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R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe Shares His Impressive Reading List

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If you were a young-ish person in the 90s, chances are you know all about Michael Stipe. As the frontman of R.E.M., Stipe paved a voraciously artistic path that cut right through the otherwise Grunge-riddled decade. Stipe’s cerebral performance style and unabashed insistence on self-expression was quite inspiring to me as a youngin’ in the south. That admiration was only heightened once I discovered that, as a Georgia native, Stipe also hails from below the Mason-Dixon. I’ve been addicted to everything he has done ever since. So when I stumbled across a reading list that he created for T Magazine in the event that he is one day marooned alone on an island, I immediately knew that his top 10, would obviously be my top 10.

Complete Works, Arthur Rimbaud (HarperCollins, 1975)

On the Road, Jack Kerouac (Signet, 1958)

Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delaney (Bantam Books, 1978)

Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut (Dell Publishing, 1991)

All Families Are Psychotic, Douglas Coupland (Bloomsbury Publishing, 1991)

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (Vintage Books, 1989)

Play It as It Lays, Joan Didion (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1970)

Four Plays by Aristophanes, translated by William Arrowsmith (Plume, 1984)

Bonjour Tristesse, Françoise Sagan (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008)

Just Kids, Patti Smith (Ecco, 2010)  Ed. Note: Read this one before it airs on Showtime!


For more on Stipe’s list and why chose the books he did, check out the original post at T Magazine.

is a writer, performer, and all-around video connoisseur based in Connecticut. If you're looking for a swashbucking, handsome, Westley from The Princess Bride-esque man, then you should definitely come to Joel's Dungeons & Dragons games, because he creates them all the time. In real life, he's been known to enjoy levels of nerditude unparalleled (in this galaxy) and is an avid Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Nonfiction reader.

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