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We’re taking a deep dive into interviews from the past and present to find out what Harry’s been reading, and what you might like to read over these next few weeks as we all find ourselves in need of a literary escape. If you haven’t already worked it out from his lyrics, Harry is a romantic – so this reading list is great to fall in love with, but might also help ease the pain of a broken heart.
Love is a Mixtape
by Rob Sheffield
We are grateful to Hélène Pambrun for always being there to snap iconic photos of Harry as he is out on tour, but for his birthday last year, she posted this special photo of Harry looking relaxed and reading away. He’s reading Love is A Mixtape by Rolling Stone music super-journalist Rob Sheffield who later interviewed Harry for The Eternal Sunshine of Harry Styles.
With each chapter starting with a mixtape list, this book is a perfect chance to put together a new Spotify playlist and find artists you don’t know, while letting yourself explore moments of joy and grief, and to ultimately be reassured that true love stories still exist.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Murakami
03/03/19* | Harry was carrying 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami recently in London.https://t.co/PXpxT3oEpb
— Harry Styles Fashion Archive (@hsfasharchive) March 3, 2019
In his interview with Timothée Chalamet for i-D, Harry picked out Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, a Japanese writer whose translations Harry has been a big fan of over the years. A less popular title than Norwegian Wood, which it felt like everyone was reading about two years ago, is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a story originally released in three books that makes up one English volume.
Harry was spotted carrying this on a really good sunglasses/shirt/jean combo day, which somehow makes us want to read it even more. Give Murakami a go if you haven’t read much in translation and want to try to read a new style of writing that might quickly become your favourite.
The Course of Love
by Alain de Botton
When Harry sat down with Zane Lowe, they got into a lot of subjects — but you might’ve missed Harry’s reference to Alain de Botton, a philosopher and author. (It’s at 19:56 if you don’t want to rewatch the whole interview again.)
Harry talks about how de Botton believes friendship is built on vulnerability. The Course of Love is a novel that picks up just after the two main characters get married. The writing is fun and warm but it reminds us that Modern Love isn’t easy, the perfect material to read while streaming Fine Line again.
Love is a Dog From Hell
by Charles Bukowski
@Harry_Styles Bukowski … one of my faves. Check out The Night I Fucked My Alarm Clock. Pensive moments will surely follow.
— wheatus (@wheatus) June 16, 2014
Harry most recently mentioned American poet Charles Bukowski in his video for the Beauty Papers, but it’s clear Harry has been influenced by Bukowski for a while as he’s been snapped with several of his works over the years.
Back in his AnotherMan archive (can you believe that was nearly three years ago now?!) Harry included several poetry books, such as a beat-up selected collection from Rumi, but Bukowski’s Love is a Dog from Hell seems to have stuck with him. Harry’s “Woman” lyrics “you flower you feast” were adapted from Bukowski’s Old Man Dead in a Room‘s “like a flower like a feast”.
For his Fine Line Live show in London, Harry used the following poem of Bukowski before arriving on stage: “Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it. To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art. Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.”
If this doesn’t sum up Harry’s attitude to life in the art and music scene then nothing will. We hope when Love on Tour gets going, that he’ll still use this as an entrance cue to remind himself and the audience of the importance of courage in pursuing their artistic endeavours.