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PREMIUM

Starring Women: Celebrity, Patriarchy, and American Theater, 1790-1850

Lampert offers a fascinating glimpse into the complicated history of 19th-century theater and the role of female performers in changing the dynamic of women’s place in society. For libraries with large gender studies and performing arts collections.
PREMIUM

Is This Anything?

Despite the self-deprecating title, Seinfeld has assembled his greatest hits. Readers will delight in seeing how he mined a shifting landscape of inane commercial products, societal norms, and myriad pet peeves for laughs. Just don’t expect him to reveal how all this magic works.
PREMIUM

Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother, and Beyond

A pleasant memoir that offers an inside look at the history of folk and country rock from one of its founders.
PREMIUM

Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years

This book offers a seductive blend of sometimes contradictory insights into Cohen but will be sought after only by his most devoted fans.
PREMIUM

Composers: Their Lives and Works

There’s little new here; readers will find the same information covered in similar texts. Still, for nonmusically trained readers, this is an aesthetically pleasing introduction to Western classical music.

The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan

For the foreseeable future, this is the definitive word on Nolan and a must for film buffs.
PREMIUM

I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life

Foster’s thoughtful and well-researched look at race and the blues via an exploration of a distressed and declining Southern rural town will be useful to music and sociology academics.
PREMIUM

She Come by It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs

A thoughtful musing on the significance of Parton’s work and success, and those she inspires.
PREMIUM

Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton

A persuasive argument for taking Dolly Parton seriously as an artist. For folk and country music scholars, musicians, and fans.
PREMIUM

Dance We Do: A Poet Explores Black Dance

Of interest to those familiar with Shange’s written work, and generally to dancers and dance historians.
PREMIUM

A Sound Mind: How I Fell in Love with Classical Music (and Decided To Rewrite Its Entire History)

An excellent guide for anyone interested in expanding their musical horizons.
PREMIUM

Amplified: A Design History of the Electric Guitar

Acknowledging the significant role guitar historian Tony Bacon has played in this arena through his more popularly oriented publications, Atkinson’s more academic contribution to the literature is decidedly welcome. His rigorous scholarship and clear affection for the subject shine.
PREMIUM

Whose Blues? Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music

Extremely knowledgeable but a bit overly academic, Gussow ably details the African American core of the blues and the shifting racial dynamics that have made the music so compelling to white Americans and blues fans in other cultures. Blues scholars will find the book illuminating.
PREMIUM

The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America

Fans will likely devour this title despite its problems, and the work has crossover appeal to young adult readers, who will be stirred by Lamar’s professional and personal journey. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/20.]
PREMIUM

Do You Feel Like I Do?

Entertaining and rousing, on the stage and now on the page, Frampton Comes Alive. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/20.]

150 Glimpses of the Beatles

Brown presents a fresh take on a seemingly inexhaustible subject
PREMIUM

Sun Ra’s Chicago: Afrofuturism and the City

Not the launching point for an introduction to the life of Sun Ra, but rather a deeper dive into the city life and utopian vision informing his work and philosophy, emphasizing that (Urban) Space Is the Place. Recommended for academic libraries.

PREMIUM

Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong

Though sometimes overly enthusiastic about Armstrong and presenting more detail than most general readers need, Riccardi produces a meticulously researched but readable account that jazz fans will embrace as a standard work about the iconic trumpeter. [See Q&A, p. 69.]
PREMIUM

This Thing Called Life: Prince’s Odyssey, On and Off the Record

Karlen’s writing is too often barely coherent. Even devoted fans should skip.
PREMIUM

The Voyages of Star Trek: A Mirror on American Society Through Time

Socially conscious fans will appreciate this study, which shows a real affection for its subject; however, skeptics may question the conclusions it draws.

Looking To Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing

A wide-ranging vision and appreciation of American musical creativity from a writer who is himself an essential voice.
PREMIUM

Right Place, Right Time: The Life of a Rock & Roll Photographer

Rock fans will devour this narrative and find its “you are there” style eminently palpable.
PREMIUM

Film and the Anarchist Imagination

For film scholars and those interested in anarchism and other revolutionary movements.
PREMIUM

Who Is Alex Trebek? A Biography

With Trebek’s public battle with pancreatic cancer, it’s hard not to ascribe a eulogistic tone to this work. Nevertheless, Rogak’s work is a well-crafted biography that will especially appeal to Jeopardy! fans.
PREMIUM

Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor

Bell acknowledges that he’s taken liberties, but his unexpectedly gripping account of the early 1990s cable television scene makes for compelling reading.

Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band

Country fans, especially Willie Nelson devotees, will devour this down-to-earth yet inspiring account of an unbreakable bond between brother and sister. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/20.]
PREMIUM

On the Record: Music Journalists on Their Lives, Craft, and Careers

There’s much to ponder here for a variety of readers, from nostalgia buffs to those seeking exciting new discoveries.
PREMIUM

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics

Strongly recommended for fans of the era’s music and those interested in pop culture history.
PREMIUM

Limelight: Rush in the ’80s

Popoff’s treasure trove of enlightening and entertaining glimpses into the workings of three complex individuals combined into a cohesive unit will appeal to anyone with even a casual interest in Rush. One misses some of the familial and folksy connections in volume one, but readers will eagerly await the conclusion of this impressive endeavor.
PREMIUM

But What I Really Want To Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera

An enjoyable memoir that offers lessons on filmmaking, what counts as success in Hollywood, and the magic of film.

Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas

A must for any fan of Goodfellas, Scorsese, or movies in general. [See “Turn the Page,” p. 18.]
PREMIUM

Because He’s Jeff Goldblum: The Movies, Memes, and Meaning of Hollywood’s Most Enigmatic Actor

Goldblum fans will appreciate this glowing portrait that also analyzes the actor’s appeal.
PREMIUM

Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls: Women, Music and Fame

An intriguing (and occasionally snarky) look at the lives, loves, and off-stage personas of well-known women soloists and band members. With the increased visibility of women in entertainment generally, and music specifically, this title will find an audience in most libraries.
PREMIUM

Jazz: Race and Social Change (1870–2019)

Great for readers who have a basic knowledge of American history and seek to deepen that knowledge through the incorporation of jazz history.
PREMIUM

A Book About the Film Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life: All the References from Americans to Zulu Nation

Larsen teeters between exhaustive and exhausting in this comprehensive approach to drawing meaning from The Meaning of Life.
PREMIUM

Murder and the Movies

Thomson leads readers on a meandering path, never successfully reaching a conclusion. However, the journey isn’t unpleasant and Thomson is a reservoir of film knowledge.
PREMIUM

Lyrics of My Life: My Journey with Family, HIV, and Reality TV

Look elsewhere for finely crafted prose. Look here for, at times brutal, honesty about a life still being lived

Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary

Geffen’s clear love and deep knowledge of the subject, along with insightful historical and critical arguments about the intertwining of gender and music, make this a deliciously necessary read for anyone interested in either pop culture or gender studies.

Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music

With this multifaceted jewel of a book, Ross has produced a monumental study of Wagner’s legacy. Eighteen out of 18 anvils.
PREMIUM

The House That Rock Built: How It Took Time, Money, Music Moguls, Corporate Types, Politicians, Media, Artists, and Fans To Bring the Rock Hall to Cleveland

This informative and entertaining read will likely become the definitive volume on this important cultural center’s formation, and is a worthy companion to stand beside Nick Talevski’s useful if dated The Unofficial Encyclopedia of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
PREMIUM

Beethoven, a Life

Detailed and engaging, this fitting tribute to the iconic composer will enrich anyone’s enjoyment and appreciation of his great music.

Wild Thing: The Short, Spellbinding Life of Jimi Hendrix

There will be much interest in all things Hendrix on the 50th anniversary of his death this September. As his chronicler, Norman is, most definitely, experienced. Essential for music collections and anyone interested in Hendrix or music of the 1960s. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/20.]
PREMIUM

My Life in the Purple Kingdom

This page-turning memoir, while focusing on the artist’s early days and ignoring the past 30 years of his life, will appeal to BrownMark’s fans and general music enthusiasts.
PREMIUM

American Utopia

Whether or not readers are fans of Byrne, they’ll enjoy this colorful and playful presentation.
PREMIUM

Memphis Mayhem: A Story of the Music That Shook Up the World

This quick romp through Memphis music from a racial perspective will complement Robert Gordon’s books, as well as James Dickerson’s Goin’ Back to Memphis.
PREMIUM

The Baddest Bitch in the Room

An enlightening memoir about self-discovery, embracing one’s heritage, and finding success.
PREMIUM

Fangirls: Scenes From Modern Music Culture

Anyone who has wondered why someone would bid thousands for a wad of used chewing gum or collect a closetful of an idol’s clothing will come away with greater understanding. May fit a niche for broad collections.

PREMIUM

Working on a Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown

Fans of Hadestown, especially, will gain a better understanding of Mitchell’s lyricism, while theater lovers, generally, will appreciate insight into the dramaturgy. A captivating read.

