This is a compilation of all the books Damon has ever mentioned in interviews. Here’s the list and what Damon said about them:
London Fieds by Martin Amis: It’s one of the reasons why I moved here [just off the Portobello Road]. It gave me a key to a language that I was interested in, but didn’t know how to focus on. It’s a sort of dirty, speedy London dialect which he uses, and that’s sort of what I use in my songs now. I also liked the way he’s able to flip between low and high culture, as that’s what I’m sort of about as well.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse: Hermann Hesse was the first writer who actually had any effect on me. All his books seemed totally at odds with the 20th Century, he never had any pretence of trying to be a futurist, there was never an agenda. All his books were good, but I suppose the key ones were “Steppenwolf” and “Siddhartha.” He was always trying to define a spirituality but at the same time he stayed clear of any sex or dogma. He was just there. One of the first urban pagans.
The Boarding House by William Trevor.
The Buddha Of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi.
Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson: That was a special book. It’s beyond just a story isn’t it?
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.
The Blind Owl by Sadeg Heavat: Really fantastic story. That’s the thing that’s excited me the most. It’s so very mad. The imagination of the man is very strange but very compelling.
Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke.
When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods & Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age by Justin Kaplan: The most interesting book I read, utterly fascinating about the psyche and invention of what we know as America.
Ping-pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game.
The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries by Carlo Ginzburg.
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters; And, Seymour: An Introduction by J.D. Salinger.
Another writers he has mentioned: Charles Bukowski, Ray Bradbury, Saul Bellow, DH Lawrence and William Blake.