Category Archives: Beatles books
I found this article this morning through another link I followed. I’m happy to see so many authors that I’ve worked with and that I know personally. I didn’t count how many I of these books I actually own, but I probably have at least half of them on my shelf. I guess I need to get back to reading!
Click the link below and Enjoy!
Published in 2013, Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years comes in at a whooping 932 pages (803 without the bibliography and index). One would think that’s a lot of pages for the first of three books that author Mark Lewisohn has planned for this series, until you realize that Tune In: The Beatles – All These Years – Unedited/Extended Special Edition has 1728 pages! So…why did I wait so long to read this book? Well, over the past 5 years I’ve probably said at least 5 times, “I will never read that book. It’s just too long!” And what changed my mind? Well, it was you, dear readers. The guilt of not posting anything of real substance over the past several months finally made me take this book down from my bookshelf.
I thought I could sit down and read the entire book in a weekend, but it proved to be just too much information coming at me all at once. And even though I’ve read dozens of books about the Fab Four, Mark Lewisohn’s in-depth research left me with so many more questions that I actually wonder if I should pick up the unedited edition some day. Eegads folks…what kind of introverted, anti-social monster has he turned me into? So many details and yet so much more to learn, Lewisohn turns his readers into Fab Four junkies before hitting the halfway mark in this book. The Beatles are my sugar of choice and Mark Lewisohn is my candy man!
One thing about the book that left me scratching my head, though, was that throughout, Lewisohn goes into great detail to describe pictures that were taken during the early stages of the Beatles career, yet these pictures are not contained within the book. Some of them are, but the majority is not. Whether or not they’re in the extended edition, I don’t know. Hopefully, one of my readers can enlighten me on that fact. Also, the author really did his homework when it comes to the women that John, Paul, George, Pete and Ringo dated in their pre-fame days, mentioning so many of them by name and even providing details and quotes from them. Yet, Cynthia Powell seems to not be as prominent even though by the end of the book she’s 4 months pregnant and living with John’s aunt Mimi. I’m not sure if Lewisohn is just downplaying her part in John’s life (since it is a book about The Beatles and not John), or maybe so much has already been written about her, or maybe no one close to Cynthia (including Cynthia) would talk to Lewisohn during his research. It’s a question I’d love to ask him.
Still, I can’t blame Mark for the faults in this book when I obviously took the easy way out and read the shorter version. Maybe all of my questions would be answered in the unedited edition. Maybe someday I’ll read it! LOL More likely, I’ll buy the audio version (if it’s ever made available). Never the less, this book is the bible for all Beatles fans and leaves me with one final question…why would anyone need to read another book about the Beatles after reading this one? And for that reason…
I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!
Life gets very hectic in my world these days and isn’t allowing me a lot of time for reading or reviewing. One reason is because I was in Rome last weekend! Here’s a clip of me trying to tell you all about the Teatro Adriano and it’s Beatles link.
The Teatro Adriano was built in 1898 and as I state in the video, the Beatles played four shows there…two on June 27 and 28, 1965. The shows were at 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and the setlist was the same 12 songs they had been performing throughout their European tour (Twist And Shout, She’s A Woman, I’m A Loser, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s In Black, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day’s Night, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, Rock And Roll Music, I Feel Fine, Ticket To Ride and Long Tall Sally).
I wasn’t able to get inside the theater, but did get a fuzzy picture of the lobby through the glass doors. It’s now a multiplex movie theater, but I still would have loved to see the inside.
I did visit a bookstore while in Rome looking for any new and interesting Beatles books, but all I found was the usual suspects or books in Italian and unfortunately, I don’t speak Italiano! I wish I had more to report, but even though the Beatles are loved around the world, they weren’t the main focus of our trip…but we did hear several cover versions of their songs while sitting in restaurants.
Until next time….
Book Review: “Visualizing The Beatles: A Complete Graphic History of the World’s Favorite Band” by John Pring and Rob Thomas
I consider myself extremely lucky to have gotten an advanced copy of Visualizing The Beatles: A Complete Graphic History of the World’s Favorite Band by John Pring and Rob Thomas. This beautiful and colorful 288 page book is being released today, May 1, 2018, and you really need to see it to believe it. If you click through on the link, Amazon has 6 images available, but they just don’t seem to do the book justice. I did my best to snap some photos of some of the pages, but even these don’t project the visual appeal contained in the pages of this book.
Visualizing the Beatles take readers through the history (and trivia) of the Beatles with color filled graphics like you’ve never seen. Whoever came up with the concepts of each section has one of the most creative minds I’ve ever seen. Even the albums are broken down with who wrote, sang or played on each song. Also included are graphs about famous locations around London that they lived, set lists from concerts and their work after post Beatles.
