• Hero

    Simon Hanselmann: Bookshelf

Bookshelf

Bookshelf: A very special hand drawn bookshelf from the very special Simon Hanselmann

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Remember Meg and Mog from your childhood? Okay wipe them from your minds and meet the new Megg and Mogg, recreated by Simon Hanselmann whose art has made us laugh more than…well, anyone. Ever. Simon’s ever-changing style but consistent weirdness is exactly the reason we wanted to snoop around in his bookshelf. The fact that he chose to draw his bookshelves rather than photograph them is nothing short of heroic. Without further ado, here he is.

“I probably only read around three or four (non-picture) books a year, i have a problem with “workaholism”. I usually binge-read a few things when i’m sick or really depressed. In my entire lifetime I will read perhaps two hundred and fifty books. A horrible thought. Here are five of the one hundred and seventeen books I have read thus far in my life that have made me feel something."

Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D & Howard Rheingold: Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming

I found this in the library in high school during a period of intense interest in out of body experiences and dreams and “magic”. It totally works. I’ve never even finished it once but it always works. It puts a trigger in your head.
I’ve had terrifying moments of clear total lucidity. One time it was horrifying, utterly horrifying. It felt dangerous.
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreams: Stephen LaBerge

Knut Hamsun: Mysteries

The cover reads: “Never has the Nobel Prize been awarded to one worthier of it.” Twenty Three years after Hamsun received it he sent it to Joseph Goebbels as a gift (this was during Hamsun’s “horrible senile racist” phase)
Nevertheless… when i read Mysteries on a long bus ride as a young man, it made me feel alive. I devoured it and it made me dizzy. Much like the protagonist of the novel, I was heading to a new town where nobody knew me. Much like Johan Nilsen Nagel I caused a lot of trouble for the townsfolk and disappeared into the ocean.
[Mysteries: Knut Hamsun

Fiddler’s Green, Richard McKenna

I’m obsessed with this short novella from the 1960s. It’s about eight marooned sailors dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean who create a shared mental realm together and start living in it and building in it. Then other people start showing up.
I started drawing an adaptation of it in 2010 but abandoned it after fifty or so pages.
In the future I plan to restart it and finish it… I’ve attempted to track down McKenna’s living relatives to obtain the rights to do it but have come up empty…

Keep the Aspidistra Flying, George Orwell

Having been poor, working in many bookstores and having an interest in writing terrible poetry, I find myself sympathizing and identifying with Gordon Comstock, moth-eaten self-saboteur. At 29, the same age as he, I was working in a bookshop in London, around the area where Orwell probably wrote the book, commuting past Putney everyday, thinking about the “Money World”, aspidistras in windows, expensive fur coats, gruesome advertising…As i flip through the ratty 70’s paperback edition (unemployed and broke) in 2013, a slip of paper falls out of the book and onto my lap. It’s my bank account numbers…
Money. It’s always money.
Keep the Aspidistra Flying: George Orwell

His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

I voraciously read these back to back over a week in 2009. I’d been gutting out a gallery space, smashing up walls and shattering glass, I must have inhaled something weird and haunted and I became deliriously unbalanced for many days.
The Subtle Knife is my favourite. Fucking Alamo Gulch made me weep.
I’m a sucker for good YAF. I also LOVE Harry Potter and The Hunger Games was probably the best thing I read last year…
His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman

  • Yellow

    Bookshelf: Simon Hanselmann

  • Pink

    Bookshelf: Simon Hanselmann

Ls-300

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

  1. List

    Danielle Pender is the brain at the helm of Riposte magazine, one of the most exciting new publications created to champion the women doing exciting work in the creative industries today, so can you blame us for wanting to have a poke about her bookshelf? Her selection gives a generous insight into the process behind putting together a magazine, from the issue of National Geographic which led her and Riposte’s creative director Shaz Madani to consider a text-based front cover for the magazine (“I’m really happy we had the balls to go with it”) and the all-time hero she dreams of interviewing, with a few other gems thrown in for good measure. She technically stretched her five books to seven, but we let her off because they’re all so damn interesting.

  2. Main

    I always had a hunch that Bruno Bayley was the kind of guy with a great bookshelf – you can just tell that he’s a hoarder of the weird, the kind of person who would rather stumble upon someone’s diary in a forest than, say, a suitcase full of cash. London-based Bruno is the European managing editor of Vice, which allows him to take his curiosity for the dark corners of the world and pump them out to those who want to know but perhaps can’t be bothered to look. His articles are some of the best on Vice at the moment, so go and check them out after you’ve read his deeply interesting, peculiar top five books. Excuse us while we go and subscribe to the Fortean Times

  3. List

    London-based photographer Catherine Losing is exactly our cup of tea; working with the crème de la crème of collaborators from set designers to food stylists, she takes photographs which are colourful, dynamic, bold and immediately recognisable. Unsurprisingly then, her bookshelf is among the very best-stocked of them all, complete with Martin Creed, Barbara Hepworth and Toilet Paper magazine, and most importantly they’re all seriously well-thumbed and chockablock with Post-its.

