Patti Smith's Winter 2015 Reading List

Her pick for the first masterpiece of the 21st century

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Perhaps the biggest and best surprise on the Golden Globes red carpet earlier this week was legendary musician—yet self-proclaimed "anti-social" woman—Patti Smith. But Smith seemed thrilled to be in the mix, thanks to her nomination for Best Original Song. (Smith's "Mercy Is," the first song she's ever written for a movie, appears in Darren Aronofsky's Noah.)

"I'm very proud," Smith told us on the red carpet. "I'd never done that, so for us to have that opportunity and then to be here is wonderful. It's so unexpected. I said yes to doing it because I love the director. He told me he was writing a biblical epic, a version of Noah that would be socially relevant, and he needed a song for Noah, played by Russell Crowe. It should be a lullaby. And Lenny [Kaye, Smith's guitarist] and I have written a lot of lullabies. I love that genre. And I'm very familiar with the text – I have a strong Bible education. And I'm a big fan of Russell Crowe, so it seemed like the job for me."

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She added, "It was a big risk for Darren to give the job to me. But it turned out well, I think, since we're all here."

We asked Smith what someone would learn about her if there were a movie like Boyhood that spanned 12  years of her life. "Well, you'd learn that I love my dog," she laughed. "That I love my siblings. And that more than anything, I'm a real bookworm. I'm sort of a solitary person." So, book recommendations from Patti Smith? "I could recommend a million," she said, "I would just say read anything by [Roberto] Bolaño. Re-read all the great classics. Read The Scarlet Letter, read Moby-Dick, read [Haruki] Murakami. But Roberto Bolaño's 2666 is the first masterpiece of the 21st century."

Smith is a writer herself and confirmed that she finished a follow-up to her 2010 book Just Kids only two days ago. "I'm very relieved to be done," she said. "And then we're going to tour California and the West Coast. I also finished a complete collected lyrics from the past 45 years. So I've been busy. We're always busy. Lenny and I just turned 68 in December and here we are in January at the Golden Globes. Life is always looking up."

Images Amazon and Getty Images

From the editors of ELLE.com

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