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Happy Birthday MTV

MTV – Music Television in case you forgot – celebrates its 28th birthday on August 1st. Launched originally as a network to air music videos, it has spent the last almost three decades becoming a major player on the pop culture scene.

You might think that reading and MTV are at odds with each other, but not so, in 1991 MTV added MTV Books to it’s growing global empire. Now a division of Simon and Schuster, the imprint brags it “captures the real-life stories of today’s hottest artists, goes behind-the-scenes of hit shows, and brings you fresh & entertaining fiction.” The first two titles published by the imprint were “Real Real World” and “MTV’s Beavis and Butt-Head: This Book Sucks”, both tie-ins to MTV programs and both, I think we can say, a little dated now. But MTV Books continues to produce books both related and unrelated to MTV programming that are quite popular, particularly with teens and young adults.

Here’s a few from the library collection:


Shelter Me by Alex McAulay: historical fiction of a London teen sent to a creepy Welsh boarding school. She’s there to escape war-torn London, but she seems unable to escape the danger.

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert: Punk rock tore Emily’s mother away from her when she was just a baby, but can it also reunite them?


The dead emcee scrolls : the lost teachings of hip-hop and connected writings by Saul Williams: Poetry for the 21st century from a multi-talented artist who you may recall from the film Slam.

Ordinary People: Our Story by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne: maybe more the sort of thing you expect from MTV Books. Light bio of the family that MTV brought to the world’s living rooms.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: through a series of letters written to an unknown recipient, a teenage boy details his experiences and experiments following the suicide of his best friend. I sat on the couch all afternoon one day a few years ago in order to finish this book: I couldn’t put it down.

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