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PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

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.
PREMIUM

Martin Scorsese and the American Dream

An intriguing approach to the work of an American master.

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

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

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.
PREMIUM

Permanent Damage: Memoirs of an Outrageous Girl

This memoir from a true counterculture icon has an important place in music history and culture; it will appeal to those eager to read more about the era.

Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story

This lively, engaging work captures the initial adrenaline rush and eventual stultifying downward spiral of a band that helped define early eighties rock. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

American Vaudeville

Reading like stream of consciousness, this book often lacks clear delineation between fact and the author’s fanciful creation. An interesting artistic experiment that pushes the boundaries of nonfiction, but not recommended.
PREMIUM

Fierce and Delicate: Essays on Dance and Illness

An elegant collection of essays from a dancer’s soul that will uplift all readers, especially those who love dance.
PREMIUM

Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter’s Love Story in Black and White

An inspiring story of the strong bond between a famous mother and her daughter, which will appeal to movie star watchers and film historians alike.

Changes: An Oral History of Tupac Shakur

With 2021 marking both the 25th anniversary of Shakur’s death and what would have been his 50th birthday, this is a strong addition to public, academic, and research libraries, especially those with hip-hop collections.

PREMIUM

Berlioz: A Listener’s Guide

A concise and accessible introduction. For classical music listeners, particularly those seeking familiarity with Berlioz’s work.

Movie Workers: The Women Who Made British Cinema

Highlighting the often-unseen but important accomplishments of women in film, this is a comprehensive, necessary addition to any cinephile’s collection.
PREMIUM

William Greaves: Filmmaking as Mission

Combining critical essays by filmmakers and academics and fascinating articles by Greaves, this is an important addition to the history of American filmmaking.
PREMIUM

Tragedy Plus Time: National Trauma and Television Comedy

A must for media and communication studies departments, this work will also appeal to many comedy fans, traumatologists, and the generally curious.
PREMIUM

In My Own Time: An Autobiography

Burton’s autobiography is as rich and dense as his prolific career. Those with a serious interest in classical music will be delighted.
PREMIUM

The Mysteries of Cinema: Movies and Imagination

Academic libraries that wish to expand their film criticism section might consider this work, but general collections should avoid it.

Why We Love The Matrix

A geeky celebratory short read that is sure to be a collectible volume for serious followers of The Matrix for years to come.
PREMIUM

Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes

News buffs will love the behind-the-scenes stories, and journalism students will find advice direct from legendary reporters.
PREMIUM

Dream State: California in the Movies

A thoroughly entertaining and perceptive conversation with someone who truly loves the movies and California.

Breaking It Down: Audition Techniques for Actors of the Global Majority

Everyone involved in the performing arts, from professors to casting directors to actors to students, especially those just starting out, should read this eye-opening work.
PREMIUM

Cack-Handed

A tremendously funny and touching memoir that readers will want to finish in one sitting, whether they’re fans of Yashere or newcomers to her work.
PREMIUM

Punks in Peoria: Making a Scene in the American Heartland

This title will interest punk devotees, or readers interested in the intersection of music and sociology in America from rock and roll’s emergence to the present.
PREMIUM

Inside Comedy: The Soul, Wit, and Bite of Comedy and Comedians of the Last Five Decades

Steinberg hits the history harder than the comedy and presents himself as a pivotal figure. Comedy fans who remember his onscreen work will likely agree with his self-assessment and enjoy his book.
PREMIUM

The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia

Pender’s expansive reporting on Sondheim’s productions, cohorts, and collaborators goes beyond biography to give readers a wider historical view of American musical theater. The book is ostensibly a reference work aimed at enthusiasts (of which Sondheim has many), but casual theater and performing arts fans will find much to appreciate as well.
PREMIUM

The Double Life of Bob Dylan: A Restless, Hungry Feeling, 1941–1966

Dylan remains an enigmatic figure. Heylin’s book will be appreciated by devoted fans and is another valuable addition to a puzzle that might never be completed.

Americanaland: Where Country & Western Met Rock ’n’ Roll

It would have been impossible for Milward to pack any more information into this well-researched, comprehensive book. Recommended to anyone and everyone interested in the history of American music.

