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If you couldn’t get enough of the 70s rock vibe in Daisy Jones and the Six, we’ve gathered some similar books for you to read next.
With Daisy Jones, Taylor Jenkins Reid created the perfect behind-the-scenes look at the music industry and how it affects musicians’ relationships – both within the band and with others. While some handle it well and find performing an escape, others fall into dark phases using alcohol and drugs as their retreat.
In case you’re wondering if the Daisy Jones and the Six band was real, the characters are all works of fiction. Our list includes more fabulous fictional books and memoirs of real 1970s musicians so you can step further into the era.
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Books Similar to Daisy Jones & the Six
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
by Dawnie Walton
Independent Opal can’t imagine settling into a real career. She believes she was born to be a star. Opal leans into her Afro-punk style as she tries to find her niche within rock music. When she meets another aspiring artist, British singer/songwriter Neville, the unlikely duo begins making music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.
As Opal & Nev establish themselves in the early 70s New York music scene, everything changes when a fellow band from their label brandishes a Confederate flag. Opal boldly protests, which sets off a wave of violence and unfortunate repercussions.
Decades later, in 2016, a music journalist digs deeper into the events of the 70s. Her discoveries and a nasty new allegation threaten to tear apart Opal and Nev’s planned reunion.
The Book Girls Say…In addition to being shortlisted for several historical fiction and debut novel awards, this book won an Audie award, so it should be excellent in audio form!
by Jessica Anya Blau
Set in 1970s Baltimore, Mary Jane tells the story of two very different family lifestyles and the 14-year-old girl trying to decide who she really is. Mary Jane is a quiet, book-loving girl from a traditional, conservative family. When she is offered a job nannying for a local doctor, her mom assumes their home is equally tidy and respectable.
However, the house is a huge mess and it's about to get crazier. The doctor has welcomed a rock star and his wife to stay at the home while he tries to get sober. Mary Jane has a lot to teach them about tidiness and schedules, and they open her eyes to a wild world outside her bubble. By the end of the summer, she has a better understanding of who she wants to be.
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
by Dave Grohl
In this memoir, Dave Grohl tells the stories of a lifetime. It begins with his childhood in Springfield, Virginia, teaching himself to drum and dreaming of being a musician someday. Then he tells of his early adult years on the West Coast, where he was rocketed from starving artist to a member of the biggest band in the world, Nirvana.
Having achieved all his wildest dreams by age 25, but also witnessing firsthand the price of fame, Dave then spent his next 25 years carefully crafting his life exactly as he wanted it - with equal measures of music, family, and friends. He shares some epic stories starring some of the biggest names of our time, and he tells some touching stories starring his mom, wife, and children.
The Book Girls Say… You don’t have to be a fan of Nirvana or the Foo Fighters to enjoy this memoir! Dave Grohl tells stories about the phases of life and how they change you. Throughout this memoir, we see Dave first strive to become a musician, and then strive to be so much more, including a father who puts his kids ahead of his career.
The Songbook of Benny Lament
by Amy Harmon
Growing up in Harlem, Benny's father had ties to the mob. Benny learned that love and family could get you into trouble, so he decided to make music his entire life. But rather than seeking the spotlight, Benny writes songs for other musicians.
That is until Benny meets Esther - a petite but powerful singer. He writes a song for her, but when they perform it together, he's suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. Not only do music fans notice, it also gains the mob's attention.
In addition to the storyline set in 1960, we read portions of an interview that Benny is giving to a radio show personality Barry Gray in 1969. But what happened in between? Like the decade, the answer involves politics, racism, and lots of fantastic music.
The Book Grils Say... Readers say this book is best described as a very well-researched and relatively clean historical romance that captures the essence of the 1960s. But note that because of the mob element, there are a few scenes of graphic violence.
This book is included with Kindle Unlimited as of 9/20/2022.
Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll
by Ann and Nancy Wilson
This memoir by the front women of Heart, Ann and Nancy Wilson, is also narrated by the sisters, so it's a great choice in Audiobook format.
The Wilson sisters stood apart throughout their careers and paved the way for female musicians to be recognized as equal. They refused to use their bodies to sell music and relied on raw talent and hard work.
It's an entertaining look at Heart, from their childhood through success, hitting the Billboard top ten lists with nine different songs during the 70s & 80s.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
In this novel, Daisy Jones author Taylor Jenkins Reid focuses on a fictional old Hollywood icon instead of a fictional rock band. Evelyn Hugo lived a glamorous and scandalous life but doesn't like to talk about it and has become reclusive after leaving her career.
When she's finally ready to document her past at the end of her life, she selects a journalist and details her life from the 1950-1980s, which included seven husbands along the way.
We both enjoyed this one and rated it a solid four stars.
The Happy Ever After Playlist
by Abby Jimenez
This story starts on a hilarious note as a lost dog shocks Sloan by jumping through her sunroof during an already rough day.
When the owner doesn't respond to calls, Sloan begins to love the dog, Tucker, as her own.
After several weeks, Tucker's owner finally contacts her and wants Tucker back. Unfortunately, he's out of the country and can't claim Tucker right away, and Sloan isn't sure he deserves his dog back.
You'll love how the story develops after that - a musician and the interaction between his life on and off the stage play an important role in the book.
Melissa rated this one 5 stars, and she can't wait to read The Friend Zone, which features Sloan's best friend. It's technically first, but Happy Ever After Playlist did stand alone.
