Reading Guides

Best Leonard Cohen Books – Biographies and Books by the Songwriter

Leonard Cohen Books

Leonard Cohen is one of our favorite songwriters, but in addition to his excellent music, he also published a number of books of poetry and fiction. Here are some of the best Leonard Cohen books — including both biographies and books by the songwriter.

This week marks the anniversary of his death in 2016. We remember his life and work with this reading guide to the best Leonard Cohen Books …

Leonard Cohen Books

10. Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen

by Eric Lerner

A memoir of the author’s decades-long friendship and spiritual journey with the late singer, songwriter, novelist, and poet Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen passed away in late 2016, leaving behind many who cared for and admired him, but perhaps few knew him better than longtime friend Eric Lerner. Lerner, a screenwriter and novelist, first met Cohen at a Zen retreat forty years earlier. Their friendship helped guide each other through life’s myriad obstacles, a journey told from a new perspective for the first time.

Funny, revealing, self-aware, and deeply moving, Matters of Vital Interest is an insightful memoir about Lerner’s relationship with his friend, whose idiosyncratic style and dignified life was deeply informed by his spiritual practices. Lerner invites readers to step into the room with them and listen in on a lifetime’s ongoing dialogue, considerations of matters of vital interest, spiritual, mundane, and profane. In telling their story, Lerner depicts Leonard Cohen as a captivating persona, the likes of which we may never see again.



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IMAGE CREDIT: Takahiro Kyono – Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons.

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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