The 33⅓ series of books is a really fantastic concept; take one ground-breaking album and dive in head first. Each book has a different author that explores how the album came to be, what was going on in the artists lives during that time, and what the songs mean according to those closest to the production.
I've read the book on Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, and I was completely impressed. I learned some history into the Elephant Six collective, just how intrigued Jeff was with Anne Frank, and how they wouldn't allow TV in their house (it drains creativity while making music). Much of it has to do with the album being so close to my heart in the first place, but that really is the best part. You get to dig even deeper into an album you already cherish.
Continuum Publishing has released 33 books so far with another six planned by years end and at least another 20 over the next two years. Next up for examination in the 33⅓ book series is My Bloody Valentine's Loveless due out September 15. You can pre-order your copy or check out the entire line-up on Amazon. They are all $10, which makes it damn sweet.
Other album-books I'm really looking forward to are The Magnetic Field's 69 Love Songs and Nick Drake's Pink Moon. They even got Colin Meloy of the Decemberists' to write the one on The Replacement's Let It Be.
The editor of the series, David Barker, keeps a blog of news & reviews at 33third.blogspot.com/. There you can also learn about other projects like the book on the history and cultural implications of music videos.