Here are 8 book recommendations for music lovers who love to read | Arts & Entertainment

Music isn’t just for listening.

It’s something to talk about with old friends and a way to connect to strangers. It’s something to inspire Instagram captions and poems and books.

If you’re looking to learn more about an artist’s creative process or how Rihanna might feel about being famous or how music impacts, well, everything, there might be a book for that.

Here’s some of those reading options.

‘Her Country’

Kacey Musgraves graces the cover of this upcoming book by Marissa R. Moss, a veteran Nashville journalist who aims to tell the “full and unbridled inside story of the last 20 years of country music” through the lens of Musgraves and others who have battled against the genre’s tradition of leaving women out. Moss is one of my favorite music writers, so I can’t wait to dig into her debut book, which comes out May 10.

‘I Would Leave Me If I Could’

In a powerful internet moment from the 2018 Women’s March in New York City, the pop star Halsey delivered a poem called “Story Like Mine” about her experiences with sexual assault. A video of her spoken-word speech went viral, showing thousands of viewers that Halsey’s way with words goes beyond music. It likely made fans even more excited to buy the singer’s 2019 collection of poems, which is called “I Would Leave Me If I Could.” It’s full of material that inspired Halsey’s songs as well as stand-alone poems such as “Story Like Mine.” Also, the cover is cute enough to be a piece of art.

‘Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time’

Two of my favorite things are music and love stories. This memoir is a beautiful combination of those things, as music journalist Rob Sheffield writes about falling in love with his wife, their shared love of music, and her sudden death from a pulmonary embolism after five years of being married.

‘Feel Your Way Through’

Country singer Kelsea Ballerini released a book of poetry called “Feel Your Way Through” in 2021, taking a page from previous collaborator Halsey. Ballerini began writing it after releasing an album at an unlucky time: March 2020.

It turned into “an autobiography that rhymes,” she has said. It chronicles the highs and lows of her life, touching on family, relationships and finding her own voice.

‘She Comes By It Natural’

From podcasts to a Netflix show, there’s been plenty of Dolly Parton content to consume in the last couple of years. This book by Sarah Smarsh, a Kansas-based journalist, is one to add to your list. “She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs” digs into Parton’s life and career, as well as her impact on women along the way.

‘They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us’

This isn’t like other books about music. In his collection of essays, Hanif Abdurraqib weaves stories about music and musicians into his life experiences, including being Black and Muslim in America. He writes about musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Chance the Rapper.

‘Your Song Changed My Life’

I always want to know what Bob Boilen thinks about music. The man behind NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts has secured a spot as an ultimate tastemaker, making his book a treat for music fans.

For “Your Song Changed My Life,” Boilen interviewed 35 musicians about songs that inspired their own journeys. Some musicians featured are Jimmy Page, St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson and Hozier.

‘Nobody Ever Asked Me about the Girls’

This could be a sister of the first book on this list. Journalist Lisa Robinson pulls from four decades of experience in her 2021 book about women, music and fame. This “behind-the-scenes glimpse into the effects of success on some of music’s most famous women” is based on conversations with more than 40 female musicians, including Tina Turner, Steve Nicks, Lady Gaga, Adele and Beyoncé.

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