Wednesday, October 02, 2013

David Bowie's top 100 must-read books

After spending five months at the V&A in London, the wildly successful David Bowie Is retrospective has moved to Toronto, and the widely read Dame has revealed his top hundred books. They follow and I have marked the ones I remember reading as well in italics. I am a bit bemused by the inclusion of Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia as it is a triplet of plays that I saw in the National.

Who would have guessed that both of us would have worked through Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels? Nowt so strange as folk.
  • 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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