Books about Woodstock


Good Reads

Woodstock, NY is a charming town in the Hudson Valley located a scant 100 miles north of New York City.  Nestled within the borders of Catskill Park the natural wonders and beauty of the area is only rivaled by the indelible mark the town has made on music and art. More than just a namesake of music festivals, Woodstock has a rich history and a bright future. Existing as a town for over two hundred years, there is so much more to one of the coolest little towns with seemingly limitless charm. Check out the list below to learn more about the art, culture, history, and natural attractions of the region in books authored by locals about Woodstock, NY in the Hudson Valley.

Books about Woodstock NY – Travel, Nature, and Scenic Guides:

Woodstock sits within the Boundaries of the Catskill Park in the picturesque Hudson Valley in New York State. There is so much to enjoy in and around town. Check out these books about many of the outdoor wonders the region has to offer.

Hikes, Walks & Drives in the Saugerties/Woodstock Area: A Visitor’s Guide, Richard Frisbie. Hope Farm Press, Saugerties, NY, 1996.
Frisbie creates a visitor’s guide to the Saugerties/Woodstock area, focusing on hiking and walking trails and scenic driving tours. One suggested trip is a 2-mile trek to the top of Overlook Mountain that starts at the Buddhist Monastery in Woodstock.

Let’s Take The Kids!: Great Places To Go With Children In NY’s Hudson Valley, Mary Barile & Joanne Michaels. St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY, 1997.
This is a parent’s guide of entertainment in the Hudson Valley, aimed specifically at kids, with detailed descriptions of attractions such as theme parks, museums, campgrounds and more.

Route 28: A Mile by Mile Guide to New York’s Adventure Route, Rob Scharpf. North Country Books, Utica, NY, 1998.
Longtime Hudson Valley resident and author Rob Scharpf writes about the historic sights and adventures along NY’s scenic Route 28, a 282-mile road. Scharpf wrote this book 2 years after relocating to Melbourne, FL.

Woodstock Handmade Houses, Robert Haney, David Ballantine, Jonathan Elliott. Hope Farm Press, Saugerties, NY, 1974.
Woodstock Handmade Houses explores the creativity and workmanship that goes into the owner-designed Woodstock home. It also celebrates the studios, workshops and architectural designs of the artist colony builders

Woodstock Landscapes, Photographs by John Kleinhans with an introduction by Gail Godwin. Golden Notebook/ Precipice Press, Woodstock, NY.
This is the perfect souvenir for visitors to the Woodstock area. It is pictorial view of the landscape surrounding the town.

Books about Woodstock NY – Culture, Art, and Music History:

Woodstock, NY punches far above its weight in terms of cultural influence. At roughly 70 square miles and with a population just over 6,000 (roughly the same size as Brooklyn, NY, but with about .2% of the population) the impact of this town on art and music is legendary. Check out these books about Woodstock NY that will tell you stories of the world famous artists who have created art and lived their lives in the town whose name means music and art.

Absolutely Dylan – An Illustrated Biography, John Bauldie and Patrick Humphries. Viking Studio Books, New York, NY, 1991.
The life and career of Bob Dylan. The photographs, some full-pages, cover extensive memorabilia, including tours and concerts, appearances, album covers, magazines, books and films and recordings.

Famous Woodstock Cooks: And Their Favorite Recipes, Joanne Michaels, Mary Barile, and Alan McKnight (Illustrator). JMB Publications, Woodstock, NY, 1994.
The authors interviewed Woodstock residents to produce this entertaining look at recipes and culinary delights of some famous characters in town. One is Casablanca’s screenwriter Howard Koch’s French toast.

It Happened in Woodstock, Anita M. Smith. Woodstock Arts Publications, Woodstock, NY, 1972.
Smith creates an art book to honor Woodstock’s dedication to the arts and is based on her earlier book, “Woodstock History and Hearsay.” It looks at the creativity and imagination of Woodstock artists.

Music Universe, Music Mind: Revisiting the Creative Music Studio, Woodstock, New York, Robert E. Sweet. Arborville Publishing, Ann Arbor, MI, 1996.
This book revisits the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, founded in 1971 by Karl Berger. Berger’s studio catered to well-known artists from all types of musical backgrounds, like Carlos Santana, Don Cherry and Woodstock residents Marilyn Crispell and Jack DeJohnette.

