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.
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"
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."