6 Reads That Rock: Fiction and Non-Fiction Books for Music Geeks


Cover detail: Strange Stars by Jason Heller/©Melville House

Are you ready to rock? If you’re a music fan and reader, then we’ve got the book list for you.

  • Non-Fiction:

  • The cover of the book Strange Stars

    Strange Stars

    David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded

    Science fiction rocks — literally, according to Strange Stars author Jason Heller. In this ambitious work, Heller makes the case that rock and roll was more influenced by science fiction films and literature than has been commonly acknowledged. From David Bowie’s Space Oddity to the cosmic stylings of prog rockers Pink Floyd, Strange Stars is science fiction music mixtape for the mind that bookworms and music fans alike will love.

  • Fiction:

  • The cover of the book Unbury Carol

    Unbury Carol

    A Novel

    Lots of rockers read novels, but how many write them? John Malerman is the frontman of the indie rock band The High Strung, but when he’s not performing, he writes electrifying horror fiction. His latest is Unbury Carol: a gothic western about a woman buried alive and the man who sets out to rescue her.

  • Non-Fiction:

  • The cover of the book Season of the Witch

    Season of the Witch

    How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

    Peter Bebergal’s Season of the Witch peers into the dark, cobwebbed corners of rock and roll for a look at the occult’s hidden influences on popular music, from the wizardly dabbling of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page to the masonic imagery of today’s hottest rap stars. Season of the Witch is the hidden history of rock and roll that you didn’t know you needed. Light some incense, try to play your favorite vinyl album backwards, and find out once and for all why the devil has all the best tunes.

  • Fiction:

  • The cover of the book We Sold Our Souls

    We Sold Our Souls

    A Novel

    In the nineties, Kris Pulaski was the guitarist for Dürt Würk: a heavy metal band whose one big shot at success was ruined when their lead singer went solo. Now, he’s a superstar, and she’s a washed-up has been working the night shift at a Best Western. When a terrifying act of violence rips apart what she has left of her life, Kris begins to wonder what kind of bargain her old frontman made in exchange for his overnight success. Now she’s getting what’s left of the band together to find out.

  • Non-Fiction:

  • The cover of the book How Music Got Free

    How Music Got Free

    A Story of Obsession and Invention

    Have you ever downloaded a song illegally? It’s okay. You don’t have to answer. But saying that you did — and I’m totally not saying you did — have you ever wondered how that song (and so many others) got on the web in the first place? How Music Got Free is the never before told story about the birth of the digital music era, and the piracy that followed it. Meet the criminals, sound engineers, and music fans who changed the recording industry forever — good and bad.

  • Fiction:

  • The cover of the book Year Zero

    Year Zero

    A Novel

    As the founder of, Rob Reid was at the forefront of the digital music revolution. In his novel Year Zero, aliens arrive on Earth to confess that they’ve been listening to Earth’s music for decades. It could be the biggest copyright violation ever: Big enough to bankrupt the entire universe, in fact. If the aliens can’t reach what they consider a reasonable settlement, then it’ll be cheaper for them to go ahead and blow the planet up. Can a low-level entertainment lawyer save the world?