I admit that this book may not be for everyone. It’s most likely suited for the newer Beatles fans, but I do think every Beatles fan should at least give it a look if you can get your hands on a copy (ask your local librarian if they can get a copy from another library for you to check out if they don’t have one).
Authors John Pring and Rob Thomas really did their homework on this book. In my opinion, this isn’t some half-ass’d effort to cash in on the Fab Four. This is a unique and stylish way to appeal to a new generation of Beatles fans. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beatles!
I’ve been reading a book for the past two weeks, but life has been too busy to finish it to post a review. It’s actually only 180 pages, so I don’t have a really good excuse except for life getting in the way. I promise to finish it and post my review on Wednesday. In the meantime…
Yesterday my husband and I headed down to Baltimore, Maryland, to visit a used bookstore I had read about online. Since it was a two hour drive, we had planned to have lunch at the Inner Harbor and visit a cigar store, too, since he’s the editor/owner of a very popular cigar blog.
The bookstore isn’t really a bookstore at all. In fact, they give away all the books for FREE! The name of this place is The Book Thing. This place is a huge warehouse of donated used books on every topic under the sun. People bring their books to donate and others come with boxes to fill with books from the shelves. And let me tell you…it was crowded! The store is only open on Saturdays and Sundays and parking is a bit tricky, but if you’re in the Baltimore area and love books, check this place out. I wasn’t able to find any Beatles books on this trip, but I did leave with a handful of useful reading material for other endeavors. If you’re interested in going, you can read more about the who, where, when and why of how this place came to be in this article.
After driving less than 4 miles south to the Inner Harbor to have lunch, Craig and I realized that the cigar shop we wanted to visit was only 1.3 miles away, so we decided to hoof it. Lucky for me, we came upon another bookstore along the way! This store is called The Book Escape and sells both new and used books. It’s an absolutely charming store stuffed to the gills! From the front, it appears to be small, but after asking the gentleman behind the desk where his music section was, he led us to the back of the store, through a door into a courtyard and into an adjoining store front next door. This time, I managed to find 3 Beatles related books and one book written by a friend that I just had to buy for $5. But…my discoveries didn’t end there. When I got to the counter to checkout, I asked if there were any other Beatles books. Next thing I know, this guy is pulling out 5 more books from places around the store. Decisions…decisions. I limited myself to just 4 new/used books.
A couple blocks farther down on Light Street and we found ourselves at the Cross Street Tobacco store and lounge. It was a great little store and my husband says the humidor was very well stocked. Now I know most of you don’t give a hoot about cigars, but once I mentioned to the clerk that I came to Baltimore to check out bookstores and specifically to find books about the Beatles, he called over one of his regular clients who I spent the next half hour talking to about the Beatles, Stones, Bowie and other various rock bands and books written about them. He even suggested 4 books I should find. It was then that he asked if I had been to Protean Books & Records. He even called the owner to let him know we were on our way, but the owner wasn’t there. So after my husband finished his cigar, we walked the less than half a mile to the next store.
Protean Books and Records is tucked away in warehouse that had no sign on the building letting you know you had arrived. They did have a little stand-up sign on the sidewalk though. Now this place was a book lovers dream store! Racks and racks of used books, new and used CDs & LPs, and video games. My husband tells me they even had a horror museum in the back (I was too focused on the books in the music section to look around). I stumbled upon 3 more Beatles books that I just felt compelled to add to my collection.
I gotta say, this little road-trip turned out way better than I had ever expected! I would highly recommend all the places we visited in Baltimore to anyone who’s going there and an avid reader. Here’s a picture of my haul for the day…
The Beatles Story is a 56 page black & white graphic novel written by Angus Allan and illustrated by Arthur Ranson due to be released on February 20, 2018. I was lucky enough to get at advanced copy from Rebellion Publishing and it is available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
Despite what it says on Amazon, the dimensions of this book are 8.5″ x 11″. The beautiful cover is white with black matte text and illustrations except for the title and the Beatles hair which is done is high gloss black.
This book starts at the very beginning with the story of all the young Fabs and includes their birthdays…except Paul McCartney’s. How this could have gone unnoticed, beats me. I admit I wasn’t too pleased with this book as I continued to read it. There were even more errors, starting with the now debunked claim that John Lennon was born during an air-raid and Mimi ran through the streets of Liverpool at night dodging bombs to see him in the hospital. The author also gives Stu Sutcliff a bigger part in Beatles history than he actually had. On and on the pages go until the John, Paul, George and Ringo decide to call it quits as a band.
So, I guess at this point it would seem that I’m about to throw this book and it’s author and illustrator into my list of books written just to make a dime off our beloved boys…but wait! At the end of the book is the Afterword by Rob Power. It was there that I learned that this book is actually a collection of a series that was originally printed in Look-In magazine back in 1981 (truth be told, I would have known this if I had just read the back cover first!). It was then that I realized that in 1981 it was still widely believed that John was born during an air-raid and as for the mistakes in the book, it wasn’t exactly like they could go back and correct 32 year old comics. It was left in its original form. Bravo to them for doing that…
As a collection and with it’s outstanding cover, I look forward to moving it onto my Beatles bookshelf. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!
