why did Adam love this book?

I’ve been assigning The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing in Southern Studies classes at Ole Miss for the past twenty years; the incarcerated students in my blues lit class at Parchman said this was their favorite book. 

Honeyboy, born in 1915, grew up in the bad old Mississippi Delta, back when cottonfield sharecropping, lynching, and prison farms were the givens. The blues were his way out. He learned his trade, rambled widely, took his pleasures where he found them.

“I had three ways of making it,” he writes. “Women, my guitar, and the dice.” He knew all the great bluesmen, and gigged with most of them: Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Little Walter. An unforgettable Delta blues autobiography.

By David Honeyboy Edwards,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World Don't Owe Me Nothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This vivid oral snapshot of an America that planted the blues is full of rhythmic grace. From the son of a sharecropper to an itinerant bluesman, Honeyboy’s stories of good friends Charlie Patton, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter Jacobs, and Robert Johnson are a godsend to blues fans. History buffs will marvel at his unique perspective and firsthand accounts of the 1927 Mississippi River flood, vagrancy laws, makeshift courts in the back of seed stores, plantation life, and the Depression.


Book cover of On These Black Sands

Catherine Downen Author Of Ending In Cadence

From my list on fantasy told from multiple perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

Storytelling has been a passion of mine since fifth grade. I’ve always loved the way authors can put you inside of a world and introduce you to a cast of characters who feel as real as the people around you. The characters you meet inside these books become a part of you, and the best way to connect a reader to these charming and brave characters is to let them tell their story. Tell it from all of their perspectives and let the reader come to know and love each of them. Why read a book and only love one character when you could find an entire found family within those pages?

Catherine's book list on fantasy told from multiple perspectives

Catherine Downen Why did Catherine love this book?

Pirates! I absolutely love a good pirate book, and this one by Vanessa delivered. We follow the story of Declan, a broody and mysterious captain, and Aoife, an heir who flees her kingdom. This book fulfilled all my enemies to lovers wants and told a very engaging story with a plot full of twists that kept you turning the page. Not to mention the world building was fantastic! It’s a new release and I’ve already pre-ordered the sequel. The best part of this book was supporting Vanessa Rasanen who is also an indie author. 

By Vanessa Rasanen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On These Black Sands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

He doesn't mind killing people... he just prefers to do it on his own terms.

But the pirates have no say in who they kill on this island.

The council orders. The pirates obey.

This arrangement has kept Declan from setting foot on these shores for years...until a bit of bad luck forces him to return.

But it may prove a lucrative stop, if the rebel's information is true.

Find the dagger. Escape this life.

But only if this damn stowaway doesn't ruin everything first.

=======
This high seas tale of deceit, legends, and love delivers a deliciously gray hero,…


Book cover of Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta

Alan Paul Author Of Brothers and Sisters: The Allman Brothers Band and the Inside Story of the Album That Defined the '70s

From my list on books that changed the way I think and write about music.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist, author, guitarist, singer, and songwriter who has spent my career spreading the gospel of the music I love, notably the Allman Brothers Band and the blues masters. I’ve been a Guitar World writer and editor since 1991, profiled countless musicians for The Wall Street Journal, and lived in Beijing for four years, forming a blues band with three Chinese musicians that toured the country, recorded an album, and won awards. That experience has informed everything I’ve done since, including forming Friends of the Brothers, the premier celebration of the music of the Allman Brothers Band. 

Alan's book list on books that changed the way I think and write about music

Alan Paul Why did Alan love this book?

This masterful work helped me put context around music and musicians I already loved by fusing scholarly study and excellent biographical portraits of blues musicians, enlivened by vivid writing and a deep empathy for his subject matter. This is my own goal in everything I write, and this book has remained a touchstone throughout my career.

I went out of my way to hire Bob Palmer when I was Guitar World's managing editor, and getting to work with him remains a career highlight. I am not alone in my ardor for this book; it’s no coincidence that it appears on virtually every list created about blues or roots music on this site.

By Robert Palmer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Blues is the cornerstone of American popular music, the bedrock of rock and roll. In this extraordinary musical and social history, Robert Palmer traces the odyssey of the blues from its rural beginnings, to the steamy bars of Chicago's South Side, to international popularity, recognition, and imitation. Palmer tells the story of the blues through the lives of its greatest practitioners: Robert Johnson, who sang of being pursued by the hounds of hell; Muddy Waters, who electrified Delta blues and gave the music its rock beat; Robert Lockwood and Sonny Boy Williamson, who launched the King Biscuit Time radio show…


Book cover of Honkers and Shouters: The Golden Years of Rhythm and Blues

Keith Wyatt Author Of Blues Rhythm Guitar: Master Class Series [With CD]

From my list on blues and playing the blues guitar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional guitarist and music teacher specializing in American roots music. For more than 35 years I taught, wrote curriculum, and oversaw programs at Los Angeles' Musicians Institute (formerly Guitar Institute of Technology) while creating and directing instructional videos, writing method books, and publishing magazine articles and columns. Since 1996 I have been recording and touring as the guitarist for American music icons the Blasters. In 2014, I developed the online School of Electric Blues Guitar at Artistworks, where I interact every day with students from around the world.

Keith's book list on blues and playing the blues guitar

Keith Wyatt Why did Keith love this book?

Completing a trifecta with Deep Blues and Sound of the City, Honkers and Shouters is a definitive examination of the evolution of rural blues into urban rhythm-and-blues, the “big beat” that made African-American-based popular music into one of America’s greatest, and most lucrative, cultural exports. 

Shaw, a former music executive, focuses on how the music found its way from the artists to the ears and wallets of the consumers. It was a tough, exploitative business that provided a way for entrepreneurs excluded from more traditional careers by race or ethnicity to find their fortune, if often at the expense of the artists themselves. The rough saga of lives in the music business makes us appreciate the magical results even more. Listen while you read.

By Arnold Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

[From front flap] What did rhythm and blues have that gave it its impact and appeal? Who were the people who made it happen - the artists, producers, and audience - black and white alike - who dug its earthy realism and driving, dynamic sound? Here, for the first time, is the spectacular, foot-tapping, hand-clapping story...


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