The most recommended country music books

Who picked these books? Meet our 80 experts.

80 authors created a book list connected to country music, and here are their favorite country music books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of country music book?

Loading...
Loading...

Land That I Love

By Gail Kittleson,

Book cover of Land That I Love: a Novel of the Texas Hill Country

Becky Van Vleet Author Of Unintended Hero

From the list on our greatest generation: heroes from World War II.

Who am I?

I’m passionate about sharing our family stories for the next generations. Everyone has a story. They are powerful and we bond through them. As a baby boomer, I’m especially ardent about preserving WWII stories. So much so that I wrote a book, Unintended Hero, about my father’s experiences and battles aboard his ship, the USS Denver, in WWII. These first-hand account stories, not found in classroom history books, must be preserved. I believe we owe a debt of gratitude to the Greatest Generation, whose sacrifices have made our nation what it is today, and I enjoy speaking to high school students about the Greatest Generation’s zealous patriotism.

Becky's book list on our greatest generation: heroes from World War II

Why did Becky love this book?

It’s been a long time since I’ve cried at the end of a book. But I did with this one.

Gail Kittleson weaves a tapestry of characters, plot, and historical events like no other book I’ve ever read. The realistic and down-to-earth characters bring this story to life amidst the alluring backdrop of WWII, Great Britain, and Texas. The author’s unique literary style and judicious research are compelling.

I found myself so entrenched with Everett, Donnie, William, and Lillian that every time I picked up this book to read, my heart reverberated with them with every turn of the page. The twist at the end of the book is captivating for sure.

By Gail Kittleson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in the German Hill Country of Texas during World War II, Land That I Love is a sweeping literary novel of love and loss; friendship and animosity; fathers and sons; and coping during times of war and peace.

Yet it is more than a love story. It is about the racism and bigotry that still exist in our world. As author Gail Kittleson's characters struggle with the problems of everyday life, they teach us that we survive hard times by being good neighbors despite our differences and that hatred can be conquered by love, understanding and forgiveness.


Honky Tonk Angel

By Ellis Nassour,

Book cover of Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline

Taylor Hagood Author Of Stringbean: The Life and Murder of a Country Legend

From the list on country music stars and their colorful, tragic lives.

Who am I?

As a lifelong country music fan and musician, I absolutely love to read about the lives of country music stars. I began reading about the history of country music when I was twelve years old out of my interest in such performers as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, and especially Jimmie Rodgers. There are quite a few really good books, so it was difficult to narrow down to five. But I think these can set anyone well along the road to learning about this uniquely American music and the colorful lives of its performers.

Taylor's book list on country music stars and their colorful, tragic lives

Why did Taylor love this book?

Patsy Cline’s story is one for the ages, and Ellis Nassour brings it to life in this book.

This one has all the tragic elements of country music—Patsy Cline endured heartbreak, abuse, car wrecks, and so many more challenges. And she channeled all of it into some of the greatest music ever.

By Ellis Nassour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Honky Tonk Angel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Earthy, sexy, and vivacious, the life of beloved country singer, Patsy Cline, who soared from obscurity to international fame to tragic death in just thirty short years, is explored in colorful and poignant detail. An innovator—and even a hell-raiser—Cline broke all the boys’ club barriers of Nashville’s music business in the 1950s and brought a new Nashville sound to the nation with her pop hits and torch ballads like “Walking After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces“ and "Crazy.” She is the subject of a major Hollywood movie and countless articles, and her albums are still selling 45 years after her…


Satan Is Real

By Charlie Louvin, Benjamin Whitmer,

Book cover of Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers

Taylor Hagood Author Of Stringbean: The Life and Murder of a Country Legend

From the list on country music stars and their colorful, tragic lives.

Who am I?

As a lifelong country music fan and musician, I absolutely love to read about the lives of country music stars. I began reading about the history of country music when I was twelve years old out of my interest in such performers as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, and especially Jimmie Rodgers. There are quite a few really good books, so it was difficult to narrow down to five. But I think these can set anyone well along the road to learning about this uniquely American music and the colorful lives of its performers.

