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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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    There are few corners of the internet which remain sacred nowadays, but anothermag.com, the online counterpart to Dazed ’s sister publication AnOther Magazine, feels something like a tiny jewel-bedecked cave in the midst of a vast wasteland. Hosting a curated collection of insights into the lives of legendary artists and craftspeople, alongside photographic series, handwritten letters and aspects of the fashion world which might otherwise go unnoticed, the site is a rare gem, and at its helm is editor Laura Bradley.

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    Brighten the Corners (the name comes from the Pavement album!) is a design studio split in two – it’s made up of Frank Philippin and Billy Kiosoglou and based in both London and Odenwald, Germany – so it makes sense that it has two bookshelves to show for it, too. The studio’s portfolio of work includes some very impressive stuff for the likes of Anish Kapoor, Frieze, the British Council and the Department of Education, and with fingers in such diverse pies we were keen to see the books Billy and Frank were drawing on for inspiration. So here they are!

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    What a treat we have for you today! The one and only Teal Triggs, professor at London’s Royal College of Art and all-knowing figure in everything concerned with print, graphic design history, self-publishing and feminism, has spent some time digging five of the most influential and inspiring books she owns out of her bottomless collection to share with us.

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  8. Main-books

    Guys it’s World Book Day! One of the only “days” of the year that people should really give a shit about (yeah I’m looking at you “National Play your Ukulele Day”). People all over the world are encouraging kids and adults to get their hands on a brand new book, or just glance at the spines of your well-thumbed publications on your dusty shelf that perhaps changed your life at some stage or another. In honour of this sacred day, we book-lovers at It’s Nice That have decided to pay homage to our own favourite tomes by listing them here for you today in our very own It’s Nice That Bookshelf. So in no particular order, here are the It’s Nice That editorial team’s favourite ever books. Tweet in yours too!

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    Brooklyn-based graphic designer Elana Schlenker is not only the creator of “occasional pamphlet of typographic smut” Gratuituous Type, she’s also a freelancer with a magnificent array of colourful projects on her (frankly quite beautiful) website, a very good speaker, an exhibitor at exhibitions in Edinburgh and at London’s own KK Outlet. And she’s won a bunch of awards, too. Her aesthetic is pastel coloured without being sickly, innovative without feeling audacious and involves the kinds of books which just seem to make life nicer.

  12. Stevie-gee-rumble-fish-list

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  13. Gourmand-list-int

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