The most recommended pop music books

Who picked these books? Meet our 47 experts.

47 authors created a book list connected to pop music, and here are their favorite pop music books.
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Book cover of The Walker Brothers: No Regrets: Our Story

Sean Michael Wilson Author Of Clear Away the Clichés: A Guide Book for Students about Communism, Capitalism, Anarchism and Post-Capitalism

From Sean's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Graphic novel writer Journalist Political commentator SDG campaigner

Sean's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Sean Michael Wilson Why did Sean love this book?

This is a book written by two members of a band that I really love deeply – The Walker Brothers.

Hardly a contemporary book since their main period of chart success was the 1960s, but good music is eternal. It’s from the point of view of John and Gary, the two lesser known members, since most people focus on the main singer, Scott Walker. He was of course, fantastic beyond words, but the experiences and contributions of John and Gary should be known and respected too.

We read in this book, in their own words, the ups and downs of the musical careers and their personal lives. I learned a lot more about this band I love. 

By John Walker, Gary Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Walker Brothers - John, Scott and Gary - were one of the biggest pop groups of the 1960s. Gifted with stunning voices and drop-dead-gorgeous looks, their appeal was irresistible. Massive hits such as 'Make It Easy On Yourself' and 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' have become evergreen classics. This is their story.


Book cover of Witches of Brooklyn

J. C. Phillipps Author Of Pacey Packer Unicorn Tracker

From my list on young readers featuring a strong female protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I loved graphic novels even before I became an author/illustrator. But because I create for young readers, I also read a lot of graphic novels aimed at them. I am also a big believer that books with female protagonists are important for all readers: male, female, and non-binary. All of the books I’ve recommended are books I plucked off my own bookshelf, and that I’ve read several times and I think are exceptional in some way.

J. C.'s book list on young readers featuring a strong female protagonist

J. C. Phillipps Why did J. C. love this book?

One night, eleven-year-old Effie (a recent orphan) is dropped off at her aunts’ house.

She doesn’t really want to be there until she discovers that her aunts are witches and she may be one too! This female-driven graphic novel is full of colorful characters who help Effie find the magic within herself.

Graphic novels tell half the story through the art and Witches of Brooklyn beautifully rendered with lines that communicate energy and grace.

By Sophie Escabasse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There's a new witch in town! Life in Brooklyn takes a strange turn when Effie discovers MAGIC runs in the family.

A middle-grade graphic novel adventure filled with magical hjinks for fans of Phoebe and Her Unicorn and Making Friends.

Could there really be witches in Brooklyn?!

Effie's aunts are weird. Like, really WEIRD. Really, really, really WEIRD! The secretly-magic kind of weird and that makes Effie wonder . . . does this mean she can do magic, too?

Life in Brooklyn takes a strange twist for Effie as she learns more about her family and herself. With new friends…


Book cover of A Del of a Life

Tony Flood Author Of My Life with The Stars: Sizzling secrets spilled!

From my list on the secrets of showbiz and sports stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love comedy, showbusiness, mystery and fantasy stories, and sport—and these varied interests have resulted in me writing in various genres as both a journalist and author. My books have all been thoroughly researched and that has helped my crime thrillers receive glowing endorsements from best-selling writer Peter James in the case of Triple Tease and national newspaper journalist Stuart Pink in the case of Stitch Up! - Killer or Victim? My other books have also received excellent endorsements and reviews—fantasy adventure Secret Potion and Laughs and Tears Galore Short Stories and Poems With Twists, written jointly with my wife Heather Flood, best known for her children's books.

Tony's book list on the secrets of showbiz and sports stars

Tony Flood Why did Tony love this book?

What appeals to me most is Sir David Jason telling how playing characters such as Derek Trotter, Granville, Pop Larkin, and Frost changed his life in all sorts of ways. I like his quote that: “With any luck, some of these thoughts and observations will chime with episodes and challenges you have faced, or are facing, in your own life. And if they don't... well, hopefully, at the very least you'll get to have a good old laugh at my expense.”

By David Jason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER: a hilarious and heartfelt new autobiography from the national treasure Sir David Jason

'There are British telly icons and then there is Sir David Jason. This book is such gold . . . an absolute delight' ZOE BALL
___________________________

'During my life and career I have been given all sorts of advice and learned huge amounts from some great and enormously talented people. I've been blessed to play characters such as Derek Trotter, Granville, Pop Larkin and Frost, who have changed my life in all sorts of ways, and taught me lessons that go far…


Book cover of Fire in the Rain...Singer in the Storm: An Autobiography

Bonnie Morris Author Of The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture

From my list on the women’s music movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

My expertise as a scholar of the women’s music movement spans 40 years--ever since I attended my first concert and music festival in 1981. A lecturer at UC-Berkeley, I’m the author of 19 books on women’s history, and published the first book on women’s music festivals, Eden Built By Eves, in 1999 (now out of print.) More recently I’ve organized exhibits on the women’s music movement for the Library of Congress, co-authored The Feminist Revolution (which made Oprah’s list), and I’m now the archivist and historian for Olivia Records.

Bonnie's book list on the women’s music movement

Bonnie Morris Why did Bonnie love this book?

A memoir by one of the most enduring women’s music performers, covering her background in peace activism and solidarity with Black freedom singers that led to the creation of Redwood Records. Wonderful material on the many tensions concerning concerts for women only vs. forming alliances with other progressive communities and performance partners.

By Holly Near, Derk Richardson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fire in the Rain...Singer in the Storm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Singer-songwriter Holly Near reveals her professional triumphs and setbacks and her personal side, detailing her childhood, her activism, her emerging lesbianism, and her role in women's music


Book cover of Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media

Susan Bordo Author Of TV

From my list on popular culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in 1947, in the first wave of the baby boom, and was part of the first generation to grow up immersed in television, movies, and popular music. I have always felt the force of pop culture in my life.  But it was only at a certain point that it became something that I felt I could write about and be taken seriously. Writers like Pauline Kael made it possible for me because they obviously adored popular culture but they neither puffed it up nor dumbed it down. They wrote about it with intelligence, honesty, and curiosity and also as a barometer of where people were at and where society was going. That’s what I’ve aimed at in my own writing, from my books on the male and female body to those on politics and the media to my most recent exploration of the impact of television on our lives.

Susan's book list on popular culture

Susan Bordo Why did Susan love this book?

Where the Girls Are is about a particular generation of women growing up in post War America, and the impact popular media had on their lives, both for good and for bad. It weaves wonderfully smart, often funny, always engagingly written discussions of pop music, movies, and television shows with Douglas’s own experiences at the time. It’s unabashedly feminist—but it isn’t a speech or a political manifesto. It’s an exploration of the push-pull of growing up female at a transitional time, a time in which attitudes toward women were changing, unevenly, and how pop culture reflected the tensions of the times. This book is history, memoir, sociology, media studies, all at once – immensely informative and very entertaining.

By Susan J. Douglas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Media critic Douglas deconstructs the ambiguous messages sent to American women via TV programs, popular music, advertising, and nightly news reporting over the last 40 years, and fathoms their influence on her own life and the lives of her contemporaries. Photos.


Book cover of Charging Mount Stand-Up

Alex Bernstein Author Of Plrknib

From Alex's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Leader of men Armchair comedian Ideas person Not so great dresser Expert in all things meaningless

Alex's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Alex Bernstein Why did Alex love this book?

Full disclosure: I know Chip Chinery. We both grew up in Cincinnati and we both got our “start” doing stand-up comedy as teenagers at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall comedy club named d.w. eye at the onset of the burgeoning 80’s comedy club boom.

What separates Chip’s memoir from other comedy biographies is the almost obsessive level of detail he provides in recounting his experiences as a young, Candide-like stand-up comic “finding himself” on the difficult and lonely midwestern comedy circuit road. (And yes, familiar comedy faces start to pop up regularly.) While dense with detail, this endearing memoir provides a hilarious, unflinching look at the realities of pursuing stand-up comedy far from home. For any aspiring comic, it's a must-read.

By Chip Chinery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Charging Mount Stand-Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Robert Whitlow Author Of Relative Justice

From my list on for aspiring novelists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lawyer. One thing effective trial attorneys learn to do is become “pretend experts” in any area necessary for a case. It might be orthopedic medicine, commercial building design, auto accident reconstruction, or a thousand other subjects. In 1996, when I started writing my first novel, The List, I decided to become a “pretend expert” in the field of story-telling. Twenty books later, I’ve worked hard to make the transition to actual expert, someone who’s studied the craft of writing so I can create a story with professionalism and skill. These books aren’t the only ones I’ve read on this topic, but they’re some of the best.

Robert's book list on for aspiring novelists

Robert Whitlow Why did Robert love this book?

This book will keep a writer from chasing his or her own tail. The last thing a novelist wants a reader to do is start skimming. Instead of getting bogged down in muddy story development, learn how to create a clear, engaging arc for both plot and characters. Filled with practical examples gleaned from film and bookshelf, this book can save your story and make it pop.   

