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January 12th, 2016

David Bowie’s Top 100 Books.

This is a post from October 2013 but it feels right to give it new voice this week.

David Bowie’s music is the soundtrack to my life.

His fashion, his humbleness, his art – all so original and constant – has been much more than an inspiration.

He changed and he shaped.

One of the only things I like as much as David Bowie is a challenge list – so it was kismet of the coolest kind when I stumbled upon his list of the ‘ 100 Best Books.

A list of books he thinks everyone needs to read.

Bowie’s list is not written in order of preference but rather chronologically – so him.

What a challenge and from HIM.

The world has lost a hero but one who has left legacy after legacy  – even the stack of books you should put on your bedside table.

” I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man/ Just a mortal with potential of a superman/ I’m living on”

‘Quicksand’ from Hunky Dory (1971)

RIP to the Greatest.


The List.


The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby (2008)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz (2007)

The Coast of Utopia (trilogy), Tom Stoppard (2007)

Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, Jon Savage (2007)

Fingersmith, Sarah Waters (2002)

The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens (2001)

Mr Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, Lawrence Weschler (1997)

A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890-1924, Orlando Figes (1997)

The Insult, Rupert Thomson (1996)

Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon (1995)

The Bird Artist, Howard Norman (1994)

Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir, Anatole Broyard (1993)

Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective, Arthur C Danto (1992)

Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, Camille Paglia (1990)

David Bomberg, Richard Cork (1988)

Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, Peter Guralnick (1986)

The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin (1986)

Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd (1985)

Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music, Gerri Hirshey (1984)

Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter (1984)

Money, Martin Amis (1984)

White Noise, Don DeLillo (1984)

Flaubert’s Parrot, Julian Barnes (1984)

The Life and Times of Little Richard, Charles White (1984)

A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn (1980)

A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole (1980)

Interviews with Francis Bacon, David Sylvester (1980)

Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler (1980)

Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess (1980)

Raw, a “graphix magazine” (1980-91)

Viz, magazine (1979)

The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels (1979)

Metropolitan Life, Fran Lebowitz (1978)

In Between the Sheets, Ian McEwan (1978)

Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, ed Malcolm Cowley (1977)

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes (1976)

Tales of Beatnik Glory, Ed Saunders (1975)

Mystery Train, Greil Marcus (1975)

Selected Poems, Frank O’Hara (1974)

Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s, Otto Friedrich (1972)

In Bluebeard’s Castle: Some Notes Towards the Re-definition of Culture, George Steiner (1971)

Octobriana and the Russian Underground, Peter Sadecky (1971)

The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll, Charlie Gillett(1970)

The Quest for Christa T, Christa Wolf (1968)

Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock, Nik Cohn (1968)

The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)

Journey into the Whirlwind, Eugenia Ginzburg (1967)

Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr (1966)

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote (1965)

City of Night, John Rechy (1965)

Herzog, Saul Bellow (1964)

Puckoon, Spike Milligan (1963)

The American Way of Death, Jessica Mitford (1963)

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea, Yukio Mishima (1963)

The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin (1963)

A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess (1962)

Inside the Whale and Other Essays, George Orwell (1962)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark (1961)

Private Eye, magazine (1961)

On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious, Douglas Harding (1961)

Silence: Lectures and Writing, John Cage (1961)

Strange People, Frank Edwards (1961)

The Divided Self, RD Laing (1960)

All the Emperor’s Horses, David Kidd (1960)

Billy Liar, Keith Waterhouse (1959)

The Leopard, Giuseppe di Lampedusa (1958)

On the Road, Jack Kerouac (1957)

The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard (1957)

Room at the Top, John Braine (1957)

A Grave for a Dolphin, Alberto Denti di Pirajno (1956)

The Outsider, Colin Wilson (1956)

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell (1949)

The Street, Ann Petry (1946)

Black Boy, Richard Wright (1945)


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