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July 9, 2020
PW Staff
In this roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight an author’s memoir of Bob Dylan, a family chronicle, a recollection of mental illness, and others. 

An Impossible Life

Rachael Siddoway and Sonja Wasden

Synopsis: In this raw debut, Siddoway collaborates with Wasden, her mother, to shine a light on Wasden’s mental illness.

PW’s Takeaway: Wasden’s despairing yet hopeful story unveils the inner turmoil of mental illness and the painful challenges that lead to recovery.

Comparable Title: Susanna Kaysen’s Girl Interrupted

Sample Line: “I knew life was painful and the only peaceful exit led to the gravestone. Living made death look desirable.”

 

Dylan & Me: 50 Years of Adventures

Louie Kemp

Synopsis: In this intimate and entertaining debut, Kemp takes readers into his 50-year relationship with Bob Dylan.

PW’s Takeaway: This loving account of a long friendship will thrill Dylan fans.

Comparable Title: David Hajdu’s Positively 4th Street

Sample Line: “It was Herzl Camp that brought Bobby, Larry, and me together, but it was music that sealed the bond of our little brotherhood—particularly between Bobby and Larry.” 

 

Single That

Acamea Deadwiler

Synopsis: In this energetic and uplifting work, Deadwiler advocates for single women.

PW’s Takeaway: An empowering and wise testament to the rewards of solo living.

Comparable Title: Jennifer Taitz’s How to Be Single and Happy 

 

Independence Blues

W.B. Garvey

Synopsis: A Jamaican family experiences the final decades of the Jim Crow era.

PW’s Takeaway: This character-driven outing is a trip worth taking.

Comparable Title: Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s A Kind of Freedom

 

Around the World in 575 Songs 

Nick Wall

Synopsis: Wall delivers the fourth volume in his exhaustive guide to world music.

PW’s Takeaway: Wall’s collection provides fascinating examples of historical and musical insight.

Comparable Title: Terry E. Miller and Andrew Shahriari’s World Music: A Global Journey 

 

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