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David Bowie's list of books he loved in his life (shelfjoy.com)
46 points by wowsig 267 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite



I highly doubt that Tony Robbins' "Money" was on David Bowie's list of his 100 favorite books. I had to read "Money", and it was crap. And David Bowie was a man of discriminating taste. Money was published in late 2014 and Bowie died two years later. He probably already knew he had cancer when Money came out, and he had made his wad decades before. Doesn't make sense, and it makes me doubt the rest of the list, which is surprisingly high in contemporary US fiction for someone with Bowie's international exposure.


Pretty sure it is supposed to be Money by Martin Amis, not Tony Robbins. looks like a few of the titles/descriptions are mixed up on this list.


I'll bet you're right, now that you mention it.


I think the lesson here is that you can't just have a bot scrape together a mishmash of book titles and descriptions without knowing anything about books. Bowie was a reader and if this list is to be of interest to other readers, it needs to be correct and hand-curated by someone who knows literature.


David Bowie, talking about being a young man in London said that he always used to have a Penguin book in one of his jacket pockets, because the top of it would peek out and make him look more interesting. He said he didn't regret it, because every so often he'd find himself bored and at a loose end and actually read one of them, and read many great books he wouldn't have read if he hadn't been posing.

Entertainingly enough, I learned this at the V&A, at the David Bowie Is exhibition.


Of all these, I'd recommend The Master and Margherita. It is mischievous with deep allegory.


I loved and recommended Master and Margherita. Well, I thought I understood it. Then I had a Russian girlfriend and found out I read it completely wrong. To them it's like Animal Farm rather than say Babe. It's still fun for us but I think it's probably very hard for a Westerner to get right.

I haven't read Clockwork Orange in a long time and I should. I didn't much like anything else he wrote but CO was awesome fun for a 20-something.


I would highly recommend Julian Jaynes's "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" from this list. It largely changed how I think about consciousness--even if some of his grander ideas are difficult to prove.


What does this list of books (and its "curators") have to do with David Bowie?


This seems to be a showcase of ShelfJoy’s functionality on the example of “Bowie’s 100 books” list, which apparently was supplied by his archivist for an exhibition David Bowie Is from a few years ago.


Thanks! I found a little more info here: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/f...


Hey, creator of ShelfJoy here. You explained it right :)


Some of your titles and descriptions are mismatched. For example, the description of the Tony Robbins book is actually the description for Money by Martin Amis. Much more likely Bowie would be reading Amis than Tony Robbins! The CJ Box title/description is also wrong.


Can't recommend David Sylvester's interviews with Francis Bacon enough. Brilliant book, even if you're not a fan of the painter.


Madame Bovary?

That prompted flashbacks to senior year of high school. I hated reading that book!


Yeah, me, too. I wonder what it would be like to read now, but I had a really, really tough time getting through that book. It was horrible.


Well, not really something a still barely shaving high school student would relate to or appreciate.

Give it 20 years though, and...


The Master and Margarita. I love this book. Movie is good too.




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