PREMIUM

Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker

An engaging and well-researched primer to the work of a cinematic legend.
PREMIUM

Magic Time: A Memoir; Notes on Theatre & Other Entertainment

A pleasant yet unremarkable story of a well-lived life in the world of theater.
PREMIUM

Women Rapping Revolution: Hip Hop and Community Building in Detroit

An intriguing addition to the growing body of hip-hop literature. For listeners and fans and for scholars in musicology, cultural studies, and related disciplines.
PREMIUM

Always Young and Restless: My Life On and Off America’s #1 Daytime Drama

For those interested in show business memoirs, both Young and the Restless fans and those unfamiliar with the series.

Peggy Lee: A Century of Song

Those seeking the skinny on personal information, such as Lee’s four marriages and subsequent divorces, should look elsewhere, but those wanting to geek out on the subtleties of Lee’s jazz slides, phrasing, and vocal interpretive prowess will be richly rewarded.
PREMIUM

The Seven Lives of Alejandro Jodorowsky

Fans of the creative, disturbing, psychedelic, restless, and challenging Jodorowsky will find much to appreciate here, as will anyone curious about the radical and ragged edge of 1960s theatrical and cinematic experimentation.
PREMIUM

George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters

Harrison’s humanity, thoughtfulness, and humor are on rich display throughout, and a portrait of his entire life emerges. A fascinating addition to the voluminous catalog of Beatle-related literature.

Music Lessons

Stimulating, thought provoking, and sometimes just provoking, Wiseman’s ruminations on all things musical (and beyond) are a trip worth taking.
PREMIUM

The Meaning of Soul: Black Music and Resilience since the 1960s

A strong choice for libraries supporting African American studies or popular American music programs.
PREMIUM

Niche: A Memoir in Pastiche

Showing a prodigious awareness of the sweep of centuries of culture, this is an admirable conceit finely executed. It will have great appeal to anyone interested in new modes of autobiography as well as Anglophiles and devotees of Momus’s musical, literary, and artistic talents.
PREMIUM

The Films of Martin Scorsese: Gangsters, Greed, and Guilt

A clear, nuanced, and highly accessible primer to the films of one of America’s greatest directors.

PREMIUM

Seinfeld: A Cultural History

Lively writing, extensive research, and thoughtful analysis combine to make Arras’s book a must for those interested in taking a deeper dive into a show about nothing.

PREMIUM

Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television’s Groundbreaking Sitcoms

This definitive guide to the show answers every question a fan could pose, by quoting the people who created it.

Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar

Compelling, informative, and the definitive book on this musical legend.
PREMIUM

Queering the South on Screen

Recommend to patrons interested in film/media studies, regional/area studies, queer theory, or the South. Readers should be comfortable with cultural studies writing and its frequent use of various forms of critical theory.
PREMIUM

The Heart of a Woman: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price

An important contribution to the study of African American composers and musicians. For scholars and listeners alike.
PREMIUM

Johnny Cash International: How and Why Fans Love the Man in Black

While looking at Johnny Cash fandom specifically, this sociological and pop culture studies text also sheds light on fandom in general.
PREMIUM

Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion

An engaging chronicle of a band that has, remarkably, retained its founding spirit and relevancy many years on. A delightful read for fans of both the early days of punk and those curious about contemporary practice.
PREMIUM

Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS

Most readers will appreciate this analysis and celebration of boy bands.
PREMIUM

Chasing Chopin: A Musical Journey Across Three Centuries, Four Countries, and a Half-Dozen Revolutions

Well recommended to anyone with an interest in Chopin, though those seeking a definitive study of the composer’s life and music are directed to Alan Walker’s Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times.
PREMIUM

Beethoven: Variations on a Life

An incisive, accessible, and witty treatment of a musical genius. For fans of all stripes, from the casual to the academic.
PREMIUM

Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book and Movie of All Time

Some knowledge of the book and definitely of the film is required, but go ahead: Indulge yourself. Fans will love! love! love!, and newcomers will enjoy the Hollywood insider aspect.

PREMIUM

The Lives of Isaac Stern

Music lovers will enjoy this celebration of a musical and cultural treasure. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/20.]
PREMIUM

More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood

Nothing new here about Wood. Not an essential purchase.
PREMIUM

The Greatest Cult Television Shows of All Time

Olson and Reinhard’s knowledge and enthusiasm come through clearly in this fun (and sometimes frustrating) read. 

Poulenc: The Life in the Songs

Highly recommended to readers interested in the life and works of the composer, as well as to those eager to learn about the cultural and political milieu of Poulenc’s life.
PREMIUM

Levon: From Down in the Delta to the Birth of The Band and Beyond

This meticulously researched book offers music fans a thorough introduction and adds to current material, including Helm’s autobiography This Wheel’s on Fire, Barney Hoskyns’s Across the Great Divide, and the film Ain’t in It for My Health.
PREMIUM

America, the Band: An Authorized Biography

Drawing from interviews with Beckley and Bunnell, Warne has started the process of refurbishing the reputation of America. Fans will be delighted, and those who sold them short will be impressed.
PREMIUM

The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

This intriguing, behind-the-scenes look at a disjointed creative partnership is sure to be of interest to readers of history and cinema.