Prisoner of Woodstock, Dallas Taylor. Thunder’s Mouth Press, New York, NY, 1994.
Dallas Taylor became famous by playing drums for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and recorded with other legends, like Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, John Sebastian and Jimi Hendrix. Taylor tells of his near-fatal heroine/cocaine addiction, struggle with fame and journey to recovery.

Rock & Woodstock, Paul Smart. Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, NY, 1994.
Smart’s book chronicles the transformation of 1960s Woodstock from a small arts colony into the music mecca it is now. The book contains stories about Woodstock residents Todd Rundgren, John Sebastian, REM, Orleans and The B-52s, as well as many others.

Woodstock, Janine Fallon-Mower. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, 2002.
Woodstock became a town in 1787 and has been defined by three distinctly powerful influences: the townspeople, the Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony and the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair held in nearby Bethel. Woodstock author Janine Fallon-Mower’s book takes a look at the Woodstock community from the 1890s to the 1980s.

Woodstock’s Art Heritage: The Permanent Collection of the Woodstock Artists Association. Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY. 1987.
The Woodstock Artists Association began in 1920 and is committed to serving as an archive and preserving Woodstock as the “Colony of the Arts.” This collection is a dedication to Woodstock artists.

The Woodstock Murders, Jon Froscher. Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY, 1998.
This fictitious book tells the story of a couple who relocate from Manhattan to the peaceful existence of Woodstock — then a body is found on their property and an investigation ensues as more victims are exhumed.

Woodstock Vision: The Spirit of a Generation, Elliott Landy. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1994.
Woodstocker Elliott Landy published this book to coincide with the festival’s 25-year anniversary. The book contains never-before released photos of Bob Dylan, The Band, Richie Havens and more.

Books about Woodstock NY– General History of the Town and Region:

Aside from its impact on culture and the natural splendor in which it is found, the story of Woodstock, NY is part of the broader history of New York’s Hudson Valley. Established as a town the same year as the signing of the U.S. Constitution the history of Woodstock is woven into a larger story about New York and the United States. These books about Woodstock NY tell that story.

The Catskills, An Illustrated Historical Guide with Gazetteer, Arthur G. Adams. Fordham University Press, Bronx, NY, 1990.
This vastly illustrative book focuses on the bringing the past of the Catskill Mountain region to life. In this great history book about Woodstock in the Hudson Valley of NY.

The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Alf Evers. Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY, 1982, c1972. This is Alf Evers’ memorable book about the deep history, magnificent beauty and wondrous legends of the Catskills. Come take a journey into the regions past replete with the stories that are unique to the area.

In Catskill Country: Collected Essays on Mountain History, Life and Lore, Alf Evers. Book News, Inc, Portland, OR, 1975.
These essays were originally published in the newsletter of the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. They include the rise and fall of the railroad system, the history of the Hudson Valley region and the characteristics of the Catskill Mountains, including Woodstock and the surrounding area.

The Story of a Small Town Library: The Development of the Woodstock, N.Y., Library, Frances Rogers. Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY, 1974.
This book features an introduction by Alf Evers. Rogers explores the creation of the Woodstock Library, established in a converted barn in 1913. The founding committee was given a budget of $40 to buy furniture and supplies — all the books were donated.

Woodstock Gatherings: Apple Bites and Ashes, Jean Gaede. Broken Madonna Press, Trade Paper, 1993.
This book is an extensive compilation of local folklore and history of Woodstock up through 1993. The author used extensive memorabilia, such as photographs, newspaper articles, playbills and theater posters, to capture the history of Woodstock and its creative, wacky townspeople.

Woodstock: History of an American Town, Alf Evers. Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY, 1987.
Alf Evers lived in Woodstock for over 30 years and served as Woodstock’s town historian. Evers conducted 15 years of research to write about Woodstock, a well-established town long before the 1969 festival made it famous. This book is a detailed account of the history of the village and how it has become one of the most famous small towns in America.

Woodstock History and Hearsay, Anita M. Smith. Woodstock Arts Publications, Woodstock, NY, 1959.
Published in 1959, this book became the first official written history of the Town of Woodstock. Smith conducted interviews with townspeople and researched extensive records to produce factual, historical accounts. She blends history with folklore and local myths surrounding the town.

Leave a Reply