Music fiction is a growing genre of evocative, beautiful genre that deserves more appreciation. And non fiction about music, including memoirs of great singers and musicians are evergreen subjects of music. This is our personal list of the best fiction and non-fiction books that every music lover should read.
Books That Every Music Lover Should Read:
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
This love story of two wonderful musicians unfolds in the lyrical cities of Venice and Vienna. A successful violinist of a famous band rekindles his romance with an old pianist lover – now a mother. This book is as much about music and its intricacies as it is about love and romance, and that is what sets it apart – apart from the brilliant writing of course.
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
This book follows the life of a music therapist who rediscovers herself after her attempts at starting a family fail. It is an ode to the power of music to heal and change, and its role in mental health. Though music appears only in the backdrop, it leaves behind a strong and persistent message.
Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami
Murakami is obsessed with music, and makes plenty of references in his writing to music. This book in particular is a compilation of his conversations with Seiji Ogawa and the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. These conversations are intimate and full of insights about the author and music itself.
David Bowie by Dylan Jones
This definitive biography of acclaimed singer David Bowie takes us through his life. We journey through space and time, tracking the journey of Bowie through Engalnd, LA, Berlin and more as he gained fame and success in his extraordinary career. Apart from his artistry, we also take a look at his personal relationships with family, peers like Lennon and lovers.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book tells the story of the shot to fame of a rock group in America in the 1970s, from the eyes of its member Daisy. Through ups and downs of the group from unwanted pregnancies to the mysterious break up, we follow the beautiful lead singer and the members take charge of their life. This book has a lot of musical elements to it that are technical as well, greatly accentuating the appeal of the book.
Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday
This is the unabridged memoir of the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, in which he bares out his extraordinary life to us without inhibitions. From a Baltimore childhood to lost loves and crazy aspirations, this book is the stuff of dreams. It’s an ode to the triumph of passion above all else in life.
Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The subtitle of this book is ‘the uncensored oral history of jazz’ and that is exactly what this is. In the book, we plot the trajectory of one of the most beloved music genres in the world. We look at all jazz movements, the jazz age, prominent and obscure jazz musicians and more. If music history interests you, this is definitely the book for you.
Jazz by Toni Morrison
This book follows the murder of a mistress by her lover as his wife loses control of herself and goes mad. The book takes place during the jAzz age in New York city, which itself sets the bar way too high. This book is a celebration of music, but with equal emphasis on the love triangle as well. Lovers of music who are less technical are welcome to try this amateur-friendly view.
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