What should you read this weekend? USA TODAY’s picks for book lovers include a juicy new biography of Rolling Stone magazine’s Jann Wenner, and Michael Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch thriller.
Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan; Knopf, 511 pp.; non-fiction
Jann Wenner really hates the new biography about him and it’s easy to see why.
Joe Hagan’s exhaustively reported Sticky Fingers is an admiring, often affectionate but ultimately unflattering portrait of the brash Rolling Stone co-founder with the chutzpah to appropriate the Bob Dylan song and the Rolling Stones’ name, then bypass them both for the rock ‘n’ roll magazine’s first cover in 1967.
The book’s dishy back story is already media legend: Wenner, 71, handpicked Hagan, a former Rolling Stone contributor, to write his life story, opening up access that would make any biographer salivate. Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Bono and more sat down for interviews with Hagan at Wenner’s behest — and with his encouragement to share everything.
From all evidence, Hagan got quite an earful: The two are no longer on speaking terms, and Wenner has sniffily dismissed the remarkably well-written finished product as something “deeply flawed and tawdry.” It’s an uncomfortably abrupt parting of ways that’s played out again and again throughout Wenner’s 50-year career.
Wenner leads Rolling Stone to passionate journalistic highs, handing out packets of cocaine as bonuses to sustain the momentum. It’s all wildly entertaining, in a voyeuristic way, though Wenner’s most aggressive and heartless power plays go over quite differently in the post-Harvey Weinstein era.
USA TODAY says ★★★½ out of four. “Explosive…(a) delicious and meticulous retelling of the magnate’s life.”
Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly; Little, Brown, 402 pp.; fiction
Harry Bosch, now working freelance for the San Fernando, Calif., police, infiltrates an opioid ring and reckons with a killer he long ago put behind bars.
USA TODAY says ★★★½. “Vintage Connelly… he writes the best detective novels around.”
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine; Harper, 390 pp.; fiction
Amber Patterson, newly arrived in an ultra-rich town on Long Island Sound, is ready to ascend into its firmament by whatever means she has to use.
USA TODAY says ★★★½. “Uutterly irresistible… the pages keep flying, flying, flying by.”
Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks; Knopf, 416 pp.; non-fiction
The actor delivers 17 short stories, all inspired in some way by vintage typewriters, which Hanks collects.
USA TODAY says ★★★½ . “Hanks does what all the best story writers do: He packs a punch, a pow, a wow…terrific.”
Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly; Knopf, 400 pp.; non-fiction
In this memoir, the astronaut chronicles his life and his record-setting 340 days in space in 2015-16 aboard the International Space Station.
USA TODAY says ★★★. “Kelly’s account is insightful, at times humorous, heart-tugging at others.”
Contributing reviewers: Kim Willis, Charles Finch, Jocelyn McClurg, Don Oldenburg