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The Beatles: Get Back

This work illuminates both the camaraderie and growing dissatisfaction among the creative Beatles. Because the book is so in-depth, casual music fans likely won’t pick it up, but Beatlemaniacs will find it a strong companion to the upcoming three-part documentary Get Back by director Peter Jackson, who also contributes the book’s foreword.


Entertaining and funny, this work will delight fans of Rogen and his cohort.

Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying, and Playing Guitar with the Doors

Krieger brings another perspective to the mythology of the Doors; music aficionados will devour his intimate memoir.

Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America To Dance

An intriguing look at social dance culture through a material lens. For scholars and aficionados of mid-20th-century popular culture.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: My Life in the Music Business

Entertaining, straightforward, and honest, Copeland offers an engaging look at the fascinating acts he worked with and the inner workings of the music business during the past 50 years. Rock fans and general readers alike will be delighted.

Billie Eilish

Eilish’s numerous fans will appreciate the star’s vulnerability and desire to connect.

Robots in Popular Culture: Androids and Cyborgs in the American Imagination

Fun, thought-provoking examination of contemporary society’s use of robots and the continual evolution of AI and robotics. Will fascinate sci-fi buffs, ethicists, computer scientists, programmers, and robotics engineers.

The Cold War on Film

It’s difficult to decide whom this volume is suited to. The history is accurate but very brief, while the film discussion is largely consumed by plot synopses. Not recommended.

Like Some Forgotten Dream: What If the Beatles Hadn’t Split Up?

A solid synopsis of the Beatles in 1969, though the information won’t be new to die-hard fans. When Peter Jackson’s Get Back movie releases later this year, Rachel’s book will be an excellent backgrounder.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

Grohl bares his soul and shares his passion in this must-read memoir, which will resonate with music lovers and his fans.

You’ve Got Red on You: How Shaun of the Dead Was Brought to Life

This book covers every facet of Shaun of the Dead’s production, from storyboarding to translation for foreign markets, resulting in a work that will be useful to film students and wildly entertaining to horror buffs.

Fun City Cinema: New York City and the Movies That Made It

A superb study of films set in and representative of the Big Apple. Anyone interested in the history of American film will find much to savor here.

Woody Guthrie: Songs and Art * Words and Wisdom

Light on commentary and context, this is a book to browse for insight and inspiration. Enthusiasts of American folk could open this book to any page and find something of interest, and it’s sure to delight Woody Guthrie fans. Recommended for public and academic library collections.

Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen

Fans and guitar enthusiasts will appreciate this fresh look at the legendary Van Halen, with an emphasis on his technical wizardry; their work will supplement other books about the Van Halen legacy.

Neil Young on Neil Young: Interviews and Encounters

This fascinating account of a wildly productive, sometimes brilliant, sometimes self-absorbed rock icon will supplement Jimmy McDonough’s well-received Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography and Young’s autobiography, Waging Peace: A Hippie’s Dream.

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama

Odenkirk’s account of triumph, struggle, and his firm belief that comedy is a unifying source of connection will inspire his fans and motivate aspiring entertainers.

Northern Exposure: A Cultural History

Fans will appreciate Samuel’s focus on the real town that provided Northern Exposure’s scenic locations, as well as his useful episode guide. TV historians will benefit from his research and compelling examination of a show truly ahead of its time.

The Blues Dream of Billy Boy Arnold

Arnold’s heartfelt, honest, insider’s view of Chicago blues from the 1940s onward will be essential to anyone interested in blues and the origins of rock and roll.

Leonard Cohen: The Mystical Roots of Genius

An intriguing and specific look at the traditions and stories that influenced a brilliant songwriter.


This review has been edited to correct a sentence that originally erroneously stated that all of Cohen's compositions were religious in nature.


Women and Mixed Race Representation in Film: Eight Star Profiles

An excellent and thought-provoking look at racial representation on screen and in American society.

