Nick Cave's The Red Hand Files finds the prolific musician answering fan questions, from those about Bob Dylan's new music to more personal inquiries about his personal life and loss. For the most recent entry, Cave tackled compiling a list of 40 books he loves.

Beginning his answer, Nick notes that, currently, his bookshelves are completely empty, so he has little reference to go off of. "The 5000+ books I have accumulated over the years have been shipped off to the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen," he writes. "They are now part of the completely mind-blowing, heart-stopping Stranger Than Kindness exhibition."

With that in mind, he went about compiling his personal list of his forty most loved books as "a rather formless and incoherent grab bag of titles that come to mind at this moment, that, for one reason or another, [he has] loved over the years." But it's very possible that he has more than forty listed here, as he also mentions. "I think I got carried away," he writes. "I think there are fifty."

Here's Nick's list:

American Dreams – Sapphire
Break, Blow, Burn – Camille Paglia
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden – Denis Johnson
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
A Good Man is Hard to Find – Flannery O’Connor
I and Thou – Martin Buber
Straight Life – Art Pepper
The Bible – King James Edition
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
High Windows – Philip Larkin
The Conference of Birds – Attar of Nishapur
My Promised Land – Ari Shavit
The Christ at Chartres – Denis Saurat
King Leopold’s Ghost – Adam Hochschild
America a Prophecy – Jerome Rothenberg
Ariel – Sylvia Plath
The Book of Ebenezer Le Page – Gerald Basil Edwards
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
Shaking the Pumpkin – Jerome Rothenberg
The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson
The Collected Works of Saint Teresa of Avila
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy
Mid-American Chants – Sherwood Anderson
Collected Works of Billy the Kid – Michael Ondaatje
American Murder Ballads and Their Stories – Olive Woolley Burt
Poems of W. B. Yeats – Selected by Seamus Heaney
The Good Lord Bird – James McBride
Consolations – David Whyte
Roget’s Thesaurus – Peter Mark Roget
Here I Am – Jonathan Safran Foer
Lives of the Saints – Alban Butler
Inferno/From an Occult Diary – August Strindberg
Poems 1959-2009 – Frederick Seidel
S.C.U.M Manifesto – Valerie Solanas
Complete Poems of E. E. Cummings
The Anatomy of Melancholy – Robert Burton
Dave Robicheaux Novels – James Lee Burke
Victory – Joseph Conrad
A Flower Book for the Pocket – Macgregor Skene
The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis
The Frog Prince – Stevie Smith
Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
Sanctuary – William Faulkner
Short Stories of Anton Chekhov
The Factory Series – Derek Raymond
The Dream Songs – John Berryman
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Walkabout – James Vance Marshall

You can read the full Red Hand Files entry here.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were forced to cancel their fall North American with Weyes Blood tour amid the coronavirus pandemic, but they say they "are working hard on plans to return to the US and Canada in 2021, and will announce details this fall"

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