New and forthcoming

Goth

John Robb

It is one of the most fascinating and influential musical periods in recent history, and yet the goth movement has largely been undervalued and forgotten. But now John Robb, founder of the legendary post-punk band The Membranes, is ready to redress that oversight. Based on countless interviews with the key players of the era, as well as his own insights from the goth clubs and gigs where he saw it all, he has written the definitive book, taking in everything: goth’s roots, from art, literature and architecture; its foundation in the music of the Doors, Iggy, Bowie and glam rock; its development with Southern Dealt Cult, Nick Cave, Siouxsie Sioux and Joy Division, and the role it still plays in today’s music culture and fashion.

From the bands, the clubs, the clothes and lifestyle, as well as goth’s political, historical and social context, John Robb’s comprehensive book takes in the entire wealth of this subculture – snakebite, hair-crimping and all.

Voices

Nick Coleman

Voices is an exploration of what singing means and how it works and what it achieves. What does it do to us to listen hard and habitually to somebody else’s singing? And why is the singing of others so essential to human life? Why do we love it so? How are we shaped?

The book asks many other questions too. What was Roy Orbison’s problem? Who does Joni Mitchell think she is? Why did Jagger and Lennon sing like that (and not like this)? What did Aretha Franklin do to deserve the title ‘Queen of Soul’? For that matter, what is ‘soul’? What is the point of crooning? What does it mean if Frank Sinatra leaves you cold? Billie, Janis, Amy: do the voices of anguish always dissolve into spectacle? And why isn’t the world better acquainted with Gladys Horton?

The history of post-war popular music is traditionally told sociologically or in terms of musicological influence and innovation in style. Sometimes it is biographical, sometimes fashion conscious. Often the story simply follows the money or the celebrity of its stars.

Voices takes a different tack. In ten discrete but cohering essays Coleman tackles the arc of that history as if it were an emotional experience with real psychological consequences – as chaotic, random, challenging and unpredictable as life itself. It is the story of what it is to listen and learn. Above all, it is a story of what it means to feel.

It Ain't Hard To Tell

Nas

The long-awaited memoir from legendary rapper Nas, one of the most famous - and enigmatic - stars of the hip-hop generation.

With the release of his 1994 debut album, Illmatic, Nas was immediately lauded as rap royalty. After over two decades he remains one of the most admired, successful, and misunderstood figures in the business.

In It Ain’t Hard to Tell, Nas tells his life story for the first time - including his early days growing up in Queens as the son of a jazz musician and his immersion in street culture to his emergence on the scene in the early 1990s. He recounts his private and public struggles, including the media-hyped feud with Jay-Z, finally resolved in 2005, and his battle to assert himself as King of East Coast rap.

Over the course of eleven solo albums Nas has accrued millions of fans around the globe and collaborated with the greatest talents in music, and he charts his evolution from the brash, arrogant “Nasty Nas” to a mature but still provocative artist. It Ain’t Hard to Tell finally reveals the man behind the rhymes in a memoir as outspoken and uncompromising as fans could hope for.

The Ring of the Nibelung

Richard Wagner

The scale and grandeur of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung has no precedent and no successor. It preoccupied Wagner for much of his adult life and revolutionized the nature of opera, the orchestra, the demands on singers and on the audience itself. The four operas-The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods - are complete worlds, conjuring up extraordinary mythological landscapes through sound as much as staging.

Wagner wrote the entire libretto before embarking on the music. Discarding the grand choruses and bravura duets central to most operas, he used the largest musical forces in the context often of only a handful of singers on stage. The words were essential: he was telling a story and making an argument in a way that required absolute attention to what was said.

The libretto for The Ring lies at the heart of nineteenth century culture. It is in itself a work of power and grandeur and it had an incalculable effect on European and specifically German culture. John Deathridge's superb new translation, with notes and a fascinating introduction, is essential for anyone who wishes to get to grips with one of the great musical experiences.

I’m Sure I Speak For Many Others…

Colin Shindler

Britain is a nation of correspondents, and few British institutions attract as much praise and criticism as the BBC.

