Feature

6 book recommendations from Richard Marx

The Grammy-winning singer recommends works by Stephen King, Rod Stewart, and more

Richard Marx is a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter and the only male recording artist in history to have his first seven singles reach Billboard's Top 5, beginning with 1987's "Don't Mean Nothing." His new memoir is Stories to Tell.

Misery by Stephen King (1987).

On my first tour at 23, I bought Misery for one of countless flights. I found myself onstage thinking, occasionally, "This is a blast, but I can't wait to get back to the hotel to read the next chapter." The film doesn't do justice to the raw suspense of King's novel. It made me a reader for life. Buy it here.

Frank: The Voice and Sinatra: The Chairman by James Kaplan (2010 and 2015).

This two-volume bio is one of my all-time favorites. Even the most devoted fans will find unknown tidbits about one of America's most beloved entertainers. The depth of research and the personal and professional revelations put this in the "can't put it down" category. Buy it here.

The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom (2008).

All of Folsom's novels are worth your time, but his first, which is totally unrelated to the movie of the same name, is the most entertaining work of fiction I know. You're riveted from chapter one, taken on a ride of action, intrigue, and passion right to the last jaw-dropping sentence. Buy it here.

America's Reluctant Prince by Steven Gillon (2019).

This bio, written by a longtime friend of John F. Kennedy Jr., was a great companion during my tour in 2019. As someone with intimate knowledge of and deep affection for his subject, Gillon skillfully walks the line between revelation and respect. Buy it here.

Rod: The Autobiography by Rod Stewart (2012).

I'm a lifelong fan of Stewart's. We shared a stage in Atlanta a few years ago. I love his songwriting, and marvel at his energy, not to mention the hair. But it's Rod's zero-f---s-given sense of humor I've appreciated most. His memoir feels as if he's spinning tales over cocktails, complete with laugh-out-loud punch lines. Buy it here.

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (1903).

I've gifted this to countless friends. A century before Rhonda Byrne's The Secret came this brilliant exposition of how thoughts dictate quality of life. It's a life-altering 64 pages. I always keep it in my bag when I travel and on my nightstand at home. I consider it my Bible. Buy it here.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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