Glamour icon, ’40s fashion sensation, and cabaret queen Dita Von Teese has spent three decades on stage, perfecting her Old Hollywood allure and popularizing the modern burlesque movement. She’s also authored two coffee table books – 2006’s Burlesque and the Art of the Teese and 2015’s Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour – which deconstruct her intoxicating approach to performance art.

Speaking with V Magazine on the books she’s cherished most, Von Teese included a rare Mae West memoir, Diane Vreeland’s autobiography, and the evocative erotica of Anaïs Nin. Find her reading list below.

Mae West on Sex, Health, & ESP by Mae West

“No one is more quotable than Mae West, and this rare book is both hilarious and insightful. When I was living in Paris, my fellow glambassadors and I would sit around and drink violet scented champagne and read aloud from this book.” -DvT

D.V. by Diana Vreeland

“The most entertaining memoir I’ve ever read, in the classic Diana Vreeland style. Colorful, witty, glamorous and inspiring.” -DvT

Infinite Variety: The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati by Scot D. Ryersson and Michael Orlanda Yaccarina

“Talk about eccentric glamour, La Casati did it ALL before any of us did!” -DvT

The Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille

“Definitely not for the faint of heart, this intense surrealist erotic novel set in the 1920’s is one of my favorite books.” -DvT

Little Birds and the Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

“I love lascivious literature set in the eras that fascinate me. I love to imagine the glamorous clothes, marcel-waved hairstyles and lingerie of the past combined with explicit erotica. I am currently working on a perfume that captures the feels of these books.” -DvT

(via V Magazine)

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