We know Rose Blake in her illustrator incarnation, as a member of the This Is It collective and the founder of the simply brilliant “Studio Music.”:www.studiomusic.fm Normally the one asking fellow creatives and estimable artists for their tracks to make work to, we put her on the spot and asked for her literary quintet for this week’s Bookshelf.
Freedom Jonathan Franzen
Aaaaaaahhhhhh! This is probably the best book I’ve ever read. I had to sit in silence for about an hour after I finished reading it, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. The story is amazing and the narrative structure is ridiculous. PLEASE read it if you haven’t yet already. If it doesn’t break you, it will make you stronger.
Life Keith Richards
It must be fun being Keith Richards. I read this over the summer while I was on holiday in France. I didn’t have an iPod with me so I couldn’t listen to any of the songs mentioned while I was reading it, which was the most frustrating thing ever – when I got home I re-read it with an audio accompaniment. The stories are unbelievable (especially the Bobby Keys aeroplane one), the anecdotes about songwriting are engrossing (even though I know nothing about guitar), and it proves that Don Everly is the greatest ever rhythm guitarist – Keith mentions it about three times in the book. Made me want to pack it all in and go on tour.
Life: Keith Richards
What I Loved Siri Hustvedt
My mum always makes me lists of books that she has heard about on Radio 4 and this was on one of them. It took me a while to get round to reading it as I hated the cheesy painting on the cover so much. I love books that reference/criticise the art world. I’ve just finished the (relatively) new Geoff Dyer book where the first half is set at the Venice Biennale – it’s a sobering read too.
Apathy For The Devil Nick Kent
My friend lent this to me when I was raving about the Keith Richards book. Another music memoir about Kent’s life as an NME journalist, hanging out with Iggy Pop and David Bowie and briefly playing with the Sex Pistols. Normally books like this are really badly written, but this is Nick Kent so it’s a dream.
A Fraction Of The Whole Steve Toltz
A hilarious and very visual book about the relationship between father and son. This would be a dream to illustrate.