By Janis Ian
384 pages. Tarcher/Penguin.
At 15 she was already breaking all the rules. In an era—the mid-1960s—when people of her parents' generation didn't speak about "ugly things" like interracial romance, prostitution, and war, Janis Ian was opening her big mouth and getting hounded offstage for singing her taboo-busting lyrics. Society's Child (Tarcher/Penguin) is the hugely readable autobiography of an artist who has lived through success and crushing hardship but knows that "you can't sing and cry at the same time." Sing on!