Fave Five: Books About Music

Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield

Ahh, the mix tape. We analyzed and fretted over every track to make sure the flow was perfect. (Just me?) This book is more about love than music, but Sheffield tell the tale of his first and last real love, and the happiness and heartbreak that love brings. He begins every chapter with a track listing of the mix tapes he made for that part of his life. Love is a Mix Tape is a very personal story about his love with his wife and the music they loved together.  Sheffield’s narration is absorbing.

Musicophilia Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks:

Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and in MUSICOPHILIA, Oliver Sacks tells us why. Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does—humans are a musical species.

The Beatles released only ten and a half hours of music during their time together — a mere fraction of the four hundred hours’ worth of Beatles recordings residing in the Abbey Road archives. For years these archives were completely inaccessible to the public — until journalist Mark Hertsgaard was able to get inside Abbey Road Studios and listen to these remarkable recordings. What he heard led to the creation of A Day in the Life — one of the most comprehensive biographies ever written about The Beatles. Exploring their lives, their creative process, and — most importantly — their music, A Day in the Life is a revealing look at the band captured the hearts of music lovers throughout the world. With a new introduction by Mark Hertsgaard exclusive to Barnes & Noble Digital.

Ray Charles Man and Music, Updated Commemorative edition by Michael Lydon:

Ray Charles: Man and Music is a complete biography of this seminal singer/pianist who has been active on the American music scene since the mid-’50s.
When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles’ skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard—ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans—until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. Over time, the two men form a bond and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers’s life. The Soloist is a beautifully told story of devotion in the face of seemingly unbeatable challenges.

These are just a few books about music. What are yours?


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