In a 2016 interview, singer-songwriter sorceress Stevie Nicks spoke on the importance of poetry to music:

“I think that poets and songwriters have a lot in common because a songwriter really has to be a poet first. That’s how we live our lives. It’s the same kind of thinking. … [W]e put our stories into these small little containers filled with mostly short lines and verses. This is how we talk about the way we feel and talk about things and explain the world and ourselves.”

From her bewitching looks and mystical stage presence to her haunting vocals and folklore-inspired lyrics, Nicks is nothing if not a romantic. Like Dylan and Morrison, the songstress drew heavily from classic literature and poets of old to write many of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits. More recently, she praised Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga for inspiring the song “Moonlight” off her critically-acclaimed 2011 solo album In Your Dreams.

Gathered from years of interviews by Far Out Magazine, find a selection of Stevie Nicks’ favorite books below. Complement with the book lists of Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Jim Morrison.

The Mabinogion Trilogy by Evangeline Walton

“These four fantasy-fiction books by American author Evangeline Walton (The Prince of Annwn, The Children of Llyr, The Song of Rhiannon and The Island of The Mighty) are based on traditional Welsh myths. Someone sent them to me back in 1978 because I’d written a song called Rhiannon 5 years earlier. Walton started her work around 1934 and finished in 1974, which was right around the time that I wrote Rhiannon, so I felt like when her work ended, mine began.” -SN

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea is inspired by Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre. The novel explores the life of Mrs Rochester, ‘the wild woman in the attic’, in 1830s Jamaica before she was brought to England by Mr Rochester. Jean Rhys wrote this book as a precursor to Jane Eyre because of her love for the Bronte novel. I saw the film adaptation of the book in the early 1990s and it inspired me to write the song of the same name on my album.” -SN

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (also rec’d by Jane Goodall, Rose McGowan & Ursula K. Le Guin)

“I first read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (written by Charlotte’s sister Emily Bronte) when I was in college in California in the late 1960s. They are two of my favourite books because they’re just so brilliantly written. The beauty of both these classics is that they were fantastic when I was a teenager and they still appeal to me now as a 63-year-old woman.” -SN

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (also rec’d by Ernest Hemingway, Joan Didion & Patti Smith)

The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

“I’ve read all of Poe’s poetry as well as Lord Byron’s and Oscar Wilde’s. He is deep and brooding – you can make many songs from his poems. I like Byron for the same reason – his characters are dark and intense like Lindsey. Oscar Wilde’s work is more flamboyant, but he was a really good storyteller.” -SN

Out of Africa by Karen Blixen

“This memoir recounts the time Karen Blixen (a Danish author) spent in Kenya from 1914. When I saw the 1985 movie version with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, it just killed me and inspired me to read the book. Both make me sob so much I can hardly breathe. Later, my assistant gave me a beautiful old copy, which makes me treasure the story more. I even stayed in the Karen Blixen suite at the Hotel D’Angleterre in her native Copenhagen. The relationship between Blixten and the Safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton broke my heart. It’s a book about finding and losing love.” -SN

Complete Works by Oscar Wilde (also rec’d by John Lennon)

Lord Byron: The Complete Poetical Works

The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

“Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), a song on my new album, was written about New Moon. The song is about what happens when a relationship breaks down or, more specifically, when you are abandoned in some way. I could totally relate to that. I think that Meyer’s stories are magnificent and I’m amazed at how she built her complex world. Writing a song seems much simpler that writing a novel – a song is just five verses and a chorus! I think the love story between Edward and Bella is going to live on forever, like Beauty and the Beast.” -SN

Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch

The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Drugs

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (also rec’d by Hayao Miyazaki & Trevor Noah)

“I first discovered The Little Prince when I was in high school and fell in love with the book straight away. My make-up artist has a tattoo of the Little Prince on the side of her leg, so I’m often reminded of what a beautiful story it is. It’s a sweet fable about the relationship between a little boy and his love for a rose. There is such a strong philosophy of love and loneliness running throughout the book that I can’t help but return to it again and again.” -SN

On The Road with Janis Joplin by John Byrne Cooke

(via Far Out Magazine)

Categories: Musicians

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Stevie Nicks' Literary Influences

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