Nick Cave's recommended reading.

Nick Cave in Berlin 1985, Stranger in a Strange Land


Nick Cave’s work, both musically and literary, is haunting and ethereal, and with two novels and a handful of collections of writing under his belt, we consider his genius work an enrichment for all logophiles and lovers of literature.

In a recent letter to the online world, he reveals a "grab bag" of his vast collection of literature which nurture his artistic ventures.


"Normally, to answer this question I would simply go to my bookshelves and choose forty books. However, my bookshelves are completely empty. The 5000+ books I have accumulated over the years have been shipped to the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen. They are now part of the completely mind-blowing, heart-stopping Stranger Than Kindness exhibition. Without my library in front of me it is a little difficult to assemble a comprehensive list of my forty most loved books. The best I can do is throw together a rather formless and incoherent grab bag of titles that come to mind at this moment that, for one reason or another, I have loved over the years. I think I got carried away. I think there are fifty — in no particular order.

Love, Nick


American Dreams – Sapphire

Break, Blow, Burn – Camille Paglia

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden – Denis Johnson

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

A Good Man is Hard to Find – Flannery O’Connor

I and Thou – Martin Buber

Straight Life – Art Pepper

The Bible – King James Edition

Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

High Windows – Philip Larkin

The Conference of Birds – Attar of Nishapur

My Promised Land – Ari Shavit

The Christ at Chartres – Denis Saurat

King Leopold’s Ghost – Adam Hochschild

America a Prophecy – Jerome Rothenberg

Ariel – Sylvia Plath

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page – Gerald Basil Edwards

The English and Scottish Popular Ballads

The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson

Shaking the Pumpkin  – Jerome Rothenberg

The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson

The Collected Works of Saint Teresa of Avila

Moby Dick – Herman Melville

The Mayor of Casterbridge  – Thomas Hardy

Mid-American Chants – Sherwood Anderson

Collected Works of Billy the Kid – Michael Ondaatje

American Murder Ballads and Their Stories – Olive Woolley Burt

Poems of W. B. Yeats – Selected by Seamus Heaney

The Good Lord Bird – James McBride

Consolations – David Whyte

Roget’s Thesaurus – Peter Mark Roget

Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer

Lives of the Saints – Alban Butler

Inferno/From an Occult Diary – August Strindberg

Poems 1959-2009 – Frederick Seidel

S.C.U.M Manifesto – Valerie Solanas

Complete Poems of E. E. Cummings

The Anatomy of Melancholy – Robert Burton

Dave Robicheaux Novels – James Lee Burke

Victory – Joseph Conrad

A Flower Book for the Pocket – Macgregor Skene

The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis

The Frog Prince – Stevie Smith

Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov

Sanctuary – William Faulkner

Short Stories of Anton Chekhov

The Factory Series – Derek Raymond

The Dream Songs – John Berryman

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

Walkabout – James Vance Marshall"

Issue #101 / June 2020


We highly recommend poking about the archives of Nick’s The Red Hand Files to find more of his intimate musings on things transcendental and mundane.

 "Each answer I write seems to be an act of surrender, but at the same time a kind of armouring up — vulnerability as a form of protection."


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