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Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list
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Author:  Johanna Parker [ Sat February 16th, 2013, 13:38 GMT ]
Post subject:  Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

It's a subject I suggested recently, so I thought I might just as well start a thread about it. I'm much aware that any such listing is bound to be incomplete, and what he reads privately is nobody's business really, so this is just going by the evidence available in his work, his interviews, and occasional photographs. Also, he's probably not read every work by every writer he quotes on Theme Time Radio Hour, or every book he mentions seeing on somebody's shelf in Chronicles, so it should be helpful to include the kind of reference he makes to each book (including unattibuted quotes).
I've started compiling a list which will eventually be posted - not sure yet when, I'll just keep adding to it - partly based on books and sites and earlier lists and little pieces of notepaper that seem to take over various places around here. Any helpful suggestion obviously very welcome.

Author:  arcadian [ Thu March 28th, 2013, 06:11 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

Maybe he doesn't read much??
"Right now I can’t read too good"

Author:  oldmanemu [ Thu April 4th, 2013, 05:21 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

arcadian wrote:
Maybe he doesn't read much??
"Right now I can’t read too good"

I doubt that . All indications are that he is widely read.

Author:  arcadian [ Fri April 5th, 2013, 08:09 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

^ I can only agree, OME, what with all the references in his output. (My previous post was in jest, in that no-one else seems to have anything to post here!)

Author:  oldmanemu [ Fri April 5th, 2013, 10:28 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

arcadian wrote:
^ I can only agree, OME, what with all the references in his output. (My previous post was in jest, in that no-one else seems to have anything to post here!)

:D

Author:  thirtsyboots [ Wed April 24th, 2013, 00:07 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

In Chronicles he quotes a lot of philosophy like Clausewitz and Balzac, also some Civil War books it seems

Author:  oldmanemu [ Wed April 24th, 2013, 06:52 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

thirtsyboots wrote:
In Chronicles he quotes a lot of philosophy like Clausewitz and Balzac, also some Civil War books it seems

Mentioning an author is not necessary proof of having read that author

Author:  smoke [ Sat May 11th, 2013, 12:24 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

Bound For Glory - Woody Guthrie


He has mentioned this book many times and by all appearances it played a major role in shaping his identity during those critical years of late adolescence/early adulthood.

We also know he has read the bible quite extensively.

Author:  oldmanemu [ Sat May 11th, 2013, 18:39 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

smoke wrote:
Bound For Glory - Woody Guthrie


He has mentioned this book many times and by all appearances it played a major role in shaping his identity during those critical years of late adolescence/early adulthood.

We also know he has read the bible quite extensively.

We actually only know that he has quoted some passages .

Author:  smoke [ Sat May 11th, 2013, 20:27 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

Allen Ginsberg said the bible was out and Dylan said he had been reading it shortly after the motorcycle accident, and he has said in interviews that he has read both books. I am not sure there are eyewitness accounts of him reading either book, however. I believe there was a brief clip of him reading a Newsweek in Don't Look Back so there is some evidence he knows how to read, however, he might have been simply looking at pictures.

Author:  raging_glory [ Sat May 11th, 2013, 20:36 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

:lol: I'm not sure what proof we looking for. DNA on the book sleeve?

His mother also mentioned that he read the Bible often at Woodstock.

Author:  Queen Anne Lace [ Mon May 13th, 2013, 21:02 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

smoke wrote:
Allen Ginsberg said the bible was out and Dylan said he had been reading it shortly after the motorcycle accident, and he has said in interviews that he has read both books. I am not sure there are eyewitness accounts of him reading either book, however. I believe there was a brief clip of him reading a Newsweek in Don't Look Back so there is some evidence he knows how to read, however, he might have been simply looking at pictures.


:lol: good points, Smoke. We shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Author:  Grumpy-the-Buick [ Mon May 13th, 2013, 22:26 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

.. they made a Movie so good one day
- look at what it made all the everyman say,
"Hey! We been on the moon, and GOLF'S what they play!"
- and Bob? .. What's Bob got to say?
"Man has invented his DOOM! .. First step was touchin' the MOON."
... that's what he say. .. So he must've seen the Movie too. " 8)

- and i read all this in a book, and i saw a picture
of that SAME BOOK - up on Bob's shelf, but i don't know
if that was really a picture, or a picture of Bob's shelf, or
if there really were TWO of these books, or even if there
really IS a Bob Dylan. .. 'No use in talkin' to me - it's the same as..."