This Will All Be Over Soon

Readers need not be familiar with Strong’s work to appreciate her story, as it reflects the grief that so many have recently experienced. A reassuring, inspiring memoir that will resonate with readers who, like Strong, are trying to make sense of the last year and a half.

A Punkhouse in the Deep South: The Oral History of 309

An appealing people’s history. For punks of all ages, cultural historians, and fans of the group This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb.

Codex Metallum: The Secret Art of Metal Decoded

This browsable, lavish title will circulate well in collections with lots of fans of rock music and art.

Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero

Cordero’s story sheds light on the dangers of the virus, and Kloots’s remarkable attitude, infectious faith, love for her family, and ability to find joy in the worst of circumstances are awe-inspiring.

Neo-Burlesque: Striptease as Transformation

Whether readers are new to or familiar with neo-burlesque, they’ll find that Sally’s book is an entertaining and informative study of striptease as performance art.

Extra Salty: Jennifer’s Body

This book presumes the reader is familiar with the film and works best for fans looking to dig into an extended think piece. Blichert’s breezy but insightful writing style makes for a quick read.

Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child

Capturing the flavor, the impact, and the enduring legacy of Jimi Hendrix, this is a delightful addition that will enhance and expand readers’ knowledge and appreciation of one of the great figures of popular music.

Anvils, Mallets & Dynamite: The Unauthorized Biography of Looney Tunes

In Weinman’s capable hands, both the technical and creative elements of animation are rendered deeply fascinating.

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family

Filled with delightful stories from the sets of The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben, The Music Man, and Happy Days, this memoir will be treasured by television and movie history buffs alike; fans of the Howards will greatly enjoy their teasing, loving banter, and evocation of a gentler era.

20th Century-Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio

Eyman’s writing is vivid and succinct when he’s synopsizing movies, yet much of this book feels detached and secondhand. Mainly for die-hard “Golden Age” Hollywood fans and Zanuck completists.

Listening to Bob Dylan

A fascinating, worthwhile study of Bob Dylan as poet, vocalist, composer, and performer. If you’re looking for a guide to Dylan’s methods, his genius, and what’s on the tracks, don’t think twice.

Alien Listening: Voyager’s Golden Record and Music from Earth

Heady stuff, but engaging all the same. For scholars of music and science fiction, and perhaps for some general readers too.

Unrequited Infatuations

By turns philosophical, earthy, metaphysical, humorous, and charmingly self-deprecating, Van Zandt chronicles a multifaceted life, charts his musical and political manifestos, and travels intriguing roads that will distinguish his book among music memoirs. It will be appreciated by a wide audience.

I Take My Coffee Black: Reflections on Tupac, Musical Theater, Faith, and Being Black in America

Engaging and at times enraging, this thought-provoking memoir is suitable for general as well as performing arts collections.

Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres

A thoroughly enjoyable and perceptive book that champions the art of popular music.

A Tale of Two Omars: A Memoir of Family, Revolution, and Coming Out During the Arab Spring

Though a bit dramatic at times, this book will be of interest to LGBTQ readers, celebrity watchers, and memoirs about coming into one’s own.

The Simpsons Secret: A Cromulent Guide to How The Simpsons Predicted Everything!

Simpsons fans will enjoy this overview of three decades’ worth of animated dysfunctional family life and its analysis of the show’s ability to foreshadow future events.

Bigotry on Broadway

Blank and Reed offer an incisive, critical take on Broadway’s past and present; discuss an alternative vision that incorporates the perspectives missing from Broadway; and look toward a more inclusive future. A book for all readers interested in the history of Broadway musicals, theater criticism, and the role of whiteness in Broadway’s misrepresentations.

Hell of a Hat: The Rise of ’90s Ska and Swing

Partridge’s gritty yet affectionate take on ska and swing brings the bands, their music, and their lasting cultural influence to vivid life.

Forever Young

Movie buffs will be riveted by Mills’s behind-the-scenes tales.

