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The Music Never Stops: What Putting on 10,000 Shows Has Taught Me About Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Magic

A diversion for completist Deadheads and fans of music festivals.

Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies

For fans of old-Hollywood lore and classic movies, especially those starring Marion Davies. With notes, bibliography, filmography, and just enough photos to send readers to the internet in search of more images of Davies and her milieu.

Dangerous Rhythms: Jazz and the Underworld

Though sometimes touching on non-jazz artists (like Bobby Darin) and violence unrelated to the mob (e.g., a beating of Miles Davis), English’s book adroitly chronicles jazz music’s iron-clad, often-unspoken ties to the mob.

Perfect Pitch: 100 Pieces of Classical Music To Bring Joy, Tears, Solace, Empathy, Inspiration (& Everything in Between)

Self-described by the author as a non-definitive work, this book fulfills its stated mission of being a portable collection of reflections on Western classical music, although the entries might be too teasingly brief for some readers. Compare with the 366 entries in Year of Wonder: Classical Music To Enjoy Day by Day, by violinist and former BBC arts presenter Clemency Burton-Hill.

The Man Who Leapt Through Film: The Art of Mamoru Hosoda

Solomon has created a dazzling and eye-opening book on Japanese animation that should appeal to fans of the genre.

This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You

As long as readers are up for a record pull, they won’t be disappointed. Sure to appeal to many popular music lovers, particularly young adults.

Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain

Leerhsen’s page-turner provides a well-rounded portrait of Bourdain, acknowledging his many faults as well as his empathy, work ethic, and creativity.

The Beloved Vision: A History of Nineteenth Century Music

Recommended for any concertgoer who wants to go beyond the program notes and learn more about the enduring treasures of 19th-century Western music, and their creators.

Making a Scene

Wu’s mea culpa is a moving study in self-acceptance that will win her more fans.

How To Write a Song That Matters

In contrast to the many useful guides to song creation that focus dryly on method, Williams’s book stands apart for its shimmering, poetic language and forthright engagement of readers, making her treatment of the subject that much more emotionally satisfying. By the end, readers will have gained valuable lessons about both songwriting and life.

Some New Kind of New Kick

Reading Powers’s book is like hanging out with a cool guy with incredible stories to tell.

Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern

A worthwhile addition to modern dance collections.

Breaks in the Air: The Birth of Rap Radio in New York City

Klaess’s book is a must-read for all those interested in tracing hip-hop’s sociopolitical/racial chord back to its airwaves origins.

A Song for Everyone: The Story of Creedence Clearwater Revival

An updated bio of one of the most successful bands of the late 1960s. CCR’s unique swamp rock vibe and the timeless compositions have assured that classic rock staple CCR will remain popular for some time to come.

Diaghilev’s Empire: How the Ballets Russes Enthralled the World

Christiansen’s accessible book is a fascinating cautionary tale for readers with an interest in ballet history and those who enjoy books about visionaries who weather great failures and great successes.

The Stone Age: Sixty Years of the Rolling Stones

Jones doesn’t paint an attractive picture of the Rolling Stones, and her book is over-hyped, but it will likely appeal to readers regardless because, let’s face it, its subjects fascinate.

A Front Row Seat: An Intimate Look at Broadway, Hollywood, and the Age of Glamour

A curiously uneven memoir, this mix of serious and trivial will appeal mostly to movie and theater buffs.

The MGM Effect: How a Hollywood Studio Changed the World

This unique blend of popular and corporate cultural history will interest a variety of readers, from business students to movie mavens.

Unprotected: A Memoir

Recommended for fans of Porter or the arts, and those who appreciate stories of overcoming obstacles.

Mirror in the Sky: The Life and Music of Stevie Nicks

Nicks fans will appreciate Morrison’s care in the details of her songwriting and the song production, but the text may be a little dry and formal for readers looking to get more personal insight into Nicks, who was not interviewed for this book.


The Hollywood Motion Picture Blacklist: Seventy-Five Years Later

Mostly for history or film buffs.

This Time It’s Personal: A Monster Kid’s History of Horror Memories and Experiences

Smith exhibits his expertise on the topic of horror films but occasionally writes like an overly enthusiastic fan, resulting in sometimes-unfocused prose, all tinged with childhood nostalgia.

