Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper
by Art Cullen
(Viking Books October 2018)
When Art Cullen won the Pulitzer in editorial writing in 2017 for taking on big corporate agri-industry whose chemicals were poisoning the local groundwater, it was a coup on many counts: a strike for the wellbeing of a rural community, a triumph for that endangered species, a family-run weekly newspaper The Storm Lake Times, and a salute to the special talents of a fierce and formidable native son – Cullen.
In this candid and timely book, Cullen describes how rural America has changed dramatically over his career, as seen from the vantage point of a farming and meatpacking town of 15,000 in Northwest Iowa. Politics, agriculture, the environment, and immigration all feed into a book that also chronicles a resilient newspaper, as much a survivor as its town. Continue reading
The Downtown Pop Underground: New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock ‘n’ roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture.
by Kembrew McLeod
(Abrams October 2018)
The 1960s to early ’70s was a pivotal time for American culture, and New York City was ground zero for some seismic shifts in music, theater, art, and filmmaking. In THE DOWNTOWN POP UNDERGROUND, cultural historian Kembrew McLeod takes the reader on a kaleidoscopic tour of the city, telling the story of the interconnections between the alternative music, theater, film, video, writing, fashion and art worlds that flowered in downtown New York. McLeod uses accounts of these artistic cross-pollinations to reveal an alternative history of recent pop culture.
Through interviews with the famous (Debbie Harry, Yoko Ono, Lily Tomlin) to lesser-known-but-essential offbeat artists, rule-breaking poets, gonzo filmmakers, rock and roll drag queens, McLeod shows how these outsiders reshaped the larger culture, and from downtown New York made waves on an international scale. Ambitious in scope and scale, the book is fueled by the actual voices of many of the pivotal characters who broke down the entrenched cultural divisions between high and low, gay and straight, and art and commerce—and whose impact is still largely felt today. The book also features many never-before-seen photos of this glamorous and dynamic time. Continue reading
The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone
by Robin Green
(Little Brown August 2018)
“A funny, frank, powerful and ultimately moving memoir by an extraordinary writer who didn’t merely roll with the Zeitgeist but remade it in her own image.”
–T. C. Boyle
A raucous and vividly dishy memoir of Robin Green’s sharp ascent from being hired at Rolling Stone to writing cover stories and being the only woman on the masthead in the first years of the magazine’s existence. THE ONLY GIRL is a hilarious yet biting account of working in journalism during the tumultuous late-‘60s and early ‘70s, and about coming of age as a woman in the midst of it. Continue reading
Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want
by Jenny Blake
(Running Press 2011, updated 2018)
“Jenny Blake is a rock star of her generation. The book is chock-full of tips, tricks, tweets, and the genuine empathy of someone who has been in the shoes of her readers. Recent grads will love her writing style and the book’s exercises, which encourage readers to personalize their own journeys.” —Lindsey Pollack, author of Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World
“This book serves as a roadmap for navigating the various aspects of your life during your twenties. Jenny shares wonderful tips, practical advice, and stories to help inspire individuals to live their truest dreams.” —Christine Hassler, author of 20 Something, 20 Everything and 20 Something Manifesto
Need some straightforward guidance on how to maneuver the real world? Do you wish there was a roadmap that would help you figure out how to get where you want to do? Life After College is that guide. Jenny Blake offers you practical, actionable advice to achieve your goals.
Life After College is an essential manual for recent college graduates, with hundreds of tips and exercises, all newly updated for 2018, to get you inspired, focused, and ready to thrive in every area.
Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece
by Michael Benson
Space Odyssey is the definitive history of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to be released in April 2018 in celebration of film’s 50th anniversary. Created by noted filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, then fresh off the success of his brilliant Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove, and Arthur C. Clarke, one of the century’s most important science fiction writers, 2001 is one of the most original and influential films ever made.
Ann Powers (@annkpowers) is NPR’s music critic and correspondent and one of the nation’s leading music writers. Throughout her storied career, Ann has held positions at San Francisco Weekly, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Blender, and the and the Experience Music Project. Since 2011 she’s written for NPR’s music news blog, The Record, covering music through the lenses of culture, gender, sexuality, and race. Most recently, she spearheaded Turning the Tables, a collaboration between NPR and Lincoln Center that highlights the contributions of female artists. Turning the Tables has curated a list of the 150 greatest albums by women that aims to start a new conversation about women’s place in music history, and to make a much-needed intervention in the canon of music writing.
