Have you ever seen the list of David Bowie’s 100 favourite books?
The lineup, which Bowie shared back in 2013, is expectedly eclectic. From the classics (The Stranger by Albert Camus, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald) to ones you’ve probably never heard of, much less pick up for a light read (Sexual Personae: Art And Decadence From Nefertiti To Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia, The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes), the entire list is Bowie to a tee.
Known to have polished off three to four books on “a good week”, Bowie was renowned for touring with a colossal collection of books at all times, taking 400 of the bricks down to Mexico with him whilst on set of the 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth. He even credits Jack Kerouac’s seminal postwar novel On The Road for getting him out of his hometown Bromley when he was 15.
Also included on the list is George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, which Bowie began writings songs for, with the intention of creating a theatre production based on the book, until he was denied the rights by Orwell’s estate.
To honour his late father’s love for literature, Bowie’s son Duncan Jones has announced he’ll be starting an online book club which will slowly make its way through the Star Man’s hefty list.
“My dad was a beast of a reader,” Duncan said. “One of his true loves was Peter Ackroyd’s sojourns into the history of Britain and its cities. I’ve been feeling a building sense of duty to go on the same literary marathon in tribute to dad. ”
Duncan has chosen Hawksmoor, the 1985 novel by Peter Ackroyd to kick things off. A sordid tale of human sacrifices, the church, and Satan, it’s not the most light-hearted book straight off the bat, but who said this was supposed to be easy?
For those playing along at home, you’ve got until February 1st to finish Hawksmoor, then it’ll be onto the next.