142 books directly related to rock music 📚

All 142 rock music books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

Why this book?

The ultimate book about the ultimate band. As any Beatles fantastic can attest to, part of Beatles fanaticism is the quest to discover anything new about the band. Certainly as the most written about rock and roll band, there is a lot to choose from, but nothing comes close to the breath and detail of this magnificent piece of work. Clocking in at over 2000 pages (which gloriously covers only up to December, 1962!), the story is told in mesmerizing detail. Lewisohn also imploys a technique that I really love, he writes this biography in the moment, with none of the outcomes certain - This puts you in the moment at every turn of this incredible story. I can not wait for the next volume to come out!

Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years

By Mark Lewisohn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now in paperback, Tune In is the New York Times bestseller by the world’s leading Beatles authority – the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy about the band that revolutionized music.
 
The Beatles have been in our lives for half a century and surely always will be. Still, somehow, their music excites, their influence resonates, their fame sustains. New generations find and love them, and while many other great artists come and go, the Beatles are beyond eclipse.
 
So . . . who really were these people, and just how did it all happen?
 
'The Beatles story' is everywhere. Told…

Book cover of Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

Why this book?

Of all the legendary bands that are part of the history of Rock and Roll, Pink Floyd is the one that appears to have the least amount written about them. That is why this book is so important and so good. Other books had touched on their history, but none of them went as deep and thorough as this one.

Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

By Mark Blake,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mark Blake draws on his own interviews with band members as well as the group's friends, road crew, musical contemporaries, former housemates, and university colleagues to produce a riveting history of one of the biggest rock bands of all time. We follow Pink Floyd from the early psychedelic nights at UFO, to the stadium-rock and concept-album zenith of the seventies, to the acrimonious schisms of the late '80s and '90s. Along the way there are fascinating new revelations about Syd Barrett's chaotic life at the time of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the band's painstaking and Byzantine recording sessions…

Who I Am: A Memoir

By Pete Townshend,

Book cover of Who I Am: A Memoir

Why this book?

I found this to be one fo the best of the never-evening parade of rockstar autobiographies. Townshend is very honest about his complex personality and his shortcomings, and reading this, you can easily trace how this informed so much of The Who’s amazing music — and the stories of all the craziness of the early days of The Who are a blast, to boot.

Who I Am: A Memoir

By Pete Townshend,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Raw and unsparing...as intimate and as painful as a therapy session, while chronicling the history of the band as it took shape in the Mod scene in 1960s London and became the very embodiment of adolescent rebellion and loud, anarchic rock ‘n’ roll.”   — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

One of rock music's most intelligent and literary performers, Pete Townshend—guitarist, songwriter, editor—tells his closest-held stories about the origins of the preeminent twentieth-century band The Who, his own career as an artist and performer, and his restless life in and out of the public eye in this candid autobiography, Who I…


Book cover of The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

Why this book?

The title of this book might suggest that it will be a book of lists. It is not, not even close. Instead, Greil Marcus offers something closer to a philosophical meditation on what rock ‘n’ roll is. Or aspires to be when played and sung as a heartfelt, life-altering, reckless abandon musical genre. It’s largely about attitude and feeling. The book is a fascinating read as one travels along with the author while he ruminates on different artists and their work and how some songs have resonated deeply with (and influenced) later musicians across the span of time. 

The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

By Greil Marcus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of our finest critics gives us an altogether original history of rock 'n' roll

Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock 'n' roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out-a new language, something new under the sun.

"Transmission" by Joy Division. "All I Could Do Was Cry" by Etta…

The Beatles: The True Beginnings

By Roag Best, Pete Best, Rory Best

Book cover of The Beatles: The True Beginnings

Why this book?

Nobody really understands why The Beatles are still so popular over 50 years after they last played together. Rory Best is the brother of Pete Best (famously replaced in The Beatles by Ringo Starr) and the son of Neil Aspinall (the Beatles Road Manager who later ran Apple Corporation - The Beatles’ own company). This book tells the story of the true origins of The Beatles, centred around his mother, Mona Best, and The Casbah Coffee Club.

The Beatles: The True Beginnings

By Roag Best, Pete Best, Rory Best

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Casbah Coffee Club, which opened in Liverpool on August 29, 1959, was the brainchild of Mona Best, the mother of Pete Best. It is well known that Pete Best was the drummer for The Beatles in their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg. But less well known is that The Beatles’ origins were in fact at Pete’s mother’s club-it was at the Casbah and with Mona Best’s blessing that the greatest popular music phenomenon of the twentieth century began.

And now, the basement club where The Quarrymen, The Silver Beatles, and finally The Beatles played over 90 times before…

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

By Michelle Zauner,

Book cover of Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

Why this book?

I loved Michelle Zauner’s essay by the same name when it came out in The New Yorker in 2018. I teach this essay in my Intro to Food Writing Class, and my students find it as moving and transporting as I do. Zauner’s new memoir—it came out in April—chronicles the decline of her mother's health and her own journey in finding her sense of self, often through the Korean dishes, ingredients, and flavors that connect her to her mom. The mother-daughter relationship is complex, full of love and pain, and the writing is gorgeous and sparkling.

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

By Michelle Zauner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crying in H Mart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2021

The New York Times bestseller from the Grammy-nominated indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, an unflinching, deeply moving memoir about growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity in the wake of her loss.

'As good as everyone says it is and, yes, it will have you in tears. An essential read for anybody who has lost a loved one, as well as those who haven't' - Marie-Claire

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer,…


Book cover of Chuck Berry: The Autobiography

Why this book?

Chuck Berry: The Autobiography is a primary clue to the Inner Chuck, if not the Facts of Chuck, an indisputable masterpiece, witty, elegant, and revealing, and (or perhaps but) ultimately elusive. Unlike so many music (and other) autobiographies, every word of this one was written by its author in a web of elegant, intricate connections that are both coded and transparent. Very much like the songs.

Chuck Berry: The Autobiography

By Chuck Berry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the original rock and rollers tells his own story, discussing his childhood in St. Louis, his first musical efforts and his subsequent stardom, and many of the controversial detours he has taken along the way

Book cover of The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles

Why this book?

The Love You Make is pure pop pablum. It’s almost tabloid-like in its recounting of the Beatle’s relationships, their drug use, and their many petty squabbles. Written by Brian Epstein’s assistant (Brian Epstein, of course, was the Beatles’ manager), Brown has some stories to tell. Full of photos too. This one’s a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.

The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles

By Peter Brown, Steven Gaines,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Here is the national bestseller that Newsday called “the most authoritative and candid look yet at the personal lives…of the oft-scrutinized group.” In The Love You Make, Peter Brown, a close friend of and business manager for the band—and the best man at John and Yoko’s wedding—presents a complete look at the dramatic offstage odyssey of the four lads from Liverpool who established the greatest music phenomenon of the twentieth century. Written with the full cooperation of each of the group’s members and their intimates, this book tells the inside story of the music and the madness, the feuds and…

Book cover of Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World

Why this book?

Like none of the others, Dreaming the Beatles is more like a series of reflections from someone who came along well after the Beatles. The book was published in 2017 and it’s a fond look back at what still remains. Not so much a direct history as a sort of compendium of remembrance with chapters like “The Importance of Being Ringo” or “The Cover of Abbey Road.” A distinct pleasure to read.

Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World

By Rob Sheffield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An NPR Best Book of the Year • Winner of the Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism

“This is the best book about the Beatles ever written”  —Mashable

Rob Sheffield, the Rolling Stone columnist and bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape offers an entertaining, unconventional look at the most popular band in history, the Beatles, exploring what they mean today and why they still matter so intensely to a generation that has never known a world without them.

Dreaming the Beatles is not another biography of the Beatles, or a song-by-song analysis of the best of John…


Book cover of Land of a Thousand Bridges: Island Girl in a Rock & Roll World

Why this book?

A lead vocalist of the Billboard-charting girl group Fanny, a rock sensation of the 1970s, June continues to publish rollicking memoirs of growing up in the Philippines, relocating to white American suburbia, and starting a band with her sister Jean. Now featured in the independent documentary film “Fanny: The Right to Rock,” June and her former bandmates hope to see Fanny inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The book covers years of wild gigs, how the band negotiated twin pressures of racism and sexism, and recording alongside a range of celebrities--including Barbra Streisand.

Land of a Thousand Bridges: Island Girl in a Rock & Roll World

By June Millington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Land of a Thousand Bridges as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood

Why this book?

The definitive, authorised Johnny Thunders biography, beautifully written by a beloved confidant of the late New York Doll. With a star like Thunders, lesser writers would give in to the temptation to mythologise, but Antonia is a balanced, clear-eyed biographer, presenting her friend’s complex story with style, compassion, grace, and honesty. Nina is the bohemian queen of decadence and rock ‘n’ roll’s darker side, and this book is one of many jewels in her crown.

Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood

By Nina Antonia,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The official biography of the New York Dolls and Heartbreakers' guitarist. ‘Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood’ is the cult bible of all things Thunders. It is the definitive portrait of the condemned man of rock'n'roll, from the baptism of fire and tragedy that was the New York Dolls, through the junkie punk years of the Heartbreakers and beyond. It is an unflinching account of a unique guitarist whose drug problems often overshadowed his considerable style and talent. Johnny was a hugely influential figure in both the glam-rock and punk eras and his music and style still resonates today.

Nina Antonia…

Book cover of 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child

Why this book?

This book was really the first serious biography on Jimi Hendrix. The author, David Henderson, was a contemporary of Hendrix and wrote the book as a favor to him. Henderson was a founding member of the Umbra Poets, an influential collective of poets and writers who were central to the Black Arts Movement. Clocking in at over 400 pages, this book offers a very detailed look at the total life of Hendrix, from his formative years in Seattle, to his life as a musical superstar, rubbing elbows with musical luminaries in London and NYC. This is the Jimi bio that I use to compare all other Jimi bios. (This bio has stood the test of time! There have been many pressings and updates to this book. Originally published in 1978, its latest reprint was in 2009.)

'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child

By David Henderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fusing blues, jazz and psychedelia with an outrageous personal style and image, Hendrix is still revered as the most important instrumentalist in the history of rock. He died aged 27 from drugs and alcohol. Capturing the essence of Hendrix's intense, apocalyptic and ultimately tragic life, the author covers Hendrix's boyhood in Seattle, his years in the US Air Force, his reputation as the best sideman around, his manic trip to London and superstardom, the songs, the concerts, the flaming guitars, the drugs, the booze, the women and most important, the incomparable legacy he left behind.

Book cover of Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius

Why this book?

The most emphasized aspect of Jimi Hendrix’s life has always been his turn as a meteoric Rock guitar phenomenon. His exploits in Europe and his triumphant return to the US usually captures most of the ink regarding his existence on this earth. Many people thought that Jimi Hendrix came out of thin air and was manufactured in London. However, this book sheds light on Jimi’s musical foundation as an itinerant sideman on the Chitlin’ Circuit. This was where he honed his craft and developed his chops.

You can’t leave this aspect out and jump straight to Purple Haze and All Along the Watchtower. This book leaves no stone unturned, as far as it relates to his formation as a skilled guitarist. The colorful cast of characters Jimi encountered on the dusty roads of the South and everywhere in between, will have you amused and laughing out loud.

Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius

By Steven Roby, Brad Schreiber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Becoming Jimi Hendrix traces"Jimmy's" early musical roots, from a harrowing, hand-to-mouth upbringing in a poverty-stricken, broken Seattle home to his early discovery of the blues to his stint as a reluctant recruit of the 101st Airborne who was magnetically drawn to the rhythm and blues scene in Nashville. As a sideman, Hendrix played with the likes of Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, the Isley Brothers, and Sam & Dave- but none knew what to make of his spotlight-stealing rock guitar experimentation, the likes of which had never been heard before. From 1962 to 1966, on the rough and tumble…

Book cover of Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

Why this book?

Some people consider this the second serious biography about Jimi Hendrix after David Henderson’s bio. Charles Cross had a great budget and the benefit of being based in Seattle. Since it was published in 2006, it also had the huge advantage of a treasure trove of updated information, culled from decades of numerous people doing research on Hendrix, who had a huge renaissance in the late ’90s, when his family won the rights back to his catalog. This Jimi bio was just a tune-up for his more successful bio on another Seattle Rock legend, Kurt Kobain, which was entitled, Heavier Than Heaven.

Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

By Charles R. Cross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Charles R. Cross has got as close to the truth as anyone yet in his exhaustive and ground-breaking account of the life of the greatest guitarist in the history of rock.' Observer

'Meticulously researched' Mojo

Jimi Hendrix continues to fascinate, and sell huge quantities of albums, even 35 years after his death. Quite apart from his influence on musicians and fans, a large part of the appeal of his sensational life story lies in the thrill of the era whose values he came to stand for. The Sixties still exert a massive pull over pop culture and this is genuinely…


Book cover of Starting at Zero: His Own Story

Why this book?

This is the coolest Hendrix book ever because it is all written by Jimi himself! Peter Neal has transcribed all know statements, letters, lyrics, interviews, audio clips or quotes into chronological order and makes it read like an autobiography. The lyrics and letters are included where they belong in the timeline. I learned more about Hendrix from this very personal account than from anything else. It’s a brilliant idea and a one of a kind read!

Starting at Zero: His Own Story

By Jimi Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It took just four years in the spotlight for Jimi Hendrix to become an international cultural icon. The sheer impact and originality of his music and his unique mastery of the guitar placed him for ever amongst musical giants. But what of the man behind the public image?

Modest and intensely private by nature, Jimi was shrouded in intrigue from the moment he first came into the public eye, and the mystery has only grown with time. Much has been written about him by experts, fans and critics, some of it true and some of it not. He did, however,…

Book cover of Stranger Than Kindness

Why this book?