In Dear Auntie, Colin Shindler gathers together the very best of the unseen letters and telegrams sent over the years. Categorised by theme – Political bias, Royal Family etc, the letters present the moral outrage, the concern, the praise and the fury of the nation, perfect for anyone who regularly feels tempted to put pen to paper.

Blood and Guts in High School

Kathy Acker

'Acker gives her work the power to mirror the reader's soul' William S. Burroughs

'Kathy Acker's writing is virtuoso, maddening, crazy, so sexy, so painful, and beaten out of a wild heart that nothing can tame. Acker is a landmark writer' Jeanette Winterson

This is the story of Janey, who lived in a locked room, where she found a scrap of paper and began to write down her life. It's a story of lust, sex, pain, youth, punk, anarchy, gangs, the city, feminism, America, Jean Genet and the prisons we create for ourselves. A heady, surreal mash-up of coming-of-age tale, prose, poetry, plagiarism and illustration, Kathy Acker's breakthrough 1984 novel caused huge controversy and made her an avant-garde literary icon.

Published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Kathy Acker's untimely death, Blood and Guts in High School is published for the first time in Penguin Classics, acknowledging the profound impact she has had on our culture, and alongside the authors her work pulsates with the influence of: William S. Burroughs, Cervantes and Charles Dickens, among others.

Pop Stars in My Pantry

Paul Simper

Corrupted by Spandau. Slated by Boy George. Mothered by Sade. Evicted by Bananarama. Jilted by Madonna.

Author, columnist and TV writer Paul Simper had a front-row seat at one of pop stardom’s most exciting shows: the 1980s. His memoir, Pop Stars in My Pantry, is an account of a wide-eyed, wet-behind-the-ears lad from Wiltshire landing in London just as the capital’s club scene went into orbit. As a pop writer and fellow clubber, he had unique access to the artists who would become the biggest pop acts of the decade.

On any given day, he might be required to fly a reader to the other side of the world to hang out with Spandau Ballet, accompany Bananarama’s Keren and Wham!’s George Michael on a blind date, help Frankie Goes to Hollywood chuck furniture out of TV studio windows in Rome, watch Boy George styling and flirting with Paul Weller in fake furs, or walk off into the sunset with a newbie called Madonna.

It is also the tale of his own attempts at pop stardom with the help of former ’Nana Miss Jacqueline O’Sullivan and an unexpected bonus career as a showbiz party DJ for the likes of Prince, Whitney, Elton and even Al Pacino.

This is an endlessly entertaining, behind-the-scenes ride – the ultimate back-stage pass – for 1980s pop enthusiasts and lovers of Smash Hits… from the man who saw it all.

John Finnemore's Double Acts: Series 2

John Finnemore (and others)

Double Acts Series 1 is the winner of the Writers Guild Award for Best Radio Comedy and the Comedy.co.uk awards for Best Radio Sketch Show!

A further series of two-hander comedy playlets, written by Cabin Pressure's John Finnemore. Details of the six episodes to follow.

The Music Shop

Rachel Joyce

From the author of the world-wide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a new novel about learning how to listen and how to feel; and about second chances and choosing to be brave despite the odds. Because in the end, music can save us all ...

1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk – as long as it’s vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need.

Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann.

Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind ...

Music: The Business (7th edition)

Ann Harrison

This essential and highly acclaimed guide, now updated and revised in its seventh edition, explains the business of the British music industry.

Drawing on her extensive experience as a media lawyer, Ann Harrison offers a unique, expert opinion on the deals, the contracts and the business as a whole. She examines in detail the changing face of the music industry and provides absorbing and up-to-date case studies.

Whether you’re a recording artist, songwriter, music business manager, industry executive, publisher, journalist, media student, accountant or lawyer, this practical and comprehensive guide is indispensable reading.

Fully revised and updated. Includes:
· The current types of record and publishing deals, and what you can expect to see in the contracts
· A guide to making a record, manufacture, distribution, branding, marketing, merchandising, sponsorship, band arrangements and touring
· The most up-to-date information on music streaming, digital downloads, online marketing and piracy
· An in-depth look at copyright law and related rights
· Case studies illustrating key developments and legal jargon explained.

Stripped Bare

Marnie Simpson

From a young North-East girl to star of the small screen, Geordie Shore personality Marnie Simpson is here to lift the lid and reveal all.