Classical Crossroads: The Path Forward for Music in the 21st Century

Though it has much practical value, Slatkin’s latest title isn’t a nuts-and-bolts guide to the conductor’s craft; rather it’s an informative, witty exploration of the role of maestros in developing their ensembles. It will appeal to anyone curious about classical music and those seeking to make careers in the performing arts.

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: The Epic Story of the Making of The Godfather

Combining extensive research with insightful new interviews, this chronicle of The Godfather could be the definitive look at the making of an American classic.

Music Is History

This inspired volume continues Questlove’s thoughtful and thought-provoking work and is an enduring analysis of the effects of music on personal, political, and cultural histories.

Ever Fallen in Love: The Lost Buzzcocks Tapes

Buzzcocks fans will enjoy this work, but given that the book situates the group within the larger Manchester and UK punk scenes and explores their influence, it will also appeal to music history buffs.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas Movies: The Deck the Hallmark Podcast’s Guide to Your Holiday TV Obsession

A funny, affectionate coffee-table book that TV movie lovers, especially Hallmark Christmas movie devotees, will enjoy and want to refer to again and again.

Tied Up in Knotts: My Dad and Me

This is more a puff piece than an exposé (Don Knotts was a genuinely nice guy), which might disappoint celebrity gossip mavens. But fans and those interested in the actor’s life after Mayberry might enjoy it.

Balanchine’s Apprentice: From Hollywood to New York and Back

Though Balanchine’s works and influence have been well documented, the male perspective has been somewhat lacking, and Clifford is to be commended for this sparkling read, an appreciative yet clear-eyed tribute to his mentor and a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of ballet.

Dancing Past the Light: The Life of Tanaquil Le Clercq

This thoughtful and elegant narrative is full of wonderful stories about the world of ballet. A fitting tribute to the life and legacy of a beloved dancer that will enthrall balletomanes everywhere.

Lying in the Middle: Musical Theater and Belief at the Heart of America

Another contribution to the recent surge in scholarly attention given to American musicals. For graduate theater and music collections.

American Musicals in Context: From the American Revolution to the 21st Century

Capitalizing on the immense popularity of Hamilton, Greenfield introduces musical theater buffs and students of history to potentially lesser-known productions that form an accessible time line of U.S. history, exploring war, racial and gender inequality, capitalism, and generational discord.

Dance or Die: From Stateless Refugee to International Ballet Star

An important story about the transformative power of the arts, and the generational struggles of being a refugee.

Competing with Idiots: Herman and Joe Mankiewicz, a Dual Portrait

Movie fans and viewers of the recent Netflix film Mank will give two thumbs up to this carefully crafted, fascinating account of two legendary Hollywood figures.

Starstruck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood

Looking for TMZ trash talk on the stars? Look elsewhere. This is strictly G-rated and great fun.

King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B. B. King

With this fast-moving, informative, evenhanded, and exhaustive biography, de Visé vividly captures King’s life.

Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist

Ribot is not only a gifted musician but also a talented wordsmith, and this quirky volume will appeal to music aficionados who appreciate strong writing with observational, intelligent, and provocative themes.

Immortal Axes: Guitars That Rock

Rock’s popularity has lately been eclipsed by rap and electronic dance music, but Johnson enthusiastically reminds readers about the dominance of raging, explosive electric guitars and the fiery guitarists who helped define music during the last half of the 20th century.

Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir

With its extensive bibliography, index, lavish photos, and dozens of films ranging from the obscure to the well-known, this title will please newcomers to noir and hard-core fans who can’t get enough of Muller’s Noir Alley intros and outros.

Politics as Sound: The Washington, DC, Hardcore Scene, 1978–1983

The academic focus and nature of this book may make it a bit too nuanced for those seeking a more general overview, but readers interested in hardcore music and its broader impact in the punk subculture (especially where it intersects with race, class, and gender) will appreciate the strong academic analysis.

Who Killed Cock Robin? British Folk Songs of Crime and Punishment

This delightfully annotated and thoroughly researched collection is a must for anyone interested in the political and sociocultural roots of British folk music.

