Patti Smith, M Train
The boho icon follows up her brilliant Just Kids with a slim volume of stuff that came off the top of her head – a sort of outsized appendix covering everything from her membership of an obscure society celebrating the life of a polar geologist to singing Buddy Holly songs with weirdo chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer. A meditative, near-Seinfeld-like trip into nothing.
Frank Turner, The Road Beneath My Feet
A peek inside the tour diary over the 1,216 gigs that saw Turner grow from down-at-heels solo troubadour playing kitchens and dive bars to headlining a sold-out Wembley Arena.
Kanye West: God And Monster, Mark Beaumont
NME’s own Mark Beaumont tells the story of rap’s most outspoken and controversial figure, delving in depth into a psyche as arrogant as it is imaginative via a million and one foot-in-mouth scandals.
Russell Senior, Freak Out The Squares
Witty dispatches from the wilderness as the Pulp guitarist and violinist recounts the band’s snail-like rise from ’80s indie also-rans to Britpop Glasto gods, with asides on playing pranks on The Cranberries, Blur debauchery and dodging the lure of the demon drugs.
Grace Jones, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs
Written with ex-NME word-squirter Paul Morley, this is a vital take on the life of music’s best-loved extra-terrestrial. There’s chilling horror (the late-80s AIDS crisis), comedy (her nudist days in Philadelphia) and four whole pages on her first orgasm. Plus the deeply satisfying factoid that she always requests 12 oysters on her rider.
Chrissie Hynde, Reckless
From a first kiss with Jackie Wilson to a harrowing sexual assault at the hands of a biker gang, the Pretenders frontwoman’s autobiography is undoubtedly no-holds-barred, but its revelations helped illuminate a talent both fiery and tender.
Carrie Brownstein, Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl
The Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag and Portlandia polymath’s memoir covers her father’s belated homosexuality, her own homosexuality, her troubled teenhood, the heyday of riot grrrl, panic attacks, shingles and soy allergies.
Elvis Costello, Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink
From early memories of his father, a singer in a jazz band, to writing his first songs in a “furious whisper” while his wife and infant son slept upstairs, to an ill-judged remark about Ray Charles that nearly ended his career, there’s plenty of insight into Declan MacManus’ art in this 674-page breezeblock.
1966: The Year The Decade Exploded, Jon Savage
The author of the celebrated, definitive punk tome England’s Dreaming turns his keen eye to the dawn of flower power and psychedelia in this cultural précis of a pivotal era, taking in Vietnam, nuclear paranoia, LSD and the sexual revolution.
Girl In A Band, Kim Gordon
Detailing life as a parent and wife in one of art-rock’s most seminal bands, Gordon’s autobiography is a flurry of grunge walk-ons from Kurt to Corgan as well as sifting through the emotional fall-out from her break-up with guitarist Thurston Moore.
In The All-Night Cafe, Stuart David
A suitably tender ode to the early days of Belle & Sebastian from their original bassist, as Scotland’s unlikeliest pop stars rise from sick beds and sink estates to conquer the hearts of indieland.