30 Books You Need To Read – Recommended By Your Favourite Bands

It’s World Book Day (March 2) today! Looking for a recommendation? We asked 30 musicians, from Ryan Adams to Carl Barat, what books they’d been reading on the road. Here were their responses…

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1Joe Mount, Metronomy - 'Five Billion Years of Solitude' by Lee Billings

Roger Sargent/NME
Joe Mount, Metronomy - 'Five Billion Years of Solitude' by Lee Billings: "It's about aliens, or the lack of them. It's a popular science book, one that makes you think about space and the universe."

2Jack Steadman, Bombay Bicycle Club - travel guides

Daniel Harris
Jack Steadman, Bombay Bicycle Club - travel guides: "Wherever we are touring, you can be sure I'm looking up the best places to eat local food. I get very overweight on tour and have to move around loads onstage every night to shake it off."

3Tim Burgess, The Charlatans - 'Junkie' by William Burroughs

Emilie Bailey
Tim Burgess, The Charlatans - 'Junkie' by William Burroughs: "A classic - it's about Burroughs' life as a heroin addict. I've not read it in a long time, but I wanted to get in touch with it again."

4Tom McFarland, Jungle - 'High Rise' by JG Ballard

Pooneh Ghana /NME
Tom McFarland, Jungle - 'High Rise' by JG Ballard: "He's really great at creating these incredible dystopian views on the future of the Earth and the way that society implodes on itself when you try to create utopia."

5Brody Dalle - 'Under the Banner of Heaven' by Jon Krakauer

Jenn Five/NME
Brody Dalle - 'Under the Banner of Heaven' by Jon Krakauer: "This story was so gripping I read the whole thing in 24 hours. It's about this polygamous community in Utah and it's a murder mystery. He's become my favourite writer."

6Tom Fleming, Wild Beasts - 'The Hour of the Star' by Clarice Lispector

Emilie Bailey/NME
Tom Fleming, Wild Beasts - 'The Hour of the Star' by Clarice Lispector: "I always take this with me. It was written when the author was dying of cancer, and it's about how everyone is trying to be the hero in their own life story."

7Paul Smith, Maximo Park - 'Tree of Smoke' by Denis Johnson

Pooneh Ghana/IPC Media/NME Maximo Park V Festival UK, Staffordshire, Weston Park
August 17, 2013 Live Lead Singer: Paul Smith Pooneh Ghana/NME
Paul Smith, Maximo Park - 'Tree of Smoke' by Denis Johnson: "It's about the Vietnam War, the people who are far from the action but have lots of mysterious things going on… Nobody quite knows what the tree of smoke is."

8Tom Saunders, Teleman - Collins Complete DIY Manual

Tom Saunders, Teleman - Collins Complete DIY Manual
Press
Tom Saunders, Teleman - Collins Complete DIY Manual: "We recently moved into a little studio which was a shithole. We got really into DIY because we basically had to build it and it's become this weird addiction for us."

9Laurie Vincent, Slaves - 'Ham on Rye' By Charles Bukowski

Andy Ford/NME
Laurie Vincent, Slaves - 'Ham on Rye' By Charles Bukowski: "This is the first book that I have managed to finish in years. It's set in LA and follows Bukowski's semi-autobiographical character Henry Chinaski as he goes through school and tries to get a job."

10Harry Koisser, Peace - 'The Taming Of The Shrew' by William Shakespeare

Jordan Hughes/NME
Harry Koisser, Peace - 'The Taming Of The Shrew' by William Shakespeare: "You know how at awkward dinner parties someone will have a play to do as a group? You could pass time on tour doing that. We'd start with The Taming Of The Shrew."

11Ryan Adams - 'Nam' by Mark Baker

Press
Ryan Adams - 'Nam' by Mark Baker: "The band Fugazi got their name from this book. It's first-person interviews giving different perspectives on signing up to go to the Vietnam war, then actual anecdotes from the war itself. It's brutal."

12Taigen Kawabe, Bo Ningen - music theory books

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Taigen Kawabe, Bo Ningen - music theory books: "I sometimes bring quite easy music theory books. I'm not a very academic person and I don't know that much theory, so I sometimes have them although I don't use them in the band."

13Hannah Hooper, Grouplove - 'A Room of Ones Own' by Virginia Woolf

Ben Canon/NME
Hannah Hooper, Grouplove - 'A Room of Ones Own' by Virginia Woolf: "I was drawn to it because I love the cover art - it's this loose cobalt-blue sketch with handwritten type that was peeking out of a pile of books at a yard sale in Austin. it's definitely missing a few pages, but so am I."

14Van McCann, Catfish and the Bottlemen - 'The Story Of The Streets' by Mike Skinner

Jordan Hughes/NME
Van McCann, Catfish and the Bottlemen - 'The Story Of The Streets' by Mike Skinner: "He tells of riding a BMX into a London estate agents in a Lacoste tracky. They go to kick him out until he tells them he has a 100-grand-a-month budget."

