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PREMIUM

Rocket Man: The Life of Elton John

Whether readers have been listening to Elton John since Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or know him only from the film Rocketman, they’ll find this a comprehensive biography, infused with a satisfying dose of dishy gossip.

The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood

On par with Wasson’s exceptional Fosse, this portrait of a neonoir classic will weave a spell over cinephiles.
PREMIUM

The Wrong Kind of Woman: Inside Our Revolution To Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood

An intriguing read about how influence works in the film industry, for people in it; also relevant for the way it spun conversations around #MeToo.
PREMIUM

Song and System: The Making of American Pop Music

A solid premise in need of greater depth and polish.
PREMIUM

Wendy Carlos: A Biography

Sewell’s nuanced biography of an overlooked composer is our best look yet at this groundbreaking artist, and a reminder that art can and should speak for itself.
PREMIUM

Friends: A Cultural History

Serious Friends fans looking for a deep dive will appreciate this scholarly though accessible chronicle--and will enjoy arguing over whether Dunn got it right with her list of the 25 best episodes.

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston

Despite poor editing at times, this candid memoir will resonate with fans. This isn’t a tell-all, but a tender remembrance. Readers will see Houston in a new light: as an exceptional artist who had few people in her life she could genuinely trust.

PREMIUM

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love

Van Ness’s signature wit and charm shines throughout this fiercely honest and heartfelt memoir. Pop culture fans will love the openness on full display.

PREMIUM

Easy Rider: 50 Years Looking for America

A chatty and comprehensive account that successfully chronicles both the origins of this cult classic and its lasting legacy.
PREMIUM

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

This long-running work remains an achievement, yet its recent move to annual updates means that the difference between this edition and the previous one is negligible. Libraries owning the earlier iteration need not replace it.

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography

Intimate, with brushes of gossip and hard-won wisdom, this compelling work joins the ranks of other masterly rock memoirs. A must-read for John’s many devotees, it will also make fans out of those new to his music.
PREMIUM

Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem

Bozza’s eloquent tribute to Eminem will resonate with fans of hip-hop and enthusiasts of popular music biographies.

PREMIUM

Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History

For general readers as well as scholars in film and/or gender studies looking for biographical information about women in film history.
PREMIUM

The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood

This is a study of a complex, openhearted woman who had a key role in saving the displaced while shaping mid-20th century Hollywood. Rifkind has penned a perceptive, exhaustively researched contribution to social and film history.
PREMIUM

From Aphra Behn to Fun Home: A Cultural History of Feminist Theatre

A solid, accessible overview of feminist theater from a Western, mostly 20th-century perspective. Recommended as an introduction to the subject, or for general fans of cultural histories.
PREMIUM

1973: Rock at the Crossroads

Deeply sourced and entertainingly informative, Jackson’s chronology of a transformative year in music, culture, and society may prompt debate (as well as playlist creation) and will appeal to a wide swath of readers.

Jay-Z: Made in America

This is more than a hip-hop bio; Dyson is giving us something larger, and we are sitting in a classroom under the spell of a captivating teacher.
PREMIUM

Dangerous Melodies: Classical Music in America from the Great War Through the Cold War

A clear-eyed and perspicacious work for classical music scholars and fans and anyone interested in the intersection of politics and culture.
PREMIUM

Better Days Will Come Again: The Life of Arthur Briggs, Jazz Genius of Harlem, Paris, and a Nazi Prison Camp

This carefully crafted biography bears witness to the power of music and the human spirit and will inform and inspire music fans everywhere.

For Kids of All Ages: The National Society of Film Critics on Children’s Movies

This compelling meditation on cinematic representations of childhood is a must for film buffs.
PREMIUM

Ballet Class: An American History

Of interest to dance historians and dedicated ballet aficionados. Consider for academic libraries.

Movies (and Other Things)

Serrano knows how to craft a think piece, and his perspective is illuminating. With essays on Get Out, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Booksmart, this is also a timely read to be enjoyed by film buffs and general audiences alike.

Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever

All readers will find inspiration in this uplifting book, particularly in today’s complex world. Pair with Maxwell King’s The Good Neighbor for a multifaceted look at an innovator of children’s television. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Wham!, George Michael and Me: A Memoir

This fond memoir of friendship and fame will appeal to fans of Wham! and 1980s pop. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim

While Kapilow doesn’t quite make his case, he has written an engaging, informative, and provocative book that is recommended for fans of Broadway musicals.

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years

A frank and intimate storyteller whose radiant spirit fills these pages, Andrews chronicles the peaks and valleys of her life and career. This event-packed memoir is a must for fans of Andrews’s life and work, students of cinema history, and anyone who is curious about musical film production. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Time Is Tight: My Life, Note by Note

An enjoyable and insightful read. For fans of Booker T. and the M.G.’s, the Stax era, and soul music.
PREMIUM

Afterimages: On Cinema, Women and Changing Times

Future filmmakers as well as art and media students will find this academic take on feminism and cinema a valuable resource.
PREMIUM

The History of Rock & Roll. Vol. 2: 1964–1977; The Beatles, the Stones, and the Rise of Classic Rock

Mainly of interest to music historians, vintage record collectors, and informed general readers.
PREMIUM

Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America

Wilkman makes a compelling case for documentary filmmaking to help rebuild “the foundations of evidential inquiry.” And the best way to do that, he argues, is for documentaries to introduce us to people and experiences we may never otherwise encounter in our daily lives. For all audiences.
PREMIUM

A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away: My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits—Star Wars, Carrie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Mission: Impossible, and More

Readers will learn a lot about the role of a film editor and will feel compelled to rewatch the many hit movies Hirsch edited. Highly recommended for fans of these films and those interested in filmmaking.
PREMIUM

God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop

Iandoli gives female artists the recognition they deserve, while showing that there is still work to do. Place this book in the hands of fans of Hanif Abdurraqib and Jeff Chang.
PREMIUM

Ian McKellen: A Biography

A wonderful biography of a memorable artist, and a worthy addition to all libraries.

Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works, and Why It Matters

In much the same way that Wendy Carlos’s 1968 album Switched-on Bach introduced synthesizers to popular music, Sloan and Harding’s ode to popular music reintroduces the Billboard Top 100 to the field of musicology and the snobbiest of vinyl collectors. A necessary addition to any music collection.
PREMIUM

Acid for the Children: A Memoir

Readers will find much to relate to in Flea’s life story and will hope that this isn’t the only entry in his writing career. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge

Well written and poignant, this is a must for Fisher’s fans. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

On Time: A Princely Life in Funk

Day compellingly recalls his life in and out of the music business and portrays the unpredictable Prince as a reserved, music-obsessed, wildly creative, controlling, and ambitious funk genius. Highly recommended to anyone interested in Prince, funk, or the Time.
PREMIUM

Sidney Lumet: A Life. Griffin:

Though some readers may find the book at times too congratulatory (there are no juicy tidbits), it does provide a strong perspective of a talented but uncompromising director. An insightful biography, perfect for film buffs.
PREMIUM

Life Isn’t Everything: Mike Nichols as Remembered by 148 of His Closest Friends

A wonderful biography of a unique and memorable man, and a worthy addition to all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

I Wonder U: How Prince Went Beyond Race and Back

A must for Prince fans and for readers interested in his impact on the music industry, pop culture, and race and gender theory.

Irving Berlin: New York Genius

An excellent addition to the Berlin biographical bookshelf and a mandatory acquisition for all American music and popular culture collections.
PREMIUM

It’s Garry Shandling’s Book

It’s fitting that a comic whose best-known role deconstructed the late night talk show host should have a book that obsessively deconstructs him. Shandling’s determination to pursue authenticity through his work will appeal to comedy fans and mindfulness practitioners. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

On Becoming Neighbors: The Communication Ethics of Fred Rogers

This is a scholarly narrative but well worth consideration by general readers as well as education and media professionals. Klarén’s commentary is thought provoking and illuminating.
PREMIUM

Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago

While readers will no doubt enjoy being introduced to some of Chicago’s most intriguing blues artists, this is by no means an introductory text. Instead, it’s a comprehensive, scholarly book, complete with thorough notes and a list of works cited--a thought-provoking addition to academic libraries serving students of music and/or popular culture.
PREMIUM

Girl to City

Rigby vaults readers back to a scarier but glamorous time in New York. Watching her grow up and pursue her dreams is gratifying. Fans of she-punk memoirs and stories of success on one’s own terms will enjoy this.
PREMIUM

Jerome Robbins, by Himself: Selections from His Letters, Journals, Drawings, Photographs, and an Unfinished Memoir

Suggested for casual dance readers and Robbins aficionados alike. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Face It

Harry indicated that she didn’t want to write a memoir, and it shows. Not recommended.
PREMIUM

Sitcommentary: Television Comedies That Changed America

A useful and readable guide to social issues as seen through sitcoms. Beyond its scholarly use, this book will be appreciated by nostalgic readers.

