7. 'Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation,' by Philip Norman
The knock on this Philip Norman bio has always been that he looks down on his subjects, but the author's honesty is admirable. In fact, the most compelling Beatles books tend to be the ones that you can have a mental punch-up over, disagreeing with a given taken, but enjoying it all the same because it makes you think, or sends you back to reevaluate something. Norman puts his readers through these enjoyable paces, and he also nails the Hamburg period better than anyone. If you want the spirit of the Beatles hustling and grinding on the Reeperbahn, trying like madmen – and pilled up, desperate, manic madmen – to get somewhere, get good, get better than everyone else so as to give the world that eventual fist pump of being the best, you come to this book.