While Nick Cave is primarily a musician/songwriter, this book is a visual record of Cave’s creative journey filled with his early sketchbooks, photos, drawings, and typewritten song lyrics annotated by hand. Many of us artists work in sketchbooks where we can feel free to be messy and exploratory and pour our hearts onto the page. Some of us need words as well as images to explore the world around us, decipher our feelings and uncover our work. I love musing over Nick’s here—so messy and wild to begin and a little more ordered as he ages as one might expect. The book is filled with photos of different parts of his life, drawings and doodles, tight handwritten scripts and taped over typewritten lyrics gone yellow with age. It’s a compendium of a wonderful artist’s creative process. A real joy to sit down with and muse over.

Stranger Than Kindness

By Nick Cave,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Stranger Than Kindness is a journey in images and words into the creative world of musician, storyteller and cultural icon Nick Cave.

This highly collectable book invites the reader into the innermost core of the creative process and paves the way for an entirely new and intimate meeting with the artist, presenting Cave's life, work and inspiration and exploring his many real and imagined universes. It features full colour reproductions of original artwork, handwritten lyrics, photographs and collected personal artefacts along with commentary and meditations from Nick Cave, Janine Barrand and Darcey Steinke.

Stranger Than Kindness…


No One Here Gets Out Alive

By Jerry Hopkins, Danny Sugerman,

Book cover of No One Here Gets Out Alive

Why this book?

This was the book that inspired me to start writing. It’s a page-turning bio of the short life and very fast times of Jim Morrison from The Doors, and it made me realise you could write about music without resembling some giddy fanboy — Morrison comes off as a rock and roll poet and a drunken bozo. It rates with the best biographies I’ve read, regardless of topic or genre.

No One Here Gets Out Alive

By Jerry Hopkins, Danny Sugerman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No One Here Gets Out Alive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A portrait of Jim Morrison is based on seven years of research and tells the story behind his musical genius, worship of darkness, rejection of all forms of authority, and tragic death when his life spun out of control. Reissue.

Book cover of Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'n'roll as Literature and Literature as Rock 'n'roll

Why this book?

Lester Bangs ranks as one of the great music writers and as a high priest of gonzo, the new-journalism approach that posited the writer as the dominant character in rambling, straight-from-the-typewriter pop-cultural manifestos published in Rolling Stone and Creem and their ilk. I think Lester rivals Hunter Thompson and Joan Didion as the most potent and enduring voice of that era. He’s one of my favorite writers. I don’t think he wrote anything but record reviews.

Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'n'roll as Literature and Literature as Rock 'n'roll

By Lester Bangs,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Until his death aged thirty-three in 1982, Lester Bangs wrote wired, rock 'n' roll pieces on Iggy Pop, The Clash, John Lennon, Kraftwerk, Lou Reed. As a rock critic, he had an eagle-eye for distinguishing the pre-packaged imitation from the real thing; written in a conversational, wisecracking, erotically charged style, his hallucinatory hagiographies and excoriating take-downs reveal an iconoclast unafraid to tell it like it is. To his journalism he brought the talent of a great a renegade Beat poet, and his essays, reviews and scattered notes convey the electric thrill of a music junky indulging the habit of a…

Book cover of The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-On Collision of Rock and Commerce

Why this book?

It’s a real insider’s view of what it took to make turn such artists as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen into money-spinning superstars. Interestingly, some of the back-room kingmakers — Albert Grossman, David Geffen, and the rest of them — prove to be just as interesting and complicated as the music makers they represented.

The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-On Collision of Rock and Commerce

By Fred Goodman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1964, on the brink of the British Invasion, the music business in America shunned rock and roll. There was no rock press, no such thing as artist management -- literally no rock-and-roll business. Today the industry will gross over $20 billion. How did this change happen?

From the moment Pete Seeger tried to cut the power at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival debut of Bob Dylan's electric band, rock's cultural influence and business potential have been grasped by a rare assortment of ambitious and farsighted musicians and businessmen. Jon Landau took calls from legendary producer Jerry Wexler in his…

Book cover of Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC

Why this book?

Mark Evans was the bassist for AC/DC and played on such classics as ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ and ‘Long Way to the Top’. He was a resident of the ‘Prahran Hilton’ — a public housing estate in Melbourne — when he joined the band, and within a year he was in London mixing it up with Ozzy Osbourne (‘the plumber of darkness’), Marc Bolan, the Sex Pistols and the rest of them. This is a real boy’s own, working-class, rock and roll adventure.

Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC

By Mark Evans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mark Evans joined AC/DC in 1975, at only nineteen years old, when they were one of the hardest working and loudest rock bands in Australia. In the next few years AC/DC recorded four bestselling albums, and Mark found himself headlining world tours and living the life of a bonafide rock star. His memoir, Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside and Outside of AC/DC, is the first book written by an AC/DC insider, giving fans insight into the life of not only Evans, but also singer Bon Scott, who died tragically in 1980. Rock and roll icons like George Harrison, Gene Simmons,…

Book cover of Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, the Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock

Why this book?

While not just a Bob Dylan book his presence and that of his powerful manager Albert Grossman dominate this history of the period in the sixties in the artist’s retreat which gave its name to the Woodstock Festival. Hoskins reveals a wealth of fascinating detail of Dylan’s sojourn between his last UK tour of 1966 and his Isle of Wight concert three-and-a-half years later. This was the most crucial period of his artistic development after achieving superstardom in the mid-decade. Holed up in Woodstock with The Band, he remained there until the notorious festival effaced the privacy of his sanctuary, prompting his departure for England.

Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, the Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock

By Barney Hoskyns,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Think "Woodstock" and the mind turns to the seminal 1969 festival that crowned a seismic decade of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. But the town of Woodstock, New York, the original planned venue of the concert, is located over 60 miles from the site to which the fabled half a million flocked. Long before the landmark music festival usurped the name, Woodstock-the tiny Catskills town where Bob Dylan holed up after his infamous 1966 motorcycle accident-was already a key location in the '60s rock landscape. In Small Town Talk, Barney Hoskyns re-creates Woodstock's community of brilliant dysfunctional musicians, scheming…

Book cover of I Swear I'll Make It Up to You: A Life on the Low Road

Why this book?

In 1992, Mishka Shubaly survived a mass shooting at his school, his parents divorced, his father abandoned him, and he swore he would right all the wrongs for his mother. Instead, he began a love affair with the bottle and barely crawled out, but he did, and we cheer him on at each twist and turn in his journey.

I Swear I'll Make It Up to You: A Life on the Low Road

By Mishka Shubaly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Swear I'll Make It Up to You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An odyssey of family, heartbreak, violence, punk rock, brokenness, broke-ness, sex, love, loss, drinking, drinking, drinking, and an unlikely savior: distance running.A misfit kid at the best of times, Mishka Shubaly had his world shattered when, in a twenty-four-hour span in 1992, he survived a mass shooting on his school's campus, then learned that his parents were getting divorced. His father, a prominent rocket scientist, abandoned the family and their home was lost to foreclosure. Shubaly swore to avenge the wrongs against his mother, but instead plunged into a magnificently toxic love affair with alcohol.Almost two decades later, Shubaly's life…

Feel Like Going Home

By Peter Guralnick,

Book cover of Feel Like Going Home

Why this book?

A series of profiles of the author’s musical heroes, along with erudite essays on blues, rock’n’roll, and Chess Records, this is an essential primer. You cannot understand the place of the blues in modern culture without also understanding Little Richard, Elvis Presley, the relationships between white label bosses and their black artists, and the ever-present, inescapable fact of musical cross-pollenation. Chess had Muddy Waters on its roster, and Howlin Wolf, but also Chuck Berry, Ramsey Lewis, and The Moonglows. Guralnick’s writing is elegant, informed, and self-aware, and from Skip James to Jerry Lee Lewis, in the 50 years since its publication, the reputations of his book’s iconic subjects have rocketed in value.

Feel Like Going Home

By Peter Guralnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feel Like Going Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Examines the cultural factors which have influenced the musical careers and styles of such individuals as Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Shines.

Book cover of Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me

Why this book?

Boyd experienced an iconic era of rock n roll first hand by being a 1960s model who  married George Harrison after meeting on the set of “A Hard Day’s Night.” The stories of her marriage to Harrison and the A-list rock stars she socialized with, surely would make her the best dinner party guest ever. But if that’s not enough, the second part of the book chronicles her tumultuous marriage to Eric Clapton and ultimately ends with her learning to stand on her own. A truly moving story of strength.

Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me

By Pattie Boyd, Penny Junor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For the first time, rock music’s most famous muse tells her incredible story

“A charming, lively and seductive book . . . The appeal of Wonderful Tonight is as self-evident as the seemingly simple but brash opening chord of ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’”—The New York Times Book Review

Pattie Boyd, former wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, finally breaks a forty-year silence and tells the story of how she found herself bound to two of the most addictive, promiscuous musical geniuses of the twentieth century and became the most legendary muse in…

Book cover of Clapton: The Autobiography

Why this book?

Eric Clapton's early childhood was difficult. He'd been born illegitimately, complicating his relationship with his birth mother. His primary consolation came from playing the guitar. His fantastic talent as a young guitarist made him a cult favorite in the British nightclub scene until the entire world discovered him as a superstar in his first band, the short-lived, Cream. But his memberships in Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie, and Friends, and Derek and the Dominoes were also fleeting despite producing some of the most timeless songs in rock history.

All of his weaknesses rose to the top when he convinced Pattie Boyd to leave George Harrison and live with him in 1974. Pattie began traveling with Clapton as he began touring the U.S. In 1979, he and Pattie finally married, with Harrison present as an invited guest. While it seemed that Clapton had everything he had ever wanted, he was sinking into the depths of alcoholism and addiction. Though there is much more to this tangled web, Clapton seems to admit that much of Pattie's allure for him was more about her being George's wife than his single-minded obsession. In both Clapton's autobiography and Pattie Boyd's book, this affair is a glimpse into the incredible life these people lived in the fabulous rock years of the sixties and seventies. There must be a lesson for all of us in here somewhere.

Clapton: The Autobiography

By Eric Clapton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eric Clapton is far more than a rock star. Like Dylan and McCartney he is an icon and a living legend. He has sold tens of millions of records, played sell-out concerts all over the world and been central to the significant musical developments of his era. His guitar playing has seen him hailed as 'God'. Tracks such as "Layla", "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Wonderful Tonight" and "Tears In Heaven" have become anthems for generations of music fans. Now for the first time, Eric tells the story of his personal and professional journeys in this pungent, witty and painfully honest…

Book cover of Storms: My Life with Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac

Why this book?

Four weeks after its release, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album hit number one on Billboard and remained there for thirty-one weeks. But the band itself was disintegrating. John and Christine McVie's seven-year marriage was on the edge of divorce as recording started. And the ethereal Stevie Nicks and mercurial Lindsey Buckingham's relationship had fractured explosively, only ceasing when the mics were on for recording. Mick Fleetwood had discovered that his wife and mother of his two children was having an affair. And if that wasn't enough, Fleetwood and Nicks would soon begin a fleeting dalliance. If this album didn't hit, Fleetwood Mac would implode, but its extraordinary success, despite the emotional maelstrom surrounding the band, kept them together: everybody desperately needed the money.

The author of this book, an audio engineer in training at Producer's Workshop, a Hollywood studio where my own band recorded a few years earlier, fell in love with Lindsey Graham during their mixing sessions there. She was just about to experience first-hand all of this band's dysfunction, the mayhem drug use and alcohol abuse were creating. Over the next nine years, she would endure the backstabbing chaos that produced all the painfully biographical songs of the Rumours album. Eventually, one of Buckingham's compulsively paranoid rages nearly killed her. Though it took years to walk away from the musical genius, and a man she still loved, she finally escaped. And again, we see inside the lives of superstar musicians and singers who loved, hated, and obsessed over themselves and each other in such appalling ways.

Storms: My Life with Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac

By Carol Ann Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Fleetwood Mac were recording and then touring with their classic Rumours - at the time the fastest-selling album in history - they were one of the biggest music acts in the world. But behind the facade of their tuneful, breezy, memorable pop songs was a world of internal animosity and strife, drug use, incestuous sexual shenanigans and wild partying which, as the band took a new direction with the follow-up album Tusk, inexorably spiralled into darkness and chaos. One might expect such excess from Aerosmith - but...Fleetwood Mac? Carol Ann Harris was the girlfriend of Fleetwood Mac's singer and…

Book cover of This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band

Why this book?

Levon Helm’s unflappable integrity makes him such a likable protagonist you’ll root for him as he rises up from small-town Arkansas boy to A list musician. You’ll see the salt  of the Earth underdog that he was as he recounts what happened behind the scenes at  “The Last Waltz.” This Wheel’s on Fire reads like a director’s cut commentary you can’t believe you’re privy to hearing.  

This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band

By Levon Helm, Stephen Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Wheel's on Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The singer and drummer of the Band details, in this book, the history of one of the most influential groups of the 1960s. While their music evoked a Southern mythology with their beautifully crafted, image-rich songs, only their Arkansan drummer, Levon Helm, was the genuine article. This updated edition of his life story includes a new epilogue that covers the last dozen years of his life. From the cotton fields to Woodstock and from seeing Sonny Boy Williamson and Elvis Presley to playing for President Clinton, This Wheel's on Fire replays the tumultuous life of Levon Helm in his own…


Slash

By Slash, Anthony Bozza,

Book cover of Slash

Why this book?

Well, no one ever said Guns N Roses was boring. Slash’s book is one that could be read in one sitting then quickly passed to a friend so you can dish the behind-the-scenes details together. Slash is a fun narrator for a story that is wild, tragic, and inspiring all at once.

Slash

By Slash, Anthony Bozza,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It seems excessive...but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

The mass of black curls. The top hat. The cigarette dangling from pouty lips. These are the trademarks of one of the world's greatest and most revered guitarists, a celebrity musician known by one name: Slash.

