Tag Archives: Art Gallery of Ontario

From Bowie with love: A book list

Just about anything Bowie does is cool– this now includes opening up the dusty old spine of a musty book. He’s now invited the world to check out his book list.

My blog post many moons ago mentioned David Bowie’s exhibit at the V and A in London. The “David Bowie Is” exhibit now resides at the Art Gallery of Ontario. A story about the exhibit is here.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

As part of the exhibit, curators Marsh and Victoria Broackes released a list of 100 of Bowie’s Must-Read books. Besides the fact that a global musical pioneer is letting us know what he likes to read, the list is an eye-opener simply for its variety.

The list runs chronologically, starting with “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, from 1945 and ending with “The Age of American Unreason,” by Susan Jacoby, from 2008.

It includes well-known classics and music-based books, mysteries and obscurity.

There’s poetry and beatnik stories; stories on Kafka and Francis Bacon. The list even includes British crude-comic mag “Viz.” The only details are that the magazine started in 1979 — Does this mean he’s read the roughly 266 issues since its inception?

Be like Bowie: Read.

Be like Bowie: Read.

A few highlights:

Well-known classics: George Orwell’s “1984”;  Vladimir Nabokov‘s “Lolita.”

Music-based books: “Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom.”

True mysteries: Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

Bizarre titles: Arthur Danto‘s “Beyond the Brillo Box”; Howard Norman’s “The Bird Artist.”

And the corker: “Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson,” by Camille Paglia.

Your own well-rounded cosmopolitan library, built by Ziggy himself.

vintage book poster

Leave a comment

Filed under Features, News