David Bowie’s 100 favorite books

Suggested reading from the Thin White Duke


    “David Bowie Is” is a traveling art exhibition featuring over 300 pieces from David Bowie’s personal archives of instruments, sketches, stage costumes, diaries, lyrics, handwritten setlists, photos, live excerpts, and books.

    So what exactly did the Thin White Duke read, you might wonder. To answer, curators Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes have released a list of Bowie’s top 100 must-read books. Featuring works ranging from 1945 (Black Boy by Richard Wright) to 2008 (Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason), the list contains classics (Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four), poetry (Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara), modern hits (Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys), musical histories (The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll by Charlie Gillete), and more.

    Check out the entire list below, and find more information at the AGO website.

    David Bowie’s Top 100 Must-Read Books:
    Interviews With Francis Bacon by David Sylvester
    Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
    Room At The Top by John Braine
    On Having No Head by Douglass Harding
    Kafka Was The Rage by Anatole Broyard
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    City Of Night by John Rechy
    The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    Iliad by Homer
    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    Tadanori Yokoo by Tadanori Yokoo
    Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
    Inside The Whale And Other Essays by George Orwell
    Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
    Halls Dictionary Of Subjects And Symbols In Art by James A. Hall
    David Bomberg by Richard Cork
    Blast by Wyndham Lewis
    Passing by Nella Larson
    Beyond The Brillo Box by Arthur C. Danto
    The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
    In Bluebeard’s Castle by George Steiner
    Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
    The Divided Self by R. D. Laing
    The Stranger by Albert Camus
    Infants Of The Spring by Wallace Thurman
    The Quest For Christa T by Christa Wolf
    The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
    Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter
    The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
    The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodieby Muriel Spark
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    Herzog by Saul Bellow
    Puckoon by Spike Milligan
    Black Boy by Richard Wright
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima
    Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler
    The Waste Land by T.S. Elliot
    McTeague by Frank Norris
    Money by Martin Amis
    The Outsider by Colin Wilson
    Strange People by Frank Edwards
    English Journey by J.B. Priestley
    A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West
    1984 by George Orwell
    The Life And Times Of Little Richard by Charles White
    Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock by Nik Cohn
    Mystery Train by Greil Marcus
    Beano (comic, ’50s)
    Raw (comic, ’80s)
    White Noise by Don DeLillo
    Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom by Peter Guralnick
    Silence: Lectures And Writing by John Cage
    Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews edited by Malcolm Cowley
    The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll by Charlie Gillete
    Octobriana And The Russian Underground by Peter Sadecky
    The Street by Ann Petry
    Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
    Last Exit To Brooklyn By Hubert Selby, Jr.
    A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn
    The Age Of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
    Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz
    The Coast Of Utopia by Tom Stoppard
    The Bridge by Hart Crane
    All The Emperor’s Horses by David Kidd
    Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
    Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
    The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos
    Tales Of Beatnik Glory by Ed Saunders
    The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
    Nowhere To Run The Story Of Soul Music by Gerri Hirshey
    Before The Deluge by Otto Friedrich
    Sexual Personae: Art And Decadence From Nefertiti To Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia
    The American Way Of Death by Jessica Mitford
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
    Teenage by Jon Savage
    Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
    The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard
    The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
    Viz (comic, early ’80s)
    Private Eye (satirical magazine, ’60s – ’80s)
    Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara
    The Trial Of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens
    Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes
    Maldodor by Comte de Lautréamont
    On The Road by Jack Kerouac
    Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders by Lawrence Weschler
    Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
    Transcendental Magic, Its Doctine and Ritual by Eliphas Lévi
    The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
    The Leopard by Giusseppe Di Lampedusa
    Inferno by Dante Alighieri
    A Grave For A Dolphin by Alberto Denti di Pirajno
    The Insult by Rupert Thomson
    In Between The Sheets by Ian McEwan
    A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes
    Journey Into The Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg

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