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The most purely enjoyable book I read this past year was a paperback I’d been saving up since 2002, David Hajdu’s Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña. I don’t usually read books about Dylan, and I wouldn’t ‘t usually recommend books about pop music to anyone unless they were prepared to relax their ordinary standards, but this book was great on every front, and unique. As a biography of young people who get fame early, it’s fascinating. As an explanation of why young white people cared about folk music in the 1960s (and jazz), but not rock and roll, and how it was that “rock” emerged post-1964, it’s clarifying. As a work of art, it’s just an overwhelming pleasure—Hajdu could write anything, fiction included, but has chosen this. And it includes the best Pynchon biographical cameo in print. Hajdu had to interview him by fax machine.