David Bowie’s Top 100 Must Read Books

Earlier this year, before the “David Bowie Is” retrospective opened in Toronto, David Bowie revealed his top 100 must read books. The list provides a captivating look into the mind behind Ziggy Stardust and Major Tom. I like that Bowie’s list is expansive and diverse – including comics, autobiography, history, counter-culture, travel writing, poetry and lots of fiction. I also like that the books are relatively new, with only two selections being written before he was born. Bowie is known as “a voracious reader” who is reputed to read as much as “a book a day”. Here they are in reverse chronological order.

  • The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby, 2008
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz, 2007
  • The Coast of Utopia: Voyage, Shipwreck, Salvage, Tom Stoppard, 2007
  • Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945, Jon Savage, 2007
  • Fingersmith, Sarah Waters, 2002
  • The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens, 2001
  • Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, Lawrence Weschler, 1997
  • A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1890-1924, Orlando Figes, 1997
  • The Insult, Rupert Thomson, 1996
  • Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon, 1995
  • The Bird Artist, Howard Norman, 1994
  • Kafka Was The Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir, Anatole Broyard, 1993
  • Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective, Arthur C. Danto, 1992
  • Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, Camille Paglia, 1990
  • David Bomberg, Richard Cork, 1988
  • Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, Peter Guralnick, 1986
  • The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin, 1986
  • Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd, 1985
  • Nowhere To Run: The Story of Soul Music, Gerri Hirshey, 1984
  • Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter, 1984
  • Money, Martin Amis, 1984
  • White Noise, Don DeLillo, 1984
  • Flaubert’s Parrot, Julian Barnes, 1984
  • The Life and Times of Little Richard, Charles White, 1984
  • A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn, 1980
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole, 1980
  • Interviews with Francis Bacon, David Sylvester, 1980
  • Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler, 1980
  • Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess, 1980
  • Raw (a ‘graphix magazine’), 1980-91
  • Viz (magazine), 1979 –
  • The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, 1979
  • Metropolitan Life, Fran Lebowitz, 1978
  • In Between the Sheets, Ian McEwan, 1978
  • Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, ed. Malcolm Cowley, 1977
  • The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes, 1976
  • Tales of Beatnik Glory, Ed Saunders, 1975
  • Mystery Train, Greil Marcus, 1975
  • Selected Poems, Frank O’Hara, 1974
  • Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s, Otto Friedrich, 1972
  • In Bluebeard’s Castle : Some Notes Towards the Re-definition of Culture, George Steiner, 1971
  • Octobriana and the Russian Underground, Peter Sadecky, 1971
  • The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll, Charlie Gillete, 1970
  • The Quest For Christa T, Christa Wolf, 1968
  • Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock, Nik Cohn, 1968
  • The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967
  • Journey into the Whirlwind, Eugenia Ginzburg, 1967
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr. , 1966
  • In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1965
  • City of Night, John Rechy, 1965
  • Herzog, Saul Bellow, 1964
  • Puckoon, Spike Milligan, 1963
  • The American Way of Death, Jessica Mitford, 1963
  • The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, Yukio Mishima, 1963
  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin, 1963
  • A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, 1962
  • Inside the Whale and Other Essays, George Orwell, 1962
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark, 1961
  • Private Eye (magazine) 1961 –
  • On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious, Douglas Harding, 1961
  • Silence: Lectures and Writing, John Cage, 1961
  • Strange People, Frank Edwards, 1961
  • The Divided Self, R. D. Laing, 1960
  • All The Emperor’s Horses, David Kidd,1960
  • Billy Liar, Keith Waterhouse, 1959
  • The Leopard, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, 1958
  • On The Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957
  • The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard, 1957
  • Room at the Top, John Braine, 1957
  • A Grave for a Dolphin, Alberto Denti di Pirajno, 1956
  • The Outsider, Colin Wilson, 1956
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1949
  • The Street, Ann Petry, 1946
  • Black Boy, Richard Wright, 1945
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, 1944
  • The Outsider, Albert Camus, 1942
  • The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West, 1939
  • The Beano, (comic) 1938 –
  • The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell, 1937
  • Mr. Norris Changes Trains, Christopher Isherwood, 1935
  • English Journey, J.B. Priestley, 1934
  • Infants of the Spring, Wallace Thurman, 1932
  • The Bridge, Hart Crane, 1930
  • Vile Bodies, Evelyn Waugh, 1930
  • As I lay Dying, William Faulkner, 1930
  • The 42nd Parallel, John Dos Passos, 1930
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin, 1929
  • Passing, Nella Larsen, 1929
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence, 1928
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
  • The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot, 1922
  • BLAST, ed. Wyndham Lewis, 1914-15
  • McTeague, Frank Norris, 1899
  • Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual, Eliphas Lévi, 1896
  • Les Chants de Maldoror, Lautréamont, 1869
  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, 1856
  • Zanoni, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1842
  • Inferno, from the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, about 1308-1321
  • The Iliad, Homer, about 800 BC
  • Tweets From The 144 Republicans Who Voted To Send The U.S. Into Default

