“I think about a world to come / Where the books were found by the golden ones / Written in pain, written in awe / By a puzzled man who questioned / What we were here for…”
You’ve no doubt heard — David Bowie passed away last night after fighting cancer. He was 69 years old.
In response, Twitter has reminded us that Bowie was a serious book lover. Geoffrey Marsh, who curated an Art Gallery of Ontario exhibit on Bowie a few years back said Bowie was “‘a voracious reader’ who is reputed to read as much as ‘a book a day.'”
So we want to say goodbye the best way we know how: by talking books. Here is a list at Brain Pickings of Bowie’s 75 favorite books, and an article at Open Book Toronto that expands the list to 100. There is lots here that you would probably expect — Orwell’s 1984 and Nabokov’s Lolita — as well as a few interesting choices like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Hitchens’ The Trial of Henry Kissinger.
These are the recommendations on books from Bowie. Any recommendations from readers out there on the best of the more than 60 books that have come out about Bowie? Here’s one we liked.
“He was Bro, plain Bro, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. He was Brolo in slacks. He was Broheim at school. He was Broseph on the dotted line. But in my arms he was always Brolita.”
“Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur little dudes who, to certain silver foxes, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is 100% bangable; and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as ‘dudelets.'”
“Brolita, when he chose, could be a most exasperating brat. I was not really quite prepared for his fits of disorganized boredom, intense and vehement griping, his sprawling, droopy, dopey-eyed style, and what is called goofing off — a kind of diffused clowning which he thought was tough in a gangsta rap way. Mentally, I found him to be a disgustingly conventional little dude. SportsCenter, beer pong, artisanal pizza, The Wall Street Journal online, Brooks Brothers and so forth — these were the obvious items in his list of beloved things. The Lord knows how many AmEx cards I swiped in the Uber cabs that we hailed!”