Saul "Slash" Hudson was born in Hampstead to a Jewish father and a black American mother who created David Bowie's look in The Man Who Fell to Earth. He was raised in Stoke until he was 11, when he and his mother moved to LA. Frequent visitors to the house were David Bowie, Joni Mitchell,…


The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band

By Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Neil Strauss

Book cover of The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band

Why this book?

When I was asked to co-write Nikki Sixx's biography, I was initially nervous about attempting to follow this stone-cold-classic rock autobiography. The Dirt demonstrated that Nikki Sixx was far from the only pathologically confessional member of Mötley Crüe. A masterful chronicle of warped ambition, alcoholism, drug abuse, intra-band friction, and extremely pre-#MeToo behavior, The Dirt was perfectly named: you feel as if you need a shower when you’ve finished reading it. 

The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band

By Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Neil Strauss

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Celebrate thirty years of the world's most notorious rock band with the deluxe collectors' edition of The Dirt-the outrageous, legendary, no-holds-barred autobiography of Motley Crue. Fans have gotten glimpses into the band's crazy world of backstage scandals, celebrity love affairs, rollercoaster drug addictions, and immortal music in Motley Crue books like Tommyland and The Heroin Diaries, but now the full spectrum of sin and success by Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, and Mick Mars is an open book in The Dirt. Even fans already familiar with earlier editions of the bestselling expose will treasure this gorgeous deluxe edition. Joe…

Long and Winding Roads

By Kenneth Womack,

Book cover of Long and Winding Roads

Why 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.

Long and Winding Roads

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

Why 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.

Across the Great Divide: The Band and America

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 Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band

Why this book?

Not many books are written about bands that labor in the trenches for over thirty years with little success. The Fleshtones formed in New York City in the mid 1970s, one of many new wave/punk bands seeking to fulfill their rock-‘n’-roll dream. Today, they are still looking to achieve that dream. Since 1982, they have released over 20 albums, none achieving commercial success. With just the right combination of humor and seriousness (like The Fleshtones themselves), Sweat documents the band’s bad luck, bad management, bad record contracts, bad decisions, and self-destructive behaviors. Always on the brink of breaking through, “The Fleshtones,” as lead-signer Peter Zaremba put it, “have stared in the face of success and laughed.”

Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band

By Joe Bonomo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's June 2001. Keith Streng steers a cramped mini-van north along Lincoln Avenue in Chicago while Peter Zaremba, Bill Milhizer and Ken Fox sprawl in the back nursing hangovers and road weariness. They pull into the Apache, quaintly described as a "hooker hotel" by local folk, and drag their gear and merchandise into a decrepit room. Blood is splattered on the ceiling, roaches scurry on the walls and grainy porn blares on the television. Next door, two obese half-naked guys sit on a bed with an enormous bottle of cheap bourbon between them, staring idly at the TV.The Fleshtones are…

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

Why this book?

Mike Stax, editor of the magazine Ugly Things, delivers a gripping and disturbing account of Craig Smith (aka Maitreya Kali), another pop music casualty. Smith, a gifted singer, and songwriter was a backup singer on The Andy Williams Show in the mid-1960s; wrote songs for Williams, Glen Campbell, The Monkees, and others; and self-released two solo albums in the early 1970s. Stax’s narrative focuses on what went wrong in Smith’s life. Most tellingly, he takes us along Smith’s shattering adventure in the late 1960s along the Hippie Trail from Afghanistan to India.

Stax interviews dozens of Smith’s friends, work partners, travel companions, and love interests to investigate the troubled life of Smith, who suffered from mental illness and the devastating effects of LSD and who spent his last 35 years homeless, wandering the streets of Los Angeles.

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

By Mike Stax,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…

Garcia: An American Life

By Blair Jackson,

Book cover of Garcia: An American Life

Why this book?

This is a big, sprawling biography of the heart and soul of The Grateful Dead - guitarist, songwriter, and troubled musical genius Jerry Garcia. Jackson did his research, interviewing over a hundred people including Garcia, his friends, lovers, and bandmates. Plus he went through thousands of source material documents and probably listened to thousands of concert tapes and recordings. He knows the Dead. He loves the Dead. And he captures the essence of Garcia superbly. It’s been called a definitive portrait and it is.

Garcia: An American Life

By Blair Jackson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Examines the life and times of Jerry Garcia, capturing the psychedelic world of the musician and songwriter, his relationship with members of the Grateful Dead, his battle with drug addiction, and his lasting influence on popular music.

Book cover of Living with the Dead: Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the Grateful Dead

Why this book?

As good a history of the Dead as you’re likely to find. Scully spent nearly two decades as close to the band as you could get without actually being a member. Great stories and anecdotes and a wonderfully drawn and evocative history of the band from their very early acid-drenched days in the 1960s through to their evolution as one of the most important and loved bands in American music history.

Living with the Dead: Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the Grateful Dead

By Rock Scully, David Dalton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As a manager for the Grateful Dead, Rock Scully was with the band from its early days in San Francisco to the years it spent touring the globe as one of the most enduring legends in music history. In Living with the Dead , Scully gives a complete account of his outrageous experiences with the band, during years that saw the Grateful Dead transform from a folksy revivalist band to psychedelic explorers of outer space. In addition to close-up portraits of band members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Phil Lesh, Micky Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, Scully brings into the story…

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

Why 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.

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

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 Home Before Daylight: My Life on the Road with the Grateful Dead

Why this book?

Researching a book on the lives and work of road crew was a fascinating, eye-opening, and thoroughly enjoyable, and enlightening experience. It also made me realise how few of those people have told their own stories. In fact, not nearly enough of them start writing road crew folk! But this book was a delightful revelation – a road crew guy, with a great way with words and insights – and telling us about his experiences with one of my favourite rock’n’roll bands of all time. What’s not to like. This may not be the easiest book to find – but like a Grateful Dead show, the reward is often the journey and what you find at the end.

Home Before Daylight: My Life on the Road with the Grateful Dead

By Steve Parish, Joe Layden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a look at one of America's legendary rock bands: The Grateful Dead. It is the tale of a man who lived the dream, rising from roadie to manager. It tells a story of music, friendship and redemption, and is filled with stories of memorable shows and the sometimes insane life on the road.

Book cover of Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead

Why this book?

The subtitle tells you all you really need to know. Kreutzmann was a founding member of the Grateful Dead and there for the whole long, strange trip and – to date – the only band member to pen an insider’s account of exactly what it’s like to be a member of The Grateful Dead. He tells a good story and if the Grateful Dead loom as large in your life as they do mine – well, just image a memoir written by Ringo Starr or Charlie Watts. Drummers sit there doing their stuff – and they see everything.

Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead

By Bill Kreutzmann, Benjy Eisen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For thirty years, beginning in the hippie scene of San Francisco in 1965, they were a musical institution, the original jam band that broke new ground in so many ways. Bill Kreutzmann, one of their founding members and drummer for every one of their over 2,300 concerts, has written an unflinching and wild account of playing in the greatest improvisational band of all time. Everything a rock music fan would expect is here, but what sets this apart is Bill's incredible life of adventure that was…

Freefall

By Mindi Scott,

Book cover of Freefall

Why this book?

Freefall deals with some really heavy issues facing a lot of young adults, and because this is one of the few books I’ve ever picked up where the hero is into rockabilly and physcobilly. He even plays a standup bass in a garage band. This book is also very age-appropriate, so it can be enjoyed by a wider audience than my books and some of my more grown-up recommendations.

I loved it because I felt like it dealt with the subject of depression and self-harm in a really relatable and compassionate way. I could feel the struggle of these kids through the pages. I also liked how it relayed that music can be healing no matter what genre the music may be.

I read this book as an adult and remember thinking that I wish I had something similar to read when I was younger. And as an adult, I loved seeing a type of music and subculture I personally love on the pages. Those rockabilly boys have great style and cool hair, there should be more heroes like them in romance novels!

Freefall

By Mindi Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend, Isaac, alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time when Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn't wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend's death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever…

Book cover of Good Rockin' Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll

Why this book?

You can’t tell the story of rock ’n’ roll without diving into the life of the crazed, flamboyant musical entrepreneur Sam Phillips and his Memphis recording studio, Sun Records. There he discovered rock ’n’ roll pioneers Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison, and recorded blues artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon. 

When you finish the book, though, I think you’ll agree that his greatest creation was Sam Phillips. 

Good Rockin' Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll

By Colin Escott, Martin Hawkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good Rockin' Tonight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Memphis, Tennessee. The early 1950s. The Mississippi rolls by, and there's a train in the night. Down on Beale Street there's hard-edged blues, on the outskirts of town they're pickin' hillbilly boogie.

At Sam Phillips' Sun Records studio on Union Avenue, there's something different going on. "Shake it, baby, shake it!" "Go, cat, go!" "We're gonna rock..."

This is where rock 'n' roll was born-the record company that launched Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins. The label that brought the world, "Blue Suede Shoes," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Breathless," "I Walk the Line,"…


It Came from Memphis

By Robert Gordon,

Book cover of It Came from Memphis

Why this book?

In Memphis during the 1950s, there was Black and there was White, but the two rarely met. One of the few places where they did was in clubs and recording studios, and the sparks they struck started a fire that came to be called rock ’n’ roll. 

In this wonderfully rich stew of a book, author and filmmaker Robert Gordon walks the streets of Memphis, exploring the sights and sounds and smells of a unique, endlessly fascinating world. 

As Gordon’s publisher says, “This is a book about the weirdos, winos, and midget wrestlers who forged the rock ’n’ roll spirit.” As Rolling Stone says, “If you haven’t read this book, do it now.”

It Came from Memphis

By Robert Gordon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Vienna in the 1880s. Paris in the 1920s. Memphis in the 1950s. These are the paradigm shifts of modern culture. Memphis then was like Seattle with grunge or Brooklyn with hip-hop―except the change was more than musical: Underground Memphis embraced African American culture when dominant society abhorred it. The effect rocked the world. We’re all familiar with the stars’ stories, but It Came From Memphis runs with the the kids in that first rock and roll audience, where they befriended the older blues artists, the travails of blazing a rock and roll career path where one had not existed (nor…

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

Why 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 worked tirelessly to gather firsthand accounts of concerts, commemorate the musical and activist heritage of the Grande, and preserve the building itself – which, thanks to their efforts, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The firsthand stories Early presents about the Grande’s rock ‘n’ roll heyday are written with such high-resolution detail that readers will feel like they’ve shared in the epic “Grande Experience”. 

The Grande Ballroom: Detroit's Rock 'n' Roll Palace

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 Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader

Why this book?

Late Lester Bangs is probably the first name that comes to my mind when piercing, observant rock criticism is concerned, but it seems his books are currently collecting dust somewhere, even though they have not lost any of their relevance.

He is also one of the authors that not only shaped my personal views on music, but also the style of writing I’m trying to pursue.

Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader

By Lester Bangs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before his untimely death in 1982, Lester Bangs was inarguably the most influential critic of rock and roll. Writing in hyper-intelligent Benzedrine prose that calls to mind Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson, he eschewed all conventional thinking as he discussed everything from Black Sabbath being the first truly Catholic band to Anne Murray’s smoldering sexuality. In Mainlines, Blood Feasts, Bad Taste fellow rock critic John Morthland has compiled a companion volume to Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, the first, now classic collection of Bangs’s work. Here are excerpts from an autobiographical piece Bangs wrote as a teenager, travel essays,…

Book cover of What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography

Why this book?

I am a huge Iron Maiden fan, like a devoted acolyte fan. Over the years, I’ve seen them multiple times, bought a closet full of concert shirts, and collected their beers/Funko Pops/album deluxe versions. Bruce Dickinson is the band’s second vocalist, and here he gives us the tales of his early days in Samson before joining Steve Harris and the Maiden crew. We get stories of his childhood and family in typical autobiography fashion, but it takes off once he gets into the meat of his time with Iron Maiden.

The book is captivating because he reflects on leaving Maiden to follow a solo career. The struggles he dealt with personally and professionally paint a picture of a man who had it all but wanted to try something new. The book’s final portion deals with his return to Iron Maiden and how he went through cancer. Cancer could’ve ended his career as a vocalist, but he battled it and came back stronger than ever. Overall, it is an insightful look at the life of the man singing for one of the world’s biggest metal bands.

What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography

By Bruce Dickinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Does This Button Do? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I was spotty, wore an anorak, had biro-engraved flared blue jeans with "purple" and "Sabbath" written on the thighs, and rode an ear-splittingly uncool moped. Oh yes, and I wanted to be a drummer...'

Bruce Dickinson - Iron Maiden's legendary front man - is one of the world's most iconic singers and songwriters. But there are many strings to Bruce's bow, of which larger-than-life lead vocalist is just one. He is also an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, film scriptwriter and an international fencer: truly one of the most unique and interesting men in…


Book cover of White Line Fever: The Autobiography

Why this book?

If a person ever personified being a metal god, it was Lemmy. The leader for the legendary Motorhead didn’t care about how he appeared to people. Lemmy wanted to kick ass on stage and leave a legacy marked by booze and smokes. This book shines the light on how Lemmy rose to become one of the most influential vocalists and bass players in metal. If you like an irreverent look at the price of fame, this book is for you.

White Line Fever: The Autobiography

By Lemmy, Janiss Garza,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lemmy's name was synonymous with notorious excess. His blood would have killed another human being. This is the up-to-date story of the heaviest drinking, oversexed speedfreak in the music business who tragically passed away earlier this year.
Lemmy had quickly outgrown his local bands in Wales, and tripped through his early career with the Rocking Vicars, backstage touring with Jimi Hendrix, and his time with Hawkwind. In 1975 he went on to create speedmetal and form the legendary band Motoerhead.
Motoerhead stand firm as conquerors of the rock world, their history spanning an insurrectionary forty years. While the Motoerhead line-up…

Book cover of Monsters of River & Rock: My Life as Iron Maiden's Compulsive Angler

Why this book?