  4. Listdie-tollen-hefte-01

    When you ask a couple of creatives who work in a former kindergarten in east Berlin (as we learned in an interview many moons ago) to show you their book collection, you hope to see some pretty cool and quirky publications. Doris and Daniel of Golden Cosmos have not let us down.

  5. New_list_animade

    Design and animation are maybe a bit overlooked when it comes to selecting people whose bookshelves we’d like to share with you. With that in mind this week’s collection comes from the very lovely folks at interactive design and animation studio Animade. They recently incorporated Hover Studio into their midst too, making them collectively one of our favourite groups of creative brains in a five mile radius. Their bookshelf has a serious digital and animation lean, so budding animators and interactive designers, gather round to find out the tomes that’ll yield the secrets of your trade.

  6. List

    When we received a copy of illustrated sine Steak Night through the door a couple of weeks ago (check it out in Things here) we were pleasantly surprised to find that Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke is not only a musician, but a keen writer too. Intrigued, we hunted him down and grilled him about his Bookshelf, which turns out to be an incredibly well-stocked selection of graphic novels and comic books, with a little photography thrown in too. He’s multi-talented and he’s got great taste! Here’s Kele telling us about his choices.

  7. Main5

    I get the same feeling receiving the zip file from weekly Bookshelf contributors as I did when I used to babysit as a teenager and casually rifle through people’s drawers (by the way, don’t do that). Witnessing the telling spines residing on people’s shelves will always be intriguing, and Holly’s top five is no exception. The editor in chief of i-D has an absolute terasure trove of some of the glossiest, coffee table-worthy tomes money can buy. What’s brilliant about her selection is just how telling it is of her true passion for the world she has been submerged in since beginning as an intern there many moons ago, and of why i-D is so consistently brilliant with her at the helm.

  8. Main

    The amount of times we’ve checked out new work from Joe Cruz at It’s Nice That and just sat around with our heads in our hands, gobsmacked at how simple and effortlessly beautiful his work is. Not just that, but his style is probably one of the most easily recognised of the editorial illustrators we chat about here. We love him so much that we even asked him to illustrate a piece in our own magazine, Printed Pages. Here’s Joe on the artists, books and African fashion that have influenced his work over the years. Take it away, Joe!

  9. Bookshelflist

    Louise Benson from POST Magazine has curated a selection of books from her bookshelf for us! Since we first wrote about POST in 2011, the digital magazine dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge creativity has spectacularly grown, and has become a very intriguing and forward-thinking online platform. The site explores the blurring boundaries between art, fashion, science and technology, and in the past they have published iPad editions of their magazines. For an afternoon, Associate Editor Louise pulled herself out of the digital realm and spent some time with her physical bookshelf. On to Louise for her list of all time favourites.

  10. Main

    Reel off a list of highly-publicised albums recently and chances are that their artwork was designed by creative director and artist, Leif Podhajsky. From Bonobo to Mount Kimbie and Kelis to Tame Impala, Leif’s psychedelic-inspired designs turn these albums from listenable into incredibly desirable in a matter of seconds. Drawing inspiration from the mystic, the kaleidoscopic, the mysterious and the wild, Leif’s site and blog are a treasure trove of beautiful, technicolour work to marvel at. You can almost smell the sandalwood. Here he is on his top five most inspirational tomes, check out that National Geographic collection!

  11. Main

    Can you believe Mr Bingo has never done a Bookshelf for us? We’ve been posting about his work, reading his vulgar Tweets and laughing at his books for years and never thought to ask him. Well, maybe we did ask him and he said no – that sounds more like it. In between Tweeting at Alexa Chung, writing alarmingly insulting hate mail and illustrating for big companies, Bingo is a seemingly avid collector of weird-as-shit books. Are titles such as Dancing with Cats and Self Defence for Women up your street? Then read on dear friend…

  12. Main

    Sometimes at It’s Nice That we like to dip our timid toes into the world of fashion, and what better way to do so than to approach a big dog at one of the best online fashion resources known to mankind? Leon St-Amour is the Creative Director of Mr Porter, the luxury menswear site that – much like us – likes to make people happy each and every day. Where we do it with featuring people’s work, Mr Porter do it with a very special knack for delivering their goods in the most luxurious and hand-clappingly exciting way possible, usually involving a very beautiful white shopping bag being hand-delivered to sartorially-minded folk all over the globe.

  13. Main

    Wahey! We love booze and books in equal measures here at It’s Nice That, so it’s our pleasure to introduce Simon Lyle and his five favourite books to you today. Simon is the editor of Hot Rum Cow, the printed publication containing the hottest news on all things booze – from cocktails to beers and from bartenders to barflies, this magazine’s got it all. Here he is on which publications have inspired him along the way to becoming editor of Hot Rum Cow