Hamilton Leithauser’s 2009 Reading List

Hamilton Leithauser, vocalist/lyricist for one of our favorite bands, The Walkmen, shared what he enjoyed reading this past year at The Millions, part of their year-end “A Year in Reading 2009” series (we dig plenty of the literati who contribute to the list, particularly Stephen Elliott, whose essays we’ve long admired, and who says Bolaño’s 2666 is his favorite book this year–but we’ll take the nonliterary route this time, and go with a (semi-)rock star). Leithauser speaks highly of Dave Eggers and Kingley Amis, and cites W.H. Auden as a favorite poet. We think that The Walkmen’s last record You & Me is about as literary as you can get in a rock record–it plays like a collection of interconnected short stories, full of the disillusionment and joy of getting older. We gave You & Me pride of place on last year’s list best-of music list. Here’s “In The New Year,” a song that builds fantasy only to puncture it thoroughly. Great stuff.

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