Summer has (unofficially) just begun, but that doesn’t mean we should waste any moment of it with light beach reading. In summer, just like in any other time of the year, I look for books that are less about providing a mere escape and more about involving you in life stories, immersing you in fantastic worlds, about enriching you and opening your mind. A celebration of storytelling in so many different forms.
- M Train, by Patti Smith (I loved Just Kids, Smith’s strong, true, unaffected writing style and the way she was able to capture the innocence of youth and of life before stardom)
- Diane Arbus: Portrait of A Photographer, by Arthur Lubow (much more controversial than I thought it would be)
- Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney
- Tour de France (original title: Something to Declare), by Julian Barnes (the Man Booker Prize winner in 2011, with The Sense of an Ending). I am loving the humour and the many French cultural references.
- Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy, Tony Visconti’s autobiography, with forward by Morrissey
- The Pedro Almodóvar Archives, published by Taschen (a visual feast and a beautiful complementing work to the book Almodóvar on Almodóvar). Note: this is no light book, neither in form or substance, so don’t try carrying it to the beach.
- Revisioning 007: James Bond and Casino Royale (it’s just that it’s my favourite James Bond film), by Christoph Lindner
A few words on my favourite place to shop for books: Cărturești & friends (it’s also where I discovered the extraordinary universe of William Grill’s illustrations and his books, The Wolves of Currumpaw and Shackleton’s Journey – I am working on something special about the latter, soon to be revealed on Classiq). In May, Cărturești & friends was chosen Indie of the Month by The New York Review of Books, the first ever bookshop outside the US to have been featured in their newsletter. Deservedly so. For a look inside and a good talk about books and the art of bookshop keeping, you can read my interview with the man behind this wonderful world of books, discovery and dreaming. I hope you can all find a good independent bookstore near you and visit it often.
More book recommendations: Just Kids, by Patti Smith / The Measure of A Man, by Sidney Poitier / Akira Kurosawa: Something Like an Autobiography