Summer reading list 2021
Like travel, books can broaden horizons and offer a sense of escapism. With this in mind I have put together a reading list to delve into. I hope it sparks your creativity.
It would be fair to say Michael Palin is a national treasure. This book accompanied his television series. Written in diary format it documents his trip as he set out to follow the route around the world taken by Phileas Fogg. A great fast paced read that combines fact, history, acute observation and humour.
Lively take on the history of Ibiza. Taking in the Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, artists, exiles, hippies, and clubbers. It would be fair to say that the island’s location and attitude to life and outsiders have given it a very colourful past.
A wonderfully descriptive journey around the British coastline in the care of the National Trust. A mixture of beautiful poetic prose, facts and history taking in plants, rocks, animals, people, views and walks.’ Complete with superb illustrations by Emily Faccini. Makes you want to get out and explore.
‘The point is the journey…I enjoy the travelling not the sitting still.’
Classic Graham Greene novel in which a retired bank manager meets his aunt for the first time in 50 years. She subsequently persuades him to go travelling with her to Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, and Paraguay. Along the way they meet an assortment of intriguing and fascinating characters.
Art and culture
During 2020 when museums were forced to close due to the corona virus pandemic New York based cultural strategist conducted a series of conversations with international museum leaders. This book gathers them together giving us an insight into how world events both locally and globally are forcing museums to reflect and change. It gives us an idea of how those in charge of these institutions are working to make them more open, inclusive, technologically savvy, and more in tune with their communities.
‘We’re often told art can’t change anything. Laing argues that it can. It changes how we see the world, it exposes inequality, and it offers fertile new ways of living.’
Insightful and thought-provoking collection of essays on art and culture from writer and critic Olivia Laing. Features profiles of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Agnes Martin, Derek Jarman and Sarah Lucas. Compiles Laing’s writing from her Frieze magazine column. Brings together a selection of exhibition and book reviews. And ends with a series of ‘love letters’ to amongst others Arthur Russel, John Berger and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Highly entertaining collection of writing by one of the most iconic artists of the twentieth century. Warhol muses on such subjects as sex, love, fame, art, beauty, work, and success. One you can dip into and revisit time and time again. Full of gems.
Autobiography of the larger-than-life character and founder of the infamous Pikes hotel in Ibiza. Just like than man himself this is a hedonistic, fast paced, no holds barred account. From the video shoot at Pikes for Wham’s Club Tropicana to his relationships with guests that included George Michael, Freddie Mercury and lover Grace Jones, this book is a wild ride.
Powerful call to arms book by Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins. It is so easy to get caught up in all the negativity and become overwhelmed by the scale of issues facing us. We can become paralysed into thinking we can’t do anything to change things. Using real life examples this book argues that we can and that the key to it is using our own imagination. Inspiring stuff.
What is silence? Where can we find it? And why do we need it? Contemplative and calming journey to unlock the power of silence by Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge.