Celebrated for his poetic, politically-charged lyrics and rhythm guitar work for Welsh alt-rock band Manic Street Preachers, Richey Edwards continues to be a powerful icon for the alienated. Through highly publicized battles with alcoholism, anorexia, depression and self-mutilation, the enigmatic idealogue subverted rock’s traditional machismo, speaking with humor and humility on subjects previously considered taboo. His 1995 disappearance – vanishing at the age of 27 from a London hotel on the eve of a U.S. tour – only cemented his status in modern music mythology.

Though he started off as a roadie and driver for the band’s early gigs, Edwards’ intellectual songwriting would become integral to the band’s legacy. His exploration of darker themes – such as capital punishment, child prostitution, self-starving and the Holocaust – featured heavily on the Manics’ masterpiece third album The Holy Bible, while his devotion to art and poetry appeared in the many esoteric quotes stamped on their record sleeves.

From Tennessee Williams to T.S. Eliot, find a list of Richey Edward’s favorite books below, archived by now-defunct fansite richeyedwards.net. Dive into the reading lists of other musical legends here.

Small Craft Warnings by Tennessee Williams

Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams

Baby Doll by Tennessee Williams

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud (also rec’d by Bob Dylan, Johnny Depp & Patti Smith)

Junky by William S. Burroughs (also rec’d by Kurt Cobain)

The Myth Of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

The Stranger by Albert Camus (also rec’d by David BowieJim MorrisonLeonard CohenPaulo Coelho, Philip Seymour Hoffman & Robert Smith)

The Fall by Albert Camus (also rec’d by Henry Rollins, Jim Morrison & Philip Roth)

The Plague by Albert Camus (also rec’d by Jim Morrison)

Poetry by Philip Larkin, Primo Levi, William Blake & Siegfried Sassoon

The Boy Looked At Johnny by Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons

Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music by Greil Marcus (also rec’d by Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie & Kim Gordon)

Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock by Nik Cohn (also rec’d by David Bowie & Jarvis Cocker)

Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-war Pop by Charles Shaar Murray

Elvis: The Last 24 Hours by Albert Goldman (also rec’d by Bill Maher)

The Lives Of John Lennon by Albert Goldman

1984 by George Orwell (also rec’d by David BowieJohn Lennon, Richard BransonSteve Jobs)

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (also rec’d by David Bowie, Kim Gordon, Michael Stipe, Nick Cave & Patti Smith)

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (also rec’d by Colin Kaepernick, David Bowie & Ta-Nehisi Coates)

Another Country by James Baldwin (also rec’d by RATM)

Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (also rec’d by Elon Musk & Stephen King)

The Inheritors by William Golding

Prick Up Your Ears by John Lahr

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

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

Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac (also rec’d by Ralph Steadman)

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (also rec’d by Leonard Cohen & Richard Branson)

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (also rec’d by Alice Walker, Colin KaepernickMaya Angelou, Nipsey Hussle & RATM)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (also rec’d by Kareem Abdul-JabbarKurt Cobain, Lenny Kravitz, Liz Phair & Philip Roth)

Birdy by William Wharton

Pride by William Wharton

Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki

No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

The Trial by Franz Kafka (also rec’d by Philip Roth & Robert Smith)

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (also rec’d by David Lynch, Gabriel García Márquez & Robert Smith)

Frisk by Dennis Cooper

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse

Thirst for Love by Yukio Mishima

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Miracle of the Rose by Jean Genet

Crash by J.G. Ballard (also rec’d by Anthony Bourdain)

The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard

Blown Away by A.E. Hotchner

Knots by R.D. Laing

Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (also rec’d by Patti Smith)

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

The Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau

The Runaway Soul by Harold Brodkey

(via richeyedwards.net)

Categories: Musicians