btrThe great Southern novelist Walker Percy called singer-writer Bruce Springsteen his “favorite American philosopher.” Raised in a blue-collar household in central New Jersey, Mr. Springsteen was not exposed to literature by his parents and attended a junior college only briefly; yet he began reading seriously in his late-twenties and at age sixty-seven continues to be a voracious reader. “The one thing I wish for my children is that they be readers,” Mr. Springsteen recently said. The following list comes from interviews with Mr. Springsteen and from his autobiography, which is first below. —Editor

1.  Born to Run, by Bruce Springsteen

2.  America, The Story of a Free People, by Henry Steele Commager and Allan Nevins

3.  Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez

4.  Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

5.  The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

6.  Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche, by James Miller

7.  The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

8. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

MobyDick9. How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in Twenty Questions and One Attempt at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell

10. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

11. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

12. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

13. Stories of Anton Chekhov

14. Flannery O’Connor: The Complete Stories

15. American Pastoral, by Philip Roth

16. The Lay of the Land, by Richard Ford

17. The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy

18. Message in a Bottle, by Walker Percy

19. The History of Western Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell

20. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Scientific Quest for the Secrets of the Universe, by Dennis Overbye

21. Woody Guthrie: A Life, by Joe Klein


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