Best known by her stage name Lorde, Ella Yelich-O’Connor burst onto the electropop scene with the release of her debut studio album Pure Heroine in 2013. Celebrated for her introspective songwriting and unconventional sound, she’s often cited literature – and a lifelong fascination with aristocracy – as inspiration to her work:

I come from a short fiction background, and my mom is a poet, so I’ve always read poetry; I’ve always had a lot of different influences both linguistically and musically.

From the poems of Rimbaud to the dreamy, experimental fiction of Carmen Maria Machado, it’s no surprise her taste in books is as eclectic and erudite as her love of music. Collected from years of interviews and social media posts by Book Riot, find a list of Lorde’s recommended reads below. Then dive into the bookshelves of other iconic musicians right here.

A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes

Self-Help by Lorrie Moore

Her Body And Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (also re’cd by Phoebe Bridgers)

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud (also rec’d by Johnny Depp & Patti Smith)

Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut

Feed by M.T. Anderson

The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord

Ariel by Sylvia Plath (also rec’d by Patti Smith)

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion (also rec’d by Carrie Brownstein & St. Vincent)

The Waste Land by T.S. Elliot (also rec’d by David Bowie & Richey Edwards)

Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose (also rec’d by Florence Welch & Lena Dunham)

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus (also rec’d by Kim Gordon)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (also rec’d by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen & Maya Angelou)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (also rec’d by David Sedaris)

I’m Very into You: Correspondence 1995-1996 by Kathy Acker

The Night in Question by Tobias Wolff

Not Me by Eileen Myles

Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
Categories: Musicians