Art & Music Audiobooks in Non-Fiction

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LoveReading Top 10

  1. The Promise: WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021 Audiobook The Promise: WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021
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  2. Dune Audiobook Dune
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  3. The Christmas Escape Audiobook The Christmas Escape
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  4. Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness Audiobook Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness
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  5. Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain Audiobook Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain
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  6. As Good As Dead Audiobook As Good As Dead
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  7. How to Kill Your Family Audiobook How to Kill Your Family
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  8. Never Audiobook Never
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  9. Will: The Sunday Times Bestselling Autobiography Audiobook Will: The Sunday Times Bestselling Autobiography
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  10. Touch of Regret Audiobook Touch of Regret
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Will: The Sunday Times Bestselling Autobiography Audiobook

Will: The Sunday Times Bestselling Autobiography

Author: Mark Manson, Will Smith Narrator: Will Smith Release Date: November 2021

Brought to you by Penguin. One of the most dynamic and globally recognised entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had. Will Smith's transformation from a fearful child in a tense West Philadelphia home to one of the biggest pop stars of his era and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, with a string of box office successes that will likely never be broken, is an epic tale of inner transformation and outer triumph and Will tells it astonishingly well. But it's only half the story. Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over. This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy best seller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one exceptional man mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself. 'It's the best memoir I've ever read' Oprah © Will Smith and Mark Manson 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

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From the Streets of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Saga Audiobook

From the Streets of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Saga

Author: S. H. Fernando Narrator: Clarke Peters, S. H. Fernando Release Date: November 2021

This definitive biography of rap supergroup, Wu-Tang Clan, features decades of unpublished interviews and unparalleled access to members of the group and their associates. This is the definitive biography of rap supergroup and cultural icons, Wu-Tang Clan (WTC). Heralded as one of the most influential groups in modern music-hip hop or otherwise-WTC created a rap dynasty on the strength of seven gold and platinum albums that launched the careers of such famous rappers as RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and more. During the '90s, they ushered in a hip-hop renaissance, rescuing rap from the corporate suites and bringing it back to the gritty streets where it started. In the process they changed the way business was conducted in an industry known for exploiting artists. Creatively, Wu-Tang pushed the boundaries of the artform dedicating themselves to lyrical mastery and sonic innovation, and one would be hard pressed to find a group who's had a bigger impact on the evolution of hip hop. S.H. Fernando Jr., a veteran music journalist who spent a significant amount of time with The Clan during their heyday of the '90s, has written extensively about the group for such publications as Rolling Stone, Vibe, and The Source. Over the years he has built up a formidable Wu-Tang archive that  includes pages of unpublished interviews, videos of the group in action in the studio, and several notepads of accumulated memories and observations. Using such exclusive access as well as the wealth of open-source material, Fernando reconstructs the genesis and evolution of the group, delving into their unique ideology and range of influences, and detailing exactly how they changed the game and established a legacy that continues to this day. The book provides a startling portrait of overcoming adversity through self-empowerment and brotherhood, giving us unparalleled insights into what makes these nine young men from the ghetto tick. While celebrating the myriad accomplishments of The Clan, the book doesn't shy away from controversy-we're also privy to stories from their childhoods in the crack-infested hallways of Staten Island housing projects, stints in Rikers for gun possession, and million-dollar contracts that led to recklessness and drug overdoses (including Ol' Dirty Bastard's untimely death). More than simply a history of a single group, this book tells the story of a musical and cultural shift that started on the streets of Shaolin (Staten Island) and quickly spread around the world. Biographies on such an influential outfit are surprisingly few, mostly focused on a single member of the group's story. This book weaves together interviews from all the Clan members, as well as their friends, family and collaborators to create a compelling narrative and the most three-dimensional portrait of Wu-Tang to date. It also puts The Clan within a social, cultural, and historical perspective to fully appreciate their impact and understand how they have become the cultural icons they are today.  Unique in its breadth, scope, and access, From The Streets of Shaolin is a must-have for fans of WTC and music bios in general.

