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Kiss drummer Peter Criss performs during a sold-out show at the Rain in the Desert nightclub inside the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 16, 2003.Reuters

Kicking & Dreaming
A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll, by Ann and Nancy Wilson (with Charles R. Cross), HarperCollins, 273 pages, $29.99

The gist: Seattle sisters relay tales of music, magic men and Larry King, who told Ann Wilson that she would get through her public issues with weight because she was a "tough broad."

Starts with: "I never thought much about it at the time, but looking back it seems off that our career came crashing apart and then magically came back together in a club named Lucifer's."

Ends with: "I see both of us on the floor with our heads propped up on our hands, in front of a tiny black-and-white television, watching the Beatles, and imagining a future that at the time was beyond imagination for girls of our generation."

A Woman Like Me
By Bettye LaVette (with David Ritz), Blue Rider, 252 pages, $28.50

The gist: Detroit soul singer recounts roller-coaster life and career, unflinchingly.

Starts with: "A vicious pimp was precariously holding on to my right foot as he dangled me from the top of a 20-storey apartment building at Amsterdam and 78th Street."

Ends with: "I like being alive."

Cyndi Lauper
A Memoir, by Cyndi Lauper (with Jancee Dunn), Atria, 338 pages, $29.99

The gist: Fly-on-the-wall perspective from the gum-chewing Girls Just Want to Have Fun singer, who tended to say the "wrong things to the right people."

Starts with: "I left home at 17. I took a paper bag with a toothbrush, a change of underwear, and apple, and a copy of Yoko Ono's book Grapefruit."

Ends with: "The day I called my husband, David, from Japan, he said, 'There's a lot going on in the world. Sometimes the best we can do is to just be there for each other.'"

Makeup to Breakup
By Peter Criss (with Larry Sloman), Scribner, 365 pages, $29.99

The gist: Peter Criscuola faces perils of record-selling stardom as the grease-painted drummer of Kiss, the band with the simple dream to "rock all night and party every day."

Starts with: "Have you ever tasted the barrel of a .357 Magnum that's halfway down your throat? It's a really unforgettable sensation …"

Ends with: "Underneath that Catman makeup was little Peter Georgie Criscuola from Williamsburg. When I go to sleep these days, I'm still wearing my cowboy pajamas."