David Bowie Shares His Top 100 Favorite Books

By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 2, 2013 9:10PM

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David Bowie/Facebook

We’re major fans of the music of David Bowie, so it is no surprise that we would take interest in what he keeps as favorites on his bookshelf. David Bowie Is, a current exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, just released a list of Bowie’s top 100 books to coincide with their show. Apparently a few titles were missing from the list, so the rest were posted on Bowie’s Facebook page, along with an early photo of Bowie on tour, traveling via Amtrak to Chicago no less.

The list includes a mixture of classics, experimental fiction, and pop culture commentary. Traces of the different persona's of Bowie weave throughout the list. There is the obvious inclusion of Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Waste Land, both clearly heavy influences on Diamond Dogs era Bowie. Same could be said in a way for Dante’s Inferno. You can see where Bowie found musical influence, my favorite addition being The Life And Times of Little Richard. Bowie didn’t just get his flair and glitz out of thin air. And even his classical picks (The Great Gatsby, Madame Bovary, The Master and Margarita) have a decadent dramatic tone that runs through them. And there are tales of reinvention, a subject Bowie is well versed in. Our favorite is his inclusion of University of Chicago alum and professor Saul Bellow, who moved back to our city right before the success of Bowie favorite Herzog.

Overall the list is exactly what you would expect to find in Bowie’s study; a range of experimental authors that took creative leaps and bounds to explore culture, sex, politics and life. Check out the full list, and find yourself some new Thin White Duke approved reading material to keep you company until the Bowie exhibit at the MCA next year.