The Church of Baseball: The Making of Bull Durham; Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings, and a Hit

Highly entertaining and informative look at a popular film classic, this book should find wide interest among film and sports buffs.

Choices: To the Hills and Back Again

Strictly for Patridge’s fans (she does have 1.7 million Instagram followers).

Hollywood and the Bible

Smith’s book will appeal to film fans and aficionados because of its light-hearted tone and human-interest content. Recommended.

Walking in My Joy: In These Streets

The latest memoir by fierce and fabulous Lewis easily switches between moving confessionals and fiery calls to eradicate oppression.

Watch and Learn: How I Turned Hollywood Upside Down with Netflix, Redbox, and MoviePass—Lessons in Disruption

Business readers will admire Lowe’s acumen and the bite-sized takeaways at the end of each chapter. Media consumers will appreciate Lowe’s insider history of game-changing film companies.

Licence To Kill: The Science of 007

An entertaining, page-turning, sure-fire hit with all fans of 007.

From the Ruins of Enlightenment: Beethoven and Schubert in Their Solitude

Beethoven is said to have said “Art demands of us that we shall not stand still,” and Kramer here effectively demonstrates that similar demands apply to musical analysis and revelation. Recommended for scholars of classical music.

As It Turns Out: Thinking About Edie and Andy

This is a good recommendation for those who like to read about family dynasties, the mid-century modern New York art world, or people who have a lasting fifteen minutes of fame.

Declassified: A Low-Key Guide to the High-Strung World of Classical Music

Sure to be a popular read for lovers and practitioners of music of all kinds. A must-have for public and academic libraries, especially at conservatories.

The World’s Worst Assistant

Conan O’Brien fans will find much to love here.

A Kiss Across the Ocean: Transatlantic Intimacies of British Post-Punk and US Latinidad

Rodríguez’s book successfully balances an intellectual understanding of the cultural ramifications of post-punk music with poignant and alluring background stories, appealing to scholars and fans alike.

Happy People Are Annoying

Peck’s memoir is an irresistible and delightful mix of candor and comedy.

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama

A high-quality addition and a must-listen for even casual fans of the robust “comedic memoir” genre of audiobooks.

Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life

A marvelous, massive biography of a beloved filmmaker.

The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation’s Golden Age

A fascinating look at how the Disney magic happened, and how close it came to tumbling down.

Let’s Do It: The Birth of Pop Music; A History

Stanley’s engaging narrative music study invites general readers as well as music mavens into a memorable world that provided the necessary antecedents for rock and roll.

Rap Capital: An Atlanta Story

Coscarelli’s book is the ideal vehicle to acknowledge Atlanta’s influence on modern-day storytelling through trap and rap music.

The Middle Ages and the Movies: Eight Key Films

An intriguing and detailed discussion best left to historians and devoted film buffs.

Making The Best Years of Our Lives: The Hollywood Classic That Inspired a Nation

An eloquent testimony to the power of film.


Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston

An empathic and heartbreaking account of a woman haunted by her past, in a society that refused to accept her despite her amazing accomplishments.

The Misfits

While this slim book succeeds in bringing together the facts about the film in a tidy linear format, it lacks enough critical analysis to elevate its message. Film fans will find it a useful, entertaining retelling.

Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films

Nesseth combines savvy science writing with a deep love of horror movies, resulting in something both scholarly and eminently readable. Even horror aficionados may stumble across an unfamiliar title she cites.

White Terror: The Horror Film from Obama to Trump

Meeuf provides evidence of underlying social and political themes in an often-dismissed genre in this thought-provoking work that will be appreciated by fans of the format and by scholars studying the cultural effects of the first Black presidency.

Sofia Coppola: Forever Young

A useful book for film scholars due to the production details included for each film, along with an index and bibliography.

Yoko Ono: An Artful Life

An affecting and affectionate portrait. For artists, historians of 20th-century art, Yoko Ono fans, and Beatles fans too.

O Say Can You Hear? A Cultural Biography of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

An excellent and comprehensive history of the music and lyrics of the United States’ national anthem, Clague’s book should be in every library.

The Science of Aliens: The Real Science Behind the Gods and Monsters from Space and Time

Recommend for science fiction fans or readers interested in extraterrestrial life will find this an interesting read.

Rock on Film: The Movies That Rocked the Big Screen

A delightful and informative introduction to the best (and worst!) documentaries, biopics, feature films, and musical extravaganzas of the last 70 years.

