David Bowie’s Must-Read Books

David Bowie was an original. The world will never see another musician like him. On January 2019 it will be two years since he passed, and the world will continue to remember him by listening to the music he left behind. It’s no surprise that in addition to being an ultra-original musician he was also an avid reader, and left behind an extensive reading list. A year ago, Bowie’s son and film director Duncan Jones, launched the “David Bowie Book Club” through his Twitter feed. He invited folks to visit one of his dad’s favorite books each month. He chose the titles from the official list of Bowie’s Top 100 Must-Read Books, curated by Bowie’s official archivists. You’ll be glad to know that many of Bowie’s recommended books are available on BARD. They are listed below, sorted by publication date from newest to oldest.

  • The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby, 2008. DB 66150
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, 2007. DB 67964
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, 2002. DB 56184
  • Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler, 1997. DB 41918
  • A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890-1924 by Orlando Figes, 1997. DB45238
  • The Insult by Rupert Thomson, 1996. DB 43935
  • Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, 1995. DB 42023
  • The Bird Artist by Howard Norman, 1994. DB 38663
  • Kafka Was The Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir by Anatole Broyard, 1993.       DB 37861
  • Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia. DB 34102
  • Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom by Peter Guralnick, 1986. DB 73053
  • The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin, 1986. DB 26608
  • Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd, 1985. DB 24458
  • Nowhere To Run: The Story of Soul Music, by Gerri Hirshey, 1984. DB 23848
  • Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, 1984. DB 23564
  • Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis, 1984. DB 22896
  • White Noise by Don DeLillo, 1984. DB 23512
  • The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, 1984. DB 22861
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, 1980. DB 76953
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, 1980. DB 50482
  • Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler, 1980.  DB 16347
  • Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess, 1980. DB 16527
  • The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels, 1979. DB 60458
  • Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz, 1978. DB 11794
  • Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, ed. Malcolm Cowley, 1977. DB 09853
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967. DB 37107
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, 1965.  DB 22726
  • Herzog by Saul Bellow, 1964. DB 22553
  • The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford, 1963. DB 36324
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, 1963.  DB 12439
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, 1962.  DB 15213
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, 1961.  DB 69464
  • The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, 1958.  DB 18177
  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac, 1957.  DB 31675
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, 1955.  DB 67388
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, 1948. DB 73474
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright, 1945. DB 20415
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker, 1944. DB 17658
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus, 1942.  DB 40902
  • The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, 1939. DB 12925
  • Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood, 1935.  DB 54128
  • The Bridge by Hart Crane, 1930. DB 10148
  • Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, 1930. DB 12881
  • As I lay Dying by William Faulkner by 1930. DB 11553
  • The 42nd Parallel (Book #1 of U.S.A Trilogy) by John Dos Passos, 1930. DB 42698
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, 1929.  DB 91015
  • Passing by Nella Larsen, 1929.   DB 40702
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, 1928.  DB 44295
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925. DB 55714
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, 1922.  DB 19566
  • McTeague by Frank Norris, 1899. DB 12689
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, 1856. DB 13249
  • Inferno, from the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, circa 1308-1321. DB 76353
  • The Iliad by Homer, circa 800. DB 6635

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