17 October, 2019
While we’re not quite in ‘lying on the beach with a good book’ mode just yet, we’re still on the lookout for fascinating reads.
We’re not above a trashy romance, but our favourite books are those that give us a little insight into the lives of the musically minded. 2019 has been a great year for memoirs, biographies and illuminating collections from some of the most fascinating personalities in music.
Here are our picks to get you through to the end of the year.
Me: Elton John
by Elton John, October 2019
Released just days ago, the first and only official autobiography from iconic singer/songwriter Elton John is already receiving rave reviews. Me: Elton John charts the star’s meteoric rise to fame from his humble beginnings as a shy boy in suburban London to chart-topping success. John tells his own story with surprising warmth and humour, incredible honesty and real joy.
Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice
Edited by Mary Guibert and David Browne, October 2019
When Jeff Buckley released Grace in 1994, he was immediately hailed as the ‘writer of a generation’. He died less than years later. He left behind an enduring legacy in his music – but he also left behind journals, volumes of scribbled notes and hand-written lyrics. Collected and published for the first time, Buckley’s obsessively kept journals chronical the artist’s inspirations, aspirations and creative struggles. They paint an intimate portrait of one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
A Dream About Lightning Bugs
by Ben Folds, August 2019
Ben Folds is an internationally celebrated musician, singer-songwriter and former frontman of the alternative rock band, Ben Folds Five, beloved for songs such as ‘Brick', ‘You Don’t Know Me', ‘Rockin' the Suburbs' and ‘The Luckiest'. His memoir is brimming with the same wit, natural storytelling and nuanced observation of life’s struggles as his music.
A Seat at the Table
by Amy Raphael, June 2019
In 1995, writer Amy Raphael interviews 12 female musicians – including Courtney Love, Bjork and Kim Gordon – on their lives in music. These stories were collected into a book, Never Mind the Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock. Two decades later in 2019’s A Seat at the Table, Raphael asks a group of contemporary female musicians to tell their stories. The result is an illuminating book full of rage, joy and a pure love for music.
Revenge of the She-Punks: a Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot
By Vivien Goldman, May 2019
From pioneering post-punk musician, industry insider and music journalist Vivien Goldman comes a fascinating exploration of Punk’s history – or rather, its herstory. It reads like a vivid documentary, blending interviews, history and Goldman’s personal experience in the scene to dive into the money, love, music and protest that makes punk such a liberating genre for women.