Book and Lyric | Wyatt’s World

The 60th annual Grammy Awards will be presented on January 28. Mark the moment with music-related books, from fictional worlds suffused with sounds to nonfiction that investigates artist biographies. While not included below, the Grammy’s have a Spoken Word category, and works narrated by Bruce Springsteen, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carrie Fisher, Shelly Peiken, and Bernie Sanders will contend for the statue.

  • The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (Random).
    The author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry returns with an enchanting novel set in the world of music, and full of its sounds and possibilities. Frank runs a record shop and knows the music that each customer needs; of what he himself needs is somewhat less clear. Then Ilsa enters his life and the rhythms and chords of change begin.
  • This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan (Faber & Faber).
    This debut novel, already a critical hit in the UK, is constructed as an oral history of a fictional band. It overflows with voices and music as it pieces together what it was to be young, rash, and alive in 1980s Scotland.
  • The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World by Damon Krukowski (New Pr.).
    The news that HarperCollins will release audiobooks on vinyl prompts questions of not only how sound but also the experience of sound differs between analog and digital. Krukowski dives into that conversation, offering insight.
  • 3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop’s Multibillion-Dollar Rise by Zack O’Malley Greenburg (Little, Brown, Mar.).
    Jay-Z leads the nomination counts for this year’s Grammy Awards, making this upcoming look into his history (and that of music moguls Diddy and Dr. Dre) right on time. Blending music and commerce, biography and business, it examines how these pioneers of hip-hop have changed the culture.
  • Unmasked: A Memoir by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Harper).
    The Grammy Awards will include a tribute to Webber (and Leonard Bernstein) as part of its celebration of the sounds of Broadway. Here, Webber tells his story and considers his creations, including Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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