MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Is there one song that means more to you than another – maybe because it reminds you of a certain person or time, or because the lyrics ring true?

Maplewood resident and music journalist Mike Ayers has pondered this question for years. He decided to interview dozens of famous musicians to talk about the subject of his new book, which comes out on Tuesday.

Ayers will be hosting an event that day at Maplewood’s Words bookstore to talk about “In One Last Song: Conversations on Life, Death, and Music” (Abrams Image; Oct 13, cover, $ 24.99).

According to the publisher, “Throughout the book, he weaves their explanations together with beautiful, fun illustrations that bring their words to life. Three special collaborations in the book include: Shea Serrano, bestselling author of Movies (and Other Things) and The Rap Year Book, chronicling ten iconic movie deaths with better music; a Genius.com analysis on the euphemisms of death in song; and a heartfelt, ultra-personal preface from My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James. “

The book also contains “interludes” on what the song selection says about a person, sheet music for memorable television deaths; and more.

Contributors include Jeff Tweedy, Lucinda Williams, Regina Spektor, Andre 3000, and dozens more.

Ayers has served as an arts and entertainment reporter and editor for media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Time, Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Billboard, and Village Voice. He has served as an editor for MTV, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal, and is currently the editor of Money.

Ayers has lived in Maplewood since 2011. He graduated in sociology from Virginia Tech and received his masters from New School in New York.

He says he wrote much of the book early in the morning at Maplewood Starbucks, Liv Breads in Millburn, and Boxwood Coffee in Summit.

The event takes place at 8:30 am and he will be joined by bestselling author Shea Serrano. Admission is $ 15 if you don’t order a book, or free if you do. Register here: https://store.wordsbookstore.com/virtual-event-mike-ayers

For more info (and to tell Mike about your latest song!) Visit www.mike-ayers.com.

The Words Bookstore is located at 179 Maplewood Avenue.

Learn about writers and books at Maplewood

  • To read a story on the Autism Friendly Words bookstore, click here.
  • To read a story from last week about another Maplewood author who just published a book for young adults on emotional abuse, click here.

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