Books  |  Lists

20 Musicians Share What Books They're Currently Reading

March 22, 2012  |  9:57am
11. Josh Ritter
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What are you currently reading? Under the Care of the Fatherly Leader by Bradley K. Martin.

Why would you recommend it? It’s easy to look at North Korea and be distracted by how totally bonkers it appears. Martin tells the history of the most reclusive country on earth so that we can more fully understand how it became that way.

12. Danny Barria (The Big Sleep
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Photo by Jasper

What are you reading? The Dam Busters by Paul Brickhill

Why would you recommend it? It’s the true story of a WWII bomber squadron that was formed to drop special bombs on dams used to produce electricity in Germany. It’s got action, drama, tragedy, a bit of science, and it all actually happened. What’s better than that (except maybe Cormac McCarthy)?

13. Sydney Wayser
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What are you reading? Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

Why would you recommend it? I love fiction, but that being said, I think it is important to check in with reality every so often. This book is a glimpse into the life of one of the most famous and fictionalized woman in history. Stacy Schiff invites you into an older world and clarifies the stories with fact. Even though this is a biography it is written in such a way that sucks you in and keeps you wanting more.

14. Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon
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What are you currently reading? Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance by Dean Wareham, Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, The Kid Stays In The Picture by Robert Evans and Atlas: From the Streets to the Ring: A Son’s Struggle to Become a Man by Teddy Atlas

Why would you recommend it?
Black Postcards: Dean and I have traveled the same circuits for a long time now. This is one of those books where you say, “I’m so glad somebody wrote this!” Every other page has a reference to something I’m familiar with—a hotel in London, a festival in Spain, or a road manager. Dean captures the indie rock world with total accuracy. It’s all in there—getting signed, getting dropped, getting the flu, getting divorced, getting slapped in the face by a stalker. I’ve never related to an autobiography more than this book.

Book of Lost Things: I never cried so hard at the end of a book. I love all of John’s books, but this one is my favorite. John’s an incredible writer, but also a kind, thoughtful, and inspirational person. I’m happy to be able to say he is my friend.

The Kid Stays In The Picture: What a book! Some great stuff in here about his involvement with the production of Love Story, The Godfather, Rosemary’s Baby and other classic films. What a shock to read how he was almost with Sharon Tate and Abigail Folger the night of the Manson murders. I also liked the part about him coaching Mia Farrow through her divorce with Sinatra during the making of Rosemary’s Baby. One amazing story after another. This guy lived through some extreme highs and some extreme lows, and he didn’t waste one minute of his life.

Atlas: Teddy is one of my favorite characters in boxing. I don’t know why HBO hasn’t hired him to be a commentator. He’s one of the smartest guys in boxing. I love the behind the scenes stories about training a young Mike Tyson, Michael Moorer, and also Teddy’s relationship with Cus D’Amato. Teddy is a great trainer, commentator, motivator and as it turned out, a great writer.

15. Josh Hyslop
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What are you currently reading? Out Of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson

Why would you recommend it? People should read this book because it’s incredibly inspiring and thought-provokIng. Robinson believes that everyone has the ability to be creative. Most of us just aren’t aware of what creativity looks like and the many forms it can take.

16. Radical Face
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What are you currently reading? The Given Day by Dennis Lehane

Why would you recommend it? I’ve been a fan of Lehane for a long time now, but I was waiting to dive into this one. It takes place in the early 1900s, which is where the timeline ends for the second record I’m working on in this Family Tree project. I wanted to wait until they lined up. I’m about halfway through at this point, but so far I love it. This might end up being my top novel from him. It’s my favorite style of historical fiction (if you can really use that label) in that the historical elements feel active and alive, instead of simply being checkpoints or afterthoughts. It’s a great book so far.

17. Greg Sullo (Dinosaur Feathers
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What are you currently reading? I just finished The Third Reich by Roberto Bolaño

Why would you recommend it? Bolaño has a reputation for being a little hard to get into, because his stuff can be dense and he goes on a lot of tangents. But The Third Reich is really easy to get into from the get-go-it’s practically a beach read. Although, I may just be saying that because it basically takes place on the beach. His work is always filled with intrigue and complex characters and The Third Reich is no different. I often find books to be either enjoyable or rewarding and Bolaño is one of the few authors for me who is able to be both at once.

18. Eric Burdon (The Animals
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What are you currently reading? Just started The Expats by Chris Pavone and just finished Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson

19. Colin Munroe
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What are you currently reading? Narcissus and Goldmund
by
Hermann Hesse

Why would you recommend it? It beautifully illustrates the duality of the “heart” and the “head” that we all struggle to reconcile inside ourselves. And it makes a good companion for anyone wandering in life.

20. Young Hines
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What are you currently reading? Papillon by Henri Charrière

Why would you recommend it? It’s a survival story. In solitary confinement on Devil’s Island, he would imagine himself as a butterfly and aviate through the bars and across the ocean to fields of grass and smiling faces. Next time someone says they are “bored” think about that! Perspective is everything and attitude is all.

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