The Beatles

Five titles to shed light on the Fab Four's lives and music.



A Hard Day's Write

By Steve Turner


For anyone who's wondered whether there was a real meter maid named Rita, Steve Turner has the answer. The biographer of Van Morrison and Marvin Gaye tells the story of where every lyric from every Beatles song originated and illustrates just how much ordinary people and events can influence the creative process. Hundreds of photographs add a rich visual dimension to these revelations.



The John Lennon Letters

Edited by Hunter Davies


John Lennon was one of the most talented songwriters the world has ever known, creator of such classics as "Help!," "Come Together," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Imagine," among others. But it was in his correspondences that he let his personality and poetry flow unguarded. His letters to family, friends, strangers, and lovers from every point in his life reveal a never-before-seen side of the private genius.



The Beatles

By Allan Kozinn


We all know the Beatles as stars and voices, but Kozinn, a classical music critic for The New York Times, examines how the profoundly innovative composers of the group -- Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison -- worked together and grew apart, how they were influenced, and how they each experimented with new forms.




By Howard Sounes


Sounes, the author of bestselling biographies of Bob Dylan and Charles Bukowski, turns his exacting eye to the life of Paul McCartney, who, even outside his legendary partnership with John Lennon, has been one of the world's most-loved entertainers. Using more than 200 hours of interviews and meticulous research, Sounes pieces together a complex portrait of a man whose sunny melodies belie a sometimes ruthless ambition.



The Beatles Anthology

By The Beatles


McCartney, Starr, Harrison, and Yoko Ono Lennon worked in a rare but monumental collaboration to provide this multi-vocal account of life "inside" the Beatles. Made up of a series of interwoven quotes from the band members and their associates (producer George Martin, road manager Neil Aspinall, etc.), The Beatles Anthology offers an oral history of the group that rivals any family saga in its fascinations.

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Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.