15Joel Amey, Wolf Alice - 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green

Joel Amey, Wolf Alice - 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green
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Joel Amey, Wolf Alice - 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green: "Me and Theo [Ellis, bassist] shared it on one tour. It was amazing and then in the middle it got really sad. I looked up from the book and he knew I'd got to that point."

16Will Burgess, Woman's Hour - 'The Second World War' by Anthony Beevor

Press
Will Burgess, Woman's Hour - 'The Second World War' by Anthony Beevor: "It's quite big - it's like War and Peace but without the peace. It was a gift and I started reading it and found it gets me into a different headspace."

17George Nicholls, Joanna Gruesome - 'The Physics of Atoms and Quanta' by Haken and Wolf

Jenn Five/NME
George Nicholls, Joanna Gruesome - 'The Physics of Atoms and Quanta' by Haken and Wolf: "It's the only thing I could get away with reading when we were last on tour, because I had to resit an exam. It wasn't a very enthralling read."

18Mike Lewis, No Devotion - 'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline

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Mike Lewis, No Devotion - 'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline: "It's a novel set in 2044, at a time when everyone is plugged into a massive virtual reality utopia and obsessed with 1980s pop culture. It's full of geeky 80s references and nostalgia."

19Rebecca Taylor, Slow Club - 'The Book of Disquiet' by Fernando Pessoa

Press
Rebecca Taylor, Slow Club - 'The Book of Disquiet' by Fernando Pessoa: "It makes me look really hot because it's a very difficult book. He's a very interesting, bizarre philosopher chap… There's bits of it where I'll be like, 'Oh my god, so true' and find myself for 10 minutes. Then I'll go on the Daily Mail website and forget about it."

20Simon Rix, Kaiser Chiefs - '45' by Bill Drummond

Laura Palmer/NME
Simon Rix, Kaiser Chiefs - '45' by Bill Drummond: "Bill Drummond was in The KLF, who were as famous for their stunts as they were for their music. 45 collects some of his memoirs. It inspires me to just try things and see what happens without worrying about what might go wrong."

21Gaz Coombes - 'Special Deluxe' by Neil Young

Press
Gaz Coombes - 'Special Deluxe' by Neil Young: "It's his autobiography. I read the biography Shakey a few years ago and I was struck by what a unique character he is. It was really inspiring to read about how he approached stuff and his attitude towards recording."

22Molly Rankin, Alvvays - 'This Changes Everything' by Naomi Klein

08/05/2014; Brighton; Great Escape Festival Jordan Hughes/NME
Molly Rankin, Alvvays - 'This Changes Everything' by Naomi Klein: "This is our earnest book pick. Naomi Klein is from our town [Toronto] and she's still trying to crush fascism. This book is about climate change and capitalism."

23Carl Barat - 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand

Jenn Five
Carl Barat - 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand: "It's about two architects, one who's obsessed with this dream and one who wants to be an artist. It's fucking amazing."

24Kate Tempest - 'Underworld' by Don DeLillo

Jenn Five/NME
Kate Tempest - 'Underworld' by Don DeLillo: "I just read it, but I'm taking it on tour because I need to read it again. It's fucking amazing. It's very generous writing, because he's very clear."

25Stina Tweeddale, Honeyblood - 'Girl Trouble' by Carol Dyhouse

Stina Tweeddale, Honeyblood - 'Girl Trouble' by Carol Dyhouse
Andy Ford/NME
Stina Tweeddale, Honeyblood - 'Girl Trouble' by Carol Dyhouse: "It's about the history of feminism. My degree was in gender history."

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Andrew Whitton/NME

27Tom Hudson, Pulled Apart By Horses - 'How Music Works' by David Byrne

Tom Hudson, Pulled Apart By Horses - 'How Music Works' by David Byrne
Andy Ford/NME
Tom Hudson, Pulled Apart By Horses - 'How Music Works' by David Byrne: "It's about how music is shaped by the environment. He talks about the CBGB bands, how they sounded that way because they were crammed into this little venue."

28Alexis Taylor, Hot Chip - 'Nilsson: The Life Of A Singer - Songwriter' by Alyn Shipton

Press
Alexis Taylor, Hot Chip - 'Nilsson: The Life Of A Singer - Songwriter' by Alyn Shipton: "It's entertaining, depressing, revealing, informative and funny. Nilsson wrote and recorded one of my all-time favourite records in his album, 'Knnillssonn'."

29Oli Sykes, Bring Me The Horizon - 'Game Of Thrones' by George RR Martin

Derek Bremner/NME
Oli Sykes, Bring Me The Horizon - 'Game Of Thrones' by George RR Martin: "I'm on about book five. I didn't think it'd be something I'd be into - I hate Lord of the Rings and all of that. But I started watching the TV series, and in the end, I just needed to know what happened next."

30Mario Cuomo, The Orwells - 'The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller

NME / Matt Richardson
Mario Cuomo, The Orwells - 'The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller: "It's an '80s comic book by the same guy that write Sin City. It's the most badass take on Batman."
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