Home Sweet Road: Finding Love, Making Music & Building a Life One City at a Time

Intimate and inspirational; the ultimate souvenir program for fans of Johnnyswim.

The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives

A smart, entertaining tribute that no Real Housewives fan should miss.

Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited

Not for the casual moviegoer, but serious students of cinema will find inspiration and ideas for research here.

Pulling Harvey Out of Her Hat: The Amazing Story of Mary Coyle Chase

This story of Chase (whose dream of a giant rabbit chasing a psychiatrist inspired a play about everyone’s favorite Pooka) is a must for theater geeks everywhere.

Dead Man’s Curve: The Rock ’n’ Roll Life of Jan Berry

A comprehensive, accurate, and balanced account of a rock icon who was talented, impulsive, and driven, though sometimes difficult and dismissive. Crammed with minutia and drawn-out stories, this work will appeal to rock fans.

Global Horror Cinema Today: 28 Representative Films from 17 Countries

Featuring brief but thoughtful analysis, this is a solid basis for anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge of global horror films and would be a fine choice for general collections wanting to add to their film studies sections.

The History of Bones: A Memoir

This exhaustive replay of Lurie’s highs and lows will delight only his most ardent fans.

Warrior: Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn’s empathy and bravery shine through; a must-read for both history buffs and Hepburn fans.

Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park with George

Beyond its obvious appeal to Broadway fans, this insider guide to creating art, including making mistakes and accepting criticism, will spark the interest of aspiring artists and writers.

Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina

A moving memoir that will resonate with readers who appreciate the exquisite form of ballet, as well as those hungry for a personal tale of darkness, passion, and euphoric triumph.

Stories To Tell: A Memoir

Marx has led a fascinating life; fans of his music and those less familiar with him will be absorbed.

Harry: The Unauthorized Biography

A poorly researched work that feels more like an article from a gossip magazine than a true biography. Not recommended.

Have a Little Faith: The John Hiatt Story

Readers will be left feeling like they’ve just listened to Hiatt’s music or attended one of his concerts--appreciative of the time spent with an American treasure, and eager for more.

Hosted Horror on Television: The Films and Faces of Shock Theater, Creature Features and Chiller Theater

Markusen takes a successful stab at horror history, but television historians might feel the cut.

Ten Masterpieces of Music

Sachs’s lively prose will draw readers in; were it not for his considerable technical discussion of the masterpieces, this book would be a first-rate choice for general readers. Heartily recommended to every serious lover of classical music.

Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah

Combining the passion of a longtime admirer with the investigative skills of a journalist, Iandoli pays homage to Aaliyah with a work that will delight fans.



Clover demonstrates a sweeping command of his material, although his high-flown, dense, postmodern style may be daunting to the uninitiated. The book has some intriguing narratives but could have better served the Modern Lovers by concentrating on a deep exploration of “Roadrunner,” rather than going off on tangents about dispossessed peoples, pandemics, and other issues that bear little relation to the song.

In Defense of Ska

An appealing survey of a frequently dismissed genre. For ska fans, whether they’ll admit it or not.

Below the Stars: How the Labor of Working Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production

Although elements of this work will entice general readers, it will appeal most to those interested in the nitty-gritty of labor in the entertainment industry. Those seeking a more generalized history of extras should look elsewhere.

Rememberings: Scenes from My Complicated Life

Much like her songs, O’Connor’s writing is haunting, sometimes mystifying, and transcendent. Her fans will revel in her words, while her critics may reevaluate their opinions.

The Making of Horror Movies: Key Figures Who Established the Genre

Reveling in Hollywood legends and magic, this is an enjoyable, eye-opening romp through horror film history that will inspire readers to look at classic horror films in new ways.

After “Happily Ever After”: Romantic Comedy in the Post-Romantic Age

This work, which is aimed primarily at academics, demonstrates that the fantasy of the rom-com lives on, in the same ways and new ones.

