David Bowie Reading Book

The David Bowie Book Club

Back in 2013, David Bowie released a list of his top 100 must-read books. It is no secret that the late music icon had an insatiable appetite for learning and enlightenment through reading. As a result, there are some real gems on his list. Duncan Jones, David Bowie’s son, announced on Twitter that he’d like to start up an impromptu book club focused on the list. The first choice is Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd

For those of you playing along at home, a deadline of February 1st means you had better get crackin’. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an English copy of Hawksmoore on Amazon for less than $200. Reviews of the book are VERY mixed. It will be interesting to see what the David Bowie Book Club thinks of it. You can follow along on Duncan Jones’ twitter page.


Casa Bonita: Skeleton pirate at the entrance to Black Bart's Cave

Why Did Pirates Wear Eye Patches?

This Wall Street Journal article from back in 2013 answers some important questions about whether reading in dimly lit conditions or reading on a device like an iPad or phone can actually cause damage to your eyes. It turns out there is no evidence of long-term damage or change in the physiology to the eyes but it may cause discomfort or fatigue.

However, the lead is buried in the last paragraph of the article and explains why pirates wore eye patches:

“Ever wonder why a pirate wears patches? It’s not because he was wounded in a sword fight,” says Dr. Sheedy. Seamen must constantly move between the pitch black of below decks and the bright sunshine above.

Smart pirates “wore a patch over one eye to keep it dark-adapted outside.” Should a battle break out and the pirate had to shimmy below, he would simply switch the patch to the outdoor eye and he could see in the dark right away—saving him 25 minutes of flailing his cutlass about in near blindness

Mad Men Reading List

The New York Public Library (NYPL) has created a Mad Men Reading List, a collection of 25 titles read by the main characters during the course of the series. These titles are a great way to gain insight into the social and cultural eras in which the series takes place.





  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
    (Episode 108 “The Hobo Code”)






Billy Parrott has also written a more comprehensive blogpost that lists books seen on shelves and lying around on tables during the show.

Top 100 Best Children’s Books

Scholastic’s Parent & Child Magazine released a list of what they thought were the best children’s books. You can see the list in an easily sortable table below. Links to Amazon.com for each book are also provided.

