Read Something Musical

Music book cover.Have you been keeping up with the JMRL summer challenge? To celebrate summer reading this year, JMRL has created three challenge sheets – one for June, one for July, and one for August – that you can complete for a chance to win various prizes, including a grand prize for which there will be a raffle at the end of the summer. For more information, or to download the challenge sheets, you can visit

The challenge sheet for July is now being accepted at any JMRL branch. One of the challenges this month is to read something musical. Check out one of these books from the JMRL catalog if you’re interested in music appreciation and want to cross off this particular challenge:

Music: The Definitive Visual History by Ian Blenkinsop, et. al – This illustrated, visual guide to the history of music and instruments, produced in conjunction with the Smithsonian, begins in prehistoric times and progresses through all eras throughout the world and includes background music theory and advances in technology.

Sonic Cool: The Life and Death of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Joe S. Harrington – In the tradition of Nick Tosches, Tom Wolfe and Lester Bangs comes an epic and riveting history of rock and roll that reads like a novel. Sonic Cool presents the saga of rock and roll as the closest thing we have to genuine “myth” in the modern world, and it is the first book about rock to be written in the spirit of rock.

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks – Drawing on the individual experiences of patients, musicians, composers, and everyday people, the author of Awakenings explores the complex human response to music, detailing the full range of human reactions to music, what goes on and can go wrong when we listen to music, and how music can affect those suffering from a variety of ailments.

Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip Hop by Michael Eric Dyson – Addresses salient issues within hip hop: the creative expression of degraded youth that has garnered them global exposure; the vexed gender relations that have made rap music a lightning rod for pundits (and a scapegoat during the Don Imus-Rutgers scandal); the commercial explosion that has made an art form a victim of its success; the political elements that have been submerged in the most popular form of hip hop; and the need for increased intellectual engagement with some of hip hop’s most influential figures.

So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band: 20 Years on the Road by Nikki Van Noy – A 20th-anniversary tribute traces the Dave Matthews Band’s inside story and analyzes their successes and influence from the perspectives of band members and fans, offering insight into their effective balance between their Top 40 popularity and cult-like status.

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