David Bowie’s books

Bowie Books illustration“The two chaps in the middle of our montage are David Bowie sporting a Clockwork Orange T-shirt with his old chum, George Underwood”

At davidbowie.com, they have posted: David Bowie’s top 100 books

As a reader and a writer I am, of course, fascinated by the rather eclectic reading list (from Beano all the way to “The Clockwork Orange”…?).

I have to admit that I have read only 12 books on his list. I am impressed at the wondrous variety of reading material here – but then, Europeans tend to have that breadth because they are reading books from across Europe and by writers from different cultures and languages; also, I suspect that even though the David Jones who existed before David Bowie still had the seeds of the Bowie persona inside him all the way back to when he was a tadpole he also looked like a teenager who might have found solace in the word over direct interactions with people. Before he made that what he was a  cool thing to be, he was, as he had been described in some article about him, ” a snaggle-toothed skinny white boy” and those – even when they’re proto-David-Bowie – can be lonely.

For my generation, David Bowie was special. He made it okay to be weird. More than okay, he made it the epitome of cool to be weird. He had virility and sex appeal — and an edge of danger, even though people who worked with him described him as kind. He was that ultimate of creatures – a practically feline lean mean hunter, but also someone capable of disarming you with a smile, or a softening of those improbably mismatched eyes, or an intelligent word.

Or a reading list.

Once, in an interview, David Bowie described reading as one of life’s greatest joys. It’s interesting to see what kind of stories shaped his own, what helped to make him into that icon that he became.

I might choose an offering or two from his list I haven’t read yet, and read them this year. In his memory.

See the whole list HERE

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Jarry Lee of BuzzFeed tells us about

29 Hilarious Literary Internet Puns

They were sparked by a Comedy Central’s twitter game with the hashtag #InternetABook that involved playing word and Photoshop games with book titles’

One example – “ The Time Traveler’s Wifi “.

Another is this photo
Charlotte's Web Bowser cover
See ALL the puns HERE

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At Off the Shelf, Emma Volk offers us

14 Must-Read Books Set Under the African Sun

Through the beauty of armchair adventuring, Volk says, you can see lush African landscapes and dream of savannahs while you are stuck in suburbia. She selects some books for us.

For example, one of my all time favorites

Poisonwood Bible coverThe Poisonwood Bible:

Barbara Kingsolver charts cultural clashes, political upheaval, and failed fundamentalism in this ambitious epic. When an evangelical Baptist preacher moves his wife and daughters to the Belgian Congo in 1959, the African soil proves to be the family’s undoing and salvation.

And there is this delightful series I first encountered on TV

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency coverThe No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency:

The first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed series tells the story of Botswana’s best (and indeed, only) female detective, Precious Ramotswe, a good-hearted detective with a keen moral eye who specializes in everything from missing husbands and wayward daughters to con men and imposters.

See the other 12 books HERE

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Old Words and Phrases remind us of the way we were

Richard Lederer once wrote about expressions that have become obsolete because of technology — Don’t touch that dial, Carbon copy, You sound like a broken record, Hung out to dry.

“A bevy of readers have asked me to shine a light on some more faded words and expressions, and I am happy to oblige,” he says. “Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing. Where have all those phrases gone?….Long time ago…”

Banned in Boston
It’s your nickel
Knee high to a grasshopper
Domino theory
Don’t take any wooden nickels
And Awa-A-ay We Go!”

“It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging. We can have archaic and eat it, too!”

Read the whole column HERE

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Guardian Book Quiz
Adult Coloring BooksThe book trend of 2015, coloring books for adults. Illustration: Leanne Italie/AP

Who found the manuscript for Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman? Which taunt did Martin Amis level at Jeremy Corbyn? And who hasn’t had an adult coloring book devoted to them (yet)?

I got nearly half right, although some by the process of elimination, My husband refused to tell me how badly…err,  how well he did.

Test your knowledge of last year’s books HERE

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Quote of the Day
Dave Bowie BooksHe knew his poetry.

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Alma Alexander       My books       Email me
 
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