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My Life in Dire Straits: The Inside Story of One of the Biggest Bands in Rock History Audiobook

My Life in Dire Straits: The Inside Story of One of the Biggest Bands in Rock History

Author: John Illsley Narrator: John Illsley Release Date: November 2021

Brought to you by Penguin. With a foreword by MARK KNOPFLER Dire Straits filled giant stadiums around the world and sold hundreds of millions of records. Throughout the eighties they were the biggest band on the planet. Their classic songs - 'Sultans of Swing', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Money for Nothing', 'Brothers In Arms' - formed the soundtrack of a generation and live on today: still racking up sales, still being played on the radio on every continent. In My Life in Dire Straits, John Illsley - founder member, bassist and mainstay - evokes the spirit of the times and tells the story of one of the great live acts of rock history. Starting with his own unlikely beginnings in Middle England, he recounts the band's rise from humble origins in London's spit-and-sawdust pubs to the best-known venues in the world, the working man's clubs to Madison Square Garden, gigging with wild punk bands to the Live Aid stage at Wembley. Until, ultimately, the shattering demands of touring on a global scale and living life in the spotlight took their inevitable toll. John's story is also a tribute to his great friend Mark Knopfler, the band's lead singer, songwriter and gifted guitarist - the only band members to stay the fifteen-year distance. Told with searching honesty, soulful reflection and wry humour, this is the first and only account of that incredible story. © John Illsley 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

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Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos Audiobook

Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos

Author: Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa Narrator: Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa Release Date: November 2021

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Who made the phone call that got HBO to launch the show? What’s the significance of all those eggs? And, what the hell ever happened to the Russian? In Woke Up This Morning, Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa have all the answers – and they’re revealing where all the bodies are buried.  Inspired by the incredibly successful Talking Sopranos podcast, The Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri) finally reveal all the Soprano family secrets in a surprising, funny, and honest new book. Woke Up This Morning is the definitive behind-the-scenes history of the groundbreaking HBO series that became a worldwide cultural phenomenon, ushered in a new Golden Age of Television, and to this day continues to be one of the most binged shows of all time. Michael and Steve tell all the incredible stories that The Sopranos fans have been waiting to hear for over twenty years. The book covers the entire history of The Sopranos series from the original concept pitch and casting to the infamous cut to black – and answer many of the thousands of fan questions sent to the podcast, as well as dispel some widely propagated myths and reveal things no one outside the show would even know to ask.

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The Real James Dean: Intimate Memories from Those Who Knew Him Best Audiobook

The Real James Dean: Intimate Memories from Those Who Knew Him Best

Author: Peter L. Winkler Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Release Date: November 2021

In the decades following his death, many of those who knew James Dean best--actors, directors, friends, lovers (both men and women), photographers, and Hollywood columnists--shared stories of their first-person experiences with him in interviews and in the articles and autobiographies they wrote. Their recollections of Dean became lost in fragile back issues of movie magazines and newspapers and in out-of-print books that are extremely hard to find. Until now. The Real James Dean is the first book of its kind: a rich collection spanning six decades of writing in which many of the people whose lives were touched by Dean recall their indelible experiences with him in their own words. Here are the memorable personal accounts of Dean from his high school and college drama teachers; the girl he almost married; costars like Rock Hudson, Natalie Wood, Jim Backus, and Raymond Massey; directors Elia Kazan, Nicholas Ray, and George Stevens; entertainer Eartha Kitt; gossip queen Hedda Hopper; the passenger who accompanied Dean on his final, fatal road trip; and a host of his other friends and colleagues.

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The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton: A Basically True Biography Audiobook

The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton: A Basically True Biography

Author: Jerry Grillo Narrator: Chris Abernathy Release Date: November 2021

Col. Bruce Hampton was a charismatic musical figure who launched and continued to influence the jam band genre over his fifty-plus years performing. Part bandleader, soul singer, storyteller, conjuror, poet, preacher, comedian, philosopher, and trickster, Col. Bruce actively sought out and dealt in the weird, wild underbelly of the American South. The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton is neither a true biography in the Boswellian sense nor a work of cultural studies, although it combines elements of both. Grillo's interviews with Hampton and his bandmates, family, friends, and fans paint a fascinating portrait of an artist who fostered some of the best music ever played in America. Grillo aims not so much to document and demystify the self-mythologizing performer as to explain why his fans and friends loved him so dearly. Hampton's family history, his place in Atlanta and southeastern musical history, his significant friendships and musical relationships, and the controversies over personnel in his Hampton Grease Band over the years are all discussed. What emerges is a portrait of a P. T. Barnum of the musical world, but one who included his audience and invited them through the tent door to share his inside joke, with plenty of joy to go around.

