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Behind the Mic: Noteworthy Novels by Musicians

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Bicycle Diaries

Bicycle Diaries

Books

A round-the-world bicycle tour with one of the most original artists of our day. Urban bicycling has become more popular than ever as recession-strapped, climate-conscious city dwellers reinvent basic transportation. In this wide-ranging memoir, artist/musician and co-founder of Talking Heads David Byrne--who has relied on a bike to get around New York City since the early 1980s--relates his adventures as he pedals through and engages with some of the world's major cities. From Buenos Aires to Berlin, he meets a range of people both famous and ordinary, shares his thoughts on art, fashion, music, globalization, and the ways that many places are becoming more bike-friendly. Bicycle Diaries is an adventure on two wheels conveyed with humor, curiosity, and humanity.
Chronicles

Chronicles

Books

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE The celebrated first memoir from arguably the most influential singer-songwriter in the country, Bob Dylan. “I’d come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else.” So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan’s eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan’s New York is a magical city of possibilities—smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With the book’s side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota, and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times. By turns revealing, poetical, passionate, and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan’s thoughts and influences. Dylan’s voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful, and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.
Wildwood

Wildwood

Books

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird. You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled “I.W.” This stands for “Impassable Wilderness.” No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it. And this is where the crows take her brother. So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood. Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.
Woolgathering

Woolgathering

Books

In this small, luminous memoir, the National Book Award-winner Patti Smith revisits the most sacred experiences of her early years, with truths so vivid they border on the surreal. The author entwines her childhood self - and its 'clear, unspeakable joy' - with memories both real and envisioned from her twenties on New York's MacDougal Street, the street of cafés. Woolgathering was completed in Michigan, on Patti Smith's 45th birthday and originally published in a slim volume from Raymond Foye's Hanuman Books. Twenty years later, Bloomsbury is proud to present it in a much augmented edition, featuring writing that was omitted from the book's first printing, along with new photographs and illustrations.
Let Us Compare Mythologies

Let Us Compare Mythologies

Books

Published in 1956 to immediate acclaim, Leonard Cohen’s first published book contains poems written between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Now new generations of readers will rediscover not only the early, though no less accomplished and passionate, work of one of our most beloved writers, but poetry that resonates loudly with relevance today.