Harry Styles recently released his third studio album, Harry’s House, to huge critical and commercial success. Also As It Was has been played everywhere over the last few months, until Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush reached Number 1 thanks to Stranger Things. (You can also check out my review of Wuthering Heights, the book which inspired Kate Bush’s first Number 1 of the same name).
Anyway if you are a fan of the popstar, here are some book recommendations inspired by him.
1) My Policeman by Bethan Morris
The first book is going to be Harry Styles latest acting role in his burgeoning acting career.
The book is set in 1950’s Brighton and involves a love triangle between Tom, Marion and Patrick with Harry playing Tom. Tom teaches Marion to swim in the shadow of the pier and Marion is smitten – determined her love will be enough for them both.
A few years later Tom meets Patrick at Brighton Museum who also develops feelings for him and opens his eyes to a glamorous new world. Tom is however their policeman and in their age it is safer for him to marry Marion. However the two lovers must share him until it destroys one or both of them.
Harry was seen carrying a copy of the book in London when he was photographed with the book in his pocket. Also as bookies we also know that reading a book before seeing a movie is nearly always a good idea.
The film, being distributed by Amazon Studios, is set to be released in cinemas in the UK on 21st October, 2022 with an Amazon Prime release on the 4th November. You can see a trailer for it down below.
2) Love Is A Dog From Hell by Charles Bukowski
From The Policeman to a more risqué read is Charles Bukowski’s erotic poetry collection Love Is A Dog From Hell and be warned: this is definitely not for kids.
The collection was originally published in 1977 and is littered with sexual references. In a The Sun article in 2016, the singer said he loved the way Bukowski “uses language”, going on to say: “It’s so real, gritty and filthy yet there is something so romantic about it all.”
The singer was also photographed reading his book on stag during a One Direction concert in Boston in 2014 (image source: Pinterest).
3) Life By Keith Richards
Harry Styles in the last few years has had an increasing amount of commentary about his resemblance to The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, especially as Styles fashion sense has increasingly taken inspiration from the frontman. Styles also said that Jagger is the “coolest man on the planet”, as reported in the Mirror.
Sadly Mick has never written a book, stating in interviews they would be dull and upsetting to write.
However, his bandmate Keith Richards has published a memoir which documents his time in the band and his feud with Jagger which is the stuff of music legend. The two fell out in the 80s and Richards having names for Jagger such as “Her Majesty” and “Bitchy Brenda”.
Though the two have since made up to gain insight into one of Styles biggest music influences, this book definitely looks like a great option.
4) Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse
Our next recommendation is the 1922 novel by German author Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha. The story is about the titular Siddhartha as he grows into a man and through his life goes on a journey of self-discovery and religious enlightenment.
From being an ascetic wondering member of the Samana, to meeting the Gautama Buddha before finding enlightenment with a simple ferryman named Vasudeva.
In a 2017 interview with Another Man magazine, Styles was asked to choose three most prized books, of which this one was one of them.
In the interview Styles said:
“A friend gave me Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse when we started travelling together. It makes a lot of sense to me. I think it’s a really important book.”
Harry Styles, Another Man Magazine
5) Selected Poems By Rumi
Rumi was a 13th Century Persian philosopher, mystic, scholar and founder of the order of the Whirling Dervishes and his poetry is rich in imagery and themes is said to really transcend through the generations.
In his poems his themes include love, devotion and charity and his poems are still very popular today.
In the same interview where he gave Siddhartha as one of his three most pried books, Styles also gave Rumi’s Selected Poems (as well as Charles Bublowski’s poetry collection) as his three choices.
The singer was also photographed in an airport during his 1D days clutching a copy of this collection as shown in the below tweet.
6) The Course Of Love By Alain de Botton
The Course Of Love begins just after the two main characters characters just after they have gotten married and deals with love after that initial honeymoon period dies away, where sharing a bed and lives becomes more unromantic as time goes on.
It is tender, hilarious and raw but explores everyday intimacies and the value of small gestures.
Harry is said to be a long time fan of de Botton’s work, stating in an interview with Zane Lowe his love for this novel in particular, whilst promoting his second album Fine Line.
He also commented in Vogue Magazine:
“When it comes to relationships, you just expect yourself to be good at it…[but] being in a real relationship with someone is a skill,”
Harry Styles – Vogue
He was also photographed with a sweatshirt which had two photographs of the author emblazoned on it when he was walking through Boston.
7) In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan
Our next entry is a book that is behind one of Harry Styles’ biggest hits, which is of course the song with the similar name Watermelon Sugar.
In Watermelon Sugar however is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel which is centred around a community and their gathering place at the end of the world, known as iDEATH. At iDEATH, everything is made of Watermelon Sugar and the sun is a different colour every day.
In an NPR Music Tiny Concert, Styles revealed how he went to the studio in Nashville to essentially mess around with putting some music together. Whilst him and the producers did have the melody line for Watermelon Sugar it was this book on the table which inspired the song title.
You can check out this insight and the full concert, as well as an acoustic performance of the song down below (the insight itself is around the 3:30 mark).
8) The Waste Land and Other Poems by T. S. Eliot
Our eighth entry is another poetry collection, this time from Modernist poet T.S. Eliot.
The Waste Land and Other Poems is a collection on Elliot’s best works and is seen as one of the most important collections of the 20th Century.
Modernist poetry tends to be written in a disjointed style, with no clear allusion to time and space.
It is also a style which doesn’t have many specific rules in terms of how the poems were written e.g. no rhyming schemes as such. The poetry also contains plenty of symbolism and often focusses on the individual over society, maybe using one character and writing in a stream of consciousness style.
Whilst on the promotion trail for Fine Line, Styles’ second album, the singer was again photographed clutching a copy of this book.
9) The White Album by Joan Didion
Our ninth entry is The White Album by Joan Didion which is a collection of essays the writer published in magazines during the 1960s.
The book covers a wide range of topics form the era, from an essay about Charles Manson, to the emergence of the shopping mall, to an essay about her witnessing American First Lady Nancy Reagan picking flowers for the camera. It is an eye opening read.
Harry is a massive fan of Didion’s work and when the writer sadly passed away in 2021, the singer posted a photograph of her with a love heart emoji on his Instagram stories, as reported in Elle magazine.
Styles was also seen in a bookshop purchasing The Year of Magical Thinking by the same author during his time in 1D.
Also Styles has said one of his musical influences was John Lennon who was of course in the Beatles who had an eponymous album called The White Album which gave Didion her title for this book.
10) Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Our tenth entry is a romantic novel Toru Watanabe who is reminded of his first love when he listens to the Beatles song of the same name. Her name was Naoko and she was the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki.
The story transports you back 20 years to Toru’s student days in Tokyo, which were heady days of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire. During this time, Toru meets an impetuous young woman called Midori and he has to choose between his future and his past.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in the run up to Fine Line’s release, Styles revealed himself to be a fan of Murakami’s work, after a friend gave him a copy.
“It was the first book, maybe ever, where all I wanted to do all day was read this…I had a very Murakami birthday because I ended up staying in Tokyo on my own. I had grilled fish and miso soup for breakfast, then I went to this cafe. I sat and drank tea and read for five hours.”
You can also listen toThe Beatles song which inspired this book here:
Harry Styles reading tastes are very eclectic with something for everyone. Have you read any of these books? Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments down below.