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1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: The story of two lives, one nation, and a century of art under tyran Audiobook

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: The story of two lives, one nation, and a century of art under tyran

Author: Ai Weiwei Narrator: David Shih Release Date: November 2021

Brought to you by Penguin. In his widely anticipated memoir, Ai Weiwei - one of the world's most famous artists and activists - tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, Ai Qing, the nation's most celebrated poet. Hailed as 'the most important artist working today' by the Financial Times and as 'an eloquent and unsilenceable voice of freedom' by the New York Times, Ai Weiwei has written a sweeping memoir that presents a remarkable history of China over the last 100 years while illuminating his artistic process. Once an intimate of Mao Zedong, Ai Weiwei's father was branded a rightist during the Cultural Revolution, and he and his family were banished to a desolate place known as 'Little Siberia', where Ai Qing was sentenced to hard labour cleaning public toilets. Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in exile, and his difficult decision to leave his family to study art in America, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and was inspired by Andy Warhol. With candour and wit, he details his return to China and his rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist - and how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime. Ai Weiwei's sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe, and his architectural achievements include helping to design the iconic Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. His political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011. Here, for the first time, Ai Weiwei explores the origins of his exceptional creativity and passionate political beliefs through his own life story and that of his father, whose own creativity was stifled. At once ambitious and intimate, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows offers a deep understanding of the myriad forces that have shaped modern China, and serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect freedom of expression. © Ai Weiwei 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

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Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra Audiobook

Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra

Author: John Szwed Narrator: Leon Nixon Release Date: November 2021

Considered by many to be a founder of Afrofuturism, Sun Ra-aka Herman Blount-was a composer, keyboardist, bandleader, philosopher, entrepreneur, poet, and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial from Saturn. He recorded over 200 albums with his Arkestra, which, dressed in Egypto-space costumes, played everything from boogie-woogie and swing to fusion and free jazz. John Szwed's Space is the Place is the definitive biography of this musical polymath, who was one of the twentieth century's greatest avant-garde artists and intellectuals. Charting the whole of Sun Ra's life and career, Szwed outlines how after years in Chicago as a blues and swing band pianist, Sun Ra set out in the 1950s to impart his views about the galaxy, black people, and spiritual matters by performing music with the Arkestra that was as vital and innovative as it was mercurial and confounding. Szwed's listeners-whether they are just discovering Sun Ra or are among the legion of poets, artists, intellectuals, and musicians who consider him a spiritual godfather-will find that, indeed, space is the place.

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Van Gogh and the Artists He Loved Audiobook

Van Gogh and the Artists He Loved

Author: Steven Naifeh Narrator: Fajer Al-Kaisi Release Date: November 2021

The compelling story of how Vincent van Gogh developed his audacious, iconic style by immersing himself in the work of others, featuring paintings by Van Gogh as well as the artists who inspired him-from the New York Times bestselling co-author of Van Gogh: The Life Vincent van Gogh's paintings look utterly unique-his vivid palette and boldly interpretive portraits are unmistakably his. Yet however revolutionary his style may have been, it was actually built on a strong foundation of paintings by other artists, both his contemporaries and those who came before him.  Now, drawing on Van Gogh's own thoughtful and often profound comments about the painters he venerated, Steven Naifeh gives a gripping account of the artist's deep engagement with their work. We see Van Gogh's gradual discovery of the subjects he would make famous, from wheat fields to sunflowers. We watch him experimenting with the loose brushwork and bright colors used by Édouard Manet, studying the Pointillist dots used by Georges Seurat, and emulating the powerful depictions of the peasant farmers painted by Jean-François Millet, all vividly illustrated in full-color images of works by Van Gogh and a variety of other major artists. Thanks to the vast correspondence from Van Gogh to his beloved brother, Theo, Naifeh, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is able to reconstruct Van Gogh's artistic world from within. Observed in eloquent prose that is as compelling as it is authoritative, Van Gogh and the Artists He Loved enables us to share the artist's journey as he created his own daring, influential, and widely beloved body of work.  This audiobook contains a downloadable PDF of images of selected works of art mentioned in the book.

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Beaumonster: A Memoir Audiobook