Marnie Simpson is one of the UK's best-loved TV personalities, first bursting on to our screens in the TV series Geordie Shore. Marnie 's characteristic fun and bubbly personality lifts the lid on her life. From the ups and downs of growing up in Newcastle to the hilarious and dramatic antics of Geordie Shore and Celebrity Big Brother, Marnie reveals all and everything in between!

Uncommon People

David Hepworth

The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations.

What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. Talent we wished we had.

What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn’t stay the course.

In Uncommon People, David Hepworth zeroes in on defining moments and turning points in the lives of forty rock stars from 1955 to 1995, taking us on a journey to burst a hundred myths and create a hundred more.

As this tribe of uniquely motivated nobodies went about turning themselves into the ultimate somebodies, they also shaped us, our real lives and our fantasies. Uncommon People isn’t just their story. It’s ours as well.

Balancing Acts

Nicholas Hytner

** BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week **

You start with a vision, and you deliver a compromise. You want a play to be challenging, ambitious, nuanced and complicated. You also want it to sell tickets. You want to make art, and you know you’re in show business. These are some of the balancing acts that the National Theatre, and this book, is about.

This is the inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain’s greatest theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public’s perception of what theatre is for. It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

Gone

Min Kym

'All my life my Stradivarius had been waiting for me, as I had been waiting for her . . .'

At 7 years old Min Kym was a prodigy, the youngest ever pupil at the Purcell School of Music. At 11 she won her first international prize. She worked with many violins, waiting for the day she would play 'the one'. At 21 she found it: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. Her career soared. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned.

Then, in a train station café, her violin was stolen. In an instant her world collapsed. She descended into a terrifying limbo land, unable to play another note.

This is Min's extraordinary story - of a young woman staring into the void, wondering who she was, who she had been. It is a story of isolation and dependence, of love, loss and betrayal, and the intense, almost human bond that a musician has with their instrument. Above all it's a story of hope through a journey back to music.

'The hours fell away as I read this spellbinding tale of love, loss and above all devotion to art' - Susan Cain, author of international bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

The Festival Book

Michael Odell

Which festival is right for you? What should you wear? What should you pack? How much glitter could you possibly need?

With the answer to every festival questions, The Festival Book is your go-to survival guide. It is packed full of hilarious anecdotes, a guide to the very best festivals on offer and tips and tricks to get you festival ready. And if you want to learn to play the nose-flute or attend a wedding conducted by a priestess called Glenda, well, that’s all here too.

With sections on:

A Short History of Festivals – from the Pilton, Pop, Folk & Blues Festival (now more commonly known as Glastonbury) to the revival of the communal rock festival experience in the 90s.

Festival Tribes – You’re looking for self-improvement? Latitude offers drama classes and qualifications. More interested in food? Try Wilderness. Forest walking, foraging and wild swimming more your thing? Green Man’s the one for you.

Festival FashionFlorals, leather, a onesie, full fancy dress – all will do, but don’t forget your wellies! Includes a fool proof packing list with everything you’re likely to forget.

Anecdotes - From getting married at Glastonbury, to being diagnosed with trench foot, to being attacked by a cow – it’s all here!

Tips and Tricks – How to get in for free, how to find your way back to your tent in the dark and a bluffer’s guide to legendary performances (you remember Oasis in 1994, right?)

I Am Not Your Negro

James Baldwin (and others)

The New York Times bestseller based on the Oscar nominated documentary film

In June 1979, the writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin embarked on a project to tell the story of America through the lives of three of his murdered friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. He died before it could be completed. In his documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck imagines the book Baldwin never wrote, using his original words to create a radical, powerful and poetic work on race in the United States - then, and today.

'Thrilling . . . A portrait of one man's confrontation with a country that, murder by murder, as he once put it, "devastated my universe"' The New York Times

'Baldwin's voice speaks even more powerfully today . . . the prose-poet of our injustice and inhumanity . . . The times have caught up with his scalding eloquence' Variety

'A cinematic séance . . . One of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made' Guardian

'I Am Not Your Negro turns James Baldwin into a prophet' Rolling Stone

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