Whether it's by the pool, the lake, or The Mighty Atlantic, here are the essential picks for your summer rock reading.

By the way, kindles don't count. They just don't! If you're not holding an actual book-made-out-of-paper in your hands and turning the pages with your fingers, you're missing out on one of the most satisfying aspects of summer fun. With these reads, you can still have your rock 'n' roll without resorting to those nasty ear-buds.

"Just Kids" by Patti Smith (2010). One of the most beautiful memoirs ever written. This is the one and only book I've purchased four times (so far) -- I read it, I cry a little at the end and I pass it along to a friend who needs to have it in their home. Then, of course, I go out and buy a new copy, read it again, and pass that one along, too. Four times!!! Patti's prose makes you feel like you're really right there with her. What's a real, true friend anyhow? It's all here, waiting for you.

 

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"Diary Of A Rock 'N' Roll Star" by Ian Hunter (1974). A zesty and honest account of life on the road with a real rock band, this dissertation of Mott The Hoople's 1972 U.S. tour achieved cult status long ago and with good reason. It's hilarious and heart-warming at the same time, with Ian's British viewpoint on traveling through America via hotels and sound-checks making this a read that you just can't put down. The story where he "accidentally" walks into the kitchen at Graceland is worth the price of admission...

"The True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones" by Stanley Booth (1984). The author met the band just a few months before Brian Jones death in 1968; he remained with them during the notorious 1969 tour and there are many shake-your-head-in-disbelief moments ranging from all-night sessions listening to blues, to lotsa drug-taking (lots and lots of drug-taking) and, of course, groupies. In its own way, this just might be the definitive book about the 1960's. Keith Richards said this tome was the only one that told it like it really was, so you got that, too...

Don't forget to refresh your sunblock while reading these, you're gonna need it.