Review (#giftedbook): Music is History

Happy Saturday!

Thanks to NetGalley and Abrams Image for this free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. This book is out now!

What a month this has been so far. I have been reading regularly, trying to write, and pushing through the day-to-day of teaching middle schoolers. I’m so glad to sit down this morning with my coffee and turn my attention to my dear, neglected blog.

Before I talk about today’s book, I have to give you some background: I love anything involving music or film history. I like to attribute this to my parents. My dad spent my childhood (and still does) talking about his favorite bands and musicians and interesting tidbits surrounded them. We grew up watching Pop-Up Video on VH1 (I can still hear the little jingle as if it were yesterday). I recently watched “This is Pop” on Netflix and it blew me away. My mom introduced me to classic films which directly led to my obsession with film history and trivia. I took several film classes in college and regularly devour documentaries and biographies on the industry. This all leads to my excitement about this next book: Music is History, by Questlove.

Focusing on the years 1971 to the present, Questlove finds the hidden connections in the American tapes- try, whether investigating how the blaxploitation era reshaped Black identity or considering the way disco took an assembly-line approach to Black genius. And these critical inquiries are complemented by his own memories as a music fan, and the way his appetite for pop culture taught him about America.


A history of the last half-century and an intimate conversation with one of music’s most influential and original voices, Music Is History is a singular look at contemporary America.

From Amazon

The extreme give-me-all-the-details nerd inside of me swooned over this book. Questlove does such a cool thing with this book by connecting music from a certain year with key events from that year. He also ends each chapter with a list of songs/albums that relate to the information in the chapter…and I just LOVE a list. It was fun to look up and listen to the music on those lists after a chapter. I feel like I learned a lot and you can’t deny how completely cool Questlove is. I went back and forth between the ebook and the audiobook (narrated by the author) and both were good experiences. It is obvious how much time and thought and research and effort went into this and I love that. Also, I couldn’t help but think what a cool tv series this would make! I would 100% watch it, especially if Questlove was running the show.

Also—I had no idea how many books he has written?! Going to add them all to my TBR ASAP.

I recommend if you are a music/history/trivia fan!

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