Beaumonster: A Memoir

Author: Jesse Dayton Narrator: Jesse Dayton Release Date: November 2021

A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT THE ADVENTURES OF FIRST-RATE STORYTELLER, GUITARIST, AND RELENTLESS ROAD WARRIOR JESSE DAYTON   Jesse Dayton's story reads like a who's who of American music. In his debut memoir Beaumonster, Dayton reveals the stranger-than-fiction encounters and outlandish experiences that have ensued across his wide-ranging career. After sneaking into night clubs to play gigs in his youth, eighteen-year-old Dayton and his trio began packing clubs and theaters across Houston, Dallas, and Austin. His first solo record which featured great luminaries like Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiménez, and Johnny Gimble, hit number one on the Americana radio charts and then he was off to the races- touring the world solo and with punk legends Social Distortion and the Supersuckers. While doing press in Nashville, he caught the attention of Waylon Jennings and was whisked off to Woodland Studios, where he was greeted by none other than Johnny Cash, who told Dayton, "We've been waiting for you."   Since then, Dayton's ride across the entertainment industry, traversing genres and formats, has only gotten wilder. Whether it's playing guitar on records and film with the likes of Cash, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Glen Campbell and Duff McKagan; writing and recording soundtracks for horror director/rockstar Rob Zombie; directing Malcolm McDowell and Sid Haig in his own horror movie; filling in for the iconic punk band X's guitarist; joining Ryan Bingham on tour; or the many solo and guest projects he continues to work on, Dayton is down to leave his mark, making Beaumonster a uniquely entertaining tale that will impress new and old fans alike.  

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My Lifey Audiobook

My Lifey

Author: Paddy Mcguinness Narrator: Paddy Mcguinness Release Date: November 2021

Brought to you by Penguin. Get the kettle on, the biscuits out and settle in for a belting read. Paddy McGuinness is a much-loved presence on British TV. His stand-up tours sell out across the country. His acting roles are legendary, from Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy to The Keith and Paddy Picture Show. How did all start? Let Paddy take you back to a two-up, two-down terrace in 1970's Bolton, where his lifey began. He grew up alone with his beloved mum, neighbourhood matriarch Pat, who worked two jobs, as a barmaid and a cleaner, always keeping food on the table at home and almost always keeping her tearaway teen out of trouble. The road from kipping in abandoned cars with his mates in Bolton to racing supercars on Top Gear has been eventful, with multiple turning points, including formative hard graft as a labourer, running a Viagra racket at a health centre, a showbiz intervention by schoolfriend Peter Kay and eye-popping adventures in the world of teledom. While he may have swapped cobbles in Bolton for red carpets in London, Paddy has always stayed true to his Lancashire roots, and here he tells his story for the first time, in his own unmistakable style. He lived it. He's written in. It's his lifey - fast-paced, funny and full of character, just like him. © Paddy McGuinness 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

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Confessions of a Puppetmaster: A Hollywood Memoir of Ghouls, Guts, and Gonzo Filmmaking Audiobook

Confessions of a Puppetmaster: A Hollywood Memoir of Ghouls, Guts, and Gonzo Filmmaking

Author: Adam Felber, Charles Band Narrator: Charles Band, Sean Patrick Hopkins Release Date: November 2021

Renowned producer, director, and “B movie” showman Charles Band takes readers on a wild romp through Hollywood’s decidedly un-Oscar-worthy underbelly, where mayhem and zombies reign supreme, and cheap thrills and entertainment are king 'This book is a blast. It made me want to stay up all night and watch terrible movies.' —Peter Sagal 'One of the most entertaining film bios ever.' —Larry Karaszewski 'Reads like a Tarantino film written by Hunter S. Thompson.' —Booklist Zombies, aliens, a little skin, lots of gore—and even more laughs—the cinematic universe of Charles Band is legendary. From the toilet-invading creatures of Ghoulies to the time-travelling bounty hunter in Trancers to the pandemic-crashed Corona Zombies, Band has spent four decades giving B-movie lovers exactly what they love. In Confessions of a Puppetmaster, this congenial master of Grindhouse cinema tells his own story, uncut. Born into a family of artists, Band spent much of his childhood in Rome where his father worked in the film industry. Early visits to movie sets sealed young Charlie’s fate. By his twenties he had plunged into moviemaking himself and found his calling in exploitation movies—quick, low-budget efforts that exploit the zeitgeist and feed people’s desire for clever, low-brow entertainment. His films crossed genres, from vampire flicks to sci fi to erotic musical adaptations of fairy tales. As he came into his own as a director, he was the first to give starring roles to household names like Demi Moore, Helen Hunt, and Bill Maher. Off set, Band’s life has been equally epic. Returning to his beloved Italy, he bought both Dino De Laurentiis’s movie studio and a medieval castle. After Romania’s oppressive communist regime fell, he circumvented the U.S. State Department to shoot films in Dracula’s homeland. He made—and then lost—a moviemaking fortune. A visionary, Band was also at the vanguard of the transition to home video and streaming, making and distributing direct-to-video movies long before the major studios caught on. In this revealing tell-all, Band details the dizzying heights and catastrophic depths of his four decades in showbiz. A candid and engaging glimpse at Hollywood’s wild side, Confessions of a Puppetmaster is as entertaining as the movies that made this consummate schlockmeister famous.  

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