I’ve been reading lately. A pastime that comes and goes in my life. Something I never used to take very seriously. Now that Luke and I own Alice’s Bookshop I feel it is my obligation to our customers to read more. So I have been.
Over the summer holidays I read a few books. Here are my reviews, my opinions are not gospel and I’m just having a little bit of fun sharing these books with you.
1. Bree Claffey, photographs by Lauren Bamford ‘Indoor Green, Living with Plants’ (the big photo)
I LOVE THIS BOOK. If you love indoor plants, art, stories, interiors and great photography then this book is for you. My beautiful friend Tasha bought it for me for my birthday in January and it now lives on our coffee table. Mr Kitly is a store known for cool planters, pots, plants etc design here in Melbourne. Bree Claffey of Mr Kitly has collated a bunch of different stories from around the world (cool places only really, like New York and Japan etc) with people talking about their businesses, love of plants, obsession with plants and how plants are a huge part of their lives. The plants are stunning. The houses a must see. READ THIS BOOK. IT WILL MAKE YOUR HEART SMILE.
2. Sheila Heiti ‘How Should a Person Be’? (Top left book)
I really loved reading this book. I found the dialogue between characters and the writing overall very captivating. I guess being an artist myself helped a bit with some parallels between some of the stories and characters in the novel. I like how it mixes philosophy, feminism, art and narrative altogether. If you are creative, like reading something a little left in parts, a story of self discovery in a way, but overall a kind of ‘coming of age’ story, then you should totally read this one. There are some stella moments that you guy ‘Yeah’ out loud during this book.
3. Charlotte Roche ‘Wetlands’ (Hot pink cover)
This book is, as my friend Tasha put it, ‘a train wreck that you can’t look away from’. I don’t know if anyone should recommend this book to anyone else. I am certainly not recommending it on this blog. I’m just letting you know that I read it. I was dry reaching a bit for most of this book. I read some parts really quickly because they were so disgustingly vulgar. I winced at the hospital bed/ wheel knob thing scene (OH MY GOD). I don’t know what to say. It is something. I’m just not sure what. I read it in a day.
4. Alain de Botton ‘Art as Therapy’ (blue, green book)
I am gradually making my way through this great book. I was really anti Alain de Botton for awhile, I’m not sure why because now I think he is freakin wonderful. I have used a lot of what he discusses about the simplicity of art appreciation and relaxing into looking at artworks in my own art classroom. He is brilliant. He simplifies complex concepts and uses visuals all the time. I also started reading his ‘Consolations on Philosophy’ in the bookshop too, also seems like a very good read. He will change the way that you engage with art. Read it.
5. Betty Churches ‘Notebooks’ (sketches on the cover)
This one is still on the go, but boy am I loving it. Betty Churcher was someone I always looked up to in the art world. This book is a semi-autobiography and semi- art appreciation book. Totally what you would expect from this amazing woman’s life that ended last year. This book has Betty talking about how she got into the role of director, beautifully honest insights into her love of art and the difficulties of the art world. Then later on, I’m not into this part yet, but she discusses her favourite pieces of art from her favourite galleries and museums around the world. A beautiful book to capture the legacy of this profound woman’s passion for the visual arts.