Pop thrush Marianne Faithfull launched her career with the 1964 release of “As Tears Go By,” an international hit and one of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ first original compositions. Among the most popular singers of the swinging ’60s, Faithfull was ravaged by addiction and took a long commercial absence before making the triumphant comeback album Broken English – a story of decadence and self-destruction documented in her 1994 autobiography Faithfull.

In a reading list for NY-based bookstore One Grand, Faithfull shared ten books that most inspired her life and work. From Updike to Dostoyevsky, find her favorite below, and complement with the bookshelves of Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, David Bowie, John Lennon, Nick Cave, and Patti Smith.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön (also rec’d by Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Doyle & Laurie Anderson)

“I get a lot of help from Pema Chodron. She is the student of Chögyam Trungpa, who was Allen Ginsberg’s guru, and it was Allen who taught me to meditate, along with many other lessons from Buddhism.” -MF
“Simply brilliant. I am a friend of Patti’s, and a huge fan, and I loved it.” -MF

Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (also rec’d by Elena Ferrante)

“A difficult book to read—it’s incredibly tragic—but I sort of managed it, and very nearly at the end now.” -MF

Rabbit Series by John Updike (also rec’d by Ann Patchett)

“They’ve just been a delight to me as long as I’ve known about them. I’ve just read the last one, John Updike is brilliant.” -MF

The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave

“One of Nick Cave’s many novels—very dark, of course, rather like his songs, but very good.” -MF

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

“Nancy Mitford is one of my favorite writers. This is the first of her books that was successful. It’s delightful, it’s funny, it’s charming, and really witty! I read it again and again.” -MF

The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“It’s one of my favorite of Dostoyevsky’s stories, really frightening but it’s an incredible book.” -MF

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt

“I love Shakespeare, and this is perhaps the best book that’s ever been written about him. It’s a fantastic way of talking about Will, and his whole life and career. Completely fascinating.” -MF

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

“Salman is brilliant at fantasy (he’s also brilliant at reality), but I think this is my favorite fantastical magical book he’s ever written, but who knows what’s coming?” -MF

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (also rec’d by Janelle Monáe, John Lennon & Susan Sontag)

“Obviously I read this when I was very young, with Heaven and Hell, and then years later, a friend of mine in Paris—a rare book dealer and musician—turned me on to all his other books, and I was just knocked flat. They are so good.” -MF
Categories: Musicians