In this roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight an author’s memoir of Bob Dylan, a family chronicle, a recollection of mental illness, and others.
Rachael Siddoway and Sonja Wasden
Synopsis: In this raw debut, Siddoway collaborates with Wasden, her mother, to shine a light on Wasden’s mental illness.
PW’s Takeaway: Wasden’s despairing yet hopeful story unveils the inner turmoil of mental illness and the painful challenges that lead to recovery.
Comparable Title: Susanna Kaysen’s Girl Interrupted
Sample Line: “I knew life was painful and the only peaceful exit led to the gravestone. Living made death look desirable.”
Synopsis: In this intimate and entertaining debut, Kemp takes readers into his 50-year relationship with Bob Dylan.
PW’s Takeaway: This loving account of a long friendship will thrill Dylan fans.
Comparable Title: David Hajdu’s Positively 4th Street
Sample Line: “It was Herzl Camp that brought Bobby, Larry, and me together, but it was music that sealed the bond of our little brotherhood—particularly between Bobby and Larry.”
Synopsis: In this energetic and uplifting work, Deadwiler advocates for single women.
PW’s Takeaway: An empowering and wise testament to the rewards of solo living.
Comparable Title: Jennifer Taitz’s How to Be Single and Happy
Synopsis: A Jamaican family experiences the final decades of the Jim Crow era.
PW’s Takeaway: This character-driven outing is a trip worth taking.
Comparable Title: Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s A Kind of Freedom
Synopsis: Wall delivers the fourth volume in his exhaustive guide to world music.
PW’s Takeaway: Wall’s collection provides fascinating examples of historical and musical insight.
Comparable Title: Terry E. Miller and Andrew Shahriari’s World Music: A Global Journey