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    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

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    Bookshelf: Simon Hanselmann

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    Bookshelf: Simon Hanselmann

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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

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. List

    Last week Clive Martin from Vice called him “the David Bailey of grime” which sums up Ewen Spencer’s oeuvre beautifully, really. The documentary photographer has made British youth and subculture his bread and butter, photographing the UK garage scene in all of its gritty glory as well as working for the NME, photographing The White Stripes, making the very brilliant Brandy & Coke and producing a host of books and exhibitions as well. As far as perspectives on Britishness go, Ewen’s is basically unrivalled.

  5. List

    Yesterday marked the launch of the brand new issue of bi-annual hardback Twin magazine, the defiantly substantial glossy publication that clubs fashion, art and culture together through interviews and gorgeous imagery. This issue includes photographs by Petra Collins, an archive of childhood shots of Kate Bush taken by her older brother and an interview with the remarkable Neneh Cherry, so to celebrate we thought we’d have founder Becky Smith show us the five books which have inspired and influenced her. In the process, we learned who her favourite photographers are, whose rare books she’s lucky to have laid her hands on and the unlikely inspiration behind the name “Twin”. Read on!

  6. List

    When we get in touch with the people whose work we admire to ask if they’d like to be involved in the Bookshelf feature, we ask them to pick books which have been particularly inspiring or influential to them in their lives, and this brief might never been more closely followed than by Jessica Svendsen. Jessica is a graphic designer at Pentagram and teaches Typography at both Parsons and Pratt in New York, as well as working on a number of freelance projects which are as remarkable for the degree of research which informs them as for their bold, impactful imagery.

  7. Lisst

    Longtime fans of Toro Y Moi will already know Chaz Bundick to be a man with impeccable visual stylings, and a portfolio which stretches way beyond logos and album covers to include album launches turned art exhibitions, screen-printed posters and a heavy involvement with the concepts behind his music videos as well. Today marks the launch of Chaz’s debut album Michael under the name of his dancier side project Les Sins, which we decided made for an ample excuse to get a look at his Bookshelf. And my god it’s a good one.

  8. List-2

    Where some printed publications shy away from British culture as it exists beyond Union Jack flags and Yorkshire tea in floral china, LAW Magazine, which stands for Lives and Works is already knee-deep in the grit and the grime. Now in its fifth issue, the staple-bound bi-annual describes itself as a platform for “the beautiful everyday… A window into the world of the current undercurrent that nobody is catching and which is therefore of greater importance to document.” It’s a kind of Britishness so ubiquitous that you’d have to be wandering the streets with your head in a bag to miss it – one defined by full-suspension mountain bikes, Sunday League referees, Hackney estate maps and Vauxhall Novas.

  9. List

    Having founded London-based design studio Build in 2001, creative director Michael C. Place has amassed his fair share of books in his time, with a healthy combination of design knowledge to be found tucked between the spines on the studios (admirably well-organised) shelf. We’ve been championing Build’s work on the site for some time now, so what better way to get an insight into the inspirations behind their snazzy work than by hearing from the creative director himself about his favourite reading material? Between Letraset catalogues, reflections on legend Wim Crouwel and Michael’s mate Blam (who has excellent taste in books) we were not disappointed.

  10. Main1

    “In February 2013, 18 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.” That’s the opening statement on the website of graphic novelist Matilda Tristram, who channeled this painful chapter of her life into a bestselling comic entitled Probably Nothing. We interviewed Matilda a while back on the site and were so intrigued by her story, we had to know more. In this revealing, insightful Bookshelf, Matilda shows us the fantastic books that have inspired her to be one of the most important and engaging graphic novelists working today. Here she is…

  11. Main

    Yay! Hato Press! We love them. A lot. Neighbours of ours, Hato have spent the last five years collaborating with some of the coolest young creatives and oldest institutions to create impeccably beautiful printed matter and design solutions. A number of the publications these guys have produced are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding/smelling, and it seems that every single thing they do or work on is covered in a glimmering magic dust that is exclusive to only them. Before you go and wet your pants over their multi-disciplinary work on their very nice websites (here and here) check out the books that have inspired them over the years below. Enjoy!

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    Satirical artist and very funny woman Miriam Elia is something of a pro when it comes to books; last year she self-published We Go to the Gallery, a satirical reinterpretation of a 1960s Ladybird book which seeks to help parents explain sex, death and contemporary art to their young ones, complete with a handy glossary of new words to learn. She’s since co-curated an exhibition about Pastiche, Parody and Piracy at London’s Cob Gallery, while other past works include I Fell in Love With a Conceptual Artist… and It Was TOTALLY MEANINGLESS about her relationship with Martin Creed. Hilarious? Yes. Yes it is. Miriam’s Bookshelf includes lovingly weathered books about typography, photography, flesh-eating plants and Butlins holiday camps, giving a neat insight into her brain.

  13. List

    John Tebbs is an English gardener who, frustrated by the fact that “many of his working days are held hostage to the weather” founded The Garden Edit in the winter of 2013. His idea was to spend his downtime as productively as possible, creating an online store of beautiful objects which he sourced and sold himself. The resulting curated collection reflects John’s faultless aesthetic, selling “minimal, well-designed products from craftspeople, artists, publishing houses and family-run businesses” alongside a Journal which features short articles by some of his favourite figures about their own horticultural escapades, from rooftop gardens to illustrations of plants.