John Lennon Books: Understanding the Legend

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In honor of the anniversary of John Lennon's death, the following are a list of books by and about Lennon. They range from collections of his own writing to photography to biographies and accounts of his life that delve into the difficult truths as well as the good.

"In His Own Write", John Lennon
First published in 1964, this is a collection of writing by Lennon himself, and considered emblematic of his writing style.

"A Spaniard In the Works", John Lennon
A follow up to "In His Own Right", this one is a second collection of Lennon's writing, from short stories to poems, and also including drawings.

"Skywriting by Word of Mouth", John Lennon
This one is a collection of writing Lennon did during his five-year hiatus, and wasn't published until after his death.

"John", Cynthia Lennon
Written by Lennon's ex-wife, this book by Cynthia Lennon purports to be "the full and truthful story" of the part of his life that he spent with her, from the good to the bad.

"Lennon: The Definitive Biography", Ray Coleman
This biography is generally considered to be somewhat fawning, but its depth still makes it useful for dedicated fans.

"John Lennon: The Life", Philip Norman
This biography finds more of a middle ground in how it treats Lennon, though Yoko Ono withdrew her support for it based on some harsh truths that it highlights.

"Lennon Legend", James Henke
This is a collection of Lennon multimedia, from photographs to artwork to memorabilia to an included CD.

"John Lennon: The New York Years", Bob Gruen
This excellent collection of Lennon photography by his friend Bob Gruen gives fans a look into Lennon's private life.

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