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    Charlie’s bookshelf

Bookshelf

Bookshelf: Fashion's favourite blogger Charlie Porter on Snoopy, Ulysses, and the science of the suit...

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Seeing as this man is considered by many to be one of the most important fashion journalists in the world, it was amazing the wonderful Charlie Porter was still willing to share his books with us despite being mid-way through having his flat decorated – what a guy! Perhaps this attitude, along with a healthy dose of purely natural fashion instinct, are what have secured his involvement in some of the most influential fashion bases on earth, including the reputable Fantastic Man and i–D.

Now freelance, Charlie spends his time documenting fashion on his own terms, usually via his magnificent blog on which you’ll find hilarious Rhythmic Gymnastic commentaries nestled comfortably against small, succinct articles about sweaters that make your wallet vibrate.

Without further ado, here are Charlie Porter’s top 5 reads:

Charles M Schulz: You’re A Good Sport Charlie Brown

I got this from the Scholastic Book Club in primary school. Charlie Brown and his friends play some sports, including a fierce motocross race, including a contestant called the Masked Marvel – obviously Snoopy. Charlie Brown and the Masked Marvel crash, but get mixed up. Snoopy is taken to hospital, while Charlie Brown ends up in the dog pound.

My parents found it in their loft a couple of years ago, and asked if I still wanted it. As with most things my parents find of mine in their loft, the answer was yes.
Charles M Schulz: You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown

Anne Hollander: Sex and Suits

Anne Hollander’s book is the best I’ve ever read on menswear. Written in 1994, Anne Hollander’s central premise is that far from being boring, suits are actually the most perfect garment yet designed. Her arguments are serious, and not just the knee-jerk ones of tailoring’s heritage. I don’t wear suits, and don’t know anyone who wears suits  – I’m interested in what comes after tailoring in menswear. But I get to that point by understanding what has come before.
Anne Hollander: Sex and Suits: The Evolution of Modern Dress

Clive James: Cultural Amnesia

An extraordinary book of essays on writers, thinkers, artists of the twentieth century. Clive James’s starting point are notes he’s made in the margins of books on particular sentences or passages. The essays have led me to discover many extraordinary writers, especially those struck by the mid-century turmoil of Europe, such as Anna Akhmatova and Witold Gombrowicz. I’ve had it for years and am still reading it, because often an essay makes me go off and read someone else’s work. It’s that rare thing – a book that’s a companion.
Clive James: Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time

Osamu Tezuka: Buddha (books 1 – 8)

Extraordinary graphic-novel-as-biography of Buddha, published in Japan from 1972 to 1983, which is both super-fun and super-inspiring. The cover of the American translation was designed by Chip Kidd, and together the spines of the hardback edition form their own amazing image. My set has had to be replenished a couple of times, as I’ve leant out the first in the series, never to have it returned.
Osamu Tezuka: Buddha (books 1-8)

James Joyce: Ulysses

On third attempt, including one go on Kindle, I’m finally making headway with Ulysses. I’m currently on page 390, and am reading it with the Bloomsday book by my side, which basically tells you everything that’s just happened – it’s an academically-authorised crib sheet. I’ve just checked how many pages are left. The book ends on page 933. 543 pages to go… Eeek…
James Joyce: Ulysses

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Bookshelf View Archive

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    Guys it’s World Book Day! One of the only “days” of the year that people should really give a shit about (yeah I’m looking at you “National Play your Ukulele Day”). People all over the world are encouraging kids and adults to get their hands on a brand new book, or just glance at the spines of your well-thumbed publications on your dusty shelf that perhaps changed your life at some stage or another. In honour of this sacred day, we book-lovers at It’s Nice That have decided to pay homage to our own favourite tomes by listing them here for you today in our very own It’s Nice That Bookshelf. So in no particular order, here are the It’s Nice That editorial team’s favourite ever books. Tweet in yours too!

  2. Just_kids_cover-list-int

    How best to describe the enduring and ubiquitous influence of COS? The brand has become almost cult-like in its appeal since it was founded a mere eight years ago, creating designs which are somehow timeless and classic and simultaneously innovative.

  3. Dominic-wilcox-bookshelf-list-int

    There aren’t many designers out there who can count a pair of shoes with GPS tracking, a race against a 3D printer and a stained glass driverless car among their recent projects, but Dominic Wilcox isn’t just any old designer. In fact, the job title “inventor” seems to be more appropriate, given that he spends his days identifying gaps in the objects we use, and experimenting with materials to develop new and intriguing ways to fill them.