Adrian Smith is one of the lead guitar players in Iron Maiden. Adrian has a passion beyond the stage and his career; he loves fishing. When I first picked up the book, I wasn’t sure how the book would be at keeping me engaged and interested. I’m not a fisherman, and I don’t relish going outside much. The book begins with him recounting how he started his love of fishing near his childhood home when he was younger. The book then uses his touring and recording schedules to recount his fishing trips and most extraordinary catches spanning the globe. Each catch is part of a tapestry woven through his life on the road. In the end, I found myself in awe of how much Adrian loves to fish and how seriously he takes it as a hobby.

Monsters of River & Rock: My Life as Iron Maiden's Compulsive Angler

By Adrian Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monsters of River & Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Come to the riverbank with Adrian Smith and cast a line on the wild side.

'Beautifully written account' Dave Simpson, The Guardian

'Writes beautifully' The Sun

Welcome to the world of Adrian Smith, playing his Jackson guitar onstage to millions - while behind the scenes he explores far-flung rivers, seas and lakes, waterways and weirs, in a fearless quest for fishing nirvana.

Hooked on the angling adrenaline rush since first catching perch from East London canals on outings with his father, Adrian grew up to be in one of Rock's most iconic bands. On tour, his gear went with him.…


Bricktown Boys

By Pete Fanning,

Book cover of Bricktown Boys

Why this book?

Bricktown Boys is a story of a family in crisis from a boy’s point of view. Thirteen-year-old Sam Beasley lives with his dysfunctional mother, her abusive boyfriend, and drugs. He assumes the role of his mother’s protector and will do anything to save her from herself which is near impossible. Fanning gives us a counterpoint to Sam’s mother in Mrs. Coleman, the bible quoting, grammar stickler widow on his street. Mrs. Coleman is full of spirit and kindness, but also has a no-nonsense approach which Sam gravitates to. She is his rock in an upside-down world. This book has wonderful street-wise dialogue and a fascinating group of diverse characters.

Bricktown Boys

By Pete Fanning,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*Winner of the 2021 Indies Today Best Juvenile Book Award*
 
It's 1987 and twelve-year-old Sam Beasley only wants two things: to play football and for his mother to stop dating losers. Only there's no money for a football team in Bricktown, while there's an endless supply of losers for his mother to bring home.

Sam finds a friend in the elderly widow down the street. While he's careful not to let on about his crummy home life, Mrs. Coleman always seems to know when he needs to do wash or eat a hot meal. When he mentions his football dilemma,…

Book cover of Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

Why this book?

In the space of one year (1970), the Beatles broke up, James Taylor became an overnight star, and Simon and Garfunkle reached the height of their popularity, Crosby Stills Nash & Young formed a wildly successful group and then disbanded. Their stories intertwine in unexpected ways, embroidered with interactions of dozens of other rock icons who would shape the music of the seventies. 

Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

By David Browne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set against a backdrop of world-changing historical and political events, Fire and Rain tells the extraordinary story of one pivotal year in the lives and music of four legendary artists, and reveals how these artists and their songs both shaped and reflected their times. Drawing on interviews, rare recordings, and newly discovered documents, acclaimed journalist David Browne allows us to see,and to hear,the elusive moment when the '60s became the '70s in a completely fresh way" (Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution ).

The Armageddon Rag

By George R.R. Martin,

Book cover of The Armageddon Rag

Why this book?

Before Game of Thrones became a cultural touchstone, Martin was known as much for his horror novels as for his fantasy. The Armageddon Rag follows the reunion of 1960s prog-rock legends The Nazgul, who broke up after their lead singer, Patrick Hobbins, was assassinated onstage. When a wealthy promoter introduces the surviving band members to a Hobbins doppelganger who seems to be possessed by the spirit of the late vocalist, it becomes apparent that the Nazgul are the unwitting center of a ritual to bring darkness to a world that rejected the light and love of the Sixties. Vivid characters, flower-child nostalgia, and an ominous vibe combine to make this an absorbing read.

The Armageddon Rag

By George R.R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Magic, music, drugs and rock'n'roll in an early novel from George R. R. Martin, author of A GAME OF THRONES

One-time underground journalist Sandy Blair has traveled far from his radical roots in the '60s - until the bizarre and brutal murder of a millionaire rock promoter draws him back. As Sandy sets out to investigate the crime, he finds himself on a magical mystery tour of the pent-up passions of his generation. For a new messiah has resurrected the once legendary rock band Nazgul - but with an apocalyptic new beat that is a requiem of demonism, mind control,…


Heart-Shaped Box

By Joe Hill,

Book cover of Heart-Shaped Box

Why this book?

Heart Shaped Box is a fantastic horror novel. I thought I knew where the story was going, but I was totally wrong. The main characters are heavily flawed, but you cheer them on anyhow, hoping they can escape. This story kept my heart pumping til the last page. I loved that I didn’t guess what the ending would be.

Heart-Shaped Box

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Heart-Shaped Box as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Buy my stepfather's ghost' read the e-mail.

So Jude did.

He bought it, in the shape of the dead man's suit, delivered in a heart-shaped box, because he wanted it: because his fans ate up that kind of story. It was perfect for his collection: the genuine skulls and the bones, the real honest-to-God snuff movie, the occult books and all the rest of the paraphanalia that goes along with his kind of hard/goth rock.

But the rest of his collection doesn't make the house feel cold. The bones don't make the dogs bark; the movie doesn't make Jude feel…


Daisy Jones & The Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Book cover of Daisy Jones & The Six

Why this book?

Part of me has always wanted to be a girl like Daisy, one who will walk barefoot through the streets of LA and just trust that she won’t get tetanus. Alas, I keep my shoes on. But that’s why reading about Daisy Jones is so much fun. Her innate talent, beauty, and powerful charisma might be enough to propel her to stardom anyway, but she does not settle for being just another pretty singer, pushing her writing, ambition, and her voice to their scratchy, stretched-out limits. I could read this again and again.

Daisy Jones & The Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Daisy Jones & The Six as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE AN AMAZON PRIME TV SERIES STARRING SAM CLAFLIN, RILEY KEOUGH AND CAMILA MORRONE

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the author of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO and the bestselling MALIBU RISING

'I LOVE it . . . I can't remember the last time I read a book that was so fun' DOLLY ALDERTON

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation.

Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They…


A Slipping-Down Life

By Anne Tyler,

Book cover of A Slipping-Down Life

Why this book?

This book has one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever come across in fiction. Evie Decker is an introverted and slightly eccentric teen living in small-town America whose ordinary life takes a completely different turn when she hears a young musician, Drumsticks Casey, being interviewed on the radio. Anne Tyler can be depended on to create fascinatingly quirky characters – I’ve long been a big fan of her writing – but I think she outdid herself with Evie. The story is unexpected and moving and funny and sad – really, it provides all the feels. The evolving relationship between Evie and Casey, with its ups and downs and twists, is perfectly told, and the dialogue sparkles with authenticity. 

A Slipping-Down Life

By Anne Tyler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Wickedly good' John Updike

In a small Southern town, shy teenager Evie Decker becomes obsessed with local rock singer Bertram 'Drumstrings' Casey, and decides to take her life into her own hands. When she manages to meet him, she bursts out of her lonely shell and their two lives become unforgettably entwined.

**ANNE TYLER HAS SOLD OVER 1 MILLION BOOKS WORLDWIDE**

'One of my favourite authors' Liane Moriarty

'She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

'Anne Tyler has no peer' Anita Shreve

'A masterly author' Sebastian Faulks


The Idea of You

By Robinne Lee,

Book cover of The Idea of You

Why this book?

I thought I was too jaded to read about a single mom embarking on a torrid love affair with a global—younger—boyband heartthrob. This is a romance I’ve written in my mind since age 14 and who could outdo my own vision of marrying a member of Duran Duran? Turns out Robinne Lee does in this gripping, sensual, and soul-stirring romance that is set in a real place. Years after reading this, I’m still thinking of the relationship and its many layers.

The Idea of You

By Robinne Lee,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Idea of You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Solene Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favourite boy band, she doesP so reluctantly and at her ex-husband's request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things. What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as…

Book cover of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

Why this book?

I always preferred the title Heather chose for the original, unpublished story (Slurry) but I’m sure the publisher had a hand in that change. FD, Rock Star is chock full of sexy musicians with artistic temperaments. The Darcy and Elizabeth story leads the way; it’s great on its own, but the Richard/Charlotte B-story is fabulous as well. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

By Heather Rigaud,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Darcy's as hot as he is talented...

Fast music, powerful beats, and wild reputations—on and off stage—have made virtuoso guitarist Fitzwilliam Darcy's band into rock's newest bad boys. But they've lost their latest opening act, and their red-hot summer tour is on the fast track to disaster. Now Darcy and bandmates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are about to meet their match...

But she's about to rock his world...

Enter Elizabeth Bennet, fiercely independent star of girl-band Long Borne Suffering. Elizabeth, her sister Jane, and friend Charlotte Lucas have talent to spare and jump at the opening band slot. Elizabeth…


Book cover of Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division

Why this book?

I’ve loved the music of Joy Division for years, and bassist Peter Hook is a master storyteller. Through a series of anecdotes strung together with track-by-track analyses of the Joy Division albums and recollections of specific gigs, Hook examines the band’s brief and idiosyncratic history in intimate detail. For example, Hook and drummer Stephen Morris were both under suspicion for the Yorkshire Ripper murders because Hook’s van had been seen in the neighborhood where the murders took place; they were actually just there to play some gigs, but Morris was taken in for questioning due to his antsy demeanor. Key takeaway: Joy Division made a lot of mistakes on the road to pop stardom, but Hook wouldn’t have had it any other way.  

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division

By Peter Hook,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Joy Division changed the face of music. The sound of music. The meaning of music. Godfathers of the current alternative scene, they reinvented rock in the post-punk era, creating a new sound -- dark, hypnotic, intense - that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead and many others. The band's image, once subversive and alienating, has become an internationally renowned 'look' well documented by photographers Anton Corbijn, Kevin Cummins and graphic designer Peter Saville.

Inspired by the attitude, energy and sound of Punk, particularly the Sex Pistols, Peter Hook and his old school friend Bernard Sumner started a band which continues…

The War of the Flowers

By Tad Williams,

Book cover of The War of the Flowers

Why this book?

Tad Williams has many acclaimed series, but this stand-alone novel is my favorite. The protagonist is pulled into another realm where magic reigns supreme. The protagonist must uncover his past while learning about his place in the magical realm before both worlds are destroyed. The way Williams has connected up the two worlds is unique, and the world-building alone gets this story on my must-read list.

The War of the Flowers

By Tad Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Theo Vilmos' life is about to take a real turn for the worse.

 

He is drawn from his home in Northern California into the parallel world of Faerie, for, unknown to him, he is a pivotal figure in a war between certain of Faerie's powerful lords and the rest of the strange creatures who live in this exotic realm.

 


Book cover of The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

Why this book?

Before he was part of Nirvana or Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl was a kid frenetically banging drum sticks on pillows, playing along with his favorite records. He eventually saved up for a drum kit and his one and only drum lesson, in which he learned that he had been holding the sticks backward. From humble beginnings, Dave stayed remarkably humble and appreciative of the twists and turns of his musical career. Reading the book feels like you are sitting down with him backstage, sharing a beer as he shares highlights of his life with candor and humor.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

By Dave Grohl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

So, I've written a book.

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ('It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!'), I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or…

Book cover of Disgraceland: Musicians Getting Away with Murder and Behaving Very Badly

Why this book?

A greatly entertaining book about the myriad scandals of Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, crimes and murder among Norway’s black metal bands, how Sam Cooke wound up shot to death in a low-budget motel, and Gram Parsons’ death at 26, among others, written by the guy with a podcast of the same name. I’ve played and listened to music my entire life but have never really studied the topic or its practitioners, so much of this came as a fascinating surprise. Brennan does veer into fiction—at one point he relates a conversation between two dead people after they’re dead—but still a very interesting compilation. 

Disgraceland: Musicians Getting Away with Murder and Behaving Very Badly

By Jake Brennan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the creator of the popular rock 'n' roll true crime podcast, Disgraceland comes an off-kilter, hysterical, at times macabre book inspired by true stories from the highly entertaining underbelly of music history.
You may know Jerry Lee Lewis married his thirteen-year-old cousin but did you know he shot his bass player in the chest with a shotgun or that a couple of his wives died under extremely mysterious circumstances? Or that Sam Cooke was shot dead in a seedy motel after barging into the manager's office naked to attack her? Maybe not. Would it change your view of him…

Book cover of Dirty Like Me: A Dirty Rockstar Romance

Why this book?

This book holds a special place in my heart. It was the first rock star romance book I ever read, and introduced me to the seductive world of rock stars and the women that love them. It’s a story about an ordinary girl thrust into an extraordinary situation with a man that every woman wants. What ensues is a story of off-the-charts chemistry, sexual tension, and learning how to deal with the pressures of life in the spotlight. It’s a hot, fun read that will have you wanting to find your very own rock star to go on tour with. 

Dirty Like Me: A Dirty Rockstar Romance

By Jaine Diamond,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A full-steam, fake-to-real romance, featuring a charming, famous heartbreaker, a sweet “regular” girl, a salacious job offer, a ridiculous bet and way too many shared hotel beds.

A gorgeous rock star. An indecent proposal. How can a girl resist?

Struggling barista Katie Bloom doesn’t even know who Jesse Mayes is until she inadvertently wins the coveted role of his hot new girlfriend in his latest music video.
But by the time she’s in bed with him, she knows his reputation.

