In Memoriam: David Bowie’s Top 100 Favorite Books

Click here to read at The New York Public Library blog. (And thanks to Lauren Weiss for blogging this info!)

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David Bowie art by aerokay

I love looking at people’s reading recommendation lists. It’s fun to find out a respected reader’s tastes intersect with my own, but I also learn a lot by noting the books I’ve never heard of.

Some of my and David Bowie’s shared “book hits”: Lolita, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Madame Bovary, Black Boy, The Waste Land, 1984and, to my great surprise, Nella Larsen’s Passing  the story of an African-American woman of Danish descent who’s forced to confront the implications of her mixed-race and bicultural identity.

Some of Bowie’s choices, however, I’m completely unfamiliar with: Flaubert’s Parrot, Before the Deluge, Zanoni, Strange People, and The Street, to name only a few. My “to read” list is already long and ever-growing, but I can’t help adding titles like these, even when my reading aspirations start to feel absurdly ambitious.

If I were to make my own list, I’d be hard pressed to think of 100 favorite books, even as a former English major and a longtime reader. Perhaps when I’m 69, I’ll have as long of a list. Here is what I have so far.

Thank you, David, not just for the years and years of magic and music, but for the literary inspiration, as well.

 

 

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