  4. 4_int_bookshelf_americasfav2-list

    Brooklyn-based graphic designer Elana Schlenker is not only the creator of “occasional pamphlet of typographic smut” Gratuituous Type, she’s also a freelancer with a magnificent array of colourful projects on her (frankly quite beautiful) website, a very good speaker, an exhibitor at exhibitions in Edinburgh and at London’s own KK Outlet. And she’s won a bunch of awards, too. Her aesthetic is pastel coloured without being sickly, innovative without feeling audacious and involves the kinds of books which just seem to make life nicer.

  5. Stevie-gee-rumble-fish-list

    Illustrator and art director Stevie Gee has a pretty solid place in our hearts; his work is a glorious collection of iconic retro elements, moustachioed men, skateboarding and surfing know-how and the occasional dollop of sleaze for good measure. His Bookshelf, however, secures him in It’s Nice That history forevermore; never before have a classic skateboard, several pairs of silken panties, such a delightful collection of textiles and a cat called Olive featured. His book collection is pretty good too, jumping from vintage erotic comic books to 70s psychedelia is one fell swoop. All hail Stevie Gee!

  6. Gourmand-list-int

    If you’ve passed an independent magazine stand or stepped into a newsagents of late then without a doubt you’ll have some idea of what The Gourmand is. The biannual journal focuses on food in all its guises, and it’s invariably too enticing not to pick up. Founded by David Lane and Marina Tweed, the magazine is something of a pulsating hub for cultural references, with every page bearing the kind of striking imagery that challenges accepted patterns of independent publishing, urging the whole industry forward. You can see why we decided to grab co-founder and creative director David Lane to run us through his five favourite inspirational books from the studio Bookshelf.

  7. Teoconnor-bookshelf-list-int

    If you’ve laid your eyes on a poster for one of Somerset House’s exhibitions recently then you’ve more than likely been looking at the work of Teo Connor’s eponymous east London design agency. Teo, who previously co-founded No Days Off, has since worked on a bunch of chic campaigns for the cultural institution, not to mention projects for Tate, Nike and the V&A. She’s also co-founder of The W Project, which champions women in the creative industries through a series of events and exhibitions, which means she basically ticks every box. Brilliant woman.

  8. Fonshickmann-bookshelf-2

    It’s not very often we have a selection of vintage porn magazines masquerading as a book about the history of cinema on It’s Nice That, and for this special occasion we have Professor Fons Hickmann, founder of Berlin studio Fons Hickmann m23, to thank – he stumbled across the rare finding at a French flea market.

  9. List

    Last week Apartamento’s co-founder and art director Omar Sosa mentioned an upcoming collaboration with artist Nathalie Du Pasquier in his Bookshelf feature, and purely by chance this week we have Nathalie herself running us through her favourite books. What a nice coincidence!

  10. New-omar-list_

    You know how, when going to the hair salon, you automatically and perhaps unfairly expect your hairdresser to be perfectly coiffed? We had a similar sense of anticipation when it came to admiring Omar Sosa’s favourite books – a kind of nervous hope that the man responsible for getting together with Nacho Alegre to co-found Apartamento, an eclectic and deftly-curated compilation of cool characters and the spaces they inhabit, has a similarly intriguing collection of books in his own home too.

  11. Lenka-list

    Artist Lenka Clayton has been a mainstay on It’s Nice That since way back in 2009, whether she’s doing very slow magic tricks, making drawings on a typewriter with friend and collaborator Michael Crowe, or making books about the 63 objects she has removed from her son’s mouth. With such a multidisciplinary practice we knew Lenka would have stacks of wonderful books tucked away, and we weren’t mistaken. “A few years ago I moved to America from England,” she explained, “so I have far fewer books at home than I used to, making this exercise quite easy. The books I chose are the ones that I sacrificed clothes space for in my suitcases.” It seems a good tactic, as these five are a wonderfully eclectic insight into Lenka’s work. Read on!

  12. Unnamed

    As co-founder of London-based studio 8vo, co-editor of Octavo, International Journal of Typography for all of its eight year-long life and now one half of typographic powerhouse MuirMcNeil, you’d imagine that Hamish Muir has built up a fairly comprehensive collection of design and typography-based publications over the 30 odd years he’s been working. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the legwork and gotten cold hard proof of it in the form of photographs of his top five, and it’s even better than we imagined.

  13. List

    Antenne Books is to independent art bookshops what cool kids are to playgrounds – generously exchanging the very best in Pokemon cards from their reserved spot on the climbing frame – except for the Pokemon cards are beautifully made books about art, photography, design and illustration, and the climbing frame is a neat website. They shared five of their favourite out-of-print publications, including some absolute bangers from Ari Marcopoulos and Ed Templeton, leaving us envious and awestruck in equal parts. For their full range, check out their website.