I usually only list about 10 for each post but I put a lot more on here this time because I just wanted to finish the part of my Goodreads Want to Read list where its books about music, musicians, or related to music. I also changed some of the rules for myself. If there’s a book that I don’t see myself buying or picking up in the near future (even if I’m interested in it), I’m going to go ahead and delete off of my TBR.
1) Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 by Michael Azerrad
This is the never-before-told story of the musical revolution that happened right under the nose of the Reagan Eighties–when a small but sprawling network of bands, labels, fanzines, radio stations, and other subversives reenergized American rock with punk rock’s do-it-yourself credo and created music that was deeply personal, often brilliant, always challenging, and immensely influential. This sweeping chronicle of music, politics, drugs, fear, loathing, and faith has been recognized as an indie rock classic in its own right. Among the bands profiled: Mission of Burma, Butthole Surfers, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Big Black, Hüsker Dü, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Mudhoney, The Replacements, Beat Happening, and Dinosaur Jr.
So I’m still interested in reading this but there’s so many other books I want to get around to before this one. *shrugs*
2) The Haters by Jesse Andrews
Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.
For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.
In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.
3) Rip it Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds
Punk’s raw power rejuvenated rock, but by the summer of 1977 the movement had become a parody of itself. RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN is a celebration of what happened next.
Post-punk bands like PiL, Joy Division, Talking Heads, The Fall and The Human League dedicated themselves to fulfilling punk’s unfinished musical revolution. The post-punk groups were fervent modernists; whether experimenting with electronics and machine rhythm or adapting ideas from dub reggae and disco, they were totally confident they could invent a whole new future for music.
Same thoughts with this concerning the #1 item.
4) If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.
I saw the movie and I really really didn’t like it, so I highly doubt I’d like the book.
5) A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.
We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist’s couch in New York City, confronting her long-standing compulsion to steal. Later, we learn the genesis of her turmoil when we see her as the child of a violent marriage, then as a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend. We plunge into the hidden yearnings and disappointments of her uncle, an art historian stuck in a dead marriage, who travels to Naples to extract Sasha from the city’s demimonde and experiences an epiphany of his own while staring at a sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Museo Nazionale. We meet Bennie Salazar at the melancholy nadir of his adult life—divorced, struggling to connect with his nine-year-old son, listening to a washed-up band in the basement of a suburban house—and then revisit him in 1979, at the height of his youth, shy and tender, reveling in San Francisco’s punk scene as he discovers his ardor for rock and roll and his gift for spotting talent. We learn what became of his high school gang—who thrived and who faltered—and we encounter Lou Kline, Bennie’s catastrophically careless mentor, along with the lovers and children left behind in the wake of Lou’s far-flung sexual conquests and meteoric rise and fall.
Sounds pretty good.
6) Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon
Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story—a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll, written with the lyricism and haunting beauty of Patti Smith’s Just Kids.
Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon opens up as never before in Girl in a Band. Telling the story of her family, growing up in California in the ’60s and ’70s, her life in visual art, her move to New York City, the men in her life, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, her music, and her band, Girl in a Band is a rich and beautifully written memoir.
Gordon takes us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and ’90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, and the Alternative revolution in popular music. The band helped build a vocabulary of music—paving the way for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and many other acts. But at its core, Girl in a Band examines the route from girl to woman in uncharted territory, music, art career, what partnership means—and what happens when that identity dissolves.
Evocative and edgy, filled with the sights and sounds of a changing world and a transformative life, Girl in a Band is the fascinating chronicle of a remarkable journey and an extraordinary artist
7) Songbook by Nick Hornby
Songs, songwriters, and why and how they get under our skin… Songbook is Nick Hornby’s labor of love. A shrewd, funny, and completely unique collection of musings on pop music, why it’s good, what makes us listen and love it, and the ways in which it attaches itself to our lives—all with the beat of a perfectly mastered mix tape.
So I thought this would be a delete when I finally read the synopsis but after reading it again, I’m still interested.
8) Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
Just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near them. That’s why we got a room in the hotel where they were staying.
We were not planning to kidnap one of them. Especially not the most useless one. But we had him—his room key, his cell phone, and his secrets.
We were not planning on what happened next.
From thrilling new talent Goldy Moldavsky comes a pitch-black, hilarious take on fandom and the badass girls who have the power to make—or break—the people we call “celebrities.”
9) Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to beâ€”and where the next great band is playing.
Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story youâ€™ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.
Yet another one where I’ve seen the movie first, which I thought was pretty good but that years ago and I only watched it that one time. I just really don’t have a huge urge to read this one.
10) Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
From a leader of feminist punk music at the dawn of the riot-grrrl era, a candid and deeply personal look at life in rock and roll.
Before Carrie Brownstein codeveloped and starred in the wildly popular TV comedy Portlandia, she was already an icon to young women for her role as a musician in the feminist punk band Sleater-Kinney. The band was a key part of the early riot- grrrl and indie rock scenes in the Pacific Northwest, known for their prodigious guitar shredding and their leftist lyrics against war, traditionalism, and gender roles.
This is a definite keep because I own this and 100% WANT TO READ. Sleater-Kinney is one of my favorite bands of all time and I love Carrie Brownstein.
11) Journals by Kurt Cobain
The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana.
Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and who was determined to define his place in that history. Here is a mesmerizing, incomparable portrait of the most influential musician of his time.
So while this does seem super interesting I have no idea at any point I’ll ever get around to reading this.
12) This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
I’ve heard a lot of really great things about this one and I have almost bought it a few times.
13) Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus
Girls to the Front is the epic, definitive history of Riot Grrrlthe radical feminist uprising that exploded into the public eye in the 1990s and included incendiary punk bands Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, and Huggy Bear. A dynamic chronicle not just a movement but an era, this is the story of a group of pissed-off girls with no patience for sexism and no intention of keeping quiet.
Another one I’m really interested in but I have no clue when I’ll actually ever get to read it.
TOTAL: OUT OF 13
Thanks for reading and leave a comment down below!!!