The Islander: My Life in Music and Beyond

An obligatory purchase for all self-respecting rock and pop culture collections.

Nocturnal Admissions: Behind the Scenes at Tunnel, Limelight, Avalon, and Other Legendary Nightclubs

A fun homage to ’90s pop culture and nightlife that will interest readers who lived it or who wish they had.

Conversations with Women in Music Production: The Interviews

A thought-provoking look at an oft-neglected facet of the music industry, most valuable for the diverse viewpoints and thoughts expressed by its subjects.

Like Water: A Cultural History of Bruce Lee

Film buffs, martial arts enthusiasts, and fans of Bruce Lee will thoroughly enjoy this exceptional biography.

Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence

As a comprehensive account of the rise and fall of the Weinstein name, Auletta’s volume is a critical text and worthy of sitting beside Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor’s She Said.

Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers

Rodgers tells it the way she saw it, often stripping away the celebrity glamour of growing up in a revered musical theater environment. Green is a welcome and unobtrusive organizing voice and fact checker. Hollywood biography readers and musical theater fans will enjoy.

Still Alright: A Memoir

A sure hit, but just for devoted Loggins fans.

Truly, Madly: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, and the Romance of the Century

Fascinating, insightful, and well-written, Galloway’s work should appeal to theater and film fans.

Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the Twentieth Century

This lively cultural history and affectionate tribute to a true film pioneer should have broad appeal.

The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo

The audiobook is long, but Griffith’s excellent performance, Hongo’s brilliant prose, and the incredible depth and breadth of topics discussed make for a delightful listening experience.

Putting the Rabbit in the Hat

An entertaining and well-written memoir from a master actor.

How To Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question

Those looking for a humorous jaunt may be disappointed by the heft of Schur’s subject. For anyone looking to learn more about philosophy, this is an excellent place to start.

Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts

Katz’s writing captures his own voice so well that his audiobook narration is pitch-perfect. A first purchase for nonfiction audio collections.

Nerd: Adventures in Fandom from this Universe to the Multiverse

Hardcore fans will enjoy the analysis while new viewers will find a wealth of ideas.

Phasers on Stun! How the Making (and Remaking) of Star Trek Changed the World

While Britt’s insightful and entertaining history may not take fans where no one has gone before (considering there have been decades of books written about the expansive Star Trek franchise), he still offers a fun ride that few fans will be able to resist.

Directed by James Burrows: Five Decades of Stories from the Legendary Director of Taxi, Cheers, Frasier, Friends, Will & Grace, and More

Burrows’s insights will delight fans and inspire ambitious artists.

Deanna Durbin, Judy Garland, and the Golden Age of Hollywood

A well-written and fascinating biography that celebrity mavens and fans of the Golden Age of Hollywood will enjoy.

George Michael: A Life

Gavin’s fluent, gripping account of Michael’s roller-coaster music career will draw readers in. An emotionally fulfilling read.

Rated X: How Porn Liberated Me from Hollywood

This memoir is an honest account of the transition from Hollywood to adult film actress. The explicit details provided and style of writing may limit its audience.

About Man and God and Law: The Spiritual Wisdom of Bob Dylan

A deep and distinctive dive into the spirituality of a truly great artist.

Fighting Without Fighting: Kung Fu Cinema’s Journey to the West

White’s scholarly take on Hollywood’s infatuation with kung fu offers multiple entry points for readers, from film historians to sociologists. Action film fans will come away with a deeper appreciation of these films, and an expanded watch list.

Bon: The Last Highway; The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s Back in Black, Updated Edition of the Definitive Biography

Though sometimes obsessed with Scott’s debauchery, Fink delivers a page-turning account of the complicated character and significant contributions of Bon Scott that metalheads will devour.

Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop

In this fascinating tribute, Smith ensures that the achievements of these Black women musicians will not be forgotten.

Why Patti Smith Matters

Readers will be better served by Victor Bockris and Roberta Bayley’s Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography. Not recommended.

Prop Man: From John Wick to Silver Linings Playbook, from Boardwalk Empire to Parks and Recreation

In this stunning work, MacDonald illustrates that the devil is in the details for a prop man.

On Jazz

This lively book hits all the right notes and will delight both jazz aficionados and neophytes.