    Earlier this week a vote was held in congress on HR 2775. This was a vote to reopen the federal government and temporarily raise the debt limit. Despite the dire consequences of this senate amendment not passing, there were 144 republican representatives who voted against it. Below is a twitter timeline of all those representatives.


    It should be noted that representatives John Mica, Tom Petri, and Sam Graves are not included because they don’t have twitter accounts. Here is the complete list of republican representatives that voted to send the United States into default.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Must read List

    During a Reddit AMA with Neil deGrasse Tyson a Redditor asked, “Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet?” Below is a list of books he provided in his response along with his reason for choosing it.

    1. The Bible – “to learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself.”
    2. The System of the World by Isaac Newton – “to learn that the universe is a knowable place.”
    3. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin – “to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth.”
    4. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift – “to learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos.”
    5. The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine – “to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world.”
    6. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith – “to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself.”
    7. The Art of War by Sun Tsu – “to learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art.”
    8. The Prince by Machiavelli – “to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it.”

    Neil deGrasse Tyson goes on to say, “If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.”

    A Timeline Of Future Science Fiction Events

    Below is a list of predictions made by speculative science fiction authors both past and present. Also listed is the novel or short story in which the prediction was made, as well as the year it was published.

    Notably, the list puts the Hunger Games in the year 2108 and robot cats finally make an appearance in 2966. My favorite entry by far is the year 2107 when “Everyone blogs about themselves, all day, without shame: ‘only perverts do things in private.'”
    Read More

    Traits That Happy People Have In Common

    Mark and Angel provide some great reminders that life is what you make of it. I know, it is sometimes difficult to make anything of it, but happiness is often found in trying. Bottom line: You can choose happiness. Enjoy

    1. They are ‘glass half full’ people – while still being practical and down-to-earth. They have an ability to find the good in any situation.
    2. They understand that happiness is a choice, and consciously and methodically create their own happiness, while others hope happiness will find them.
    3. They are ambitious. They don’t believe in, or wait for fate, destiny, chance or luck to determine or shape their future. They take control and choose to live their best life rather than spending it on auto-pilot.
    4. They have clarity and certainty about what they want and don’t want for their life. They visualize and plan their best reality while others are merely spectators of life. They have identified their core values – what is important to them – and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of these values.
    5. They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a happy, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.
    6. They rarely complain because they know it’s a waste of energy. All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative state of mind.
    7. They don’t procrastinate and they don’t spend their life waiting for the ‘right time’. They are busy, productive and proactive with their goals. While most are laying on the couch, over-planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there taking steps in the right direction.
    8. They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by their fears – they face them and grow beyond them over time.
    9. They don’t blame others. They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes, or their lack thereof.
    10. While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find ways to maximize their potential. They get more out of themselves by exercising their talents and their passions. In other words, they use what they have more effectively, which leads to long-term personal achievement and happiness.
    11. Read More

    courtesy Amazon.com

    Books That Every Artist Should Own

    After consulting with fellow artists, professors, historians and college syllabi, ARTINFO has put together this list of books all artists should own. With an eye toward a balance of theory, history, reference, and practical guides this list includes over 22 books covering a multitude of subjects surrounding art.