The Movie Musical!

Movie buffs and film students alike will applaud this delightful and insightful work. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

Country Music: An Illustrated History

A pleasing, thorough, but not unwieldy survey. For country music fans and neophytes alike.

Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch

An excellent biography of a true American theater original. For all performing arts collections. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Sheeran: A Biography

This bland biography fails to capture Sheeran’s personality or the essence of his artistry. It will suffice as an introduction to Sheeran for casual fans, but there is nothing here that the singer’s ardent admirers haven’t already heard.

TV Noir: Dark Drama on the Small Screen

Each section could be a stand-alone show at a media museum or, better yet, a series at a dimly lit revival house. Essential for noir lovers, especially those who have exhausted the film canon and are hungry for more.
PREMIUM

Out Loud: A Memoir

“Why the hell not?” was Morris’s guide in more than one situation. A must for dance libraries, and why the hell not for most public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Hurricanes: A Memoir

A roller-coaster ride. Fans of Ross’s work as well as his music-making projects with some of hip-hop’s most acclaimed artists will race through this one.

PREMIUM

Where Do I Begin? Stories from a Life Lived Out Loud

Duran’s success stems from his ability to connect personally with celebrities and listeners. Here he connects with readers through heartfelt remembrances and hilariously filthy tirades that are sure to please his national fan base.

PREMIUM

Sweat the Technique: Revelations on Creativity from the Lyrical Genius

Die-hard fans will enjoy gaining unprecedented insight into the rapper’s life and career, while casual readers will appreciate his advice for harnessing creative potential. Less an episode of Behind the Music and more testament to an undeniable artistic legacy, this account neither romanticizes the highs and lows of fame nor acts as a cynical public service announcement. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/19.]
PREMIUM

Hard To Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes

Gorman has written a brutally honest, deeply personal memoir of the group he helped to create. A must for fans of the Black Crowes and American rock and roll.

PREMIUM

Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep

Potentially fun for Streep fan boys and girls, although Michael Schulman’s Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, which Carlson references, is preferred
PREMIUM

To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission To Save High-Quality Audio

Young remains a crusader for high-quality audio, and he tells a fascinating tale, albeit with much technical and business narrative detail, which will appeal mostly to tech, business, and music buffs interested in the future of how we consume, preserve, and listen to recorded music.

Guitar King: Michael Bloomfield’s Life in the Blues

This monumental book illuminates the legacy of a musician who has been overshadowed by other Sixties luminaries but who helped bring the vernacular of the blues to rock and whose playing influenced the course of rock and roll.

Janis: Her Life and Music

This poignant and ultimately tragic account of an iconic performer is a must for Joplin fans, but anyone who enjoys a good biography will appreciate this exceptional work.

PREMIUM

Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World’s Greatest Unfinished Song

This affectionate memorial to Campbell and rather hagiographic take on Webb’s talent might have worked better as a long article for Rolling Stone or The New Yorker, as it tends to repetitiveness and often veers into self-serving territory. Sadly, the whole does not equal the sum of its (many excellent) parts.

Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen

This powerful exploration of the impact of Springsteen’s writing demonstrates why his music continues to resonate.

PREMIUM

For the Love of Music: A Conductor’s Guide to the Art of Listening

The perfect companion for those who are already well versed in classical music and for those ready to take the plunge.

PREMIUM

The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet Underground

Reed devotees might appreciate this account, but newcomers would be better served by Anthony DeCurtis’s Lou Reed: A Life.

PREMIUM

Gilmore Girls: A Cultural History

Gilmore Girls is a worthy subject for this series, but only readers with a serious enthusiasm for the show will want a book-length study of the its themes.

PREMIUM

Move on Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power

Cohen marries scholarly erudition with sincere musical affection in this intriguing look at Chicago soul.

PREMIUM

Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson

This comprehensive and engaging reference is a significant addition to popular music research. A must for Jackson fans and students of musical and social culture.

High School

This inspiring memoir will appeal to readers, especially fans of the duo.

PREMIUM

Summertime: George Gershwin’s Life in Music

Though this meticulously researched volume unearths a few fresh facts, Crawford treads little new ground in retelling the story of this iconic American composer. For anyone unfamiliar with previous Gershwin biographies, such as Howard Pollack’s in-depth George Gershwin. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/19.]

The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History

This eye-opening and empowering title at last places in the spotlight many of the groundbreaking women who worked for Walt Disney Studios.