Everybody Thought We Were Crazy: Dennis Hopper, Brooke Hayward, and 1960s Los Angeles

Rozzo documents a roller-coaster ride of big ideas, big failures, lasting successes, and lost projects. Recommended for anyone interested in the culture of the 1960s.

This Woman’s Work: Essays on Music

Intimate and accessible, the essays will resonate with audiophiles and inspire budding musicians.

Isn’t Her Grace Amazing! The Women Who Changed Gospel Music

An affectionate yet clear-eyed view of gospel’s brightest voices. For fans of gospel music or those who would like to know more about it.

Reading Franz Liszt: Revealing the Poetry Behind the Piano Music

Readers looking for a musical biography of Liszt will find here instead an excursion through European culture of the 19th century and earlier. Roberts’s accessible style reads like a conversation with his erudite friends

Blake Shelton: Happy Anywhere

Avid Shelton fans who like to wallow in minutiae might enjoy this biography, but others might find it a yawn-fest.

Musical Revolutions: How the Sounds of the Western World Changed

Much like Isacoff’s previous books, this is a sprawling narrative, intertwining history, politics, and musical biography, that’s as entertaining as it is informative. Whether readers are dedicated musicologists or casual fans, they’ll enjoy this thought-provoking dive into the history of Western music.

Grease, Tell Me More, Tell Me More: Stories from the Broadway Phenomenon That Started It All

Capturing Grease’s joyful silliness and moving coming-of-age themes, this narrative will delight fans and musical theater history buffs.

Fame-Ish: My Life at the Edge of Stardom

Aspiring actors and fans of 24 and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will enjoy Rajskub’s humor, words of wisdom, and down-to-earth tone.


Mandolin Man: The Bluegrass Life of Roland White

Black’s own relevant musical experience, alongside his interviews with White, his family, and country music icons such as Marty Stuart, make this biography a must-read for bluegrass aficionados. Although White may not be a household name to those outside the bluegrass scene, he richly deserves this long-awaited tribute.

Split Decision: Life Stories

Poignant and powerful, this work will resonate with a wide audience: rap and Law & Order fans, young adults, and readers of memoir.

Take a Sad Song: The Emotional Currency of “Hey Jude”

Not hiding his obsession for “Hey Jude,” Campion delivers an in-depth account of an important song; Beatlemaniacs will be pleased.

The Dylan Tapes: Friends, Players, and Lovers Talkin’ Early Bob Dylan

Though not for newcomers to Dylan’s work, this is a valuable resource for Dylan experts and researchers producing content for future biographies and scholarship.

Being Patrick Swayze: Essential Teachings from the Master of the Mullet

A charming addition that will add style and substance to the pop culture corner of library collections.

Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy

In an industry famous for self-congratulation Schwartzel takes viewers behind the silver screen to reveal a reality where revenues trump values and artistic choices take a back seat to political pressures. A must-read for anyone influenced by media in general and film in particular. And that means all of us.

How You Get Famous: Ten Years of Drag Madness in Brooklyn

An entertaining, absorbing behind-the-scenes look at drag that will especially appeal to fans of Drag Race and the TV drama Pose.

Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed To Be

A must for anyone interested in country music and how the genre reflects on the United States as a whole.

Hard Rain: Bob Dylan, Oral Cultures, and the Meaning of History

Dylan fans, and they are legion, will appreciate the backstory and long history that influenced the style, structure, and content of one of his most powerful songs.

DJ Screw: A Life in Slow Revolution

Walker’s years of research and personal expertise about Houston’s music scene will help cement Screw’s legacy as an innovator who still inspires.

Love Me as I Am

An inspirational memoir that fans of the Real Housewives franchise or The Real will enjoy..

Serenade: A Balanchine Story

A touching tribute to a master, this work will delight balletomanes.

TV Snapshots: An Archive of Everyday Life

A vital addition to media studies and popular culture collections.

My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song

Bingham convincingly argues that listeners cannot disconnect “My Old Kentucky Home” from its fraught and dishonest history and that the only way forward is to stop performing it altogether. Readers familiar with the song will get the most out of this book, as will anyone with a deep interest in the intersections of music and history.

They Shouldn’t Have Killed His Dog: The Complete Uncensored Ass-Kicking Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action

A must-read for John Wick fans, and a great behind-the-scenes look at contemporary action films.

Queer Country

An empathetic and illuminating study, sure to expand country playlists. For scholars interested in queer studies and fans of country music.

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