Author:  oldmanemu [ Tue May 14th, 2013, 01:23 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

smoke wrote:
Allen Ginsberg said the bible was out and Dylan said he had been reading it shortly after the motorcycle accident, and he has said in interviews that he has read both books. I am not sure there are eyewitness accounts of him reading either book, however. I believe there was a brief clip of him reading a Newsweek in Don't Look Back so there is some evidence he knows how to read, however, he might have been simply looking at pictures.

I believe that he has actually read the bible but I do know that others quote passages without having read much more .
My point is that mere quoting of something from a book or mention of that book does not mean that the writer has actually read the book.

Author:  smoke [ Tue May 14th, 2013, 02:55 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

I'll tell you one thing, if I'd read 1/4 of the library books visitors might have seen on my coffee table over the years I'd be the smartest man in America. As it stands I usually only finish the Dylan books...so back to Bob:

Author:  Lily Rose [ Tue June 18th, 2013, 15:22 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

These are my guesses.....

He reads everyone else bio..... by everyone I mean all the other rockers bios that are coming out, and anything about musicians of the last 100 years.....

I think he reads the newspapers ..... electronic or paper or something.... daily

I think he reads history..... civil war, of course..... but also other types of history .... things based in the last 200 years or so....

I bet he is interested in books about groups of people than have struggled..... gypsies, indians, blacks.....their way of life, their legends

I think he reads books of others true life adventures..... travels, journeys in life......

I think that he reads art books.... a lot on the impressionist and then books on photography.... and gardening books (non-organic)

I think he reads books about the village in the 60's..... wants to see how much they write is true.... and how stoned he was, and what he missed.

I think he reads fiction..... maybe mystery..... but does not read much sci-fi..... or romance novels...

I think he stills reads poetry..... but not as much as he did when he was younger....

and last but not least, I bet he has read at least 7 out of 10 of the bios about himself..... :P :lol: :wink:

..... and if anyone wonders, this list is totally made up without a bit of reasearch into anything...... 8)

Author:  oldmanemu [ Tue June 18th, 2013, 22:46 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

Lily Rose wrote:
These are my guesses.....

He reads everyone else bio..... by everyone I mean all the other rockers bios that are coming out, and anything about musicians of the last 100 years.....

I think he reads the newspapers ..... electronic or paper or something.... daily

I think he reads history..... civil war, of course..... but also other types of history .... things based in the last 200 years or so....

I bet he is interested in books about groups of people than have struggled..... gypsies, indians, blacks.....their way of life, their legends

I think he reads books of others true life adventures..... travels, journeys in life......

I think that he reads art books.... a lot on the impressionist and then books on photography.... and gardening books (non-organic)

I think he reads books about the village in the 60's..... wants to see how much they write is true.... and how stoned he was, and what he missed.

I think he reads fiction..... maybe mystery..... but does not read much sci-fi..... or romance novels...

I think he stills reads poetry..... but not as much as he did when he was younger....

and last but not least, I bet he has read at least 7 out of 10 of the bios about himself..... :P :lol: :wink:

..... and if anyone wonders, this list is totally made up without a bit of reasearch into anything...... 8)

Interesting

Author:  the_revelator [ Wed June 19th, 2013, 10:24 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

Lily Rose wrote:
These are my guesses.....

He reads everyone else bio..... by everyone I mean all the other rockers bios that are coming out, and anything about musicians of the last 100 years.....

I think he reads the newspapers ..... electronic or paper or something.... daily

I think he reads history..... civil war, of course..... but also other types of history .... things based in the last 200 years or so....

I bet he is interested in books about groups of people than have struggled..... gypsies, indians, blacks.....their way of life, their legends

I think he reads books of others true life adventures..... travels, journeys in life......

I think that he reads art books.... a lot on the impressionist and then books on photography.... and gardening books (non-organic)

I think he reads books about the village in the 60's..... wants to see how much they write is true.... and how stoned he was, and what he missed.

I think he reads fiction..... maybe mystery..... but does not read much sci-fi..... or romance novels...

I think he stills reads poetry..... but not as much as he did when he was younger....

and last but not least, I bet he has read at least 7 out of 10 of the bios about himself..... :P :lol: :wink:

..... and if anyone wonders, this list is totally made up without a bit of reasearch into anything...... 8)




I can't see why he would read biographies of other rockers, seeing as how he holds the entire enterprise in contempt. My big bets on him would be all history, exploration, any good fiction (sci fi, thrillers and spy novels included), poetry, music, and yes, newspapers. I'd bet he's taken a look at a few of the early bios of himself but hasn't bothered with most of them for many years.

Author:  oldmanemu [ Wed June 19th, 2013, 12:46 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

I actually believe he is very interested in bios of other rockers . He has an amazing interest in other artists. Just look at the songs he has covered , close to 600.

