'Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon,' by Peter Ames Carlin
How acute is the first-ever serious attempt at a Paul Simon biography? So acute that it begins in court: The Queens-born singer-songwriter has long been one of the most litigious men in rock. Not to mention one of the most secretive: Simon did not sit for any interviews with the book's Portland-based author. It hardly matters: Homeward Bound delves into nearly every aspect of Simon's public life with serious reporting chops and rare psychological insight. The result is genuinely sympathetic toward its subject while refusing to let him off the hook, whether outlining how Simon's little-told early music-biz career shaped his hard-nosed deal-making (before "The Sounds of Silence" took off he took a stab at becoming a teen-pop impresario), or chronicling his deeply passive-aggressive friendship with Art Garfunkel (like when Paul informed his partner he'd re-cut their reunion album as a solo release, then immediately extended an invitation to his wedding). M.M.