1. 'REWILD YOURSELF' - Simon Barnes
Official Description: From the author of The Meaning of Birds, Rewild Yourself introduces 23 mesmerising ways to find a deeper connection with the natural world, regardless of where we live. Inspiring and delightfully practical in its approach, Barnes’s gorgeous book harnesses us with the means to get back in touch with our wild side.
Jasmine: After spending so much time indoors, sometimes I find it easy to forget what’s actually outside my front door. I discovered Rewild Yourself shortly after I rekindled my interest in mycology during a particularly fruitful autumn walk last year. (What can I say? Stinkhorns are really, really funny.)
It’s a joy to read and a joy to remember how much is out there if you know where to look. This book is a love poem to the natural world, giving you tips on how to find it no matter where you live! I would thoroughly recommend it if, like me, you really hate walking and need a better reason to do it other than “it’s good for you”. Which to me, still feels like a lie.
2. 'THE HEALING POWER OF ILLNESS' - Thorwald Dethlefsen
Official Description: Based on the idea that a patient brings about their own illness, this book suggests that symptoms are expressions of psychological conflicts, and can only be healed when the patient is aware of what is behind the problem.
Didem: I found the period of Pandemic much of a chance to learn about so many new topics as well as the time to close down inside and reflect some inner-self. Lately, the main topic being the viruses and the diseases which varied from physical to many others feeling depressed, this book got my curiosity by explaining the meaning of Symptoms and how to interpret them. The most interesting part of the book is how we agree with those explanations when it’s about someone else, but we got protective and tend to reject the causes behind OUR OWN sicknesses. The book promises a journey for self-confrontation in many ways for the ones ready to explore and expand.
3. 'FACE IT' - Debbie Harry
Official Description: Following Debbie Harry's path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie s break-up as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than thirty films, a stunning solo career and the triumphant return of her band, and her tireless advocacy for the environment and LGBTQ rights, Face It is a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed in her footsteps a memoir as dynamic as its subject.
Sam: I've only just started reading it so I don't have much to say yet other than I love Debbie Harry!
4. 'I WANNA BE YOURS' - John Cooper Clarke
Official Description: I Wanna Be Yours covers an extraordinary life, filled with remarkable personalities: from Nico to Chuck Berry, from Bernard Manning to Linton Kwesi Johnson, Elvis Costello to Gregory Corso, Gil Scott Heron, Mark E. Smith and Joe Strummer, and on to more recent fans and collaborators Alex Turner, Plan B and Guy Garvey. Interspersed with stories of his rock and roll and performing career, John also reveals his boggling encyclopaedic take on popular culture over the centuries: from Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe to Pop Art, pop music, the movies, fashion, football and showbusiness – and much, much more, plus a few laughs along the way.
Simon: As much as I love Rik Mayall, for me, 'The Peoples Poet' will always be JCC. A fascinatingly unsentimental read, from working men's clubs to ending up on the GCSE syllabus, JCC's caustic wit and wisdom burn through every page. As Bill Bailey puts it, “you’ve either never heard of him, or you love him”, well now you have and you will.
5. 'GOODBYE, WORLD! LOOKING AT ART IN THE DIGITAL AGE' - Omar Kholeif
Official Description: A look at how the internet and post-millenial technologies have transformed our ways of seeing and birthed a new form of culture. The way we see the world has changed drastically since NASA released the "blue marble" image of the earth taken by Apollo 17 in 1972. No longer a placid slow-moving orb, the world is now perceived as a hothouse of activity and hyper-connectivity that cannot keep up with its inhabitants.
Agnes: To what extent has the internet transformed the way we see and relate to images? Omar's Kholeif book, is an insightful look at digital cultures and the way it's evolving our understanding of contemporary art in the digital age. Kholeif is taking cues from my beloved author John Berger’s 'Ways of Seeing' and Alvin Toffler’s 'Future Shock'. This book gives a pretty cohesively overlook of today's state of changing internet word. In the light of recent events, in digital space with the rise of NFT's this book feels more than ever-relevant in helping to understand how that slow transformation reached today's stage.