Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang by Lamont U-God HawkinsWhat it is: a gritty and fast-paced memoir from a founding member of the influential hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, chronicling his early life of poverty and drug dealing in Staten Island, the evolution and disbanding of the Wu-Tang Clan, and his prison sentences and struggles with mental illness.
Read it for: Lamont U-God Hawkins' vivid, detailed storytelling.
Did you know? 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the group's first album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television by Joy PressWhat it's about: Drawing from extensive research and reporting, cultural critic Joy Press spotlights the careers of pioneering female showrunners over the last 30 years.
Chapters include: Sharply written profiles of 13 showrunners and their works, ranging from Diane English (creator of Murphy Brown) to Jill Soloway (creator of Transparent, who now identifies as non-binary).
Further reading: Sabrina the Teenage Witch creator Nell Scovell's lively and frank memoir Just the Funny Parts: And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys' Club.
My Days: Happy and Otherwise by Marion Ross with David Laurell What it is: a revealing memoir by Happy Days actress Marion Ross ("Mrs. C") recalling her hardscrabble Minnesota childhood, her early career as a Hollywood outsider (her contract at Paramount wasn't renewed), and her ultimate success in television, eventually attaining status as one of the most beloved TV moms.
Read it for: Ross' warmth and optimism, much like that of her Happy Days character; insightful interviews with her castmates.
Reviewers say: "This book will please fans with its down-to-earth account of the dedicated actress behind an adored character" (Publishers Weekly).
Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 by David BrowneWhat it's about: 1970 marked a crucial moment in rock music history, underscoring the cultural fractures of a disillusioned America. The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young all released their final albums; the release of James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James signaled a shift to a gentler sound that would dominate the genre in the decade to come.
What sets it apart: David Browne's use of rare documents and recordings re-contextualizes a turning point in music history.
Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed PiskorWhat it is: an epic graphic novel tracing the development and impact of New York City's hip-hop scene.
Featuring: Bright, cartoon-like art reminiscent of 1970s comics and urban graffiti.
Series alert: This is the first book in a four-volume series. Volume 1 covers 1970-1981; each subsequent volume chronologically covers a brief period of two to three years.
Spider From Mars: My Life with Bowie by Woody WoodmanseyWhat it's about: In this engaging memoir -- the first to be published following David Bowie's 2016 death -- Woody Woodmansey recounts his four-year tenure as the drummer for The Spiders from Mars, and his struggle to stay grounded as the group catapulted to stardom.
Supplemental materials: Never-before-seen photographs.
Reviewers say: "Those interested in rock history won't want to miss this slice of music history" (Publishers Weekly).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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