One a year after the world lost the Starman, his son Duncan Jones has found a suitably eccentric way to unite his fans and honour his legacy through a social-media book club. “My dad was a beast of a reader,” Duncan revealed via his Twitter account @manmademoon. “One of his true loves was Peter Ackroyd’s sojourns into the history of Britain and its cities. I’ve been feeling a building sense of duty to go on the same literary marathon in tribute to dad.”
Bowie’s favourite reads take us on an eclectic adventure through the medium of poetry, prose, essays and even Private Eye magazine. As well as staying true to his Britishness with titles such as Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd – a dark detective novel telling a sinister story set against the backdrop of 18th century London – and those ﬁrmly rooted in music with Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock by Nik Cohn, and The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll by Charlie Gillete, Bowie’s list also reﬂects his adopted Stateside home with novels including Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr, and On The Road by Jack Kerouac, plus non-ﬁction including A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn – an alternative interpretation of the history of America – and The Age Of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby on the dumbing down of society.
His literary Heroes included Anthony Burgess and George Orwell each meriting two mentions, perhaps hinting at an interest in themes of social injustice and a dystopian vision of the future, and a taste of themes and topics to come. Bowie’s book club begins with Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd, which Duncan is calling “an amuse cerveau before we get into the heavy stuff.”
Here are Grazia's rundown of Bowie's favourite reads to give you a head-start.