Taylor's book list on country music stars and their colorful, tragic lives

Why did Taylor love this book?

This memoir by Charlie Louvin of performing with his brother, Ira, distills country music’s unique midcentury flavor.

Growing up singing Sacred Harp harmonies, the Louvin brothers eventually made it onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. But being on top of the world could not keep Ira’s demons from dragging him down amid alcoholism and violence that lead to his wife shooting him and a tragic demise.

By Charlie Louvin, Benjamin Whitmer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The beautiful and tragic saga of the Louvin Brothers - one of the most legendary country duos of all time - is one of America's great untold stories. Charlie Louvin was a good, god-fearing, churchgoing singer, but his brother Ira had the devil in him and was known for smashing his mandolin to splinters onstage, cussing out Elvis Presley, and trying to strangle his third wife with a telephone cord. "Satan is Real" is the incredible tale of Charlie Louvin's sixty-five-year career, the timeless murder ballads of the Louvin Brothers, and the epic tale of two brothers bound together by…


Confess

By Rob Halford,

Book cover of Confess: The Autobiography

Brent Abell Author Of Death Inc.

From the list on heavy metal that are on my shelf.

Who am I?

Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife and Drake the Puggle. Brent enjoys anything horror-related. In his writing career, he’s had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His books Southern Devils, Southern Devils: Reconstruction of the Dead, In Memoriam, The Calling, Phoenix Protocol, Dying Days: Death Sentence, Dying Days: Zealot, Death Inc., and Wicked Tales for Wicked People are available now. He is also a co-author of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on a multitude of projects. You can hang out with him on his website for some rum, beer, and a good cigar.

Brent's book list on heavy metal that are on my shelf

Why did Brent love this book?

I saved the best for last. Rob Halford has lived the life of the Metal God for decades. In his autobiography, Halford doesn’t shy away from anything. The title is truthful; the pages are his confession for a life lived on the edge. Halford begins with his childhood and how he grew to love singing. He has one of the widest vocal ranges in metal, and his influence over the past fifty years with Judas Priest or his solo works is undeniable. Where this autobiography stands out is Halford speaking about how he hid his homosexuality from everyone. The pain he explains is genuinely heartbreaking, and I found myself surprised by how moving his words are. Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t a sad book because Halford has fun telling his story to the world.

By the book’s end, when he comes clean to the public about his life in…

By Rob Halford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most priests take confessions. This one is giving his.

'The most hotly anticipated hard-rock autobiography of the year'

'Rob Halford has written one of the most candid and surprising memoirs of the year. . . Confess is a riproaring tale, a funny, often shocking and genuinely emotional story' The Telegraph

'The Metal God shares stories from a life like no other, spending over 50 years in the heavy metal bubble, facing adversity head-on but always with a wry smile and horns held firmly aloft' Kerrang

'Raw and searingly moving, Confess will delight metal heads and music fans alike' GQ

'A…


The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners

By Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain,

Book cover of The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners

Mike Amante Author Of The Puppy Who Lost His Woof

From the list on animals that teaches good morals and values.

Who am I?

I’m a Filipino illustrator who draws children’s books for both publishers and for private commissions. I also have been reading children’s books as part of my job. My go-to children's stories are often about animals and nature. I hope you'll like the books on this list as much as I do!

Mike's book list on animals that teaches good morals and values

Why did Mike love this book?

This is one of my favorite children’s books until today. It’s wonderfully illustrated and it teaches good manners in a fun way. I like how Brother Bear and Sister Bear pretended to observe good manners in compliance with Mama Bear’s Politeness Plan but as time passed, they eventually ended up practicing good manners out of habit. I also like that the book showed that not even the grown-ups (such as Papa Bear) are exempted from the house rules.

By Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic Berenstain Bears story is a perfect way to teach children about the importance of good manners!

Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. Mama has noticed that Papa, Brother, and Sister have not been using their good manners, so now it’s up to her to help get back on track. Includes over 50 bonus stickers!


Book cover of Margarita in the Spotlight

Mirelle Ortega Author Of From the Desk of Zoe Washington

From the list on for girls trying to change the world.

Who am I?

I'm a Mexican writer and illustrator based in Los Angeles. I was always a bookish kid! Growing up I loved reading contemporary books, mostly about fearless girls trying to change the world! In my career, I’ve had the privilege to work creating cover artwork for a lot of middle-grade books, which in turn leads me to read a lot of really great stories. As a bonus, as the industry has become more diverse, so have the stories of outstanding girls, making the middle-grade space even more amazing than it was when I was a kid.

Mirelle's book list on for girls trying to change the world

Why did Mirelle love this book?

This is an odd one out, because it’s in audiobook form. Margarita is a part of her uber-famous country star sister and gets thrown into the limelight when the label gets into hot water for not being inclusive enough. This audible original truly shines with its amazing story and wonderful music! Personally, I liked the way the story tackles Margarita’s struggles to figure out her place within Latin culture and processing the feelings of what that means for her.

By Maria Frazer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This middle grade story has it all: humor, heart, and country music - including original songs!

Margarita McCoy plays banjo and sings backup in her stepsister Stephanie McCoy’s wildly popular country music band. 

Margarita isn’t particularly passionate about music, but she loves Stephanie and would do anything to help her - and that includes being thrust into the media spotlight after an article in the New York Times calls out country music for its lack of diversity. Since Margarita’s father is Mexican American, the McCoys' record label wants to use her to show that they aren’t as whitewashed as the…


The Book That Transforms Nations

By Loren Cunningham, Janice Rogers,

Book cover of The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power of the Bible to Change Any Country

Samuel J. Alibrando Author Of Nature Never Stops Talking: The Wonderful Ingenuity of Nature

From the list on that have changed my thinking permanently.

Who am I?

My books are non-fiction. However, the best stories are always how a character really changes. These books brought permanent change to me. One important value I see evaporating in this world is the ability to ask honest questions and the courage to willingly follow the evidence. I try to give readers a fresh and inspiring look at things like never before. Similarly, with every book recommendation, each author brought me a new perspective and added unexpected formats for learning. My advice is if you want to specialize in something, pursue diversified learning to maintain solid footing instead of specializing yourself into some specialized niche. Never lose your curiosity. 

Samuel's book list on that have changed my thinking permanently

Why did Samuel love this book?

I have stereo-typed Christian influence throughout history as mostly religious and for changing people’s eternal destiny.

My attitude has always been respectful but these historical accounts raised my eyebrows not only about how much one man can lift a nation without being a political leader, but it also made me reconsider what the Bible itself was commanding for “disciple the nations”.

It covers multiple men and multiple countries: India, China, Ireland, South Korea, Switzerland, and more. Uplifting to me, except the part about how much more they did than I ever will. Still incredibly inspiring.

By Loren Cunningham, Janice Rogers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book That Transforms Nations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No country is too hard, too poor, too filled with crime, too divided by war, or too spiritually dark to be changed. God has given us basic principles that are keys to every problem we face in the twenty-first century. The answers lie between the covers of one book the Bible.

In The Book That Transforms Nations, missionary statesman Loren Cunningham demonstrates how, together, we can use the Bible, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, to change the whole world. In more than fifty years of continual travel, Loren's ministry has taken him to some of the world's poorest…


Killing for Country

By David Marr,

Book cover of Killing for Country: A Family Story

Angela Woollacott Author Of Settler Society in the Australian Colonies: Self-Government and Imperial Culture

From Angela's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor Historian Social justice advocate Avid reader Film and music lover

Angela's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Angela love this book?