Love maker.
Heartbreaker.

Making out with a stranger in front of a camera crew isn’t how Katie imagined herself getting…

Beneath the Stars

By A.L. Jackson,

Book cover of Beneath the Stars

Why this book?

A.L. Jackson is a fantastic writer, who sucks you into the world of her rock stars and makes it so you never want to leave. Her books are emotional and gripping, and she’ll have you smiling and crying—sometimes at the same time. Beneath the Stars is the last book in her Falling Stars series, but it’s my favourite. This story of a broken, damaged soul hiding his pain from the world, only to be rescued by a woman who has survived her own trauma, is absolutely gorgeous. If you enjoy sexy, southern rock stars, a forbidden, brother’s best friend romance, and a love that will sweep you off your feet, you’ll adore this book!  

Beneath the Stars

By A.L. Jackson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A friends-to-lovers romance about an unattainable rockstar and his best friend’s younger sister from NYT and USA Today bestselling author A.L. Jackson

Maggie Fitzgerald is the last girl I should think about taking to my bed.

On the cusp of turning 21, she has her whole life waiting out ahead of her. Sexy AF while still radiating an innocence that I know better than to taint.

And here I am, itching to reach out and touch a girl who is so forbidden that just thinking about her feels like committing a mortal sin.

Thing is, I love playing with fire.…


Book cover of Lick: A Stage Dive Novel

Why this book?

Lick was another of my earliest rock star romance reads. It takes the rock star trope and combines it together with the accidentally married trope, and I loved every second of it! It was so much fun reading about how these strangers deal with waking up after a wild night out on the town in Las Vegas only to realize they’re now married. That would be difficult enough without one of them being a very famous rock star. This story is sexy, entertaining, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, all at the same time. Not always an easy combination to pull off, but Kylie Scott manages it beautifully.

Lick: A Stage Dive Novel

By Kylie Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.


Born to Run

By Bruce Springsteen,

Book cover of Born to Run

Why this book?

As far as I can tell, Springsteen wrote this himself. And, god, is he talented. I already knew him as the architect of arguably the greatest run of rock ‘n roll albums of the 1970s, an output matched only by Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell in the broader pop pantheon. Now I know he was an amazing guitarist to boot, and a wonderful writer. This book tells a great American story. Springsteen is that rare memoirist who manages to explain what makes himself tick.

Born to Run

By Bruce Springsteen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Writing about yourself is a funny business...But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I've tried to do this." -Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty,…

Book cover of The Happy Ever After Playlist

Why 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.

The Happy Ever After Playlist

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…

Moonwalk

By Michael Jackson,

Book cover of Moonwalk

Why this book?

I have been and always will be a huge Michael Jackson fan. And because my book was inspired by conversations about his children, I feel it only right to list his autobiography on my list. Michael Jackson is often accused of wanting to be White because of his various plastic surgeries and the change in his skin tone but what many people don’t know, or believe, is that he suffered from vitiligo, a skin disorder that causes pigment-producing cells to die or stop functioning.

Moonwalk

By Michael Jackson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The only book Michael Jackson ever wrote about his life

It chronicles his humble beginnings in the Midwest, his early days with the Jackson 5, and his unprecedented solo success. Giving unrivalled insight into the King of Pop's life, it details his songwriting process for hits like Beat It, Rock With You, Billie Jean, and We Are the World; describes how he developed his signature dance style, including the Moon Walk; and opens the door to his very private personal relationships with his family, including sister Janet, and stars like Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, Marlon Brando, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney,…


Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules!

By E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Pat Zietlow Miller,

Book cover of Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules!

Why this book?

Rock stars don’t love following rules, so you can imagine that starting kindergarten is a problem. Lupe arrives wearing sunglasses and ready to use her pencils as drum sticks. I love that this book celebrates a girl who wants to rock without cramping her style. Lupe may have to learn to follow rules and be a good friend, but any doubts about her stardom are quickly dismissed. 

Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules!

By E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Pat Zietlow Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a sassy drummer starts kindergarten, the rules of school cramp her style. What’s a young rock star to do?

When Lupe Lopez struts through the doors of Hector P. Garcia Elementary in sunglasses with two taped-up Number 2 pencils—drumsticks, of course—poking from her pocket, her confidence is off the charts. All day, Lupe drums on desks, tables, and chairs while Ms. Quintanilla reminds her of school rules. Lupe has her own rules: 1) Don’t listen to anyone. 2) Make lots of noise. ¡Rataplán! 3) Have fans, not friends. But with her new teacher less than starstruck, and fans hard…


With or Without You

By Caroline Leavitt,

Book cover of With or Without You

Why this book?

I am fascinated by the idea of how an assault to the brain can change a person not only physically, but also on deeper emotional and spiritual levels.

Stella emerges from a drug and alcohol-induced coma to find her personality, identity and relationships have completely changed. Before her coma, Stella was an exceptional nurse, but afterwards, she no longer finds fulfillment in her chosen career. Will Stella ever get back to the person she used to be? 

With or Without You

By Caroline Leavitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked With or Without You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Leavitt has crafted an irresistible portrait of midlife ennui and the magic of breaking free."
-People

"With or Without You is a moving novel about twists of fate, the shifting terrain of love, and coming into your own. With tenderness and incisive insight, Leavitt spotlights a woman's unexpected journey towards her art." -Madeline Miller, author of Circe

A Best Book of the Month: Bustle * PopSugar

New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt writes novels that expertly explore the struggles and conflicts that people face in their search for happiness. For the characters in With or Without You, it seems…

Music Legends: 40 inspiring icons

By Hervé Guilleminot, Jérôme Masi (illustrator),

Book cover of Music Legends: 40 inspiring icons

Why this book?

The 7-to-10-year-old set will love this one. My own rock-loving son, who inspired the character of Truffle in our book, was addicted to this series of books (which also includes Black Music Greats: 40 inspiring icons), originally published in France. Both informative and filled with fun facts about the 40 artists selected by the authors (readers will learn about Mod culture through The Who, about how ABBA got their name, or how the Wu-Tang Clan influenced hip hop), the book reads like a cheat sheet on pop and rock music, with vivid and colorful illustrations.   

Music Legends: 40 inspiring icons

By Hervé Guilleminot, Jérôme Masi (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The biggest bands…the hugest hits…the 40 most memorable music legends of all time are here! In this fun, fact-packed book from the 40 Inspiring Icons series, learn how these musicians became the voice of their generation. 

Meet the King of Pop, find out about the Fab Four, learn how Bob Dylan led a revolution, discover the different identities of David Bowie, and fall "Crazy in Love" with Beyoncé. From the Doors, whose single "Light My Fire" took them to #1 on the US charts after years in obscurity, to the Wu-Tang Clan, whose debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)…

Piece of My Heart

By Peter Robinson,

Book cover of Piece of My Heart

Why this book?

Lots of books have been written about sixties pop culture, something I cut my teeth on as a music and movie fanatic, but few have captured it as well as Peter Robinson's Piece of My Heart. Named after the Janis Joplin classic, the book has Chief Inspector Alan Banks trace the recent murder of a rock journalist to the murder of a young woman at an outdoor rock concert in 1969. You might expect a strong dose of nostalgia, but Robinson, a Canadian with British roots, transcends the soft stuff with hard insight into what that era was all about—the good, the bad, and the sorrowful. 


Piece of My Heart

By Peter Robinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As volunteers clean up after a huge outdoor rock concert in Yorkshire in 1969, they discover the body of a young woman wrapped in a sleeping bag. She has been brutally murdered. The detective assigned to the case, Stanley Chadwick, is a hard-headed, strait-laced veteran of the Second World War. He could not have less in common with - or less regard for - young, disrespectful, long-haired hippies, smoking marijuana and listening to the pulsing sounds of rock and roll. But he has a murder to solve, and it looks as if the victim was somehow associated with the up-and-coming…


The Rich Man's Table

By Scott Spencer,

Book cover of The Rich Man's Table

Why this book?

This novel by the author of Endless Love (fabulous novel, terrible movie adaptations) isn't a mystery novel in the strictest terms. But it's about one of the greatest human mysteries, Bob Dylan, represented by fictional singer-songwriter Luke Fairchild, and considering how little we know about Dylan, how can we not seize the chance to see him through the eyes of a great novelist? The novel is narrated by Fairchild's illegitimate son, who obsessively searches for his father after discovering he is a legendary artist. In an act of considerable nerve, Spencer punctuates the pages with Dylanesque lyrics. 


The Rich Man's Table

By Scott Spencer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rich Man's Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A man’s impassioned search for his legendary rock star father becomes a journey of self-discovery in this masterful novel from bestselling author Scott Spencer

Billy Rothschild’s obsession with legendary ’60s folksinger Luke Fairchild could be considered fanatic, if not for the fact that Luke is actually Billy’s father. Raised by his beautiful, charismatic, former–flower child mother, Billy is a lost soul. Determined to learn something—anything—about his origins, he sets out on an illuminating quest to find and confront the father he always knew of but never knew.

Evocative and lyrical, The Rich Man’s Table is a moving portrait of a…

Book cover of The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

Why this book?

This was a true story of rockstar Nicky Sixx and his struggle to overcome drugs and alcohol addiction. I related to this book and could feel the emotions in his writing. I liked that he came through the other side of it all to be an inspiration to others suffering from addiction. There were many parts of this book that inspired me to elaborate in my own book and explain how it felt in similar detail.

The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

By Nikki Sixx, Ian Gittins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In one of the most unique memoirs of addiction ever published, Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx shares mesmerizing diary entries from the year he spiraled out of control in a haze of heroin and cocaine, presented alongside riveting commentary from people who were there at the time, and from Nikki himself. When Motley Crue was at the height of its fame, there wasn't any drug Nikki Sixx wouldn't do. He spent days - sometimes alone, sometimes with other addicts, friends, and lovers - in a coke and heroin-fueled daze. The highs were high, and Nikki's journal entries reveal some euphoria and…

Book cover of The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds

Why this book?

What on earth would possess you to burn a million quid? And if you’re going to, why travel to the small Scottish island of Jura to do it? Was this some ill-conceived publicity stunt, a cry for help, or a ceremony born of chaos and magic? John Higgs takes the reader on a deep dive into the fractured psyche of a couple of musicians that were briefly the most successful singles band in the world, and attempts to unravel the reasons behind what many people felt was either a self-absorbed, utterly insane, or obsessively destructive act. Along the way we dip into the philosophy of Discordianism, the influence of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus! trilogy and the significance of darkly magical rabbits, as we’re provided with enough clues to draw our own conclusions. 

The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds

By John Higgs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The best non-fiction book I've ever read. It's magical. Stunning' Dan Schreiber, No Such Thing As a Fish

'A pop biography for people who don't read pop biographies' Dorian Lynskey, Guardian

'Brilliant, discursive and wise' Ben Goldacre

'Utterly irresistible and totally brilliant' The Quietus

'A thing of endlessly fascinating, utterly demented genius' Alexis Petridis

THE STRANGE TALE OF THE DEATH, LIFE AND LEGACY OF THE HUGELY SUCCESSFUL BAND.

They were the bestselling singles band in the world. They had awards, credibility, commercial success and creative freedom. Then they deleted their records, erased themselves from musical history and burnt their last…


Book cover of Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts, 1960-2016

Why this book?

Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts takes on the tall task of trying to chronicle the greatest live popular music concerts in history. Corbin Reiff offers intricacies of the cultural and historical context for the legendary shows as well as details about the specific performances. Designed to entertain fans of all genres and certain to foment a bevy of arguments among die-hard fans, this book is delightful.

Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts, 1960-2016

By Corbin Reiff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Passionate, personal, and articulated from the lens of a masterful historian with a sharp interest in the topic. . . . A book that feels immersive without being stuffy, authoritative without being dismissive, and historical without being boring. It takes a rare writer to cover acts as disparate as Van Halen, The Dixie Chicks, and NWA with equal gravitas and knowledge, but in Lighters in the Sky Reiff has done just that..” ―UPROXX

“Veteran music critic Corbin Reiff catalogs a well-researched, year-by-year breakdown of the most seminal concerts in each of the last six decades.” ―Business Insider

“A first-rate tribute…


Book cover of Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley

Why this book?

Speaking of Elvis, this biography, the second of two parts, is among the greatest of the late 20th century. We begin with Elvis entering the U.S. Army in 1958 and follow this increasingly lost soul through the years, his fame metastasizing into something unrivaled, incredible, enviable and wholly malignant. Guralnick captures the singular loneliness Elvis came to suffer, the slow suicide that was his Las Vegas residency, the exploitations of his manager, Col. Tom Parker, and a death so humiliating it finally made Elvis what he had longed to be for decades: Profoundly, squalidly human. None other than Bob Dylan called this Presley biography the one that “cancels out all others.”

Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley

By Peter Guralnick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Last Train to Memphis, the first part of Guralnick's two-volume life of Elvis Presley, received unprecedented accolades. This concluding volume recounts the second half of Elvis's life in rich and previously unimagined detail, and confirms Guralnick's status as one of the great biographers of our time. Beginning with Presley's army service in Germany in 1958 and ending with his death in Memphis in 1977, Careless Love chronicles the unraveling of the dream that once shone so brightly, homing in on the complex playing-out of Elvis's relationship with his Machiavellian manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It's a breathtaking drama that places the…

Book cover of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation

Why this book?

This is a compelling, detailed history of three influential singer/songwriters – Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Their early careers were wildly different, yet intersected in unexpected ways as they each found their unique paths to success. What I love most about this deftly written account is that specific songs are set in their historical context, so you better understand what was happening with the artist at that time and gain new insights into the songs that still resonate today, fifty years later.

Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation

By Sheila Weller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America’s most important musical artists—Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon—charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.

Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of…

The Saga of Hawkwind

By Carol Clerk,

Book cover of The Saga of Hawkwind

Why this book?

Carol Clerk was something of a rock star in her own right: a major force in music writing, Clerk’s tough, witty voice continues to resound years after her untimely passing. Her biography of countercultural hippy icons Hawkwind is fascinating, and she weaves together the voices, memories, tales, and travails with effortless brio. Like Nina Antonia, she had a kinship with the musicians she wrote about, garnering stories with ease because they trusted her, and rightly so.

The Saga of Hawkwind

By Carol Clerk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hawkwind emerged in 1969 from Ladbroke Grove, the heartland of London's counterculture, to become a 'people's band' supported by bikers and hippies alike as they staged free gigs, benefits and protests and welcomed the involvement of any number of creative people - writers, poets, dancers - from within their community. They have had more line-up changes than their only remaining founder member Dave Brock, can remember. Motorhead's Lemmy and legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker were just two of the musicians sacrificed along the way as the band went head to head with the police, customs, the taxman - and each…

Book cover of Old Rock (Is Not Boring)

Why this book?

Old Rock's friends think that he has a boring life. Yes, he's been sitting in the same spot for many, many years. But Old Rock tells them about the time he flew (out of a volcano!) and the dinosaurs he met and the time he lived inside a glacier. Seems Old Rock's life has not only been long, but very exciting! With the various characters in the book, there's fun dialogue begging to be read aloud. Your budding geologist, paleontologists, and historians will love to hear you read this book aloud.

Old Rock (Is Not Boring)

By Deb Pilutti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Old Rock (Is Not Boring) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Kirkus Best Book of 2020

A Parents Magazine Best Book of 2020


Quirky charm infuses this tale of Old Rock's life story, which is much more exciting than you'd expect.

Old Rock has been sitting in the same spot in the pine forest for as long as anyone can remember. Spotted Beetle, Tall Pine, and Hummingbird think just sitting there must be boring, but they are in for a wonderful surprise.

Fabulous tales of adventurous travel, exotic scenery, entertaining neighbors, and more from Old Rock's life prove it has been anything but boring.

Great storytellers come in all shapes,…


Book cover of A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life

Why this book?

A lawyer who finds himself going through very rough times in his life, both financially and emotionally. At that point, he started to choose selflessness as a way of life and his road started to go down a dangerous path. He regains his balance thanks to gratitude. He starts writing gratitude messages, small letters just to say thank you. The more he writes the more he feels better and suddenly his life changes. Now he's successful in business and love.

I can’t recommend enough writing thank you messages during your days to people you know, clients, and everyone that comes to your mind. And I thank the author for this precious idea.

A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life

By John Kralik,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Simple Act of Gratitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who in your life deserves thanks? What started out as an experiment- a quest to send 365 Thank You notes in a year- became a way of life for author John Kralik. After he hit rock bottom, the genuine effort of writing a brief note each day eased his anger, frustration, and sadness. This new focus on being grateful- even when it seemed there was little left to be thankful for- transformed his difficulties and fears as if by magic. Friendships grew deeper.....family bonds strengthened......health and finances improved. Expressing gratitude exposed the richness in his life, and the process can…

Red Rock

By Kate Kelly,

Book cover of Red Rock

Why this book?

I’m a sucker for a good opening and this book intrigued me from the beginning. Kelly does a great job in building the tension and setting her world up in the seemingly normal reactions of her characters and it was this that kept me reading. Even though the main character is only 14, and it’s targeted at young adults, I still enjoyed it as an adult. It does some great cli-fi storytelling without being preachy, which is great! 

Red Rock

By Kate Kelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The ice caps have melted. The coastal areas we once knew are gone, and only 'scavvers' now live in the flooded towns. The world has changed, but as 14-year-old Danni Rushton soon discovers, it isn't the first time...Living with her uncle after the tragic death of her parents, Danni's world is turned upside down when her aunt is assassinated. With her dying breath, she entrusts Danni with a strange, small rock. Danni must not tell a soul that she has it. But what is the rock for, and to what lengths must Danni go to keep it safe? This action-packed…

Book cover of Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley

Why this book?

When my wife and I moved to Nashville, I was stunned to realize that most forms of American popular music had been born within 500 miles of our new home, in an arc from New Orleans (jazz) to the Mississippi Delta (blues) to Memphis (rock ’n’ roll) to Nashville (bluegrass) to Bristol (country). 

I began reading eagerly about American popular music, and my reading led to writing—most recently my novel about the birth of country music, Lord of the Mountain. This list gives you some of my favorite books.

The best of these is also one of my favorite biographies of any kind, Peter Guralnick’s magnificent Last Train to Memphis, the first volume of his essential two-volume story of Elvis Presley and the birth of rock ’n’ roll.

Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley

By Peter Guralnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Train to Memphis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written with grace, humor, and affection, Last Train to Memphis has been hailed as the definitive biography of Elvis Presley. It is the first to set aside the myths and focus on Elvis' humanity in a way that has yet to be duplicated.

A New York Times Notable Book

Winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award

"Elvis steps from the pages. You can feel him breathe. This book cancels out all others." --Bob Dylan

From the moment that he first shook up the world in the mid 1950s, Elvis Presley has been one of the most vivid and…

Revival

By Stephen King,

Book cover of Revival

Why this book?

This novel is the perfect blend of historical fiction and horror, and King perfectly captures small-town rural life among people who hold a little too strongly to both tradition and stereotypes. The novel invokes that particular dread that can only be raised by those philosophical questions that one can’t seem to answer; the horror of the unknown. Plus, given my own book, I have a soft spot for traveling preachers who aren’t what they seem. 

Revival

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A spectacularly dark and electrifying novel about addiction, religion, music and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, in the early 60s, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Charles Jacobs. Soon they forge a deep bond, based on their fascination with simple experiments in electricity.

Decades later, Jamie is living a nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll. Now an addict, he sees Jacobs again - a showman on stage, creating dazzling 'portraits in…


Everybody Needs a Rock

By Byrd Baylor, Peter Parnall (illustrator),

Book cover of Everybody Needs a Rock

Why this book?

This is the original, classic rock book against which all others are measured. It originally came out in 1974, when I was a child, and I read it to my kids more than 20 years later. Happily, it’s still around. The book is written in first person, with the main character sharing 10 rules that will help readers find their own perfect rock. One of my favorite lines from the book is: “It has to feel easy in your hand when you close your fingers over it. It has to feel jumpy in your pocket when you run.”

Everybody Needs a Rock

By Byrd Baylor, Peter Parnall (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everybody Needs a Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everybody needs a rock -- at least that's the way this particular rock hound feels about it in presenting her own highly individualistic rules for finding just the right rock for you.

If You Find a Rock

By Peggy Christian, Barbara Hirsch Lember (photographer),

Book cover of If You Find a Rock

Why this book?

This book talks to the readers in second person describing the different types of rocks they may find. But, the book doesn’t use their scientific names. Oh, no. This book tells you if you have a skipping rock, a wishing rock, a splashing rock, a sifting rock, a worry rock, or one of many other types of rocks. It’s illustrated with wonderful photographs of kids and rocks.

If You Find a Rock

By Peggy Christian, Barbara Hirsch Lember (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If You Find a Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think of all the rocks there are: skipping rocks, splashing rocks, climbing rocks, and wishing rocks. Children can’t help collecting them. With joyful, poetic text and luminous photographs, If You Find a Rock celebrates rocks everywhere—as well as the mysterious and wonderful places they are found.

A Rock Can Be...

By Laura Purdie Salas, Violeta Dabija (illustrator),

Book cover of A Rock Can Be...

Why this book?

This book tells readers all kinds of things rocks can be using rhyme and whimsy. For example: “A rock can be a … tall mountain. Park fountain.” “Hopscotch marker. Fire sparker.” This book will spark imagination and conversation about all the other things rocks could be. There’s scientific rock information in the back, along with a glossary and recommended rock books.

A Rock Can Be...

By Laura Purdie Salas, Violeta Dabija (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Rock Can Be... as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rock is a rock, part of cliff, road or sea. But now can you guess what else it can be?

A rock can be a…dinosaur bone, stepping-stone, hopscotch marker, fire sparker. Find out about the many roles a rock can play in this poetic exploration of rocks around the world.

Laura Purdie Salas's lyrical, rhyming text and Violeta Dabija's glowing illustrations make simple yet profound observations about seemingly ordinary objects and encourage readers to suggest "what else it can be!" Using metaphors for a leaf (tree topper / rain stopper), a rock (hopscotch marker / fire sparker), and water…


The Wishbones

By Tom Perrotta,

Book cover of The Wishbones

Why this book?

Everything about this book screams New Jersey. The setting, the voice, the colorful cast of characters surrounding the main character, Dave Raymond, a guitarist for a wedding band called The Wishbones with a serious case of arrested development. Musicians and those on the cusp of marrying one (like I was when I first read this novel) will fall in love with this book for all its humor and quirky charms. I’ve read and loved every one of Tom Perrotta’s novels and short story collections, but this is the book that inspired me to proudly embrace my inner Jersey girl when I finally decided to write my first novel.

The Wishbones

By Tom Perrotta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The second novel from Tom Perrotta, author of 'Little Children', 'Election' and 'The Abstinence Teacher'.

Everything is going pretty well for Dave Raymond. He's 31, but he still feels young. He's playing guitar with the Wishbones, a New Jersey wedding band, and while it isn't exactly the Big Time, it is music. He has a roof over his head...well, it's his parents' roof, but they don't hassle him much. Life isn't perfect. But it isn't bad. Not bad at all.

But then he has to blow it all by proposing to his girlfriend...

One man's treasure is another man's millstone.…


The Midnights

By Sarah Nicole Smetana,

Book cover of The Midnights

Why this book?

One book that I really recommend reading is the novel The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana. The main character, Susannah, is a seventeen-year-old girl who plays a mean guitar like her former rock star father whose attention she craves very much. She is driven with passion to pursue her dream even after her father suddenly dies unexpectedly, and must uproot to a new city where she eagerly takes on the challenge. The story is an emotionally charged coming-of-age novel involving loss, creativity, and feeling confident in your voice, while feeling confident in your choices to define who you are. 

The Midnights

By Sarah Nicole Smetana,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This voice-driven coming-of-age YA novel is perfect for fans of Katie Cotugno and Playlist for the Dead.

Susannah Hayes has never been in the spotlight, but she dreams of following her father, a former rock star, onto the stage. As senior year begins, she's more interested in composing impressive chord progressions than college essays, certain that if she writes the perfect song, her father might finally look up from the past long enough to see her. But when he dies unexpectedly, her dreams--and her reality--shatter.

While Susannah struggles with grief, her mother uproots them to a new city. There, Susannah…

Hit So Hard: A Memoir

By Patty Schemel,

Book cover of Hit So Hard: A Memoir

Why this book?

I happened to have spent time with Patti Schemel when my band Scarce toured for a month with Hole in 1995. Patti is the real deal when it comes to being a musician. She’s a badass on the drums, and in real life. I really enjoyed the intimate moments she shared about Kurt Cobain. They are tender and sweet, and show a very different side of his public persona. She takes us into the back scenes of what was like to be in a band as it took off, backing up the very unpredictable Courtney Love onstage, and what it means to be a rock star. I also loved that she spent time writing about what it was like to be a lesbian in the male-dominated rock world, where women are seen often as simply something pretty to look at. Her personality really shines through her writing. She’s fierce, honest, and cool. If you have ever wondered what it’s like to be a famous rock star, this tells it all good and bad.

Hit So Hard: A Memoir

By Patty Schemel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A stunningly candid portrait of the Seattle grunge scene of the '90s and a memoir of an addict during the last great era of rock 'n' roll excess, by Hole drummer Patty Schemel

Patty Schemel's story begins with a childhood surrounded by the AA meetings her parents hosted in the family living room. Their divorce triggered her first forays into drinking at age twelve and dovetailed with her passion for punk rock and playing the drums. Patty's struggles with her sexuality further drove her notoriously hard playing, and by the late '80s she had focused that anger, confusion, and drive…

Python for Everyone

By Cay S. Horstmann, Rance D. Necaise,

Book cover of Python for Everyone

Why this book?

I used this book for several years starting in 2013 when the first edition came out. It absolutely holds up today. Learning the Python language (the syntax) is one thing. Learning how to design programs using this syntax is another. We need both but, unfortunately, many books forgo the latter for the former. Not this book! I like the Problem Solving and Worked Example sections: they help learners apply a disciplined, step-by-step strategy to programming projects. There are multiple, varied contexts here as well, which helps capture a broader base of learners. Bonus feature: the Computing & Society boxes.

Python for Everyone

By Cay S. Horstmann, Rance D. Necaise,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Python for Everyone, 3rd Edition is an introduction to programming designed to serve a wide range of student interests and abilities, focused on the essentials, and on effective learning. It is suitable for a first course in programming for computer scientists, engineers, and students in other disciplines. This text requires no prior programming experience and only a modest amount of high school algebra. Objects are used where appropriate in early chapters and students start designing and implementing their own classes in Chapter 9. New to this edition are examples and exercises that focus on various aspects of data science.


Blood and Bone

By Paula Dombrowiak,

Book cover of Blood and Bone

Why this book?

Paula Dombrowiak writes non-traditional rock star romances that will absolutely touch your heart. This is the first book in her Blood & Bone series and tells the story of middle-aged rock star Jack, who is being interviewed by Erin about the rise and fall of his nineties grunge band, including his tumultuous relationship with his former bandmate and collaborator, Mia. Paula paints a vividly realistic picture of the nineties grunge scene, skillfully mixing past and present to tell Jack’s heartbreaking story. This book is a beautifully written and emotional look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the rock star life. 

