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Vale David Bowie – and viva el libro!

David Bowie’s nomination of reading as his favourite pastime has surprised many of us who did not know about this aspect of his life. On hearing this, I was immediately keen to learn of his personal recommendations. As it turns out, lists of David Bowie’s favourite books have been published over the years. Here’s a link to one in The Guardian two years ago:

Farewell David – an inspiring and extraordinarily talented man who fascinated us with his music and gift for reinvention – and who constantly reshaped the zeitgeist!

It’s encouraging for all of us in the book industry to hear from people in the public eye telling us about their favourite books. And, further, it’s uplifting to realise the extent of their interests in this time in which many (writers, publishers and booksellers) have feared for the future of books.

For those who want to go exploring, here are some interesting sites.

In the Sydney Morning Herald site, Anna Funder nominates the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn, Graeme Simsion selects Helen Garner’s This House of Grief and Helen Garner herself chooses Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast.

At another site, Kate Winslett nominates Therese Raquin by Emile Zola and Stephen King selects Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

Amongst many contemporaries, one of the books that inspires Paulo Coelho is William Blakes’ Songs of Innocence and Experience. Elon Musk nominates The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Rex Finch