Happy's Best New Books
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best new books

Opening a brand new hardcover is like a hit of pure literary adrenaline. The possibilities contained within those unbroken pages have the power to entertain, educate, and inspire us.

Whether it’s a memoir that’ll haunt you, a nonfiction game-changer, or a thriller that’ll keep you guessing till the end. The thrill of not knowing what’s to come, what you’ll learn, how it’ll affect you, it’s unmatched.

Books allow us to explore the human experience in all its complexity. Through reading, we can empathize with characters, understand different perspectives, and be transported to places we’ve never been before. It’s not just about the words on the page, it’s about the emotions and ideas they evoke. And in that sense, books are truly magical. They offer a unique and intimate experience that movies, television, and other forms of media simply can’t match. That’s why we love them.

With 2023 shaping up to be a bountiful year for fresh reads, we’re in for one hell of a literary ride. Here are the best new books of 2023 so far.

celebrity reading

Touring and Mental Health: The Music Industry Guide – Tamsin Embleton

Looking to survive the physical and psychological tolls of touring? Look no further than Touring and Mental Health, the comprehensive manual for musicians and industry professionals. Authored by top health and performance experts, this timely guide covers everything from addiction to crisis management to post-tour recovery. And with personal insights from musical heavyweights like Nile Rodgers, Katie Melua, and Will Young, Touring and Mental Health is a must-read for anyone hitting the road. Whether you’re looking for cutting-edge research or practical strategies, this book has got you covered. So pick it up, pass it around the tour bus, and stay healthy on the road.

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Touring and Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual

TOURING AND MENTAL HEALTH: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY MANUAL 
TAMSIN EMBLETON

 

 

The Art of the Straight Line – Lou Reed

In The Art of the Straight Line, edited by his wife Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed’s worlds of Tai Chi, music, and meditation converge in a compelling and expansive collection. Reed, a multifaceted artist who co-founded the legendary rock band the Velvet Underground and collaborated with icons such as Andy Warhol and Metallica, also had a passion for martial arts. He studied Tai Chi under the tutelage of Chen Tai Chi pioneer Master Ren GuangYi, and this book gathers a wealth of his writings on the practice. Alongside essays, observations, and conversations with fellow artists and Tai Chi practitioners, Reed’s unpublished musings illuminate the technique, practice, and purpose of martial arts, as well as the broader themes of meditation and existence.

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lou reed the art of the straight line

THE ART OF THE STRAIGHT LINE
LOU REED

 

Leon Russell – Bill Janovitz

Leon Russell was a legendary musician who influenced countless artists, including Elton John, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, and the world of music as a whole. His career was a roadmap of music history, intersecting with rock royalty like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He struggled with substance abuse, depression, and stage fright, but still founded Shelter Records and filled stadiums on solo tours. Acclaimed author Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom fame shines the spotlight on this important music maker of the twentieth century with this definitive biography of the legendary musician, composer, and performer.

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Leon russell

LEON RUSSELL
BILL JANOVITZ

 

Hannah McElhinney – Rainbow History Class

Rainbow History Class illuminates the once-forgotten LGBTQ+ stories that have long been obscured by the dominant culture. Hannah McElhinney, the writer and creator behind this indispensable compendium of queer and trans history, seeks not only to educate but to inspire and to build bridges. In these pages, readers will find a treasure trove of secret codes and gender-bending icons, as well as the remarkable stories of those who have fought for LGBTQ+ rights throughout history. Rainbow History Class serves as a powerful celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and a compelling invitation for those who have newly joined its ranks. McElhinney’s work is a vital reminder that we must never forget the past if we hope to create a more just and equitable future.

 

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RAINBOW HISTORY CLASS

HANNAH MCELHINNEY
RAINBOW HISTORY CLASS

 

Martin Popoff – Pink Floyd and The Dark side of the Moon: 50 Years

Get ready to dive deep into Pink Floyd’s iconic album on its 50th anniversary. In this slipcased edition, veteran rock critic Martin Popoff explores every aspect of The Dark Side of the Moon, from its recording sessions and personnel to each track’s themes and instrumentation. Along the way, Popoff examines the band’s trajectory and impact, delving into everything from their unique writing techniques to their unforgettable album art. With stunning photos and rare memorabilia, Pink Floyd and The Dark Side of the Moon is the ultimate tribute to one of the greatest albums of all time.

