A list of David Bowie’s 100 favourite books

A list of David Bowie’s 100 favourite books


David Bowie was once asked a relatively complex question by a journalist: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

The legendary artist responded with a simple answer: Reading.

Before his tragic passing, Bowie compiled a list of his favourite works of literature. We’ve put them all together for you here, so you can step inside the mind of the man himself and perhaps, find inspiration in the same places he did.

Naturally, the list is as diverse as Bowie’s career itself – ranging from philosophical tomes, certified classics, scathing satire, and lesser-known gems. So if you’re wondering what to read next, take a leaf out of David Bowie’s book and hunt down one of these gems from one of Melbourne’s countless bookstores.

David Bowie’s Top 100 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 Brodie by 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