When history looks back at our bizarre little era, it will agree on one thing: Everything went to shit real quick right after David Bowie died. It’s baffling how quickly reality unraveled after David Robert Jones left us in early 2016. Muhammad Ali, Prince, Tom Petty and a whole bunch of people you really like passed away soon after. A couple spooky elections happened. Hydrofoils became a thing and life has been in a bit of a free fall that makes my brain feel like it strained a nerve the more I think about it. Really not the best couple hundred of days around the sun. And yes, to all you optimists, there were a few bright spots. But even you fake-smile suckers can agree that the Star Man’s all-too-soon departure on January 10, 2016, was a massive bummer.
But guess what? As of this month you can now honor Bowie’s legacy outside of throwing The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars on your record player while you lung a cigarette and have a cry in some dark bedroom. How? Well, Duncan Jones, David’s son, has started a book club in honor of his late father. It’s aptly titled the “Bowie Book Club.”
Why a book club? Glad you asked. Bowie was notorious for being voracious reader throughout his life. Apparently he would take down three to four books a week. One time he brought over 400 books with him to Mexico while filming 1976’s “The Man Who Fell To Earth” — no kidding. Rumor even has it that reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road was the whole reason he decided to get out of his hometown of Bromley and pursue the whole music caper. So just when you thought the Thin White Duke couldn’t get any cooler he pulls that little fun fact out of his back pocket.
Duncan will be curating the book club, offering up a new book every month. A majority of the suggestions will be pulled from Bowie’s widely-publicized “Top 100 Books” list. You can follow along with it all here.
The inaugural pick is Peter Ackroyd’s 1985 postmodernist novel, Hawksmoor. Readers will have until February 1st to polish it off. Check it out. Sounds like a great starting point for anyone (hello) whose made a personal promise to read more in the new year.
But if books and reading sound like a bunch of nonsense to you then well, that’s a damn shame to hear. It’s never too late to start, though. And this the closest thing you’ll get to a perfect opportunity to get things going.
Also, here’s an unreleased demo of Bowie’s 1983 hit single (find it up top) “Let’s Dance.” It just hit the web in honor of his 71st birthday, which would have been today if he were still with us (sad face). Headphones on. Click play. Enjoy. And then go read Hawksmoor like the rest of us. –James Royce