10 Great Books about Music by Female Writers

Patti Smith, Just Kids

One of the more acclaimed memoirs of recent years, and one that deserves every word of the praise that’s been showered upon it. (Apparently you can win a National Book Award and still not earn a place on Pitchfork’s list.) Smith’s story of her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe isn’t just a music memoir — indeed, it ends just as her musical career starts to take off — but its plentiful insights into the psyche of one of our most enduringly brilliant musicians makes it pretty much compulsory reading for anyone with even the remotest interest in her life and work.