David Bowie's Idea of Perfect Happiness Was Reading: Here's A List of His Favorite Works of Fiction

By Louise Chan | Jan 13, 2016 06:21 PM EST

The world lost one of the biggest icons in the entertainment industry when David Bowie passed away on Jan. 10 after an 18-month long battle with cancer. The legendary performer may now be partying with other rock idols in paradise but it is encouraging to know that when he was alive, he experienced perfect happiness in the company of books.

It's obvious from Bowie's answers in the Proust Questionnaire in 1998 that he really loved to read and was very appreciative of the literary arts in any form. Perhaps this is what gave Bowie his incredible wit and impeccable taste in books from different genres.

In the Proust Questionnaire, Bowie directly stated that reading is his idea of perfect happiness and that the ability to return books is a quality that he likes most in a man. In short, if you ever borrowed a book from David Bowie and you never returned it, you're probably in his "naughty" list since he also said that he identifies most with Santa Claus.

Check out some of Bowie's favorite works of fiction listed below, arranged in alphabetical order according to the author's name.

1. Peter Ackroyd's "Hawksmoor"

2. Dante Alighieri's "Inferno"

3. Martin Amis' "Money"

4. Julian Barnes' "Flaubert's Parrot"

5. Saul Bellow's "Herzog"

6. John Braine's "Room at the Top"

7. Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita"

8. Edward Bulwer-Lytton's "Zanoni"

9. Anthony Burgess' "Earthly Powers" and "A Clockwork Orange"

10. Albert Camus' "The Stranger"

11. Angela Carter's "Nights at the Circus"

12. Michael Chabon's "Wonder Boys"

13. Don DeLillo's "White Noise"

14. Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"

15. Alfred Döblin's "Berlin Alexanderplatz"

16. John Dos Passos' "The 42nd Parallel"

17. William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying"

18. F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"

19. Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary"

20. Christopher Isherwood's "Mr. Norris Changes Trains"

21. Jack Kerouac's "On the Road"

22. Arthur Koestler's "Darkness at Noon"

23. Giuseppe di Lampedusa's "The Leopard"

24. Nella Larson's "Passing"

25. Comte de Lautréamont's "Les Chants de Maldoror"

26. D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover"

27. Ian McEwan's "In Between the Sheets"

28. Yukio Mishima's "The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea"

29. Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita"

30. Howard Norman's "The Bird Artist"

31. Frank Norris' "McTeague"

32. George Orwell's "1984"

33. Ann Petry's "The Street"

34. John Rechy's "City of Night"

35. Peter Sadecky's "Octobriana and the Russian Underground"

36. Ed Sanders' "Tales of Beatnik Glory"

37. Hubert Selby Jr.'s "Last Exit to Brooklyn"

38. Muriel Spark's "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

39. Rupert Thomson's "The Insult"

40. Wallace Thurman's "Infants Of the Spring"

41. John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces"

42. Keith Waterhouse's "Billy Liar"

43. Sarah Waters' "Fingersmith"

44. Evelyn Waugh's "Vile Bodies"

45. Nathanael West's "The Day of the Locust"

46. Christa Wolf's "The Quest for Christa T"

These works have perhaps filled Bowie's mind with wondrous things, helping him when he was short on inspiration. You can also check out the list of Bowie's favorites in other genres.

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