Will Robson-Scott has broken the rule of Bookshelf and chosen seven books instead of five, but we let him get away with it because his selections and write-ups are so interesting. Will is a freelance photographer and has worked for the likes of Vice, The Independent, Dazed Digital and many more. Fearless, and with a gritty, grimy edge to them, Will’s collections of images will have you transfixed. Before you spend a good chunk of time on his site, have a read of the delights of his book shelf to get you in the mood.
Eugene Richards: Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue
Cocaine True , Cocaine Blue blew my mind when I saw it. I’ve always believed that to find an interesting subject you don’t have to travel to a far flung country on the other side of the world, there’s usually something on your doorstep. This book re-instills this idea. Richards photographed all along the east coast of America when the crack epidemic engulfed the country, it’s a pretty horrific set of images that shows the impact of hard drugs on working class areas with out many opportunities. Sad to say I’m not sure much has changed since.
Ben Macintyre: Agent ZigZag
I am a very bad reader with a very short attention span so if something doesn’t captivate me in the first 5 pages I usually give up, but this book got me from the go. A real life double agent for the Brits and Nazis, who started his life a safe cracking con-man who wined and dined with soho upper etchelons of society while bedding hundreds of women, and that’s just the start. It’s James Bond meets Monty Python meets The Bourne Identity. Make me proud to be English.
Kaylynn Deveney: The Day to Day life of Albert Hastings
This is a book of quiet, subtle,beatiful images of a mans day to day in Newport, South Wales. This book made me realise that the relationship you have with your subject is more important then getting that big, “woah” image sometimes. Albert Hastings writes captions on each image and you see his handwriting deteriorate as times goes on, which makes the book even more interesting.
John Niven: Kill Your Friends
A book full of the most debauched stories I’ve ever heard, amazing intros, chapters detailing horrific exaggerated tales of certain spice girls and acts I vaguely remember from Now! compilations doing whatever it took to try to get too the top. This book isn’t for the faint of heart but seemed to fill my heart with guilty joy and laughter.
FFF/Topsafe: Crack and Shine
This a book I wanted to exist when I was growing, so Me and Fred Forsyth made it happen. London is sadly known as the epicentre of street art (yawn) and has produced a wealth of books on it. We made the book that celebrated the vandal, the people who risk arrest, injury and late nights to add a name to a surface for no goal apart from their own fufilment . Apologies for the self indulgence.
Tom Wood : Photie Man
My brother got me this for Christmas a few years ago, and in all honesty I had never heard of Tom Wood. The photos in this book shot in Liverpool and are so on point they could used as a survey of specific areas and social demographic groups I think. These images are so English, you can tell he’s part of the community he’s working in which give the images a very genuine, authentic quality.
Sean Vegazzi: I Don’t Warna Grow Up
This book is Sean and his friends causing mischief in NYC. You can see them growing up in the book, it reminds me of growing up and how you fill your days and nights, you just go exploring because theres nothing else to do, but this sense of adventure is something I feel you should cling on to in later life. These adventures made me also question authority, which is something summed up well with these images.