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Music history crash course: 8 new books about music that you should read

Best music books

From the first biography on Rolling Stones founder Jann Wenner to a book about Prince's extraordinary life and career (with a foreword by the grand Beyoncé Knowles-Carter), 'tis the season of new music-related publications. Here are eight books you should add to your bookshelf immediately.

Prince: A Private View by Afshin Shahidi

Prince: A Private View

 

Shahidi was one of the only people allowed to photograph Prince. This collection of shots, which includes never-before-seen photos, adds a visual flavor to the written stories that the photographer also shares. Bonus points: The foreword is written by Beyoncé.

Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Deckle Edge

Sticky Fingers

 

This is the first biography of Wenner, the iconic Rolling Stone founder who recently sold his controlling stake in the magazine. Given the drama surrounding the publication, this promises to be a riveting and entertaining read that sheds light on how journalism and the music industry have changed throughout the years.

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

Reckless Daughter

 

Music critic David Yaffe delves into the '70s music scene through Joni Mitchell, one of the most influential female recording artists of the 20th century. The biography explores Mitchell's Canadian upbringing, the stories behind her biggest hits and her love affairs through dozens of in-person interviews with the artist and the people closest to her.

Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives by Holly Gleason

Woman Walk the Line

 

Award-winning writers pen essays about some of the most acclaimed female artists in country music. From a June Carter Cash eulogy by daughter Rosanne Cash to a reflection of Loretta Lynn's girl-power anthem "The Pill," all these pieces are must-reads.

A Sick Life, TLC 'n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage by Tionne T-Boz Watkins

A Sick Life, TLC 'n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage

 

This memoir by Grammy award-winning group TLC's lead singer chronicles both her musical career (expect never-before-told stories about the band and member Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes' tragic death) and her personal battle with sickle-cell disease.

Goodnight, L.A.: The Rise and Fall of Classic Rock - The Untold Story from inside the Legendary Recording Studios by Kent Hartman

Goodnight, L.A.: The Rise and Fall of Classic Rock - The Untold Story from inside the Legendary Recording Studios

 

Dive behind the scenes of some of the most renowned recording studios in the music industry and learn about what, exactly, happened during the recording sessions of the world's most revered artists, including Pat Benatar, Boston, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Foreigner.

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane with Neil Martinez-Belkin

Gucci Mane

 

Rapper Gucci Mane pens his memoir, a curious choice given the relative infancy of his career. From his Alabama roots to his visits to trap houses and his hyper-successful career, the hip-hop artist bares it all.

What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man by Art Garfunkel

What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man

 

What is it like to be half of one of the most successful duos in music history? Art Garfunkel writes about that and more in his new memoir. Expect to read about his childhood in the 1940s and '50s as a middle-class Jewish boy, his first encounter with Paul Simon during their graduation play and, of course, the success that followed.

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