Classic rock fans, rejoice! October is a standout month for significant books by and about legendary musicians, particularly those who flourished in the 1960s and ’70s (not to mention that Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature this month). 

Here’s a taste: 

Homeward BoundHomeward Bound by Peter Ames Carlin
The well-respected rock critic delivers “an absorbing and layered study” of consummate songsmith Paul Simon, whose “legacy as an innovative songwriter and musician is undeniable.”

Conversations with McCartney by Paul du Noyer
Admittedly, this book from longtime NME correspondent and founding Mojo editor du Noyer occasionally has a “slapped-together feel,” but no matter. McCartney is ever “the cheeky and cheerful fellow of popular depiction,” and he also shows himself to be “deeply thoughtful and capable of self-criticism.” Ultimately, this collection is “a welcome contribution to a growing body of serious but not solemn work about The Fabs before and after.”

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Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Technically, it’s a September publication, but this is The Boss—he makes his own rules. Springsteen’s memoir is a refreshingly well-written, revealing journey from the journeyman rocker. In a starred review, our critic didn’t mince words: “A superb memoir by any standard, but one of the best to have been written by a rock star.”

Play It Loud by Brad Tolinski and Alan di Perna
Two longtime Guitar World contributors (Tolinski was editor-in-chief for 25 years) team up for a deeply knowledgeable, entertaining history of the most revolutionary instrument of the 20th century, the electric guitar. As our critic noted in closing, “the electric guitar changed the world, and Tolinski and di Perna impressively reveal its epic story.” 

Beatles ’66 by Steve Turner
Turner may not break any new ground in his history of this pivotal year in the Beatles’ history, but he “does a nice job of capturing them at their best.”

Eric Liebetrau is the nonfiction and managing editor.