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Bruce Springsteen’s 30 favorite books

on November 04, 2014, 4:00pm

Bruce Springsteen’s first stab at being a children’s author hit stands Tuesday, November 4th. Outlaw Pete may be a picture book, but the Boss still has a thing for the written word. In an interview with the New York Times ahead of his own literary release, Springsteen revealed some of his favorite novels.

A quick rundown: The first book he ever read was The Wizard of Oz. He thinks Richard Ford nails his descriptions of New Jersey. Greil Marcus’ Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music is his favorite book about music. If he could have a dinner with a group of literary minds, he’d invite Philip Roth, Keith Richards, Leo Tolstoy, and Bob Dylan. He wrote “Ghost of Tom Joad” long before he’d ever read The Grapes of Wrath. And he cried when he read The Road. Yes, The Boss cries, too.

You can read the Times interview for more interesting tidbits, and check out the full list of mentioned books below thanks to Brain PickingsOutlaw Pete goes on sale today.

Bruce Springsteen’s Reading List:
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell
Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe by Dennis Overbye
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
Examined Lives by Jim Miller
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
I Married a Communist by Philip Roth
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford
Independence Day by Richard Ford
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor
Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music by Greil Marcus
Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick
Chronicles by Bob Dylan
Life by Keith Richards
Sonata for Jukebox by Geoffrey O’Brien
Soul Mining: A Musical Life by Daniel Lanois
Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin
Someplace Like America: Tales from the New Great Depression by Dale Maharidge
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Great Short Works by Leo Tolstoy
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum