Laura Pannack has a genuine affinity for portrait photography and she widens her lens to include landscape as part of the character of her sitters. They are contemplative works, quietly magnetic to look at and have been recognised as much by quite a number of estimable awards including the Portraits Singles category of the World Press Photo awards. This week we welcome her to the Bookshelf slot and her five top tomes.
Joakim Eskildson: The Roma Journeys
This guy is pretty much my favourite photographer at the moment and this book is one that I have returned to for a few years now. For me it holds painterly images that seduce the imagination. His images are stunning and in treading the already over-photographed territory of Romas only means that their beauty and attention to detail needs to be even more capturing… which it is.
The consideration of colour or black and white film fits the edit perfectly and my copy is sprouting with fluorescent post it notes. A visual treat to another world .
Ian Mc Ewan: First Love, Last Rites
Evidence of how much I love this book is reflected in its tattered and abused condition. My mum leant it to me about ten years ago and every time I spot it, I read a short story. Mc Ewan’s surreal world is such a relief to visit and with my impatience and short attention span, short stories are a fitting luxury.
I was blown away by the adaptation of one of the stories Solid Geometry I randomly viewed about seven years ago on Channel 4 at about three in the morning. Perfectly cast with Ewan Mc Gregor brings it to life perfectly.
Franz Kafka: The Complete Short Stories
Had it not been for my attempt at A level drama I would never have discovered an appreciation for Kafka. His twisted abstract writing makes a change from American literature.
Andrea Levy: Small Island
Like a few others books I had to abandon in my choice (like Ayn Rand and the occasional classic), I at first struggled to see why people raved about this book. But I am so glad I persisted; the plot could not have been more unappealing at first glance but the pace quickened halfway and the depth of characters created a divine novel. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Vladimir Nobokov: Lolita
As anyone who has read this will agree it is a firm favourite. Despite being his first attempt at writing in English, the intelligent poetry and incapsulating flow of this book is deepened by its controversial approach to the subject matter. Nabokov is most likely my favourite writer, his novels define the phrase “I couldn’t put it down.”