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Books I read in 2020:

Saturday, January 9, 2021 2:34 PM

I haven’t been much of a novel reader since I got out of college, my attention span suited more to newspapers, and now, blogs and internet forums. When I do take the time to read a book, it’s almost exclusively a non-fiction book or biography, usually about the Beatles.

In 2020, however, I found myself with plenty of time on my hands, little motivation to engage in something creative (other than developing this blog and writing a few songs), so I began catching up on reading numerous books I had picked up over the past 10-15 years, along with a few new ones. Here’s the list:

  1. Hi De Ho, by Alyn Shipton; a biography of the great Cab Calloway
  2. How The Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll, by Elijah Wald; Spoiler alert: they didn’t, but it’s a catchy title for an interesting survey on 20th Century American popular music.
  3. Roots, Radicals, and Rockers - How Skiffle Changed The World, by Billy Bragg (a gift from my wonderful daughter)
  4. NEMS, and the Business of Selling Beatles Merchandise in the U.S. 1964-1966, by Terry Crain(2nd Ed.); disappointing, poorly edited and formatted volume that regrettably adds little to the knowledge base around Beatles collectibles.
  5. Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966, vols. 1&2, by Chuck Gunderson
  6. Musicophilia, Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks. (another gift from my daughter)
  7. The Beatles in…Canada, The Origins of Beatlemania! by Piers Hemmingsen
  8. Sin In Soft Focus- Pre-Code Hollywood, by Mark A. Vieira
  9. Forbidden Hollywood- When Sin Ruled The Movies, by Mark A. Vieira; a bit drier than “Sin…”, this book examines the legal and political machinations behind the Pre-code era studios.
  10. Film Noir, by Taschen
  11. Too Much And Never Enough, by Mary L. Trump, Phd
  12. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow. The book that inspired that hit Broadway Musical...
  13. The Queens of Animation- The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History, by Nathalia Holt.
  14. The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore
  15. Chronicles, Volume One, by Bob Dylan
  16. Fantasyland, by Kurt Andersen; an in depth historical examination of America and Americans’ flexible relationship with truth and reality, from the Puritans to P.T. Barnum to Facebook, QAnon and “Fake News”.


What did you read in 2020?