Patti Smith’s reading list – Brain Pickings

Patty Smith's reading list.

If you are yet to read Patti Smith’s latest book M Train, embedded into which is her affectionate memoir of reading

This wonderful article on Brain Pickings revisits a list of her most beloved books.

A reading list for 2016?

“Oh, to be reborn within the pages of a book,” Patti Smith exhales within the pages of M Train (public library) — her astonishingly beautiful meditation on time, transformation, and how the radiance of love redeems the rupture of loss, embedded into which is an affectionate memoir of reading. Half a century after Susan Sontag extolled the rewards of rereading as rebirth, Smith journeys to the final resting places of great writers, photographing their tombstones and the ephemera that survived them — Virginia Woolf’s cane, Hermann Hesse’s typewriter, Robert Graves’s straw hat, Samuel Beckett’s spectacles — as she revisits her most beloved books. Through the devotional culvert of memory, she looks back on a lifetime of reading and communes with the authors who most animated her inner life.

After finding herself under a monthlong spell of obsessively reading nothing but Haruki Murakami, Smith considers how great books bewitch the human spirit:

This was first posted in 2016, but is such a wonderful meditation on reading I thought I’d repost.


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Comments 1

  1. Patti Smith…my favourite woman of all time. Looked fabulous and dishevelled singing with the choir in NY just recently.

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