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dark dise of the moon book 50 years

MARTIN POPOFF
PINK FLOYD and THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON: 50 YEARS

 

Jessica Johns – Bad Cree

A young Cree woman embarks on a perilous journey to confront the legacy of violence that haunts her family and community. Through vivid dreams and waking nightmares, Mackenzie must unravel the mystery of her sister’s death and confront the possibility that the answer has been inside her all along. But at what cost? Only a “Bad Cree” would put her family in harm’s way, but Mackenzie is determined to unlock the secrets of her past.

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bad cree

JESSICA JOHNS
BAD CREE

 

Alice Farham – Passing the Baton: Conducting in the 21st Century

Written by leading conductor Alice Farnham, the book delves into the ways in which factors such as gender, culture, and socio-economic status shape a conductor’s language, career, confidence, and even their physical presence. With a focus on female conductors, the book offers insight into the realities of the profession and the qualities necessary for success, while also serving as a thoughtful reflection on leadership. This is not a technical guide to conducting, but rather a captivating exploration of the art and its role in today’s world for music lovers and professionals alike.

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in good hands

ALICE FARNHAM
THE MAKING OF A MODERN CONDUCTOR

 

Rick Rubin – The Creative Act

Rick Rubin an American record producer, is considered one of the most successful and influential producers of all time. With his debut book, The Creative Act, Rubin illuminates the path of the artist as a journey that anyone can embark on, distilling the wisdom he has gained from his lifetime of work into a captivating reading experience that brings the power to create moments – and lifetimes – of exhilaration and transcendence closer to everyone.

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rick rubin

RICK RUBIN
THE CREATIVE ACT

 

Ronald Brownstein – Rock Me On The Water

Rock Me On The Water – 1974 – The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television and Politics (now in paperback) is a standout snapshot of cultural history from Atlantic Senior Editor Ronald Brownstein – “one of America’s best political journalists” ( The Economist) tells the story of LA’s creative peak. Through film, music, and television studios around Sunset Boulevard, Brownstein shines a clear and electrifying light on the explosion of popular culture through the lens of a younger generation intent on change.

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Rock Me On The Water

RONALD BROWNSTEIN
ROCK ME ON THE WATER

 

Deepti Kapoor – Age of Vice

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age of vice

DEEPTI KAPOOR
AGE OF VICE

 

Nick Hornby – Dickens & Prince

From the bestselling author of Just Like You, High Fidelity, and Fever Pitch, a warm, and engaging short book about art, creativity, and the unlikely similarities between Victorian novelist Charles Dickens and the iconic pop star Prince. Hornby is first and foremost a fan, in many ways, this reads like a love letter, albeit, a factual one, that examines the artist’s seemingly endless professional productivity. Humorous and haunting, Hornby shines a light on the creative process, and how it takes a combination of discipline, and soul to produce great art.

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Dickens and Prince Nick Hornby

NICK HORNBY
DICKENS & PRINCE

 

Kate Scott – Compulsion

Compulsion captures the wild, hedonistic spirit of the 2000s electroclash scene and the philosophical questions that arose from it. The book, set in 2004, follows 24-year-old nihilist Lucy as she navigates the interplay between her obsession with drugs, sex, music, and books, and the turmoil caused by her pursuit of oblivion. Drawing from the author’s personal experiences in the music industry, Compulsion is about the complex journey of embracing one’s obsessions. It follows Lucy’s work as an editor for a struggling music mag, her relationships with musicians on the rise (Interpol, The Presets, Tiga) and childhood idols (Wire, The Strangers, The Bronski Beat), and the reality of dealing with a stalker.

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compulsion kate scott

KATE SCOTT
COMPULSION

 

Nats What I Reckon – Life: What Nat To Do

Musician, YouTuber, comedian, and author, Nat, best known for Nat’s What I Reckon, counts Dave Grohl, Carl Cox, and Yael Stone among his many fans. Sharing his hard-earned wisdom, Nat discusses gaps in the education system, the power of talking, and the importance of having good friends, and good partners that have your back. With humour, compassion, and a great deal of Nats What I Reckon flavour that we have come to know him for, Nat has written a great all-inclusive read, regardless of age, and gender,  Life: Nat What To Do is a book for everyone.

 

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LIFE: NAT WHAT TO DO

NATS WHAT I RECKON
LIFE: NAT WHAT TO DO