It Never Ends: A Memoir with Nice Memories!

A radio deejay should be loud and opinionated, and Scharpling doesn’t disappoint. Though the book will appeal mostly to his fanbase (who will learn that Scharpling isn’t his real name), his stories are accessible to a wider audience. Be warned, though: He has little use for conservatives, Billy Joel, or the pizza in Toronto.

Chapel of Love: The Story of New Orleans Girl Group the Dixie Cups

Because the book consists of a series of stories that Hawkins recounted to Bergsman, sometimes the timeline becomes unclear, and it is up to readers to piece together when certain events took place. Still, this is a compelling work that will interest music fans, especially those who don’t know the Dixie Cups’ story.

Tear Down the Walls: White Radicalism and Black Power in 1960s Rock

Though he’s overly concerned with academic squabbles, Burke evenhandedly demonstrates for music fans the complex and varied interactions between late-Sixties white rock and Black music and Black Power politics.

Desire After Dark: Contemporary Queer Cultures and Occultly Marvelous Media

An excellent and probing examination, but one that will likely appeal to scholars, rather than general readers seeking pop cultural criticism.

Was It Yesterday? Nostalgia in Contemporary Film and Television

A well-researched and scholarly volume that’s recommended for academic libraries supporting film studies departments or psychology departments with a strong psychoanalytic focus. Public libraries that support communities in the film industry may find it a helpful addition too.

All Things Must Pass Away: Harrison, Clapton, and Other Assorted Love Songs

In a crowded field of Beatles-related books, one might wonder if there is need for another. With this entertaining and informative work, Womack and Kruppa offer an emphatic yes.

Sinatra and Me: In the Wee Small Hours

Featuring never-before-heard Sinatra stories and never-before-seen photos, this is for celebrity watchers, Sinatra fans, and anyone who’s dreamed of hanging out with the Rat Pack.

Overpaid, Oversexed and Over There: How a Few Skinny Brits with Bad Teeth Rocked America

Though knowledgeable, Hepworth treads the same ground as countless other British invasion writers. His book will appeal only to readers not already familiar with the topic.

The Blues: The Authentic Narrative of My Music and Culture

Though he needlessly rambles through New Orleans history to mistakenly cast Creole people as the sole originators of the blues, King expertly illustrates how racist misconceptions and white appropriation of the blues shaped and sometimes stymied his career.

Homer Rodeheaver and the Rise of the Gospel Music Industry

An intriguing and thorough, if sometimes overly succinct portrayal. For scholars and others interested in gospel music.

Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet

Whiteside’s openness in this warts-and-all memoir is refreshing; readers will enjoy this entertaining romp behind the curtain of professional ballet.

I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story

Rush describes the rewards and difficulties of the bluesman’s life with a refreshing, self-deprecating honesty. His story will appeal to musicians and readers interested in race in the United States.

Saved by a Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting

This emotional narrative will leave readers spent, but rooting for Gauthier to prevail. Her lyrics dig deeply into the human condition, and her explanations leave little room for complacency.

Martin Scorsese and the American Dream

An intriguing approach to the work of an American master.

John Wayne Was Here: The Film Locations and Favorite Places of an American Icon

Over-the-top for most general interest fans and collections, but a dead-on, obligatory purchase for the John Wayne completist.

Fallopian Rhapsody: The Story of the Lunachicks

The Lunachicks collectively offer a refreshing, brutally honest look at the hassles, sexism, pressure, and sisterhood of the rock-and-roll life.

Promise That You Will Sing About Me: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar

Though he sometimes repeats himself, adopts a jumbled format, and dwells on his own background too much, Lewis expertly places his subject in historical, musical, and literary context and significantly adds to the dozen books about Lamar for music fans.

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

A fantastic memoir that readers won’t be able to put down.

Leonard, Marianne, and Me: Magical Summers on Hydra

Despite Scott’s engaging story of a romantic and heady time, this one is best left for Cohen completists.

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