Blood and Bone

By Paula Dombrowiak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A steamy, exciting, and emotional rock star romance with a bit of a slow burn, a love triangle and a '90s grunge aesthetic.

Two Days, One Interview, Twenty-Five Years of Rock 'N Roll. Telling his story might just repair past relationships and ignite new ones.

Jack O’Donnell is a middle-aged rock star with a long history of bad decisions. When unimaginable circumstances bring Jack and journalist Erin Langford, together, the two embark on a journey through Jack’s past where he recounts the rise and fall of his band and the profound bond he shared with his former bandmate and collaborator.…


Finnikin of the Rock

By Melina Marchetta,

Book cover of Finnikin of the Rock

Why this book?

A kingdom cursed after the murder of the royal family is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the immersive world-building in this series. Even with all the details, the pacing of the story never falters. But it’s the dynamic and complex characters like Finnikin and Evanjalin that are so richly portrayed, I was willing to follow them on any adventure.

Finnikin of the Rock

By Melina Marchetta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

2008 Printz Award Winner Melina Marchetta crafts an epic fantasy of ancient magic, exile, feudal intrigue, and romance that rivets from the first page. (Age 14 and up)

Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps. In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the…


A Crazy Kind of Love

By Mary Ann Marlowe,

Book cover of A Crazy Kind of Love

Why this book?

This is a book that you’ll love to read pool or beachside. Just bring lots of sunscreen as this story is hard to put down. I adore the characters; Jo and Micah were fun and interesting, but so were the secondary characters. I’m also a fan of books dealing with serious issues. This one touched on type 1 diabetes, multi-cultural upbringing, and transgender identity. Marlowe manages to keep it light and even funny while never losing sight of these important topics. Oh, and it had rock stars in it, always a treat for me!

A Crazy Kind of Love

By Mary Ann Marlowe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Crazy Kind of Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this irresistible new novel by Mary Ann Marlowe, one woman's up-close and sexy encounter with a tabloid sensation reveals the dizzying--and delicious--dilemma of dating in the spotlight . . .
 
Celebrities hold zero interest for photographer Jo Wilder. That's a problem, since snapping pics of the stars is how the pretty paparazza pays the rent. So when Jo attempts to catch a money shot atop the broad shoulders of a helpful bystander, the only thing she notices about the stranger she straddles is that he's seriously hot. Only later does Jo learn that he's also Micah Sinclair--one of rock's…

Me: Elton John

By Elton John,

Book cover of Me: Elton John

Why this book?

Autobiographies by genuine A-listers can prove disappointing experiences, as the superstars in question tread delicately lest they puncture their carefully cultivated public images. Not so Sir Elton John, who in Me worked closely with Guardian writer Alexis Petridis to deliver a racy, rambunctious, scurrilous account of his serial misdoings. Everyone had always known that Elton John was doing crazy shit. Nobody had grasped that he was doing quite as much as this.

Me: Elton John

By Elton John,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life. Me is the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time.

The Sunday Times bestseller with a new chapter bringing the story up to date.

'The rock memoir of the decade' - Daily Mail
'The rock star's gloriously entertaining and candid memoir is a gift to the reader' - Sunday Times
______________

Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed…


101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn

By Viveka von Rosen,

Book cover of 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn

Why this book?

Whenever you meet new people, you Google them, right? You check out their website and connect on LinkedIn. Guess what? They do the same for you.

Before you attend any event, make sure your digital presence is a positive reflection of who you are and how you help. 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn is a comprehensive guide that helps you put your best digital foot forward.

Authors LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen and “Rock Star” entrepreneur Dayna Steele have made it easy to give your LinkedIn a likely overdue makeover that helps you stand out from the crowd.

101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn

By Viveka von Rosen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year 2020 forced us to pivot, to understand the importance of our business and our personal brand, and to learn how to create virtual business. Not only has business changed, so has the entire world. So many more of us are working from home and/or are creating new home-based businesses. That means it’s even more important to create a strong personal brand, so that you stand out from your competition.

“LinkedIn is perhaps the most powerful social media platform for business today. Viveka von Rosen (considered among the world’s foremost experts on this platform) and ‘Rock Star’ entrepreneur Dayna…

The Collected Poems

By Sylvia Plath,

Book cover of The Collected Poems

Why this book?

As the years pass it seems to me that Sylvia Plath is not just one of the notable poets of the second half of the twentieth century but the stand-out voice after whom everyone had to refer back to her. Her death by suicide still stirs the imagination; her poems are a kind of controlled scream showing her wrestling with an intolerable mental condition.

The Collected Poems

By Sylvia Plath,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This comprehensive volume contains all Sylvia Plath's mature poetry written from 1956 up to her death in 1963. The poems are drawn from the only collection Plath published while alive, The Colossus, as well as from posthumous collections Ariel, Crossing the Water and Winter Trees.

The text is preceded by an introduction by Ted Hughes and followed by notes and comments on individual poems. There is also an appendix containing fifty poems from Sylvia Plath's juvenilia.

This collection was awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

'For me, the most important literary event of 1981 has been the publication, eighteen…

Feel: Robbie Williams

By Chris Heath,

Book cover of Feel: Robbie Williams

Why this book?

Debauch, cathartic music memoirs are not limited to rock and metal stars. Former boy band member Robbie Williams was at the pinnacle of his British-pop imperial period when he gave unlimited access to the peerless Chris Heath to pen this unforgettable biography. Heath spent a full two years with Williams, capturing an impulsive, wayward yet fragile star whose chronically short attention span did not allow him even to rehearse properly for his world tours. You closed Feel feeling that you knew Williams intimately—the litmus test of a biography—and liking him a whole lot more than you had before.

Feel: Robbie Williams

By Chris Heath,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The publication of Feel: Robbie Williams by Chris Heath in September 2004 caused shockwaves of controversy and delight. Not only was its publication trumpeted in tabloids, on TV and the radio, but it was also critically lauded by the broadsheets. Finally, a book had been written on the subject of celebrity and the modern world which had intelligence, honesty and humour.

Written by Chris Heath, who spent nearly two years working with Robbie on this book, every word is imbued with Robbie's humour, charisma, talent, memories and complexity. But more than ever before, this book tells the truth about his…


Book cover of Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief

Why this book?

The loss of a sibling(s) changes us and rocks our world. I read Susan’s book and heard words of love, hope, and resilienciency, a message I needed to hear and wanted to emulate. The parallel themes to my life and the stories shared by other siblings, Susan weaves in amongst the heartfelt love of Rocky warmed my heart. To quote Susan, “Where there is joy, there is grief. One is more predominant than the other at any given time, depending on which one we shine our light on.” I felt this at the birth of my grandson. On the one hand, a hole in my heart missing my beloved sisters, and looking at this beautiful new life, a new beginning.

Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief

By Susan E. Casey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief is about love, loss, grief, and the journey toward hope and reclaiming joy. Rock On focuses solely on sibling loss because it’s a tragedy author Susan Casey experienced in her own life. On Valentine’s Day, 2014, she learned of the horrific and unexpected death of her forty-three-year-old brother Rocky (birth name: Brian) who died while in Hong Kong with his wife and three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.Susan shares her journey, capturing the bond between her and her brother, the shock over his sudden death, and the emotional three-week trip to Asia.…

Book cover of Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There

Why this book?

Marc Meyers uses interviews with some of the most influential rock stars of all time to compile an in-depth study of how live rock gained such cache in modern society. His Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There includes colorful testimony from the icons who made music history to create an authentic and unfiltered history of live rock ‘n’ roll.

Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There

By Marc Myers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A lively, entertaining, wide-ranging oral history of the golden age of the rock concert based on over ninety interviews with musicians, promoters, stagehands, and others who contributed to the huge cultural phenomenon that is live rock 



Decades after the rise of rock music in the 1950s, the rock concert retains its allure and its power as a unifying experience—and as an influential multi-billion-dollar industry. In Rock Concert, acclaimed interviewer Marc Myers sets out to uncover the history of this compelling phenomenon, weaving together ground-breaking accounts from the people who were there.



Myers combines the tales of icons like Joan Baez,…


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

Why 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.

Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock Music Forever

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 Countdown Years 1974 - 1987: Glad All Over

Why this book?

Every Sunday night for nearly a decade between the mid-70s and early 80s, most young Australians could be found in one place – in front of the TV, watching Countdown. Countdown was the most powerful force in the local pop/rock scene, the maker and breaker of hits. Published in 1993 in the afterglow of the show’s long run, Glad All Over, by former Age journalist Peter Wilmoth, is an appropriately loving tribute, which includes acknowledging the many (like me!) who loved to hate the show but still always watched it! As mostly oral history, it’s a sparkling story, and if the Countdown phenomenon still begs harder analysis – because as much as it was a great booster for Australian music, it actually blocked just as much – that’s the nature of a new historiography: the field has to get opened up first, and then is subject to increasingly probing examination…

The Countdown Years 1974 - 1987: Glad All Over

By Peter Wilmoth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Countdown Years 1974 - 1987 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Sweating Tears with Fat White Family

By Adelle Stripe, Lisa Cradduck,

Book cover of Sweating Tears with Fat White Family

Why this book?

I love to see different takes on music biography: shifts away from conventional formats are a happy place for me. Stripe, inspired by the 90s series Star Test (which I was obsessed with too) takes on the notorious Fat White Family, presenting them in all of their demonic rock ‘n’ roll depravity through exclusive interview material. Cradduck’s folklorically inspired illustrations in the Rough Trade edition complement the text with grotesque perfection.

Sweating Tears with Fat White Family

By Adelle Stripe, Lisa Cradduck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweating Tears with Fat White Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revealing examination of the dysfunctional songwriting partnership at the heart of one of Britain’s most unpredictable and controversial contemporary rock ’n’ roll bands, Sweating Tears with Fat White Family  features candid interviews by author Adelle Stripe with Fat White Family singer Lias Saoudi and guitarist Saul Adamczewski. From childhood traumas to adult squalor and critical success, it is a tale of bitterness, humour, excess, cruelty, and the vile affections that bind this exceptional pairing on their continued Orphean descent into the underworld.
This exclusive edition features demonic engravings by printmaker Lisa Cradduck, inspired by Berber folklore and the grotesque…

Book cover of Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method)

Why this book?

The Beatles didn’t know how to read music, and typically, rock musicians don’t read and write music. So therefore it’s a challenge to us, the people who learned to play around campfires, at the beach, and in the roadhouse, just cause we wanted to. Instead of merely presenting an increasingly difficult set of examples, Oaks teaches us how to think about reading music. He’s a great guy and it’s the best book of its kind I’ve come across.

Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method)

By David Oakes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

(Musicians Institute Press). Starting at the elementary level and progressing to advanced techniques, this comprehensive method is like a complete two-year guitar course in book form. It includes over 450 songs and examples, and covers: notes, rhythms, keys, positions, dynamics, syncopation, chord charts, duets, scale forms, phrasing, odd time, and much more. Designed from an MI core curriculum program.

Any Old Way You Choose It

By Robert Christgau,

Book cover of Any Old Way You Choose It

Why this book?

In many ways, this book by one of the rock critic veterans covers almost exactly the period in modern music history that relates to my perspective book. It is a collection of his early writings, partly at the time when he was the music editor at Village Voice. Personally, Christgau is one rock critic that perfected the art of album/single reviews.

Any Old Way You Choose It

By Robert Christgau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Any Old Way You Choose It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An invaluable compendium showcasing a new sub-genre of writing not yet contained by the established boundaries of journalism or criticism.

Book cover of The Gospel According to St. Rage

Why this book?

Loser girl turned punk rock superhero... Those six words should sell you on The Gospel According to St. Rage alone. But that still doesn't do this book any sort of justice because this isn't really a superhero book. Sure, Barbara may have the powers to cause flocks of birds to release their...um...payload onto her enemies with the simple flick of a finger, but she's not out to save the world, she's just out to finally live the life she's been hiding from.

Eisenbrey brought me back to my own high school days with this book that feels like a punk rock song. To those days of trying to make friends, of trying to define who I am. And she does so with rock star class.

The Gospel According to St. Rage

By Karen Eisenbrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gospel According to St. Rage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Barbara Bernsen, Former Invisible Girl.

Barbara isn't your typical high school junior. She's been invisible since the third grade. But when a magic hat brings her back into the light, Barbara is ready to take on the world. First priority? Start an all-girl garage band. Miraculous super powers were never in her plan, but sometimes you get what you need. Bullies and school shooters don't stand a chance.

Yes, we all love Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and Jessica Jones, but Barbara is the hero her high school deserves.

Truth. Justice. Rock & Roll.


Asher

By Carian Cole,

Book cover of Asher

Why this book?

I love Carian Cole’s books. She writes the most beautifully emotional rock star romances, and the final book in her Ashes and Embers series is an unapologetic tear-jerker. This book asks the question: if two soulmates meet and fall in love, and then tragedy fundamentally changes one of them, are they still soul mates? The answer Carian Cole provides is a breathtakingly romantic story that will make you believe in true love that lasts forever. The fact that Asher is a sexy rockstar who could make anyone swoon is absolutely the icing on the cake.

Asher

By Carian Cole,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Carian Cole unapologetically pulls out all the feels in this romance! Reading this book will have you asking yourself if you would stay committed to your spouse in the face of unspeakable tragedy. And would they stay committed to you?

I should have died.
I should have been forgotten.
But I didn’t, and I wasn’t.

Living the life most women only dream about, I was madly in love with my soulmate—Asher Valentine—amazing husband, loving father, and rock’s favorite kick-ass frontman. A man who loved me every day, in every way, since we first met as teens. We were blessed with…

Life

By Keith Richards, James Fox,

Book cover of Life

Why this book?

The Keith Richards memoir, as told to British journo James Fox, not only captures his voice perfectly, I think it’s the closest thing to literature I’ve ever found on the music shelves. I love the way he hands the mic to other characters from his life, adding a dash of biographical remove to enrich his own story. As an artifact of performing-arts memoir, I think it’s as important as any Stones album.

