When she played bass in Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon appeared quiet and straightforward. In her autobiography, Girl in a Band (Dey Street Books, $30) she maintains a similar tone—from the no-frills title down to her plainspoken prose. One suspects she might not have written anything at all had she not split with husband and bandmate Thurston Moore in 2011, leaving her with bills to pay and no famous band to play in. Compared to the memoirs of New York scenesters Patti Smith and Richard Hell, Girl in a Band is downbeat and conflicted, more concerned with limitations than possibilities. It’s the book’s plaintive realism that will connect with the same generation of punks, riot grrrls and grunge kids who connected to Gordon onstage. It’s not all gloom: Gordon closes the book with an act of characteristic rebellion that gives the impression that the past 30 years might just have been a prelude to something better.
Recommended by Chris Molnar of the Writer’s Block bookstore, 1020 Fremont St., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon-Sat, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.