I have published fourteen books. The latest, released in 2023, is MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, which I wrote with the estimable Joanna Robinson and Dave Gonzales. Drawing on a multitude of sources, including more than a hundred new interviews, we told the behind-the-scenes story of Marvel Studios and how a struggling toy company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and proceeded to create the most successful film series of all time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reviewing the book in the Washington Post, Becca Rothfeld wrote, “MCU is a thoroughly reported history of the world-conquering movie company and its products. Robinson, Gonzales and Edwards set out to write ‘the most thorough, authoritative history of Marvel Studios to date,’ and that is exactly what they have done. In the gap between power and its parody, between heroism and humiliation, glints something far more arresting than the most impressive special effects: humanity, with its airs and affectations and occasional flares of unexpected valor.” The book hit the New York Times bestseller list; you can buy it from W. W. Norton, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore.

In 2021, I published Bad Motherfucker: The Life and Movies of Samuel L. Jackson, the Coolest Man in Hollywood. It intertwined a biography of Jackson’s storied life with critical assessments of all his movies (over 140 of them!) and an essay on the meaning of cool in the 21st century. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it “a rollicking, expletive-filled look at the life and career of ‘The King of Cool’…. Edwards is especially adept in his handling of Jackson’s personal life, including his triumph over cocaine addiction and involvement in the civil rights movement. This highly entertaining consideration of the prolific actor is long overdue.” The book is available from Hachette, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore.

In 2019, I released Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever, which changed the way I live more than any of my other books. It is half biography of Fred Rogers, the wonderful man behind Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and half “Ten Ways to Live More Like Mister Rogers Right Now,” advice on how to incorporate his philosophy into your own life (in a world that sorely needs it). “This is such a sweet and gentle and loving book; many times it brought tears to my eyes, and many more times it made me smile,” Cory Doctorow wrote on the BoingBoing website. You can buy the book from HarperCollins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore.

In 2018, I published The World According to Tom Hanks: The Life, the Obsessions, the Good Deeds of America’s Most Decent Guy. It explores his life, his work, and his philosophy, encompassing his passions from Star Trek to Red Vines. Morgan Neville, the Oscar-winning director of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, said, “If there is a new Mr. Rogers in our culture, it’s got to be Tom Hanks: honest, decent, trustworthy. Gavin Edwards’s book taps into what makes Hanks someone we love and someone we should emulate.” You can buy the book from Grand Central Publishing, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell’s, Target, or your local bookstore.

Earlier in 2018, I was proud to release a book I edited: The Beautiful Book of Exquisite Corpses: A Creative Game of Limitless Possibilities. It includes 110 perforated pages with contributions from novelists, comics artists, rock stars, and luminaries including Moby, Emily Nussbaum, Chuck Klosterman, Grace Slick, and Lenny Dykstra–you can tear out the pages and play the surrealist game of Exquisite Corpse, engaging in a long-distance collaboration. It’s fun for both third-graders and Ph.D.s–if you can swing it, I recommend playing it with both at the same time. You can buy the book from Penguin, Amazon, Powell’s, Target, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore.

In 2016, I published The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing. It’s an unconventional biography of American hero Bill Murray, focusing on his unusual interactions with the public (giving a toast at a stranger’s bachelor party, showing up at a party and washing the dishes) and making the argument that it’s not just random wackiness, but an expression of a philosophy of life. The Washington Post said that it “captures Murray’s enigmatic, comic genius.” You can buy the book from Random House, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell’s, or your local bookstore. Or you can get it as an audiobook read by yours truly.

canisay2Previously, I collaborated with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker on his no-holds-barred autobiography Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums Drums Drums. It details his life in and out of music, including his near-death experience in a plane crash. Billboard called it “riveting, brutally honest.” You can get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstore.

lastnightsmallIn 2013, I published Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind. It’s a biography of the late, great actor River Phoenix, and a cultural history of Hollywood in the 1980s and 1990s. According to Rob Sheffield, “Twenty years after his death, River Phoenix remains as enigmatic and elusive as ever. Last Night at the Viper Room tells the heart-shredding story of how this haunted actor left such a big impression in such a brief time.” You can order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or your local bookstore.

vjbookAlso in 2013, I had the pleasure of collaborating with original MTV VJs Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn on VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave. The book told the stories of their lives, of the early days of MTV (when it still played music videos), and of a ten-thousand dollar haircut. Rolling Stone said it was a “highly entertaining snapshot of a wild-frontier moment in pop culture,” while the Associated Press review deemed it “Nirvana for pop culture fans… a totally tubular testament to the excess of the ’80s.” It hit the New York Times bestseller list; you can order a copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or your local bookstore.

tiny-dancer.jpgBack in 2006, Three Rivers Press printed a collection of my Rolling Stone columns where I answered reader questions about obscure factual corners of rock history, titled Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed. Again, you can order a copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or your local bookstore. Or you can check out most of its contents here.

My first four books were collections of misheard lyrics, a.k.a. mondegreens. (For more information on mondegreens, click here. For some particularly egregious practioners of the art, click here.) Rosie O’Donnell, speaking of the second one on her show (she also sang some excerpts), said “This is a funny, funny, funny, funny, funny book.” I culled the funniest mishearings from reader submissions, and the degree to which people misinterpet lyrics boggles the mind. (I never made any up–I got too much great mail to do that.) They have now all fallen out of print, but it’s not hard to track down used copies.

Book CoverThe first was ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy and Other Misheard Lyrics. It was illustrated by the enormously talented Chris Kalb.

The second was He’s Got the Whole World in His Pants and More Misheard Lyrics. It was illustrated by the gifted Canadian cartoonist Seth; my favorite of his many books is It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken.

The third was When a Man Loves a Walnut and Even More Misheard Lyrics. It was illustrated by Shary Flenniken, who is a national treasure and was the author of the “Trots and Bonnie” comic strip in National Lampoon’s heyday.

The fourth was Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly and Other Misheard Christmas Lyrics. It was illustrated by the extremely funny Ted Stearn, the author of a comic book from Fantagraphics called Fuzz and Pluck.

For a decade, there was also an ongoing series of ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy calendars, for people who preferred to get their mondegreens while finding out what day of the week it is. Those have come to an end, but not before teaching me more than I ever planned on knowing about when various rock stars’ birthdays are.