By Blake Snyder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here’s what started the phenomenon: the best seller, for over 15 years, that’s been used by screenwriters around the world! Blake Snyder tells all in this fast, funny and candid look inside the movie business. “Save the Cat” is just one of many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying, including: The four elements of every winning logline The seven immutable laws of screenplay physics The 10 genres that every movie ever made can be categorized by ― and why they’re important to your script Why your Hero must serve your Idea Mastering the…


Book cover of Towers Falling

Dionna L. Mann Author Of Mama's Chicken and Dumplings

From my list on middle-grade with diverse heroes and joyful prose.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been more drawn to nonfiction than fiction. I remember spending hour after hour with my mother’s World Book Encyclopedias, memorizing breeds of dogs, US state capitals, and how to sign the alphabet. I loved reading books to learn about all kinds of things, and still do. But when it comes to fiction, unless the words are arranged like musical notes on the page, I struggle to read past chapter three. I need the narrator’s voice to make my brain happy and interested. While reading, I need to feel something deeply—to laugh, cry, or have my thoughts dance so rhythmically I find myself fast-blinking.  

Dionna's book list on middle-grade with diverse heroes and joyful prose

Dionna L. Mann Why did Dionna love this book?

This book is well-written with language that’s easy off the tongue and sweet on the ears. I appreciate the main character, Dèja’s, spunk, and confidence despite her family being unhoused. I also enjoyed how the story’s characters, though from different cultural backgrounds, get along organically while working together on a difficult school assignment.

The ending is satisfying and hopeful. And I truly appreciate the story’s takeaway theme—confronting the past is more empowering than ignoring it.

By Jewell Parker Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Towers Falling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can't help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?

Award-winning author Jewell…


Book cover of Otaku Food! Japanese Soul Food Inspired by Anime and Pop Culture

Gianni Simone Author Of Otaku Japan: The Fascinating World of Japanese Manga, Anime, Gaming, Cosplay, Toys, Idols and More!

From my list on otaku Japan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in Japan for the last 30 years but my love for manga, anime, and games is much older and dates back to when UFO Robot Grendizer was first shown on Italian TV a fateful summer evening in 1978. Many years later, I was able to turn my passion for all things Japanese into a job and now I regularly write about politics, society, sports, travel, and culture in all its forms. However, I often go back to my first love and combine walking, urban exploration, and my otaku cravings into looking for new stores and visiting manga and anime locations in and around Tokyo.

Gianni's book list on otaku Japan

Gianni Simone Why did Gianni love this book?

Both the Italians and the Japanese are obsessed with food, and I’m an Italian living in Japan. You do the math. My first shocking encounter with sushi notwithstanding (I mistook wasabi for some kind of green mayonnaise) I love Japanese cuisine, and anime stories are full of people eating all kinds of food. 

If you have found yourself watching an anime and wishing that you could taste a particular dish, with this book you can go one step further: you can make it yourself. Here you will find simple but detailed instructions on how to make lots of Japanese dishes, and their connections with a particular anime title. I wish I owned this book when I first entered Otakudom. 

By Danielle Baghernejad,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Otaku Food! Japanese Soul Food Inspired by Anime and Pop Culture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Experience the World of Japanese Pop Culture Through a Whole New Medium-Japanese Food!

#1 New Release in Animated Humor & Entertainment

With dishes inspired by otaku culture, this cookbook brings Japanese anime and manga to chefs of all levels.

Experience Japanese culture like never before. Japan fever has taken the West by storm. Praised for its attention to detail, it's no wonder that some of the most appealing images are colorfully culinary. From beautifully animated bowls of ramen and curry to cakes and confectionery, Japanese food culture never looked so good. If only you could reach out and take a…


Book cover of Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol

Fred Chao Author Of Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero

From my list on pop culture’s influence on the artistic process.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the writer and artist of the Johnny Hiro graphic novels. In those books, I use pop culture reference humor, but never simply as a joke. A reference can act as a hint to a world beyond the story the writer tells. I often dig slightly into an emotional resonance behind that reference—perhaps the (fictional) story of why it exists, or perhaps it even becomes an integral plot point. Popular media and culture often have a direct influence on our creative arts projects. And just sometimes, that art becomes an integral part of the popular culture itself.

Fred's book list on pop culture’s influence on the artistic process

Fred Chao Why did Fred love this book?

I’ve read a handful of Warhol biographies and this is easily my favorite. It does a good job of breaking down his life experiences, his art and the philosophies behind The Factory, his purposeful creation of himself as an icon, and his adaptations to the American fine art and underground art landscapes that changed throughout his career. The book also has plenty of great party stories involving countless celeb friends. And to offset that all, peaks into his spending. The one bummer for me was that there weren’t enough pictures. But, well, I guess that’s what all my other Warhol books are for.

By Tony Scherman, David Dalton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol is a groundbreaking reassessment of the most influential and controversial American artist of the second half of the 20th century. Writers Tony Scherman and David Dalton disentangle the myths of the great pop artist from the man he truly was, and offer a vivid, entertaining, and provocative look at Warhol’s personal and artistic evolution. Drawing on brand new sources—including extensive new interviews and insight from those who knew him best—Pop offers the most dynamic, comprehensive portrait ever written of the man who changed the way we see the world.