A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan
This Pulitzer Prize winner is more of an intellectual read vs. the more entertaining nature of Daisy Jones & The Six, but people who enjoy it tend to RAVE about it.
The novel contains overlapping characters told in separate stories, focusing on an aging record executive with a punk rock background and his young assistant.
Reviews tend to either find the book extraordinary and brilliant or disjointed. However, if you're feeling adventurous and love literary fiction, give this one a try!
The Book Girls Say...According to our readers, if you follow this book with its recent sequel, The Candy House, you'll get even more of a Daisy Jones feel because you'll see the characters over a more extended period.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
by Mitch Albom
This book comes with a unique narrator - Music. Music tells the story of an extraordinarily gifted musician, Frankie Pesto. Starting at Frankie's funeral, you'll look back at his Forrest Gump-like life as he navigates the music world. From 1950s jazz to the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis, and even Woodstock, Frankie both finds and loses fame. And all along the way, he's searching for his childhood love.
When Frankie loses his ability to play the guitar, he disappears for decades, returning just in time for a mysterious final farewell.
Born to Run
by Bruce Springsteen
Did you connect with the character of Billy Dunne? If so, grab this memoir by Bruce Springsteen ASAP.
After performing at the 2009 Superbowl, Bruce Springsteen was so exhilarated, he wanted to document the experience in writing. That moment triggered 7 years of work documenting his life from childhood through the roaring success of his E Street Band.
The book is written with the words of a songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences. He is also the audiobook's narrator, so consider snagging it on Audible!
The Unsinkable Greta James
by Jennifer E. Smith
Greta James had musical talent from childhood, but her parents had different visions of where that talent would lead. While her mother was her biggest fan, her dad could only see the likely pitfalls of a music career.
She has spent years trying to prove him wrong and reached the point of appearing on magazine covers and playing sold-out shows. However, with the pressure of a sophomore album and the shock of her mother’s recent death, Greta has an on-stage meltdown that goes viral.
As an escape from media coverage and real life, she agrees to join her dad on an Alaskan cruise. Onboard, she meets Ben, a historian with his own personal drama.
The Book Girls Say…We’ve also seen readers say this is a good pick for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette!
Valley of the Dolls
by Jacqueline Susann
Originally published in 1966, Valley of the Dolls follows 4 friends struggling to make their mark in New York in an era society said they were supposed to become housewives.
They are able to rise in the entertainment industry and find that the higher to climb, the further you can fall.
by Fiona Davis
This historical fiction novel is split between the 1950s and present-day as a writer discovers her apartment was once a lodging hotel for young women trying to start careers in New York.
Some of the women still live in the building and have been hiding a big secret about the death of a hotel employee 50 years ago. A jazz club and performing are key factors in the book, and we think you'll love how the story unfolds.
Melissa really enjoyed this one, along with several Book Girls Guide readers who selected it as their 50s book in the Decades Challenge.
The Music Shop
by Rachel Joyce
Set in 1988, this romance follows Frank, who loves connecting his music shop customers with the perfect record. But, while he thrives on communicating and understanding others through music, he doesn't do well with relationships outside his passion.
When Ilse enters his shop, she comes in with her own emotional baggage. They struggle to overcome their individual pasts as their relationship evolves and find out if music really can heal.
How to Kill a Rock Star
by Tiffanie DeBartolo
When a rock journalist and lead singer bond over music and fall in love, what could go wrong?
The book immerses you into the life of musicians and those around them. Fans are obsessed with the raw realness of the quirky characters.
We know this is a very vague description, but after reading endless reviews, it becomes clear this book is beloved and impossible to fully describe without major spoilers. We're intrigued and adding it to our TBR lists!
Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words
by Malka Marom
Author Malka Marom first met Joni Mitchell in 1966, seven years before their first official interview in 1973. Their friendship continued for forty years, with the last recorded interview for this book in 2012.
Forty years of discussions are cultivated in this biography, focusing on the creative and songwriting process. The book is written in a Q&A conversational interview format and covers 70 years of Joni Mitchell's life.
The People We Keep
by Allison Larken
April has a rough life, fending for herself in a motorless motorhome that her father won while playing poker. She works at a diner but dreams of being a songwriter. After flunking out of school and another fight with her dad, April sets off to find a better life for herself.
Along the way, she meets others with complex stories, which turn into the perfect inspiration for her songs. But even more important than that, she finds that family doesn’t have to mean the community you were born into. Instead, people you meet can become family.
The Book Girls Say… While this book has very high reviews overall, many refer to it as slow-paced, and April’s character isn’t overly likable in the first half. If you dislike character-driven plots, you might not love this as much as others do.
Boys in the Trees
by Carly Simon
Carly Simon wrote and narrated her memoir, which includes original music if you snag the Audible version.
Did you know her dad was Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster? We didn't!
In addition to covering her successful music career, the book talks about her childhood, stories behind her songs, and relationships, including her marriage to James Taylor. Most reviewers applaud her vulnerability and honesty, while others think she went too far in her openness.
by Kristen Ashely
The author of this novel acknowledges in the forward that Daisy Jones and the Six inspired her, so you'll see some similarities, including the storytelling format.
The book is told through interviews with a fictional band, decades after their rise to fame. Although it covers how Preacher McCade and the Roadmasters redefined a music genre, family is also a big topic. That said, it's definitely full of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
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