PREMIUM

Listen To This If You Love Great Music: A Critical Curation of 100 Essential Albums

A well informed but overly narrow work that sometimes falls prey to an overblown rock-journalistic writing style. Murray has written a provocative, fascinating, highly personal compendium of the top 100 albums, which will most appeal to fans of alternative, electronic, or pop music.

PREMIUM

Moonlighting: An Oral History

Moonlighting was never syndicated, the DVDs are out of print, and tricky music rights have kept the show off streaming services. Ryan’s work is truly a labor of love, and fans will appreciate his effort, but readers unfamiliar with the series can skip this.

PREMIUM

Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise

Behind the scenes it wasn’t always fun, fun, fun, but fans of late ’50s and ’60s pop will feel like they’ve caught the perfect wave.

PREMIUM

Don’t Applaud. Either Laugh or Don’t. (At the Comedy Cellar)

Though it focuses on a single New York comedy club, Hankinson’s work will also appeal to pop culture enthusiasts and those interested in the importance of freedom of expression in the arts.

PREMIUM

Prince and the “Parade” and “Sign o’ the Times” Era Studio Sessions: 1985 and 1986

Though it gives too much detail for general readers, the second installment in Tudahl’s Prince chronology is a treasure trove for fans.

Cracking Up: Black Feminist Comedy in the Twentieth & Twenty-First Century United States

Wood expertly examines Black feminist comics who blend humor with resistance and rebellion in this important work. It deserves a place in all performing arts and women’s history sections.

PREMIUM

Batman: The Animated Series

Media studies enthusiasts and those seeking sophisticated angles on a beloved childhood cartoon will eat up Sanders’s conversation-sparking analysis.

The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life

Readers will ride shotgun as Taplin journeys through some of the great moments in late ’60s and ’70s popular culture, with a significant coda on the forces that drive today’s artistic output. There is much to savor here.
PREMIUM

Starring Tom Cruise

Cruise’s career undoubtedly merits critical commentary, but he certainly deserves better than this. Unnecessary.
PREMIUM

Live at Jackson Station: Music, Community, and Tragedy in a Southern Blues Bar

This well-researched account of a significant musical site, and its place and time in history, will appeal to blues fans and readers interested in U.S. Southern culture.
PREMIUM

Dance and Authoritarianism: These Boots Are Made for Dancing

An important resource for students and anyone interested in world cultures, dance and performing arts, or the intersection of art and politics.

PREMIUM

This Is How You Make a Movie

Those new to the language of filmmaking will emerge with a deeper appreciation of this complex, intricate process.

PREMIUM

Norman Jewison: A Director’s Life

A thoroughly enjoyable and detailed look at a memorable life in film.
PREMIUM

Why Wakanda Matters: What Black Panther Reveals About Psychology, Identity, and Communication

While academic in nature, these essays are accessible to general readers. Howard’s work is a solid addition to media studies sections in both public and academic libraries.
PREMIUM

You’re History: The Twelve Strangest Women in Music

Those interested in music criticism will enjoy this in-depth study of unique women voices in pop music.

A Lot Can Happen in the Middle of Nowhere: The Untold Story of the Making of Fargo

Much like the movie it dissects, this book is quirky and intelligent, with surprising revelations. A treat for cinephiles and fans of the Coen brothers.

PREMIUM

Music, Math, and Mind: The Physics and Neuroscience of Music

Spending time inside the brain of this talented scholar and artist is worth the price of admission; a truly joyful experience.
PREMIUM

Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship

A well-researched work that will appeal to readers who like their celebrity biographies juicy.
PREMIUM

A Wonderful Guy: Conversations with the Great Men of Musical Theater

This funny, charming, and inspiring look into the world behind the footlights will delight fans of musical theater and those hoping to see their own names in lights someday.

