Last 30 days
Last 6 months
Last 12 months
Last 24 months
Specific Dates

Specific Authors
Specific Publisher

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.

Starstruck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Warrior: Audrey Hepburn

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

Harry: The Unauthorized Biography

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

The History of Bones: A Memoir

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Starring Tom Cruise

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

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.

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.


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.


Norman Jewison: A Director’s Life

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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing