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Friday Funday: David Bowie’s Top 100 Books

Happy Friday dear readers! I hope your week has been manageable and that your last day before the weekend is going smoothly. Now, I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I oftentimes spend my weekends either catching up on my reading or going out and tracking down new books to add to my pile. Sometimes I glean ideas from book lists like the ones I posted earlier this week, Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels and Radcliffe’s Rival 100 Best Novels; most of the time I just walk around waiting for something interesting to catch my eye.

Every once in a while, though, when I’m browsing the shelves at my local library or bookstore, I think to myself, “What would David Bowie pick?” Oh, you do too? Well, we’re in luck, dear readers, because thanks to an exhibit going on at the Art Gallery of Ontario called David Bowie Is we now know exactly what David Bowie’s personal Top 100 Books are.

Here are David Bowie’s top 100 books, listed in chronological order based on publication date starting with the most recent titles. As always, I’ve bolded the (very few) titles I’ve read, because it wouldn’t do to break away from the regular order of things, even for a Friday Funday post. Enjoy, and happy Friday!


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

One thought on “Friday Funday: David Bowie’s Top 100 Books

  1. Pingback: Celebrities’ Favorite Books | The Bewildered 20-Something Writer

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