This week in HARDCOVER:
Jay-Z releases his autobiography. Of the book, Jay-Z sez:
When you're famous and say you're writing a book, people assume that it's an autobiography--I was born here, raised there, suffered this, loved that, lost it all, got it back, the end. But that's not what this is. I've never been a linear thinker, which is something you can see in my rhymes. They follow the jumpy logic of poetry and emotion, not the straight line of careful prose. My book is like that, too.
Decoded is first and foremost, a book of rhymes, which is ironic because I don't actually write my rhymes--they come to me in my head and I record them. The book is packed with the stories from my life that are the foundation of my lyrics--stories about coming up in the streets of Brooklyn in the 80's and 90's, stories about becoming an artist and entrepreneur and discovering worlds that I never dreamed existed when I was a kid. But it always comes back to the rhymes. There's poetry in hip-hop lyrics--not just mine, but in the work of all the great hip-hop artists, from KRS-One and Rakim to Biggie and Pac to a hundred emcees on a hundred corners all over the world that you've never heard of. The magic of rap is in the way it can take the most specific experience, from individual lives in unlikely places, and turn them into art that can be embraced by the whole world. Decoded is a book about one of those specific lives--mine--and will show you how the things I've experienced and observed have made their way into the art I've created. It's also about how my work is sometimes not about my life at all, but about pushing the boundaries of what I can express through the poetry of rap--trying to use words to find fresh angles into emotions that we all share, which is the hidden mission in even the hardest hip-hop. Decoded is a book about some of my favorite songs--songs that I unpack and explain and surround with narratives about what inspired them--but behind the rhymes is the truest story of my life.
Some other musical releases this week:
| The Lost Rolling Stones Photos: beautiful and surprising photographs of oh those beautiful boys.|| |
| Barbara Streisand presents My Passion for Design, an overview of her love of interior decoration and historic renovation. || |
Other great new hardcover books:
| R. Crumb's daughter presents this overview of her artistic development, from small child through 28 year-old budding graphic novelist. || |
Rushdie releases his newest child-focused book. He sez:
There’s a line in Paul Simon’s song St. Judy’s Comet, a sort of lullaby, about his reason for writing it. "If I can’t sing my boy to sleep," he sings, "it makes your famous daddy look so dumb." More than twenty years ago, when my older son Zafar said to me that I should write a book he could read, I thought about that line. Haroun and the Sea of Stories, written in 1989-90, a dark time for me, was the result. I tried to fill it with light and even to give it a happy ending. Happy endings were things I had become very interested in at the time.
When my younger son Milan read Haroun he immediately began to insist that he, too, merited a book. Luka and the Fire of Life is born of that insistence. It is not exactly a sequel to the earlier book, but it is a companion. The same family is at the heart of both books, and in both books a son must rescue a father. Beyond those similarities, however, the two books inhabit very different imaginative milieux.
| In a masterful, moving novel about age, memory, and family, Mosley captures the compromised state of his protagonist's mind with profound sensitivity and insight, and creates an unforgettable pair of characters at the center of a novel that is sure to become a true contemporary classic. || |
This week in PAPERBACK:
Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider sees the softer light of day.
Mike Lupica's Million Dollar Throw
Jacuzzi culture is dissected by Paul Rudnick in I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey.
William Shawcross's comprehensive tome, The Queen Mother: The Official Biography, a life of Queen Elizabeth
Hating Olivia by Mark Safranko
When the Whistle Blows by Fran Slayton
Come put your fingers on the world's literary pulse in the Book Cellar!