Life

By Keith Richards, James Fox,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world. A true and towering original, he has always walked his own path, spoken his mind, and done things his own way.Now at last Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only…

Book cover of The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928

Why this book?

This is the handbook that is literally by my hand as I sit at my desk. It’s not only authoritative but every page is bursting with fascinating passages of biography and quirky histories. It’s one of those reference books to be read, that I return to again and again.

The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928

By Elizabeth Crawford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Women's Suffrage Movement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This widely acclaimed book has been described by History Today as a 'landmark in the study of the women's movement'. It is the only comprehensive reference work to bring together in one volume the wealth of information available on the women's movement.

Drawing on national and local archival sources, the book contains over 400 biographical entries and more than 800 entries on societies in England, Scotland and Wales. Easily accessible and rigorously cross-referenced, this invaluable resource covers not only the political developments of the campaign but provides insight into its cultural context, listing novels, plays and films.


Book cover of The Bass Rock: A Novel

Why this book?

Evie Wyld writes atmospheric and eerie stories that always have an edge, a threat of danger about them, and this wonderful book is almost gothic in its atmosphere of place. The rock itself actually exists, I’m not sure if the house in question does, but the rock and the house and the remote Scottish location bind us into a feeling of constant danger like no single character ever could. The story unfolds in a series of tales told across time periods, back and forth (a tricky format to pull off, but Wyld does it brilliantly). The central character is the great old house, in some disrepair,  and how it has been occupied over time by women who have been, to one degree or another imprisoned by their circumstances. I don’t want to spoil the story, but I guarantee that from the first few pages you will be drawn into the sense of being bound and held and in danger. This is a tale of misogyny, of women in danger, of isolation by social divisions, and by the difficulties of finding oneself isolated by a remote landscape. 

The Bass Rock: A Novel

By Evie Wyld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A modern gothic triumph' Max Porter

The Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.

In the early 1700s, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local community.

Six decades later, the house stands empty. Viv, mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth's belongings and discovers her…


The Lion Inside

By Rachel Bright, Jim Field (illustrator),

Book cover of The Lion Inside

Why this book?

My 18-month-old and I read this together. She loved saying “roar” whenever she saw the lion. Of course, she made me smile, but I also loved that she was hearing the message. She isn’t old enough to understand it yet, but my older daughter got it. We all have the mouse and the lion inside and that’s okay! Courage isn’t loud and bold; often, it’s found in the small moments. 

The Lion Inside

By Rachel Bright, Jim Field (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A bestselling story about confidence, self-esteem, and a shy little mouse who sets out on a journey to find his roar.

In a dry dusty place where the sand sparkled gold, stood a mighty flat rock, all craggy and old. And under that rock in a tinyful house, lived the littlest, quietest, meekest brown mouse.

Fed up of being ignored by the other animals, Mouse wishes he could roar like Lion. But, as he discovers, even the biggest, bossiest people are scared sometimes ... and even the smallest creatures can have the heart of a lion!

A modern classic, The…


Book cover of On the Road: Recording the Stars in a Golden Era of Live Music

Why this book?

David Hewitt’s On the Road: Recording the Stars in a Golden Era of Live Music is an important contribution to the extensive annals of popular music history in that it focuses on the business of live recording that was an integral component to the explosion of rock ‘n’ roll from the 1960s through the 1980s. Hewitt was a top live recording engineer and his expertise permeates the pages of the richly detailed book.

On the Road: Recording the Stars in a Golden Era of Live Music

By David W. Hewitt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book tells the story of a life spent on the road recording the rich diversity of music in America when it was a major part of our lives, not just digital background noise. For music fans, there was a golden era of live music, stretching from the 1960s through the 1980s, and even evolving into the 1990s, if you want to be generous.

In the pre-digital era, music fans spent a large part of their free time (and money) listening to their favorite artist’s recordings. It was an analog world so if they wanted to hear the music, they…


Book cover of England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond

Why this book?

The birth of punk rock was never really about the music – or at least not just about the music – and England’s Dreaming sets the context for probably the most volatile genre to assault the senses. Jon Savage’s book explores the historical and social setting that led to this – albeit brief – explosion in youth culture. He links together the birth of anarchism with the Situationist art movement alongside the eventual do-it-yourself attitude of punk fashion and music to create a narrative that’s both fascinating and incredibly relevant to the world today. As the legendary contemporaneous fanzine, Sniffing Glue once put it: Here’s a guitar chord, here’s another, here’s another…now go form a band!

England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond

By Jon Savage,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked England's Dreaming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The influence of The Sex Pistols has stretched way beyond their short, violent and notorious career - not only did they define punk, through the vision of their manager Malcolm McLaren and lead singer Johnny Rotten, but by the time of the Jubilee in 1977, they had initiated an explosion of angry music, graphics, fashion and media. This book is full of research, interviews plus a discography of The Sex Pistols that provides a historical perspective of the group. It follows the group's development over the course of a decade that began with a small shop in the King's Road…

Book cover of Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars

Why 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.

Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars

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 The Rock from Mars: A Detective Story on Two Planets

Why this book?

Politics, ambition, and science collided when NASA announced that a small rock that fell on Antarctica contained tiny fossils of ancient life on Mars. Advance plans for the public report were kept secret while coordinated all the way up through President Bill Clinton. Aides wondered if the great discovery would help his re-election. But after a televised press conference and the subsequent media circus, many qualified scientists disputed the claimed fossils. NASA is still searching for past or present life on Mars.  They will surely take greater care in reaching future conclusions, won’t they? And if you may wonder why an alleged DC sex worker had prior knowledge of the “breakthrough,” read ace Washington Post reporter (now retired) Kathy Sawyer’s brilliant and thorough account.

The Rock from Mars: A Detective Story on Two Planets

By Kathy Sawyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this riveting book, acclaimed journalist Kathy Sawyer reveals the deepest mysteries of space and some of the most disturbing truths on Earth. The Rock from Mars is the story of how two planets and the spheres of politics and science all collided at the end of the twentieth century.
It began sixteen million years ago. An asteroid crashing into Mars sent fragments flying into space and, eons later, one was pulled by the Earth’s gravity onto an icy wilderness near the southern pole. There, in 1984, a geologist named Roberta Score spotted it, launching it on a roundabout path…

The First Rule of Punk

By Celia C. Pérez,

Book cover of The First Rule of Punk

Why this book?

With her punk rock style, music taste, and attitude, Malú is a kid who likes to live life out loud! As she navigates her time at a new school, she’s faced with big questions about her identity and what it means to be true to yourself. Alongside a (literal) band of misfits, she challenges the status quo and fights for the right of everyone to be who they want to be. The book itself is filled with cool collaged art pages of Malú’s zines, which help bring her world to life!

The First Rule of Punk

By Celia C. Pérez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school - you can't fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malu inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School's queen bee, violates the school's dress code with her punk-rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mum in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself. The real Malu loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles…

Moon! Earth's Best Friend

By Stacy McAnulty, Stevie Lewis (illustrator),

Book cover of Moon! Earth's Best Friend

Why this book?

For a laugh-out-loud romp through our corner of the universe, check out this hilarious narrative about Moon’s close friendship with Earth. These two friends will stick close together forever! Full of fun facts and even funnier puns, this autobiography of Earth’s best rock is sure to teach you something new and make you laugh along the way. I especially enjoy non-fiction delivered with a dose of humor, so this is one of my favorite space-related read-alouds.

Moon! Earth's Best Friend

By Stacy McAnulty, Stevie Lewis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moon! Earth's Best Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Stevie Lewis, Moon! Earth's Best Friend is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the moon―told from the perspective of the moon itself.

Meet Moon! She's more than just a rock―she’s Earth’s rock, her best friend she can always count on. Moon never turns her back on her friend (literally: she's always facing Earth with the same side!). These two will stick together forever. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Moon in this next celestial "autobiography" in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts…


Book cover of Mission Python: Code a Space Adventure Game!

Why this book?

Learning how to program in Python and make a video game at the same time. Hmm – sounds like learning your native language while writing a novel. That could be messy. Could be – but not with this book. McManus knows video games. McManus knows how to teach. I love the idea of teaching a programming language through one extended context. If, like me, you’re fascinated by retro video games, get this book and let that fascination propel you through your beginning programming journey. Bonus feature: commitment to the bit; everything is in space!

Mission Python: Code a Space Adventure Game!

By Sean McManus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Launch into coding with Mission: Python, a space-themed guide to building a complete computer game in Python. As you work through the book, you'll build exercises and mini-projects, like making a spacewalk simulator and creating an astronaut's safety checklist that will put your new Python skills to the test. Before you know it, you'll have a working, awesome game to stump your friends with (and some nifty coding skills, too!). You can follow this book using a Raspberry Pi or a Microsoft Windows PC, and the 3D graphics and sound effects you need are provided as a download.

The Guardian

By Dee Henderson,

Book cover of The Guardian

Why this book?

This is the book that convinced me to dive into romantic suspense after writing only contemporary romance for many years. I’d always been tempted to branch into this genre, but I wanted to delve more into psychological suspense and character development, ala Hitchcock. Yet most of what I saw on the market took the constant-action thriller approach to storytelling, often at the expense of character development. Then I read this book. The characters were complex, the plot was compelling but left breathing space in between the action for character development, and the romance was a slow burn. So I took the plunge into suspense—and have never looked back.

The Guardian

By Dee Henderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A federal judge has been murdered. There is only one witness, and an assassin wants her dead. U.S. Marshall Marcus O'Malley thought he knew the risks of the assignment . . . but he was wrong.

Introducing the O'Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who have made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O'Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their stories are told in CBA best-selling, inspirational romantic suspense novels that rock your heart and restore strength and…

Rock Springs: Stories

By Richard Ford,

Book cover of Rock Springs: Stories

Why this book?

How do we overcome the most wild and unforgiving shadows of our personal and communal life together? If anyone can help us more closely understand our lack of understanding of one another, it is the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and short story writer, Richard Ford. The spare beauty of Wildlife (Ford’s homage to the dark force of lost love), is in close attunement with his cult classic of short story lore, Rock Springs. Ford’s subtlety and power as an artist are irrevocably tied to the uncommon life-giving capacity he shapes in us when we give ourselves to the ancient wisdom of this story collection. 

Rock Springs: Stories

By Richard Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ten “beautifully imagined and crafted stories” of the American West by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Independence Day (Joyce Carol Oates).
 
In these ten exquisite stories, Richard Ford explores the wind-scrubbed landscape of the American West and the guarded hopes and gnawing loneliness of the people who live there: a refugee from justice driving across Wyoming with his daughter and girlfriend in a stolen Mercedes; a boy watching his family dissolve in a night of tragicomic violence; and two men and a woman swapping hard-luck stories in a frontier bar as they try to sweeten their luck.
 
In the tradition…

The Beatles: An Illustrated Record

By Roy Carr, Tony Tyler,

Book cover of The Beatles: An Illustrated Record

Why this book?

This floppy paperback matched the dimensions of an actual record, a geometry that made you feel you were flipping through your Beatles albums as you read it. It came to me as a birthday or Christmas present, probably around age eight. I read it cover to cover, over and over, memorizing entire passages like biblical verses. It was pretty much my only book until I discovered Mad magazine, around age ten. You could do a lot worse.

The Beatles: An Illustrated Record

By Roy Carr, Tony Tyler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A comprehensive critical guide to the recordings of the Beatles includes over two hundred photographs tracing the lives and careers of these legendary rock stars

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

By Mr. Jay, Erin Wozniak (illustrator),

Book cover of Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

Why this book?

I love reading Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll to my kids. It’s a book that I don’t mind reading over and over again. It’s written in verse and I absolutely adore the cute illustrations. This story is about a rock that really wants to roll, but has a flat side so he doesn’t think he ever will. His friends work very hard to help him and are able to bring a new perspective on how to solve the problem. Finally, with the help of his friends and their new ideas, Ricky is able to roll. I love the fact that Ricky’s friends bring a whole new perspective to help solve his problem and work together to help him to fulfill his dream. 

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

By Mr. Jay, Erin Wozniak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These rocks can really roll! Well, most of them, anyway...

Get ready to meet a new rock group! From zippy, little pebbles to big strong boulders, the rocks get together to play and roll around their favorite hill, only to find that one of their friends, Ricky, can't roll with them. Unlike all of the others, who are all round, Ricky can't roll because he's flat on one side.

Except for poor Ricky, who quietly sat.
You see, Rick couldn't roll, because one side was flat.

His friends didn't get it,
"Come Roll!" they would chant.
So Ricky tried, but…

Some Part of Me Is You

By Adrienne Marsh,

Book cover of Some Part of Me Is You

Why this book?

This romance novel takes the classic “opposites attract” trope and spins it into a heartfelt exploration of loneliness and connection, turning points and second chances. Indie rock guitarist Ali knows she should quit dreaming about her brother’s band hitting the big time and commit to her future career in engineering, but it hurts to let go. Kristen has been a country pop star since she was a kid, and the grueling lifestyle has already taken its toll on her. I loved seeing them gradually come to trust one another through their shared passion for music, and the scenes where they write songs together are as intense and charged as the romantic scenes.

Some Part of Me Is You

By Adrienne Marsh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Some Part of Me Is You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alison has been in her brother's indie rock band, Right Turn, since she was a teenager. Right as she's about to graduate college and will have to start making real decisions about her future, there comes an offer for them to go on a small tour with pop-country sensation Kristen Nichols, who is looking to make serious changes to her sound and image and believes touring with indie darlings Right Turn will give the new 'her' credibility.

Kristen Nichols is the embodiment of everything about the music industry that Ali scoffs at, but she's offering them an affordable, real tour,…