Stuck (again) searching for the perfect gift for your music lover beau, bud or extended relative? Not to worry — 2016 proved a prolific one for music books — from definitive biographies of legends like The Beatles‘ Paul McCartney and Skid Row‘s Sebastian Bach, to an insider’s look at the legendary Motown imprint. Billboard tracked the best of the best this year to help you avoid the bargain bin or the hurried gift card by the cash register fate.
Bon Jovi: The Story by Bryan Reesman
The first fully illustrated comprehensive book paying tribute to the rockers contains original interviews and memorabilia, chronicling their rise to stardom with the release of the multi-platinum hit LP Slippery When Wet to the present. (Sterling, $18).
Paul McCartney: The Life by Philip Norman
Writing with the star’s consent, the author of Beatles book Shout! and biographies of Mick Jagger and John Lennon serves up a definitive look at McCartney’s life through interviews with family and friends who haven’t spoken before. (Little, Brown and Company, $16).
Your Song Changed My Life by Bob Boilen
NPR’s music guru asks dozens of artists about songs that inspired them. The answers are surprising and illuminating, and the roster of contributions is great: Jimmy Page, St. Vincent, Dave Grohl, Smokey Robinson and many more. (William Morrow, $26).
18 and Life on Skid Row by Sebastian Bach