6 Books That Paint Vivid Portraits Of Iconic Artists

These reads will provide scintillating companionship wherever summer finds you.
  • <i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Paul-McCartney-Life-Philip-Norman/dp/0316327964?tag=thehuffingtop-20" target="_blank"><str
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    Paul McCartney: The Life
    By Philip Norman
    864 pages; Little, Brown and Company

    What's left to reveal about one of the most chronicled musicians of the 20th century? As it turns out, a great deal. With the notoriously guarded McCartney's "tacit approval," Norman sheds new light on well-known Beatles stories and then goes further, forging a thoroughly absorbing account of McCartney's life after the group's breakup: business ventures, parenthood, personal tragedy, the struggle to live and create beyond the legacy of his fabled band. The result is a tantalizing trip down the legend's own long and winding road.
  • <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Behaves-Badly-Hemingways-Masterpiece/dp/0544276000?tag=thehuffingtop-20" target="_b
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    Everybody Behaves Badly
    By Lesley M.M. Blume
    352 pages; Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Few writers mythologized their own misbehavior with more gusto than Ernest Hemingway. In this history of the Spanish sojourn that inspired The Sun Also Rises, we encounter Hemingway before his fame — a charming, at times cruel social climber on the cusp of brilliance.
  • <i><strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Moon-Rolling-Stones/dp/0804179239/ref=sr_1_1?amp=&ie=UTF8&qid=1469645306&s=boo
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    The Sun and the Moon and the Rolling Stones
    By Rich Cohen
    400 pages; Spiegel & Grau

    A "rock-'n'-roll monotheist" riffs with revivalist fervor on the sacred relics of his devotion: Mick, Keith, and their music, "a saga in which a handful of musicians stand for the longings of a society."
  • <i><strong><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Loaded-Gun-Emily-Dickinson-Century/dp/1934137987/ref=sr_1_1?amp=&ie=UTF8&qid=14696
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    A Loaded Gun
    By Jerome Charyn
    256 pages; Bellevue Literary Press

    Still obsessed with his subject years after writing the 2010 novel The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, Charyn converts his preoccupation into a magnetic nonfiction reevaluation of the mystifying, radical, perhaps bisexual, and maybe greatest-ever American poet.
  • <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Critics-Monsters-Fanatics-Literary-Essays/dp/0544703715/ref=sr_1_1?amp=&ie=UTF8&qid=146964537
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    Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays
    By Cynthia Ozick
    224 pages; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Audacious, outrageously erudite, trenchant, and cranky as ever, one of our leading women of letters fixes her steely gaze on the essential role of the critic in witty, absorbing essays that encompass such literary heroes as Saul Bellow, W.H. Auden, and Franz Kafka.
  • <strong><i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Diane-Arbus-Photographer-Arthur-Lubow/dp/0062234323/?tag=thehuffingtop-20" target=
    Courtesy of Publisher
    Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer
    By Arthur Lubow
    752 pages; Ecco

    A magnificent biography of an artist who trained her lens on unconventional subjects — drag queens, circus performers, dominatrixes — knowing there were "things that nobody would see unless I photographed them."


4 Memoirs So Compelling, They Read Like Novels