• Suzi-kemp

    Bookshelf: Suzi Kemp

Bookshelf

Bookshelf: Adrian Mole vs. Rebel Youth! It can only be the Bookshelf of illustrator, Suzi Kemp

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Suzi Kemp is a London-based illustrator whose hilarious, fluoro-angst drawings are seemingly inspired by such much-loved characters as Adrian Mole and the teenage teddy boys of the 1960’s. Her tattoo-like drawings are infused with as much girl-power as they are magnificent puns and scraggy hands, which is why her selection of books is particularly wonderful. Intrigued? Read on…

Karlheinz Weinberger: Rebel Youth

A fascinating and inspiring book of photographs portraying the teenage teddy boys and girls of Switzerland in the 1960’s, otherwise known as Verlausten (Lice-Infested Ones). The european teens are a little out of step from their USA counterparts, their customised outfits are grossly exaggerated, caricaturing rock ‘n’ roll style. They wear huge bullet shell cases and keys round their necks, and massive horseshoe belt buckles probably half-inched from the hooves of cart horses. Even better are the customised, hand painted jackets, with gang names and slogans like “The Jets” and “The Sharks”. An excellent portrayal of a tiny teenage sub-culture, that could easily have been overlooked and unappreciated if it wasn’t for photographer Karlheinz Weinberger.
www.amazon.co.uk/rebelyouth
www.anothermag.com/karlheinzweinberger

Sue Townsend: Adrian Mole

Adrian Mole instilled in me an appreciation for teenage poetry – sometimes I search the web for angsty haikus. I grew up with Mole, and his colloquial ramblings shaped my humour and inspired a fascination of suburban British life. I picked up where I left off with the series a few weeks ago, Adrian is now 24 and grafting in tough financial times – relevant to my life once again! Sue Townsend is an incredibly sharp and subtly hilarious writer, a true hero of mine, and the only person I have had the urge to write a real-life fanmail to.
www.amazon.co.uk/adrianmole
www.wikipedia.org/adrian-mole

Alan Aldridge & WIlliam Plomer: The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshoppers Feast

A wonderfully rich, surreal and psychedelic illustrated book. I own a musty first edition, complete with an invite to “The Ball” tucked into the pages. This book belongs to my grandparents, I found it on a shelf in their unassuming bungalow, and as a youngster pored over the darkly surreal and detailed images. When I left home to study illustration, they delivered this book to me in a sandwich bag. It will travel with me to every house I ever live in.
www.amazon.co.uk/thebutterflyballandthegrasshoppersfeast
www.wikipedia.org/the-butterfly-ball…

Philip Ridley: Scribbleboy

Growing up I used to devour a book a day, and Ridley’s very relevant “urban fairytales” shaped my imagination. Ridley gave me a love of words and showed my young self how powerful creative language and writing can be. His books are incredibly important as they feed a wild imagination, and at the same time tackle unconventional life experiences, unlike most books for younger children. Scribbleboy pairs the story with charismatic ink drawings by Chris Riddell, which I used to practise copying and also had a huge influence on my aspirations to illustrate.
www.amazon.co.uk/scribbleboy
www.puffin.co.uk/scribbleboy

Etwas Von Den Wurzelkindern: Sibylle von Olfers

The English name of this book is The Story Of The Root Children, however I own the German copy. My Mum lived in Germany for a while, so I suppose she must have bought it there. I can’t translate it as I don’t speak German, but the illustrations are wonderfully strange and well composed which is why I love it. This book was first published in 1906, and written and illustrated by female artist and writer Sibylle von Olfers. The influence of Art Nouveau is fascinating to study within the illustrations. Symmetrical compositions of bare trees and roots and flat distant landscapes are dotted with strange characters, giant ants and stag beetles. Very odd, and a book I always keep on hand to flick through.
www.amazon.co.uk/thestoryoftherootchildren
www.wikipedia.org/sibylle-von-olfers

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

    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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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!

  4. List

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Main1

    Want to know a surprising secret about self-proclaimed “book obsessive” and Dazed & Confused editor Isabella Burley? She can’t stand big coffee-table-sized fashion books. “I’ve always taken my references from art, pop culture, photography and sex zines rather than fashion,” she told us. “That’s really come to shape the way I approach our fashion content within Dazed.”

  7. List

    With 25 years experience in magazine design, not to mention eight years of covering the extensive subject under the title magCulture, it’s a wonder we haven’t already metaphorically burst into Jeremy Leslie’s house and insisted he share his five favourite examples of printed matter right then and there. Instead, we caught him in the build up to The Modern Magazine 2014, the conference which takes place annually in the midst of London Design Festival to shine a torch on the current state of editorial creativity, as well as new directions for the industry.

  8. 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, as well as working at KK Outlet, the London outpost of communications agency KesselsKramer, 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.