Criticism & Features

NBCC Reads

What Is Your Favorite Book About Music?

By Mark Athitakis

Music is an essential part of the literary firmament. Even setting aside its obvious connections to poetry, music of all stripes has driven great fiction, criticism, memoirs, and biographies. That’s certainly true of many of the NBCC’s award winners and finalists, including Wayne Koestenbaum’s The Queen’s Throat, Nelson George’s Hip Hop America, Alex Ross’ The Rest Is Noise, Dana Spiotta’s Stone Arabia, Greg Milner’s Perfecting Sound Forever, Patti Smith’s Just Kids, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad, and more.

So for the latest iteration of NBCC Reads, in which we poll our readership and friends of the NBCC on their favorite books, we want to know: What is your favorite book about music?

Any title is eligible. Please do include a few sentences explaining your choice (or choices). We're not picking a winner, but we'll include as many posts as we can here on Critical Mass and let readers know if there's a consensus. We welcome more extensive guest posts about a particular book from our members; let us know if you'd like to contribute one.

Please send your responses to The deadline is November 2. Thank you for taking part!