PREMIUM

Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era

Necessarily covering the same ground as Kelsey Miller in her best-selling I’ll Be There for You, the author approaches Friends as a pop culture historian, incorporating his recent interviews with the show’s creators in this workmanlike effort. For followers of the program and lovers of pop culture.

PREMIUM

Passionate Spirit: The Life of Alma Mahler

Considering the sexism of the 19th and 20th centuries, Alma Mahler’s status as a “muse” can be understood as a strategic attempt to signal her own talents to the world. Haste presents a necessary update and reframing of Mahler’s life and legacy.

PREMIUM

Cruel To Be Kind: The Life and Music of Nick Lowe

An enjoyable and personal look at a cult hero who is more working artist than rock star.

PREMIUM

Music: A Subversive History

This fascinating recontextualization will appeal to anyone who ever wondered why “Hound Dog” became a hit only when Elvis Presley covered it.

PREMIUM

Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World

An inspiring study of U.S. efforts to bridge cultures and collaborate around the globe, and a reminder of the power of art to unite us.

PREMIUM

Blue: The Color of Noise

Despite its flaws, this account of an artist’s rise will touch readers who also discovered community and solace in music.

PREMIUM

A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons

Folds’s memoir is much like his songwriting-straightforward, wickedly smart, and with a heavy dose of self-deprecating humor.

PREMIUM

Begin the Begin: R.E.M.’s Early Years

Lurie’s investigation of R.E.M.’s beginnings challenges established myths about the group that will interest fans, and provides a valuable history of Athens’s arts scene in the early 1980s, when R.E.M shared the spotlight with bands such as Pylon, Side Effects, and Love Tractor.

PREMIUM

Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly

Individuals who have experienced abuse may want to avoid this book entirely. For readers interested in the cult of celebrity, the life of R. Kelly, true crime, journalism, and the #MeToo movement.

PREMIUM

Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History

Moore is a die-hard fan, and it shows in this lovingly crafted book. Alert readers will notice the lack of textual criticism; however, Family Guy’s fanbase will find this freakin’ sweet.

PREMIUM

Dearest Lenny: Letters from Japan and the Making of the World Maestro

Should appeal to fans of the peripatetic maestro and those interested in Japan.

PREMIUM

Everybody’s Doin’ It: Sex, Music, and Dance in New York 1840–1917

Readers interested in the period will appreciate this lively look at the origins of American popular music and dance.

PREMIUM

Elvis in Vegas: How the King Reinvented the Las Vegas Show

For Presley devotees and readers who enjoy entertainment history.

PREMIUM

Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges

For jazz enthusiasts and those curious about Hodges.

Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan

It’s been 29 years since Vaughan’s passing; this is the book fans have been waiting for.

The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando

A thoroughly enjoyable, illuminating read, and a must for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Finding Zsa Zsa: The Gabors Behind the Legend

The Gabors lived full lives, and by the end of this book, readers may be as exhausted as the Gabors must have been. Still, this wild ride is recommended for fans of the actors and lovers of tell-alls.

Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan

For readers seeking an insightful, academic meditation on the relationship between media and sociopolitical issues.

PREMIUM

Cheers: A Cultural History

A must for Cheers fans and students of popular culture, this is a thorough and thoughtful look at a groundbreaking television gem
PREMIUM

You Can’t Fall Off the Floor: And Other Lessons from a Life in Hollywood

This work doesn’t have the gravitas of Robert Evans’s The Kid Stays in the Picture or Julia Phillips’s You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again, but it is fun, breezy, and instructive; for fans of Hollywood tales

Ruffhouse: From the Streets of Philly to the Top of the ’90s Hip-Hop Charts

Fans of these artists will love the insider information on the recording process and the trials and tribulations of getting this music out into the world
PREMIUM

Beethoven: The Relentless Revolutionary

A disjointed and often frustrating reading experience, with moments of real insight. For devoted Beethoven fans.

PREMIUM

The Awfully Big Adventure: Michael Jackson in the Afterlife

Many will find the author’s approach almost as enigmatic as its subject, though serious fans and those interested in deconstructing Michael Jackson’s life and death may appreciate it.

PREMIUM

Notes from the Field

Creative and highly thought-provoking, this work should be read not only by those who wish to perform the monologs but by anyone seeking to understand an increasingly frightening and pervasive social ill.

The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record

A must for all libraries.

Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste

A brilliant and passionate work about music's indelible aesthetic algorithm; for anyone curious about why their favorite songs strike a chord with them. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/18.]

The Rhythm of Rap | Performing Arts Reviews, December 2018

Sidelined in Hollywood | Performing Arts Reviews

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