Odetta: A Life in Music and Protest

An illuminating, stirring biography of the extraordinary “Queen of American Folk.”
PREMIUM

Resistance: A Songwriter’s Story of Hope, Change, and Courage

A fascinating window into the creative process of an iconic songwriter, this should resonate with lovers of Amos’s music and encourage other artists.
PREMIUM

Vinyl Countdown

Sharpe’s enthusiasm is contagious
PREMIUM

Bach’s Operas of the Soul: A Listener’s Guide to the Sacred Cantatas

Students and devotees of classical music will appreciate this introduction to some of the most transcendent music in the Western canon.
PREMIUM

Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina

Frantz’s absorbing, vivid book will reward Talking Heads fans and those interested in the postpunk and 1980s music scene. [See Prepub Alert, 11/11/19.]
PREMIUM

Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole

Though needlessly exaggerating its subject’s considerable accomplishments and sometimes mired in details, this well-researched, comprehensive work should became a standard biography along with Daniel Mark Epstein’s Nat King Cole.

PREMIUM

Anthem: Rush in the ’70s

A must for Rush fans and an intriguing examination of how small musical groups coalesce. Also a fitting memorial to drummer Neil Peart, who died this past January.
PREMIUM

Bring That Beat Back: How Sampling Built Hip-Hop

Though occasionally dense with details, this work comprises meticulous discographic research and nuanced descriptions of songs evoking each artist’s raw creativity. Aficionados will rejoice.
PREMIUM

I Am Michael Alago: Breathing Music. Signing Metallica. Beating Death

For those who enjoy memoir, music, or tales of 1970s and 1980s New York.

Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline

Add this to Lynn’s longer-than-a-country-mile list of accomplishments, and, while you’re at it, add it to your collection.
PREMIUM

To Hell and Back: My Life in Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, in the Words of the Last Man Standing

A readable backstage pass to the early days of the punk rock movement, when the sex and drugs overwhelmed the rock and roll.

PREMIUM

The Ox: The Authorized Biography of The Who’s John Entwistle

Solidly researched and written, and fleshed out with the recollections of Entwistle’s son, Chris, this biography of one of the genre’s finest bass players and most intriguing personalities will strike a chord with serious fans of classic rock.
PREMIUM

Sonic Warrior: My Life as a Rock n Roll Reprobate (Tales of Sex, Drugs, and Vomiting at Inopportune Moments)

Brutus estimates that he’s attended more than 3,000 music events; it’s wonderful that he’s able to share some of his best memories with readers. Recommended for music fans, especially those with a metal bent.
PREMIUM

Sunny Days: The Children’s Television Revolution That Changed America

Researchers and nostalgic Sesame Street fans alike will appreciate this thorough, compelling overview of a pivotal period of TV history. [See Prepub Alert, 11/11/19.]
PREMIUM

Ray by Ray: A Daughter’s Take on the Legend of Nicholas Ray

This contemplative, deeply personal portrait of both Rays will appeal to readers interested in mid-century Hollywood.
PREMIUM

Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir

Told in a distinctively heavy voice, this warts-and-all account of addiction’s effect on one’s body and self-worth comes with heft and hits like a ton of bricks.
PREMIUM

Play the Way You Feel: The Essential Guide to Jazz Stories on Film

Jazz fans will find much of interest
PREMIUM

Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me on and off General Hospital

Benard’s honest work is realistic yet inspiring. Soap opera fans will relish the behind-the-scenes insight, but overall this will resonate with anyone attempting to overcome life’s hurdles. [See Prepub Alert, 9/30/19.]
PREMIUM

Always the Queen: The Denise LaSalle Story

LaSalle’s recollections ramble a bit, and not all memories are necessarily complete. Still, this is the only LaSalle autobiography available, so libraries that focus on American music will want to consider.
PREMIUM

Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier

This funny, wise, and touching memoir will resonate with fans of comedy and anyone seeking an intimately told life story.
PREMIUM

Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer

This well-crafted biography will have film buffs applauding.
PREMIUM

Hamilton: Portraits of the Revolution

A reflective look at Hamilton’s vibrant characters and cast, told through the subtle art of portraiture. Recommended for super fans of the musical, but with appeal for anyone who loves Broadway and those interested in Lehrer’s technique.
PREMIUM

Dancer Interrupted: A Memoir

Both a cautionary tale for aspiring dancers and a stirring story of grappling with mental illness, this offering will find an audience in many public libraries.
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