This book is so timely. In Australia, we’ve just had a referendum on including an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Constitution. It failed because most Australians didn’t know enough about our history to see that we need to listen attentively to First Nations people. 

What David Marr has given us in Killing for Country is a grim, long, cinematic account of frontier violence. Marr is well known in Australia as a trenchant journalist, writer, and broadcaster. Recently, he learned that two ancestors were among the Native Police forces who committed massacres.

He presents this terrible family history with a sense of responsibility. It is based on exhaustive research and is written in spare, compelling prose.

By David Marr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Killing for Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping reckoning with the bloody history of Australia's frontier wars


David Marr was shocked to discover forebears who served with the brutal Native Police in the bloodiest years on the frontier. Killing for Country is the result - a soul-searching Australian history.
This is a richly detailed saga of politics and power in the colonial world - of land seized, fortunes made and lost, and the violence let loose as squatters and their allies fought for possession of the country - a war still unresolved in today's Australia.
"This book is more than a personal reckoning with Marr's forebears…


First Knowledges Astronomy

By Karlie Noon, Krystal De Napoli, Margo Neale (editor)

Book cover of First Knowledges Astronomy: Sky Country

Heidi Wedd Author Of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

From Heidi's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Plant whisperer Flower lover Nature course facilitator Herbalist Homeopath

Heidi's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Heidi love this book?

I loved this book for uncovering the incredibly ancient wisdom the indigenous peoples of Australia have around the sky, some of which is only now being “discovered” by astronomers. 

Written by two indigenous women, one an astronomer, and the other an astrophysicist, they take a broad look at indigenous astronomy and its interrelationship with daily life, the seasons, weather predictions, and food availability, as well as various implications in today’s world.

Most fascinating is how the stars were used as maps across the land, each star indicating a place on the path and containing layers of stories that would guide the journey not only on the physical plane but through layers of learning. For me, this is essential reading.  

By Karlie Noon, Krystal De Napoli, Margo Neale (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First Knowledges Astronomy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What do you need to know to prosper for 65,000 years or more? The First Knowledges series provides a deeper understanding of the expertise and ingenuity of Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest scientists in human history.

Many First Peoples regard the land as a reflection of the sky and the sky a reflection of the land. Sophisticated astronomical expertise embedded within the Dreaming and Songlines is interwoven into a deep understanding of changes on the land, such as weather patterns and seasonal shifts, that are integral to knowledges of time, food availability, and ceremony.…


The Little Country

By Charles de Lint,

Book cover of The Little Country

Nancy M. Bell Author Of Laurel's Quest

From the list on magic and myth in our everyday lives.

Who am I?

I love horses and I love the magic that exists in the world. I have always been drawn to both. My maternal grandmother had the ‘second sight’ as they called it, and I have inherited that from her. My books and poetry reflect my sincere belief that magic and wonder are alive and well and that we need to nourish them by acknowledging their existence in our everyday lives. The miracle of life, the sun rising and setting every day, the dance of the stars and moon across the sky, the glory of the northern lights—who can claim that isn’t magic? 

Nancy's book list on magic and myth in our everyday lives

Why did Nancy love this book?

de Lint creates a magical mix of myth and reality that is totally believable, his characters stay with you long after the book is done. The glowing mists of magic lingering long after the pages are closed. He makes you wonder if what you think you saw out of the corner of your eye is actually real. 

By Charles de Lint,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Celtic folk musician Janey Little discovers a secret manuscript in an old attic trunk, strange and frightening things begin to happen. Janey’s perilous story, and the one she is reading—about spunky adolescent Jodi Shepherd, beset by the witchery of the evil Widow Pender—expertly weave two separate plot threads. A steadily mounting tension makes two small seaside villages in Cornwall come alive with danger, magic, and mystery. One of de Lint’s best-loved novels, The Little Country is a fantastic escape dealing with ancient standing stones, the power of music, and the warmth of true friendship.

This Triskell Press e-book contains…