“[The list] stands for music history, touching upon every significant trend, social issue, set of sonic innovations, and new avenue for self-expression that popular music has intersected in the past fifty years,” Powers writes. The same might be said for Powers’s own career: through her five books and countless articles she has redefined the parameters of music criticism, making sure women are given their proper due, not at the margins, but at the center of the story.
Ann Powers’s influence on contemporary music criticism is indelible. In honor of the August 15th publication of Good Booty, we hope you enjoy this look back at all the books she has published with Sarah Lazin Books.
To Funk and Die in L.A.: A D Hunter Mystery
by Nelson George
To Funk and Die in LA, the fourth book in the D Hunter crime-fiction series, brings the ex-bodyguard to the City of Angels on a very dark mission when his grandfather, businessman Daniel “Big Danny” Hunter, is shot dead in a drive-by. Why would someone execute a grocery store owner? D soon finds there was more to Big Danny’s life than selling loaves of bread. The old man, it turns out, was deeply involved with Dr. Funk, a legendary musical innovator who has become a mysterious recluse.
LOU REED: A Life
by Anthony DeCurtis
The essential biography of one of music’s most influential icons: Lou Reed
As lead singer and songwriter for the Velvet Underground and a renowned solo artist, Lou Reed invented alternative rock. His music, at once a source of transcendent beauty and coruscating noise, violated all definitions of genre while speaking to millions of fans and inspiring generations of musicians.
But while his iconic status may be fixed, the man himself was anything but. Lou Reed’s life was a transformer’s odyssey. Eternally restless and endlessly hungry for new experiences, Reed reinvented his persona, his sound, even his sexuality time and again. A man of contradictions and extremes, he was fiercely independent yet afraid of being alone, artistically fearless yet deeply paranoid, eager for commercial success yet disdainful of his own triumphs. Channeling his jagged energy and literary sensibility into classic songs – like “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Sweet Jane” – and radically experimental albums alike, Reed remained desperately true to his artistic vision, wherever it led him.
When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks It Down
by Joan Morgan
with a foreword by Brittney Cooper
(Simon & Schuster 2000)
“Morgan has given an entire generation of black feminists space and language to center their pleasures alongside their politics.” —Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness
“All that and then some, Chickenheads informs and educates, confronts and charms, raises the bar high by getting down low, and, to steal my favorite Joan Morgan phrase, bounced me out of the room.” —Marlon James, Man Booker Prize–winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
Still fresh, funny, and irreverent after eighteen years, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost gives voice to the most intimate thoughts of the post-Civil Rights, post-feminist, post-soul generation.
Joan Morgan offers a provocative and powerful look into the life of the modern black woman: a complex world in which feminists often have not-so-clandestine affairs with the most sexist of men, where women who treasure their independence frequently prefer men who pick up the tab, where the deluge of babymothers and babyfathers reminds black women who long for marriage that traditional nuclear families are a reality for less than forty percent of the population, and where black women are forced to make sense of a world where truth is no longer black and white but subtle, intriguing shades of gray.
A pioneering hip-hop journalist and award-winning feminist author, Joan Morgan coined the term “hip-hop feminism” in 1999 with the publication of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, which is now used at colleges across the country. Morgan has taught at Duke University, Stanford University, and The New School.
Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay-Z
edited by Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar
(Library of America)
THE ESSENTIAL PLAYLIST OF GREAT WRITING ABOUT THE MUSIC THAT ROCKED AMERICA
Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar’s Shake It Up invites the reader into the tumult and excitement of the rock revolution through fifty landmark pieces by a supergroup of writers on rock in all its variety, from heavy metal to disco, punk to hip-hop. Stanley Booth describes a recording session with Otis Redding; Ellen Willis traces the meteoric career of Janis Joplin; Ellen Sander recalls the chaotic world of Led Zeppelin on tour; Nick Tosches etches a portrait of the young Jerry Lee Lewis; Eve Babitz remembers Jim Morrison. Alongside are Lenny Kaye on acapella and Greg Tate on hip-hop, Vince Aletti on disco and Gerald Early on Motown; Robert Christgau on Prince, Nelson George on Marvin Gaye, Luc Sante on Bob Dylan, Hilton Als on Michael Jackson, Anthony DeCurtis on the Rolling Stones, Kelefa Sanneh on Jay Z. The story this anthology tells is a ongoing one: “it’s too early,” editors Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar note, “for canon formation in a field so marvelously volatile—a volatility that mirrors, still, that of pop music itself, which remains smokestack lightning. The writing here attempts to catch some in a bottle.”