Vanessa Carlton

The books she'd walk a thousand miles to read.


Perhaps best known for her 2002 album Be Not Nobody, which featured the hit single "A Thousand Miles," Vanessa Carlton is a singer-songwriter whose earnest voice is guaranteed to thaw even the hard-hearted. Her new album, Rabbits on the Run, dispenses with elaborate orchestration and focuses on a pared-down style reminiscent of Stevie Nicks and Tori Amos. This week she points us to three books that inspire her music, including an autobiography that hints at her early years as a ballerina.


Buy Vanessa Carlton's new album, Rabbits on the Run 


More music by Vanessa Carlton



A Field Guide to Getting Lost

By Rebecca Solnit


"A friend turned me on to Solnit. This book is almost like a tool. A golden sword! It reflects yourself back to you. Solnit articulates moments in her mind that resonate with me to my core. I'm so grateful that she exists and chooses to share her stories and ruminations. I find myself drawing ideas for songs from some of her quotes. This is the type of book where you will find yourself scribbling notes in the margins."



Watership Down

By Richard Adams


"An epic and wonderful story. The choices that these rabbits make and what they end up creating is so fantastic. This book is an anchor and inspiration."







Once a Dancer: An Autobiography

By Allegra Kent


"This is my favorite ballerina autobiography. Kent is one of the great Balanchine dancers. Her story is amazing and she is an interesting and whimsical writer. If you want to go down the rabbit hole into the extraordinary world of a ballet dancer then read this."


April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.