Last year, I made an effort to read more books. Instead of spending my commute glued to my phone or reading the Metro, I read actual books and really enjoyed it so decided to keep it up this year. Here are the books I read during January:
The Kitchen – Studio Olafur Eliasson
This was a Christmas present from Joel and Kat. It’s much more than a recipe book. Olafur Eliasson was the artist who created The Weather Project in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall – at least that’s how I know his work. He runs a studio in Berlin, and has a chef who cooks lunch every day for his whole team to have a sit-down meal together. They grow food in containers on the top of the building. It’s a book full of recipes, but also thought-provoking pieces on the value of eating together, of how the body depends on food and sunlight, and the creative potential of conversation and food. It inspired our first Lightbox phrase of the year: Eat Art Work
Out of the Wreckage by George Monbiot
An honest, realistic, and ultimately hopeful book, about the state our world is in and what can be done about it. It made me realise how little I know about economics and how that dimension of life works. It’s inspiring to read about people who have brought about change in their communities, but you need to find other like-minded souls to make something happen.
Sensation by Isobel Losada
It took me a while to get beyond her rather irritating style of writing, but this was an eye-opening book about female pleasure. Enough said.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Beautifully written, sparse prose that delves straight into the brutal reality of slavery, and tells the compelling story of Cora’s journey from slave plantation to something approaching freedom. This book has won many accolades, but I have to say it didn’t touch my soul. Maybe the way I read it was too disjointed, but I didn’t get the significance of reimagining the underground railroad as a physical reality.
The Side Project Report by Do Lectures
Jonny gave me this at Christmas, probably in the hope that my own side project will get closer to fruition this year. I’ve always been inspired by David and Clare Hieatt and their creative endeavours, from howies, to the Do Lectures, to Hiut Jeans. This report has tons of examples of creative people who have turned their side projects into useful products with wisdom on how to make that happen. They just need some more female protagonists in the stories they tell.