Alex Leggett is a song-writer, and self-taught musician from Gananoque (a small town) Ontario, Canada. He currently resides in Toronto, but growing up in a small town is one of the many things that inspires Alex’s talent. He is often touring across the country, hopping on stage at open mic nights, and supporting other artists in their passion.
When he isn’t performing, or telling dad jokes loaded with puns, Leggett keeps busy by writing music, recording albums and EPs, and planning the details of his next musical adventure. If you ever have the opportunity to catch Alex Leggett live, either solo or with his band-mates, you won’t regret the listen. His lyrics are driven by his yearning to learn about himself and the world around him; a feeling you will understand when you see what books inspire him as a person, and an artist. Alex Leggett is the third creator in this series featuring artists from all over the creative spectrum, and the reads that help make them who they are.
1. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
“I read this book in Grade 8. My teacher said that it wasn’t supposed to be available in school anymore (I think she exaggerated a little bit), but entrusted me to get the message and write a proper book report on it. I remember feeling underwhelmed by the story but felt like I was coming into adulthood by getting through a relatively boring novel. Later in life I got the message that the book is about how life is mostly grey area and very few things are actually black and white.”
2. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
“I recently bought and read this book in a few days based on a Reddit thread about life changing novels. It was difficult to start because of the writing style. The narrator is intellectually disabled at the beginning of the novel and progressively gets more intelligent due to a revolutionary science experiment. I couldn’t put it down and quickly finished it. The end of the novel left me in tears and totally brought me out of the winter blues I was starting to succumb to.”
3. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
“I absolutely loved the movie made in 2005 and watched it religiously. It was long overdue for me to read the novel. The story was influential in the way it describes the utter randomness and beauty of life. It’s also a very funny read. What sticks with me the most through all of the silliness and randomness in the novel are the words on the back of the Hitchhiker’s Guide which say “Don’t Panic.” Funny considering all of the crazy stuff that happens to the main character, Arthur Dent, but it’s actually a good little philosophy to carry through life and has helped me a few times.”
4. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
“I did not enjoy reading this book but had to for college. That being said it has stuck with me ever since. The book challenges the notions of success and ego while telling the story of an architect named Howard Roark. The older I get the more I can relate to Howard and his uncompromising approach to his career. Sometimes it’s not who gets there first, but rather who is still left standing. I’m slowly learning to apply that to my career as well. Someone out there is probably shaking their head and saying ‘Geez, Alex totally missed what this novel was about.’ Whatever, I’m not in school anymore, suckas!”
5. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
“This is an incredible book. It was a lesson on individuality and finding your own path in life. I remember getting emotional while reading it and having a multitude of ‘aha’ moments. Nuff said.”
6. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
“I first saw the movie and was very inspired, so I decided to read the book for some more insight into this incredible story. It definitely struck a deep chord in me, a longing to get outside and away from the concrete jungle of Toronto. I still have that longing but think that I need to see a few thing through at first. It’s also terrifying to think of the outcome. Definitely put a lot of things in perspective for me that I hadn’t quite considered before. Plus, it’s very well written.”
7. Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday
“This is a comic book series which I read in a graphic novel format (no advertisements! yay!). The series follows a team of super-humans who are basically supernatural archaeologists. The series takes a lot of pop culture and turns it on its head. Many of the ideas and stories were incredibly creative and showed me how far comic books could really take things. The combination of words and images create powerfully immersive story-lines and this is definitely one of my favorites. It was also a short series so continuity was easy to maintain, which is usually not the case with bigger comic book heroes and overlapping story-lines/universes. I made the mistake of hyping these comics up way too much to my friends. They didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I did so if you decide to read it, maybe go into it with a grain of salt.”
8. Tour Smart And Break The Band by Martin Atkins
“This is more of a textbook. I haven’t read it front to back yet, but keep it as reference material in between touring. It has great ideas and many can be applied to touring in Canada, even though it mostly pertains to the U.S. market. Highly recommended for any musician planning to tour, even just once. Even though a good chunk of the advice is for larger, big money-making tours, you can still boil down some essential truths about living a life on the road.”
Alex has an extraordinary way of refreshing his sound and his soul. The books he has chosen are a direct reflection of his heart and his musical path. To learn more about Alex Leggett, visit his website, Facebook page, or give his music a listen on YouTube. Below you will find Alex’s latest recording —enjoy!
Have you read any of these deep and meaningful books? What books inspire you?
YouTube Channel: Alex Leggett
Featured image via Alex Leggett’s YouTube Channel