Lana Del Rey is gearing up to go on her Endless Summer tour throughout the U.S. next month along with the release of her widely anticipated new album Honeymoon sometime this year (release date is TBA). Although we don’t know much yet about the new album, we can guess Honeymoon is going to follow Lana’s style of sweeping cinematic sounds and storylines of grandeur. Lana has a penchant for referencing some of literature’s greatest quotes in her lyrics, so it only makes sense Lana fans need a LDR reading list for their own endless summer. Here are 5 great books to add to your shelf.
1. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Of course. What other book would you read except for the one Lana is so enamored with and influenced by? The words and style exuded from Nabokov’s infamous novel about a forbidden romance between a young girl and a much older man make up a great part of Lana’s persona. She begins “Off To The Races” with the beginning lines from the book, “Light of my life / fire of my loins…” The dynamic of younger, submissive woman + older, dominant man is heavily characterized in her songs and videos.
2. Love Me Back – Merritt Tierce
Love Me Back is essentially Lana Del Rey’s entire persona in one novel. The electrifying debut by Merritt Tierce tells the story of Marie, a single mother working as a waitress in a high class Dallas steakhouse, who loses herself in sex and drugs and her desire to please her customers.
“September was John, October was Luke, and November was Damon,” Tierce writes.
In Lana’s world she lives a life fueled by her desire for love and lust where the men she calls “Daddy” call the shots and she happily succumbs to their whims, understanding that through the greatest pleasures in life also come some of life’s darkest moments.
3. Leaves Of Grass – Walt Whitman
On Lana’s right forearm she has the name Vladimir Whitman tattooed in honor of her two favorite writers Vladimir Nobokov and Walt Whitman. The singer has been known to use her skin to make tributes of her favorite things with permanent and temporary tattoos.
In “The Body Electric,” one of her darker tracks from Paradise, Lana alludes to Whitman’s famous 19th century poem “I Sing The Body Electric” from his collection Leaves of Grass. In the song she references the poet by singing, “Whitman is my daddy // Monaco’s my mother // Diamonds are my bestest friend…”
4. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
In an interview with GQ UK Lana gave her own book recommendation.
“Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – that will help you. I’m listening to audio books now. I’ve actually been listening to newscasts on this new movement in biology of creating human life through synthetic chemical compounds. I couldn’t believe that was really happening,” she said.
5. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Although Lana hasn’t directly referenced Anthony Burgess’ words from A Clockwork Orange in her lyrics, her album title Ultraviolence and the song are taken from the book itself.
The novel’s 15-year-old main character Alex and his friends engage in behavior they call “ultra-violence” and the theme of the book centers around ideas between good and evil, similar to the balance Lana’s female characters struggle with often as these women have no interest in pleasing the audience, but instead are messy, realistic portrayals of women in love.