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    Tim Noakes: Bookshelf

Bookshelf

Bookshelf: Tim Noakes, Editor-in-Chief at Dazed & Confused shows us his Bookshelf

Posted by Liv Siddall,

What would you expect the editor-in-chief of Dazed and Confused, one of the world’s coolest magazines to have on his bookshelf? Some big, clunky fashion titles? Some sort of bicycle book? A map of Hackney? Well you’re wrong. The very lovely Tim Noakes has kindly shared with us his selection of seriously fascinating books, a photo of his very cute son in their very nice living room, and some stories about Wu-Tang that will blow your balls off. Take it away, Tim!

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    Wonderland: Curiosities of Nature and Art by Wood Smith

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    Wonderland: Curiosities of Nature and Art by Wood Smith

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    Wonderland: Curiosities of Nature and Art by Wood Smith

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    Wonderland: Curiosities of Nature and Art by Wood Smith

Wonderland: Curiosities of Nature and Art by Wood Smith

This gold-trimmed beauty belongs to my Grandfather, “Oupa” Thomas Paulley. As the certificate on the inside cover shows, it was presented to him “For Regularity and Punctuality of attendance at the Ecclesbourne Rd Boys’ School” in Croydon. Suffice to say, I would have never received an award for that. It says November 1901, but as Oupa just turned 96, I reckon the true date is around 1925.

He lent it to me a few years ago and I was instantly spellbound by its tales of travel and adventure from a bygone era. At the start you are presented with two illustrations; one of a boy high above a Japanese mountain range pulling himself and his possessions across the ravine via a rope slide; the other shows a family sitting on top of a huge Californian tree stump, having erected their own permanent staircase to climb up and down it. It sets a fantastical tone, with Smith going on to describe everything from how to cross a river in Turkestan and fish for sponges in the Mediterranean, to navigating a bazaar in Baghdad and weaving cashmere shawls in India. I can only imagine how exotic and exciting it must have felt to my Granddad when he read it as a boy in the window of peace between the two World Wars.

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    Why Cats Paint: The Theory of Feline Aesthetics by Heather Bosch and Burton Silver

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    Why Cats Paint: The Theory of Feline Aesthetics by Heather Bosch and Burton Silver

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    Why Cats Paint: The Theory of Feline Aesthetics by Heather Bosch and Burton Silver

Why Cats Paint: The Theory of Feline Aesthetics by Heather Bosch and Burton Silver

The original LOL Cats. Our friend Katherine Rowlandson gave this formidable art theory book to my future wife in 2001, the year we all graduated from London Guildhall University. It’s made us laugh ever since. Having grown up around many cats – yet never once seeing any of them paint – I loved how Bosch and Silver had the wit and imagination to create an entire book that parodied the dryness of contemporary art criticism with photographs that made you doubt your sanity. The pioneering brushwork of Bootsie the Trans-Expressionist and Charlie the Peripheral Realest deserve your immediate attention.
 

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    The Wu-Tang Manual by The RZA

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    The Wu-Tang Manual by The RZA

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    The Wu-Tang Manual by The RZA

The Wu-Tang Manual by The RZA

Can I get a suuuuu? Probably not, if you haven’t read this book. My wife, Caroline, bought me RZA’s guide to Shaolin for my birthday in 2005. Part of her message inside was “You just need to find a shelf to fit it on now…” which is quite fitting for this feature. But more than that, this rap nerd bible reminds me of going to Denver to interview the group in 2007. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my career and its breakdown of Wu Lexicon came in handy every step of the way. I ended up on stage at Red Rocks in front of 10,000 people, went clubbing at a skanky dive bar with the entire Clan for GZA’s 40th birthday and shared a cheese pizza with Ghostface and Raekwon on the tour bus while RZA and ODB’s son rapped along to Brooklyn Zoo in the background. After the interviews – which ranged in length from 30 seconds (Masta Killa) to 2 hours (GZA) – I asked each living member to sign their profile page in the manual. Everyone obliged apart from Masta Killa and Inspectah Deck. Ha. Maybe I should have given them some cheese pizza.

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    Ritual by David Pinner

Ritual by David Pinner

I was going to choose J.G Ballard’s High Rise, one of my favourite novels ever (dystopian dog anyone?), but I plumped for David Pinner’s criminally overlooked debut instead. First published in 1967 and then in 2011 by Finders Keepers Records, Ritual is, as the cover handily informs potential readers, “The original seed from which grew the towering movie enigma The Wicker Man.” I’m not a big fan of that film, but this book is a beast. Set in Cornwall, it follows the downward spiral of police officer David Hanlin as he sets out to investigate the murder of a local child in a town driven mad by occult excess. Pinner’s demented characters are exquisitely realised, but it’s his hilarious phrasing – in particular Hanlin’s inner monologue as reason slips away and insanity takes root – that earned Ritual a permanent place on my shelf.

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    Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

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    Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

Our two-year-old son, Arthur, loves to be read Peace at Last every night, so by proxy I’ve probably read it more than any other book in my collection. Actually, it’s a toss up between this, Each Peach Pear Plum and Where the Wild Things Are, but I’ve chosen Jill Murphy’s classic because the story revolves around a family of three bears, and in particular a Dad who has a terrible night’s sleep. Like most parents I can definitely empathise with his red-eyed plight. Strangely, even after reading it hundreds of times, I still enjoy the rhythmic, hypnotic simplicity of its plot and the charming illustrations. Perhaps I just need some more sleep…

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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

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    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.

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    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.

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    “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…

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.”

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.