Top 100 Children's Books

RankTitleAuthorAge RangeCategory
1Charlotte's WebE.B. White8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
2Goodnight MoonMargaret Wise Brown0-3Animal Characters
3A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet)Madeleine L?Engle11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
4The Snowy DayEzra Jacks Keats4-7Realistic Fiction
5Where the Wild Things AreMaurice Sendak0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
6Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)J.K. Rowling11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
7Green Eggs and HamDr. Seuss4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
8The Diary of a Young GirlAnne Frank11+Non-Fiction / Informational
9The Giving TreeShel Silverstein4-7Traditional / Poetry
10Frog and Toad Are FriendsArnold Lobel8-10Animal Characters
11Anne of Green GablesL.M. Montgomery11+Realistic Fiction
12The Very Hungry CaterpillarEric Carle0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
13MadelineLudwig Bemelmans4-7Realistic Fiction
14The Wind in the WillowsKenneth Grahame8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
15The DotPeter H. Reynolds4-7Realistic Fiction
16Tuck EverlastingNatalie Babbitt11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
17Pat the BunnyDorothy Kunhardt0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
18When Marian SangPam Munoz Ryan8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
19Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary TaleMo Willems0-3Realistic Fiction
20Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and DrawingsShel Silverstein8-10Traditional / Poetry
21Bud, Not BuddyChristopher Paul Curtis11+Realistic Fiction
22CorduroyDon Freeman0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
23The Phantom TollboothNorton Juster8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
24The Little Engine That CouldWatty Piper4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
25The GiverLois Lowry11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
26Where the Mountain Meets the MoonGrace Lin8-10Traditional / Poetry
27Black on WhiteTana Hoban0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
28Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!Mo Willems4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
29Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.Judy Blume11+Realistic Fiction
30My Rotten Redheaded Older BrotherPatricia Polacco8-10Realistic Fiction
31The MittenJan Brett4-7Traditional / Poetry
32The Runaway BunnyMargaret Wise Brown0-3Animal Characters
33The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
34SwimmyLeo Lionni4-7Animal Characters
35Freight TrainDonald Crews0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
36The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson Burnett8-10Realistic Fiction
37The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry BearDon & Audrey Wood4-7Animal Characters
38Diary of a Wimpy KidJeff Kinney11+Realistic Fiction
39Zen ShortsJohn J. Muth8-10Traditional / Poetry
40Moo Baa La La LaSandra Boynton0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
41MatildaRoald Dahl8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
42What Do People Do All DayRichard Scarry4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
43The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeC.S. Lewis11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
44Good Night, GorillaPeggy Rathmann0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
45The CompositionAntonio Skarmeta8-10Realistic Fiction
46Not a BoxAntoinette Portis4-7Animal Characters
47Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
48HatchetGary Paulsen11+Realistic Fiction
49Martin's Big WordsDoreen Rappaport4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
50Sarah, Plain and TallPatricia Mac-Lachlan8-10Realistic Fiction
51Sylvia Long's Mother GooseSylvia Long0-3Traditional / Poetry
52The Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning ThiefRick Riordan11+Traditional / Poetry
53The House at Pooh CornerA.A. Milne4-7Fantasy / Science Fiction
54Through My EyesRuby Bridges11+Non-Fiction / Informational
55Smile!Roberta Grobel Intrater0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
56Living SunlightMolly Bang & Penny Chisholm8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
57The Bad BeginningLemony Snicket11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
58Harvesting HopeKathleen Krull8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
59Dear JunoSoyung Pak4-7Realistic Fiction
60Head, Shoulders, Knees and ToesAnnie Kubler0-3Traditional / Poetry
61The Lion & the MouseJerry Pinkney4-7Traditional / Poetry
62Diary of a WormDoreen Cronin8-10Animal Characters
63The Invention of Hugo CabretBrian Selznick11+Realistic Fiction
64My Truck is Stuck!Kevin Lewis0-3Animal Characters
65BirdsKevin Henkes4-7Realistic Fiction
66The Maze Of BonesRick Riordan8-10Realistic Fiction
67Esperanza RisingPam Munoz Ryan11+Realistic Fiction
68Counting KissesKaren Katz0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
69The Magic School Bus At The WaterworksJoanna Cole8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
70BlackoutJohn Rocco4-7Realistic Fiction
71Bridge to TerabithiaKatherine Paterson11+Realistic Fiction
72Are You My Mother?P.D. Eastman0-3Animal Characters
73Tea with MilkAllen Say8-10Realistic Fiction
74Owl MoonJane Yolen4-7Realistic Fiction
75HolesLouis Sachar11+Realistic Fiction
76Peek-A Who?Nina Laden0-3Animal Characters
77Hi! Fly GuyTedd Arnold8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
78Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NimhRobert C. O?Brien11+Fantasy / Science Fiction
79Llama Llama Red PajamaAnna Dewdney0-3Animal Characters
80What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?Steve Jenkins & Robin Page4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
81Lincoln: A PhotobiographyRussell Freedman11+Non-Fiction / Informational
82Ivy + BeanAnnie Barrows8-10Realistic Fiction
83YokoRosemary Wells4-7Animal Characters
84No No Yes YesLeslie Patricelli0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
85Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingJudy Blume8-10Realistic Fiction
86Interrupting ChickenDavid Ezra Stein4-7Animal Characters
87RulesCynthia Lord11+Realistic Fiction
88Grumpy BirdJeremy Tankard0-3Animal Characters
89An Egg Is QuietDianna Hutts Aston4-7Non-Fiction / Informational
90Puss in BootsCharles Perrault8-10Traditional / Poetry
91Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the MoonCatherine Thimmesh11+Non-Fiction / Informational
92What Shall We Do with the Boo Hoo Baby?Cressida Cowell0-3Fantasy / Science Fiction
93We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United StatesDavid Catrow8-10Non-Fiction / Informational
94I Took the Moon for a WalkCarolyn Curtis4-7Traditional / Poetry
95A Single ShardLinda Sue Park11+Realistic Fiction
96GossieOlivier Dunrea0-3Animal Characters
97The Adventures Of Captain UnderpantsDav Pilkey8-10Fantasy / Science Fiction
98First WordsRoger Priddy0-3Non-Fiction / Informational
99Joyful Noise: Poems for Two VoicesPaul Fleischman11+Traditional / Poetry
100AnimaliaGraeme Base4-7Non-Fiction / Informational

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