I Believe I’ll Go Back Home: Roots and Revival in New England Folk Music

Curren’s work is both historically important and vital reading for the present moment. Our need for a spiritual and cultural revival is, it would seem, as essential and natural as our need to sing. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Summer Movies: 30 Sun-Drenched Classics

This fun compendium will delight trip planners who like their vacations movie-oriented, as well as everyone who loves classic films.
PREMIUM

The Science and Psychology of Music: From Beethoven at the Office to Beyoncé at the Gym

Intended to “inspire the next generation of researchers,” this volume provides plenty of stand-alone independent resources, in concise language that will be useful to students of music or psychology.
PREMIUM

Kraftwerk: Future Music from Germany

This provocative and stimulating, yet readable narrative unearths the social and musical importance of an iconic band, both for general readers and fans.

Being a Ballerina: The Power and Perfection of a Dancing Life

Dancing “full out” means going all out during practice rather than saving energy for the performance. In this memoir Larsen is writing full out, and we are the lucky audience of her performance. Balletomanes, dance students, and aspiring dancers will applaud this absorbing account.
PREMIUM

Broadway Goes to War: American Theater During World War II

An engaging, thorough, slightly academic work about an overlooked period of American drama, perhaps best reserved for theater historians and course-specific studies.
PREMIUM

Brat: An ’80s Story

Students of acting will appreciate learning about McCarthy’s versions of method acting and his struggles with performing for a camera. Fans of ’80s cinema will love the chance to reminisce.
PREMIUM

Driven: Rush in the ’90s and “In the End.”

This third installment’s heartfelt exploration of the hobbies, obsessions, and families of the members of Rush more than compensates for missing some of the sparkle evident in the first two volumes. Popoff is to be congratulated for this herculean effort.
PREMIUM

Songbooks: The Literature of American Popular Music

For readers interested in music media or cultural scholarship.
PREMIUM

Lev’s Violin: A Story of Music, Culture and Italian Adventure

Lyrical and exquisitely detailed. For listeners and players of violin music and readers interested in the history of things.
PREMIUM

Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life

A deeply reflective narrative that will appeal to both Margulies’s fans and anyone who enjoys a warm and well-crafted memoir.
PREMIUM

Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers Is Saving Ballet from Itself

Required reading for anyone who loves ballet and cares about its future.

Race in American Television: Voices and Visions That Shaped a Nation

This important reference guide chronicles both television history and the story of racial attitudes in America; it will also empower readers to seek out inclusive programming and look with fresh eyes at favorite shows.

Dolly Parton, Songteller

This is an excellent audiobook sure to thrill fans of Dolly Parton and country music, and readers who love unusual audiobook experiences.

Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn’t Help It

Exemplary in its research and detail, Golden’s book may well become the definitive word--if not the last word--on the Mansfield story.

PREMIUM

I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby: Dorothy Fields and Her Life in the American Musical Theater

This story of a woman artist realizing her dreams will resonate with readers reinterested in the evolution of American musical theater.
PREMIUM

Broken Horses

A good read for fans of Carlile who want a peek into her life and her growth as a musician.
PREMIUM

Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism

This intriguing study of Baker’s cinematic work is likely to appeal to scholars of film and Black history but will be of little interest to general readers.
PREMIUM

Goodbye, Guns N’ Roses: The Crime, Beauty, and Amplified Chaos of America’s Most Polarizing Band

Much has been written about Guns N’ Roses. Tavana sets his book apart by using pop culture analogies throughout, but he provides little in original insight or access. The work is entertaining, but die-hard fans will not learn anything new.
PREMIUM

The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop

An appealing survey that highlights many unsung heroines along with the superstars. For hip-hop fans and music historians alike.
PREMIUM

Mean…Moody…Magnificent! Jane Russell and the Marketing of a Hollywood Legend

Whether readers are intimately familiar with the golden age of Hollywood, or are newcomers to the topic, they’ll come away having learned something about one of its stars.
PREMIUM

Films of Endearment: A Mother, a Son and the ’80s Films That Defined Us

A skilled film critic, Koresky guides readers through salient plot points instead of rehashing entire films, but his real talent is using cinema as a starting point for conversation. This intimate, probing work will appeal to hard-core cinephiles, lovers of memoirs, and many other readers.

Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967–1975

Thompson’s spell is never broken, and, as on disc, his is a welcome voice to meet on the page. Readers will be eager for the next volume of the story. Like a great Richard Thompson solo, this title contains surprise, beauty, delight, and a voice like no other. His autobiography is as welcome as it is long overdue.
PREMIUM

A Band with Built-In Hate: The Who from Pop Art to Punk

Though the preoccupation with Cohn seems unnecessary, Stanfield has masterfully identified the mod, pop art, and art rock stages of the Who’s career for rock fans and general readers alike.
PREMIUM

Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour

Fans will enjoy this buoyant coming-of-age narrative by one of music’s most idiosyncratic performers.
PREMIUM

Naked Screenwriting: Twenty-Two Oscar-Winning Screenwriters Bare Their Secrets to Writing

A clever and original look at the art of screenwriting.
PREMIUM

Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way

Theater buffs and students of Black history will be pleased by this cogent defense of Shuffle Along.
PREMIUM

Off the Charts: What I Learned from My Almost Fabulous Life in Music

Much like her music, Goldman’s book is witty, intelligent, and folksy. A must-read for aspiring performers.
PREMIUM

The Seventies: The Decade that Changed American Film Forever

An informative but frustrating volume.
PREMIUM

Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music

Readers familiar with Indian music will find much to appreciate, and those unfamiliar with it need only go to YouTube for examples of Chaudhuri’s work as a performer and composer.

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

Told with humor and grace, Abdurraqib’s stories will inspire and provoke thoughtful meditations on how Black lives matter in all areas of life and art.
PREMIUM

Music Around the World: A Global Encyclopedia

A successful dive into global music culture in an easy-to-digest format for beginner researchers.

PREMIUM

The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer

Dodgion’s pull-no-punches style and determination in the face of daunting situations bring an obscure figure to vivid life. The title should appeal to jazz aficionados, who will recognize many of the musicians with whom she played, as well as those interested in ways in which women have flourished in the creative arts.
PREMIUM

The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle

Kenner provides a behind-the-scenes look at the rap business and a musical genius. Rousing and powerful, this work will be devoured by Hussle’s fans and appreciated by students of Black culture and the music industry.
PREMIUM

Decoding “Despacito”: An Oral History of Latin Music

An enlightening and insightful chronicle. For Latin music fans as well as for those eager to learn more about this style of music.

PREMIUM

Just as I Am

Recommend to readers who enjoy engaging and sassy memoirs, and those interested in learning about 20th-century Black theater, film, and television.
PREMIUM

Nöthin’ but a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ‘80s Hard Rock Explosion

Rock music fans will be banging their heads to this book.

The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

An absorbing, thoughtful, and balanced look at a master of his medium.
PREMIUM

When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today

Armstrong preserves an important part of television’s--and women’s--history in this engaging book.

PREMIUM

Always a Song: Singers, Songwriters, Sinners, and Saints—My Story of the Folk Music Revival

Folk music aficionados will feel nostalgic at Harper’s reminiscences, and those with an interest in the sociology of the times will appreciate her clear-eyed observations.
PREMIUM

The Spirit of Music: The Lesson Continues

An engaging parable on the power of intention for the musically and mystically inclined.
PREMIUM

Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound

An ambitious work of great complexity and depth. For scholars and interested readers, particularly in Black studies, but also music, anthropology, and archival studies.
PREMIUM

Mainstream Maverick: John Hughes and New Hollywood Cinema

Though the narrative is at times dry, readers interested in a serious study of Hughes and 1980s cinema will enjoy this engaging book, which serves as a solid companion piece to Susannah Gora’s You Couldn’t Ignore Me if You Tried.
PREMIUM

I Want To Be Where the Normal People Are

A relatable and touching memoir that will resonate both with Bloom’s fans and those unfamiliar with her work.
PREMIUM

The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia

Pair this trivia book with Edward Gross and Mark Altman’s Nobody Does It Better: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond for a comprehensive history of all things Bond.

PREMIUM

Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker

This meticulously researched, affectionate biography analyzes Parker’s impact as a musician, a composer, and a political revolutionary. An important work that will appeal to jazz historians, scholars of Black history, and music lovers.
PREMIUM

Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story

Music lovers, both fans of Kweli and those less familiar with him, will be gratified by this evocative story of how he has drawn from experiences to craft his art.
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