As part of an editorial takeover of AnOther Magazine, electro-pop cum indie artist Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, listed the five books that have indelibly influenced her:
1. The Idiot — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
2. The Good Earth — Pearl S. Buck
3. Solaris — Stanislaw Lem
4. My Fight / Your Fight — Ronda Rousey
5. The Flowers of Evil — Charles Baudelaire
Anyone familiar with Grimes’ music and persona will find the list lines up exactly with their imagined list of Grimes’ top five books except for the fact that it contains no manga.
Boucher wrote paragraph-long descriptions of each work she listed, and each contains a quote that is just so Grimes is borders on parody.
For example, Grimes points out her favorite Baudelaire poem is “A Carcass”—an ode to a decomposing prostitute whom the narrator stumbles upon in the woods and then memorializes, all the while lamenting the absurdity of life.
“I’m not typically interested in poetry,” Grimes wrote, “but I discovered The Flowers of Evil in high school as I was just becoming a goth and getting into Trent Reznor.”
Grimes, who often speaks out about sexism in the music industry, also mentions UFC fighter Ronda Rousey’s memoir as an inspiration.
“When I first discovered Ronda, I was so moved that she was literally responsible for women entering the Ultimate Fighting Championship; that she walked into a man’s world and made it her own,” Grimes wrote.
The best reveal from the list isn’t that Grimes is a fan of Dostoevsky’s terminably sad opus, but that her friends are, too, and even reference it (“I think a lot of my friends think I’m a bit like Nastasya!”).