My husband had a function to attend in Connecticut this past weekend that he wanted to write about in his Cigar Blog. I decided that the five hour road trip there and back would be an excellent time to test our knowledge of the Beatles by asking each other questions from three different used Beatles quiz books that I picked up cheap at AbeBooks online. Here are my thoughts for each one.
The Beatles Quiz Book by Eric Saunders
A hardcover spiral bound book with a book marker, this is the prettiest of the three books. But don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right? This book contains 100 separate 10 question multiple choice quizzes with the answers provided at the end of each quiz. The first question: What was the name of the very first band (actually a skiffle group) formed by John Lennon and his friend from childhood, Peter Shotton? A. The Jets B. The Black Jacks C. The Wanderers D. The Dockers. Second question: Born on the 7th July 1940, who was the oldest member of the final Beatles Line-up? A. George Harrison B. Ringo Starr C. Paul McCartney D. John Lennon. These particular questions make the book seem like an easy read, but there are some toughies mixed in for us mere mortals! Still, a fun book just to test you and your friends knowledge of the best band the world has ever known.
Complete Beatles Quiz Book by Edwin Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky
A nice book with questions for all levels of expertise and non-experts. I read several pages of this to my husband while driving. After all I’ve read, I still think I did slightly better than 50% on the quiz questions. The first question: What’s Maxwell’s last name and what was he majoring in? Second question: Would the Beatles believe in love at first sight? The book also contains picture puzzles like guess which eyes or nose belong to which Beatle. There are word searches, crosswords and other type of puzzles including put events, albums or songs in their chronological order. All the answers are provided in the back of the book. A lot of fun built into this little book (91 pages of questions and puzzles).
The Ultimate Beatles Quiz Book by Michael J. Hockinson
Wow! This book gave me a run for my money. Definitely a book for ‘the ultimate Beatles freak’. The first question in the book is: List the titles on the Beatles’ Decca audition tape penned by Lennon and McCartney. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read about the Fab Four’s Decca audition, but never did it occur to me that someday, someone would ask me what songs were on the tape! The second question: Issued nearly twenty years apart, which U.S. Beatles singles feature “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You” as their B-side?. Uh….(insert cricket noises here). If you know the answers to these questions, I never want to want to play Trivial Pursuit Beatles Edition with you! 🙂 All the answers are at the end of each of the 50 chapters.
Any of these books would be fun to pick up cheaply online or at a used book sale just to have around to either test your own knowledge or to pass around and play with friends. It’s like playing Beatles’ Trivial Pursuit without having to collect little pie pieces or throw dice.
First and foremost, I need to apologize to one of my avid readers for the review I’m about to give on this book. She recommended it to me and told me it’s one of the best books about the Beatles/Lennon that she’s read. My other readers may want to keep her opinion in mind while reading my thoughts on this book, because everyone sees (and reads) things differently.
The Lennon Companion by Elizabeth Thomson and David Gutman was first published in 1987 and then revised in 2004. My copy is the 2004 edition that I bought used on Amazon.com for a penny. It’s a collection of articles and thoughts on both the Beatles and John Lennon from various reporters, writers, magazines and newspapers around the world starting in 1963.
Well, for the first time, dear readers, I’m going to admit that I didn’t finish a book. I take my book reviews very seriously and find it insulting to the authors and my readers to not read the book in its entirety before giving my opinion. I managed to get over halfway through the 260 pages after skipping several wordy articles that managed to say nothing as far as I was concerned. Many of the articles seemed to be written by reporters who wanted to jump on the Beatles’ bandwagon to help boost their own popularity and ratings. Page after page of nonsense was written for newspapers and then published again in this book!
This isn’t to say that all the articles were worthless. I did find one piece that was written about a playwright that was being considered to write a third movie for the Beatles. His screenplay was returned to him without ever being told why it was rejected, but it’s easy to figure out from the playwrights own thoughts on the subject. I did find it interesting to hear about the Beatles movie that was never made.
Now maybe somewhere in the second half of this book there is another gem of an article that could bring some enlightening new fact to my limited knowledge of the Fab Four. But truth be told, the book literally kept putting me to sleep. I could not keep my eyes open and napped frequently during my quest to finish the book.
Despite my review, and as I’ve already said, one of my readers considers this to be the best book she’s read. You can judge for yourself whether it’s a real page turner or a replacement for your sleeping pills by buying a used copy for yourself for $0.01 on Amazon.
I rate this book, 1 out of 4 Beetles!