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Of Ingenuity And Insane Clown Posse: 5 Books On Music For What's Left Of Summer

Music books
Andrew Bannecker

It's already August 8, which means you've got maybe three or four weeks left to complain about preseason football, inadequately shield yourself from the scorching heat of the sun, and communicate with your kids about something other than why they haven't done their homework. So why not get cracking on a book?

Compiled by the staff of NPR Music, this roundup skims across just a few of the most notable music-themed books of the year so far, from a lengthy interview with composer Leonard Bernstein to one man's quest to understand obsessive Insane Clown Posse fandom. Along the way, we survey the life of jazz legend Dr. Billy Taylor, dive into a novel by Golden Palominos' Lori Carson, and even explore the history of the violin.

So join us in incorporating a book into what remains of your leisure time! Trust us: There's no better way to combine the decadence of the beach with the ability to ignore everyone around you.

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Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.
Mark Mobley
Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
Eamonn Fetherston
Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.