Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
spacer

INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno

Brain Pickings MARCH 3, 2014 - by Maria Popova

BRIAN ENO'S READING LIST: TWENTY ESSENTIAL BOOKS FOR SUSTAINING CIVILISATION

Deconstructing a magnificent mind through his reading diet for intellectual survival.

There is something inescapably alluring about the reading lists of cultural icons, perhaps because in recognizing that creativity is combinatorial and fueled by networked knowledge, we intuitively long to emulate the greatness of an admired mind by replicating the bits and pieces, in this case the ideas found in beloved books, that went into constructing it.

After the reading lists of Carl Sagan, Alan Turing, Nick Cave, and David Bowie, now comes one from Brian Eno - pioneering musician, wise diarist, oblique strategist of creativity - compiled for the Long Now Foundation's Manual For Civilization, a collaboratively curated library for long-term thinking. Eno, one of the Long Now's founding board members, contributes twenty titles to the project's intended collection of three-thousand-five-hundred books most essential for sustaining or rebuilding civilization:

1 Seeing Like A State by James C. Scott (1998)
2 The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams (2002)
3 Crowds And Power by Elias Canetti (1962)
4 The Wheels Of Commerce by Fernand Braudel (1982)
5 Keeping Together In Time by William McNeill (1995)
6 Dancing In The Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich (2007)
7 Roll Jordan Roll by Eugene Genovese (1974)
8 A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al (1977)
9 The Face Of Battle by John Keegan (1976)
10 A History Of The World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor (2010)
11 Contingency, Irony, And Solidarity by Richard Rorty (1989)
12 The Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci (1952 ed.)
13 The Confidence Trap by David Runciman (2013)
14 The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin (1983)
15 Mother Nature: A History Of Mothers, Infants, And Natural Selection by Sarah Hrdy (1999)
16 War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869)
17 The Cambridge World History Of Food (2-Volume Set) by Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas (2000)
18 The Illustrated Flora Of Britain And Northern Europe by Marjorie Blamey and Christopher Grey Wilson (1989)
19 Printing And The Mind Of Man by John Carter and Percy Muir (1983)
20 Peter The Great: His Life And World by Robert K. Massie (1980)

One interesting observation: The majority of Eno's favorite books were published in the 1970s and 1980s, when he was in his mid-twenties to late thirties - indication, perhaps, that this is the golden age within a lifetime, when we have transcended the know-it-all arrogance of youth, haven't yet entered the know-it-old complacency of old age, and live with that wondrous combination of receptivity to new ideas and just enough not-yet-calcified intellectual foundation with which to integrate and contextualize them.


ALBUMS | BIOGRAPHY | BOOKS | HOME | INSTALLATIONS | INTERVIEWS | LINKS | LYRICS | MULTIMEDIA | SITE | STORE | UPDATES