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Nick Cave has shared a list of his 50 favourite books

Nick Cave has hand-picked his 50 favourite books, compiling a temporal list that delves deep into his literary inspirations and fascinations.

Responding to a fan-based question on his Red Right Hand Files website, Nick the Stripper has opened up about the novels that initially spring to his well-read head at this particular point in time.

Nick Cave has shared that this list of his favourite books is “a rather formless and incoherent grab bag of titles that come to mind at this moment”.

Nick Cave voiced the difficulty of compiling together a comprehensive literary list, as his once stacked “bookshelves are completely empty” for now. The singer-songwriter linked the causation of their transitory movement to a Nick Cave exhibition currently premiering in Denmark.  The artist show delves into Nick’s creative world, featuring personal ornaments and objects he has accumulated over the span of his enigmatic life. He’s also released an illustrated Stranger Than Kindness autobiography to accompany it. Let’s hope the exhibition eventually makes it to Australia!

“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,” Cave writes in Red Right Hand Files Issue #101

Nick rationalises how the texts he has chosen stood out for him at this time, and for some reason or another, have warmed to him over the years. As we all know Nick loves a biblical reference in his songwriting, so his choice of The Bible is no surprise to us.

“I think I got carried away. I think there are fifty — in no particular order.”

Check out the full list of fifty (not forty) novels that Nick Cave thinks make for necessary reading:

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