Thursday, 6 March 2008

World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite books.
Thanks to my lil job in a bookshop, (with its 33% discount, uncorrected proofs and free damaged books) I often come home with more paper goodness than we can safely fit in our teeny house.

There's the main bookshelf,

though its not normally this neat.

There's the floor in the lounge,

cook books in a kitchen cupboard,

kids books all around their bedroom

these are books for 9 years and up

and these are the picture books (don't worry: its a very sturdy shelf)

and at my bedside.

When I need a laugh, I go to this book:

I know he hasn't done a funny film for ages, but this book makes tears of joy and mirth cascade down my plump laughing cheeks.

When I want comfort, I go to this book, a favourite as a child:

'Meal One' by Ivor Cutler, illustrations by the completely marvellous Helen Oxenbury. It is a safe bet to buy any books with her illustrations and I heartily recommend that you do so.

This is a superb book that powerfully conveys the parallels of black American boxers and the fight for black civil rights in the late 50's / early 60's. I'm rather partial to a good boxing match and consider Muhammad Ali as a bit of a god, so come and join the Rumble in the Jungle with me.

Here are my favourite self help books:

'Round Ireland with a Fridge' reminds me that anything is possible, as long as its part of a drunken bet, 'Yes Man' reminds me to take a chance now and then (yet reminds me that a bit of caution can also be a good thing), 'Oh the Places You'll Go!' reminds me that life is an everchanging journey, full of highs and lows, and strange blue houses, and 'Liberation' does exactly what it says on the tin: 'the perfect holistic antidote to stress, depression and other unhealthy states of mind'. Plus, I have a bit of a crush on the good Doc...

This is how I want to live.

I would love to fall into this book and live beautifully with the lovely beautiful people in sepia-land. Lets go camping! (this is how I see the often-talked-about UK Etsy Craft Commune looking)

I would also love to fall into this book,

This is a fabulously evocative account of the groovy side of London during the swinging sixties. Oh to visit the Indica bookshop! I keep meaning to dig out a published copy of this book (this is an uncorrected proof, so it has none of its final illustrations.) Mind you, it is written clearly enough that the words provide very clear pictures in themselves.

My favourite book on fashion:

Despite loving Robert Elms' radio show on BBC London, this book didn't really scream at me as something I had to read: mmm, men's fashion....zzzzzzzz. But when I found a damaged copy at work going for free (there's a rip on the front cover: that's all) I gave it a go and fell quickly and deeply in love. The man's love and respect for clothes is infectious, the way he remembers tiny little details and why those details were so important.

This was my Dad's which I stole from him years ago. (you know the way teenagers do, when they believe that their parents, living only in order to look after their offspring, relinquish any property rights on their possessions: 'What's yours is mine and can I have a tenner?') I have memorised every line and shade, every nuance of pen stroke, so perhaps I can give it back... in a few years time...

and this gem is from Ronald Searle's truly dark and deranged, and utterly wonderful, St Trinians. (please erase all memory of the recent film):

'I'll just die and then you'll be sorry.'
Awww, bless!

Happy World Book Day people!

(I'm reading this, written by her)