Our 6th annual Summer Reading List series is here! Every week or so throughout the summer our blog will feature new lists of recommended reads from painters, writers, shop owners, editors, photographers, designers, and other people we love. First up, BOOK/SHOP founder Erik Heywood shares a peek at the books he's taking along on sunny outings abroad and lazy evenings at home. Check back often for more!
Ravillious & Co. by Andy Friend
I love creative collaborations. Opportunities to work together with other creative people have been some of my most rewarding experiences, and I'm fascinated to read about groups who energize each other to make great work, sometimes even world-changing work. The circle that formed around painter Eric Ravillious in the 1920s featured several of the best and brightest makers of 20th century art & design in England. This beautifully illustrated look at that circle just joined my shelves at home & I look forward to spending time with this brilliant band of friends.
Northborough Sonnets by John Clare
It's common for those of us in packed cities to occasionally long for a country life. Reading John Clare is like walking into the most poignant, most beautiful parts of that idealized life. A volume of nature poems is often in my bag during summer camping trips, and few poets better capture the joys of a life lived in close attention to the natural world than Clare. This collection is new to me, but I'm certain it will be rougher around the edges by summer's end.
Writings by Donald Judd
I find a powerful silence in Donald Judd's rigorous sculptures, but I know it takes a lot of thinking, writing, arguing, and hard editing to load such simple forms with that kind of power. This beautifully made 1,000-page selection of Judd's writings is a handsome little brick that fits comfortably in the hand, and provides a welcome look behind the scenes of Judd's thinking & development. A great book to take on a plane, where I can read an article here or a letter to the editor there, in between staring out the window and tearing open a pack of Bischoff's while I think about Judd's world of art, design, politics, and the way the sunlight hits perfect concrete boxes at Chinati.
Book Society by Graham Watson
I can never resist a witty, candid account of life in the book world, and if it's told with an English accent, all the better. This one is for evenings at home, a good-reading-chair-and-lamplight sort of book. Can't wait.
Honey on Bread by V. Soloukhin
A highly atmospheric collection of short stories from the 1960s & '70s by a Russian writer famous in his own country but little known in the West. The "Russian and Soviet Story" collection of the early 1980s sought to change that, and after several decades this copy found its way to me. Something about its cover and promisingly cozy title made me pick it up & the two stories I've read so far impressed me with their vivid evocations of small moments in faraway lives.
My Galleries and Painters by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler
Whenever someone can demystify the area where art & commerce meet, I'm a ready listener. I just started reading this book-length interview with legendary art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. His conversational style is good natured and rich with anecdotes about Picasso, Derain, and others from his impressive stable of artists. He quotes Picasso (approvingly) as saying "What I want is to live like a poor man with plenty of money". Just the thing for the beach.
Abinger Harvest by E.M. Forster
This collection of E.M. Forster's essays & reviews has three things going for it as a summer read: it's small enough to slip in a pocket, the essays are brief but have depth and charm, and I haven't yet read it. Well, I've read one or two of the pieces in it, and they entice me to more. A perfect summer sidekick.