Author:  raging_glory [ Wed June 19th, 2013, 17:28 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

Yeah, he visits their homes (Lennon and Springsteen) museums and gravesides (James Dean) and kissed the spot where Elvis stood when recording at Sun Studios (those are the ones we know about) so I would guess he probably does read rockers and actors bios.

Author:  TheGunfighter [ Thu June 27th, 2013, 21:34 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

A quick list of books Dylan has mentioned in various interviews, I'm sure Johanna will have many to add.

PS! Not each and every one of these books is necessarily endorsed by Dylan, but they've been brought up in conversation during the interviews.

  • "The Flowers of Evil" - Charles Baudelaire
  • The "I Ching"
  • "One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding" - Robert Gover
  • "In His Own Write" - John Lennon
  • "The Myth of Sisyphus" - Albert Camus
  • "Gypsies of Britain" - Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald
  • "Howl and Other Poems" - Allen Ginsberg
  • "On the Road" - Jack Kerouac
  • "Complete Poetical Works of John Donne" - John Donne
  • "Royal Canal" - Dominic Behan
  • "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" - William Blake
  • "The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472" - Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
  • "Selected Letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne" - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "The Poems of Francois Villon" - Francois Villon

Author:  oldmanemu [ Thu June 27th, 2013, 22:56 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

TheGunfighter wrote:
A quick list of books Dylan has mentioned in various interviews, I'm sure Johanna will have many to add.

PS! Not each and every one of these books is necessarily endorsed by Dylan, but they've been brought up in conversation during the interviews.

  • "The Flowers of Evil" - Charles Baudelaire
  • The "I Ching"
  • "One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding" - Robert Gover
  • "In His Own Write" - John Lennon
  • "The Myth of Sisyphus" - Albert Camus
  • "Gypsies of Britain" - Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald
  • "Howl and Other Poems" - Allen Ginsberg
  • "On the Road" - Jack Kerouac
  • "Complete Poetical Works of John Donne" - John Donne
  • "Royal Canal" - Dominic Behan
  • "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" - William Blake
  • "The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472" - Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
  • "Selected Letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne" - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "The Poems of Francois Villon" - Francois Villon

No proof that he has read them , however.

Author:  TheGunfighter [ Fri June 28th, 2013, 06:59 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

He has claimed to have read those except "One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding" which was written by an acquaintance of his in the early '60s, and "Gypsies of Britain", which belonged to the interviewer, but she gave her copy to Dylan because he was curious about it... but technically, it's a book "upon his shelf". :P Dominic Behan is fishy as well, but he's definitely read Behan cause he in "Dont Look Back" Behan's brought up in conversation and Dylan seems knowledgable about his work.

Lily Rose wrote:
and last but not least, I bet he has read at least 7 out of 10 of the bios about himself..... :P :lol: :wink:

It seems that the only Dylan biographies he's read is Robert Shelton's "No Direction Home" and Anthony Scaduto's.

Author:  oldmanemu [ Fri June 28th, 2013, 13:08 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

TheGunfighter wrote:
He has claimed to have read those except "One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding" which was written by an acquaintance of his in the early '60s, and "Gypsies of Britain", which belonged to the interviewer, but she gave her copy to Dylan because he was curious about it... but technically, it's a book "upon his shelf". :P Dominic Behan is fishy as well, but he's definitely read Behan cause he in "Dont Look Back" Behan's brought up in conversation and Dylan seems knowledgable about his work.

Lily Rose wrote:
and last but not least, I bet he has read at least 7 out of 10 of the bios about himself..... :P :lol: :wink:

It seems that the only Dylan biographies he's read is Robert Shelton's "No Direction Home" and Anthony Scaduto's.

it is possible he has read them all.

Author:  the_revelator [ Sat June 29th, 2013, 01:26 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Books Upon His Shelf - A Bob Dylan reading list

TheGunfighter wrote:
He has claimed to have read those except "One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding" which was written by an acquaintance of his in the early '60s, and "Gypsies of Britain", which belonged to the interviewer, but she gave her copy to Dylan because he was curious about it... but technically, it's a book "upon his shelf". :P Dominic Behan is fishy as well, but he's definitely read Behan cause he in "Dont Look Back" Behan's brought up in conversation and Dylan seems knowledgable about his work.

Lily Rose wrote:
and last but not least, I bet he has read at least 7 out of 10 of the bios about himself..... :P :lol: :wink:





Dylan mentioned in an interview back in the 1980s that his favorite writer was Tacitus (a Roman historian). His books the Annals and the Histories cover the reigns of Roman emperors Claudius, Nero and Tiberius, among others. I read the Annals years ago before a trip to Rome. It was terrific. It's possible that "Early Roman Kings" was inspired by Tacitus.

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