The Boss’ Nightstand Stack

sprinsteen_guitar_raised275pxIn last Sunday’s New York Times Sunday Book Review there was a special treat for book-loving music fans and specifically fans of “The Boss” in the aptly titled “Bruce Springsteen: By The Book” interview.

When you think of Springsteen you think of a top tier musician with 11 albums in the Billboard Top 200, 26 singles in the Top 100, 12 in the Top 10 and 20 Grammy awards. But you probably don’t think of a 65 year old man who, in his own words, “…didn’t begin reading seriously until 28 or 29.” and who today has a philosophical bent that states, “I find men and women struggling to answer the deepest questions we can ask freeing.”

As a fellow book lover and fan of Springsteen’s music, I found myself feeling an even greater amount of respect and admiration than I previously possessed when I thought of him only as a master musician.  These aren’t “beach reads” that he’s delving into; these are books of serious content for a serious mind and serious contemplation.

Bruce Springsteen reading Examined Loves

For instance:

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

I read a lot on cosmology and a reasonable amount of philosophy. I also like to read about baseball, having just finished Mariano Rivera’s autobiography. For cosmology, “Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos,” by Dennis Overbye, was one of my first favorites. I find men and women struggling to answer the deepest questions we can ask freeing. It also puts in scale whatever my small problems of the day might be. The book that turned me on to philosophy was Bertrand Russell’s “The History of Western Philosophy.” I just finished “Examined Lives,” by Jim Miller, and “How to Live; Or, A Life of Montaigne,” by Sarah Bakewell.

Bruce Springsteen readingI mean, holy crap!, this is deep stuff and to think that someone most “intellectual” people would describe as “just a musician” is delving into such subjects and thought processes is just incredible.

Read the entire interview; you might find yourself feeling a little bit of amazement and, like me, it might give you a few other books added to your nightstand stack.


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