'Born to Run,' by Bruce Springsteen
From the earliest days of the E Street Band, it was apparent that Bruce Springsteen was a master storyteller, often stopping concerts for 10-minute stretches while he captivated audiences with anecdotes about his childhood and troubled relationship with his father. This year he finally delivered on his promise to stretch those tales out into a proper book about his whole life. Written without the aid of a ghostwriter, Born To Run is every bit as epic as Springsteen's most grandiose songs. He reveals details about the mental illness that plagued his father for decades and talks candidly about his own depression that caused him tremendous pain in recent years. He also goes deep into the making of key songs and albums (though oddly leaving out any mention of 1992's Human Touch). It's destined to join Keith Richards' Life as one of the great rock memoirs. A.G.