Greek mythology, groupies and and unbridled vampire smut (it was bound to appear in Bookshelf sooner or later) – a pretty wild and romantic selection of books by prolific queen of the neon doodlers Hattie Stewart. Kingston-educated Hattie is a lot of people’s favourite illustrator with her almost hypnotic, kind of mental drawings which are a straight up no to anyone that says white space is key to aesthetic brilliance. Thankfully, Hattie’s garishly beautiful style is mirrored in her taste for books, read on to find out more…
Mario Puzo: Fools Die
Mario Puzo wrote ‘The Godfather’ and he also wrote one of my all time favourite books and probably the only one I’ve read more than twice, Fools Die. Its a pretty epic story with some brilliant characters, especially Casino owner Gronevelt and his obsession with percentages: “Everything you do in life, use percentage as your god.” Failure, fame, gambling, Vegas, Hollywood, love and loss it follows the life of one man, the struggling writer Merlyn and the self professed “master of magic.” This is one of the best stories I’ve ever read, I still learn from it today, especially when it comes to percentages. I was hooked from the first line and never put it down.
Mario Puzo: Fools Die
Jean-Pierre Vernant (Translation from the French by Linda Asher): The Universe, The Gods, and Mortals.
Ever since I was young I’ve been fascinated with Greek Mythology and its epic stories of how the world and everything in it was created. Detailing how dolphins were once pirates, The creation of Aphrodite (this ones pretty special) and the story of Epimetheus and his stolen gift to man, fire, which is my favourite and one I have told to anyone who will listen. The Ancient Greeks knew how to tell a good story, its just endlessly fascinating and this book is probably the best, detailed account I have read thus far. I’m a geek for Greek! (sorry).
Jean-Pierre Vernant: The Universe, The Gods And Mortals: Ancient Greek Myths
Pamela Des Barres: I’m With The Band: Confessions Of A Groupie
I’m a little obsessed with biographies and have read any I can get my hands on. It’s the true account of Pamela De Barres and her friendships and relationships with some of Rock n’ Roll’s most famous men (Jagger, Zappa, Page among them).
The book was the main inspiration behind the character Penny Lane in Almost Famous and is one of the most engaging biographies I have ever read. She also wrote Lets Spend The Night Together a great collection of stories from some of rock’s most famous groupies, including Tura Satana, famous for her relationship with Elvis Presley and her starring role in Russ Meyers cult classic Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. Long live Pamela.
Pamela Des Barres : I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie
Alain De Botton: The Consolations of Philosophy
I’ve been a reader and lover of philosophy for many years now (I was given Brian Magee’s book Confessions Of A Philosopher’ when I was 13 – also a great book – and I’ve been hooked since) and I love Alain De Botton. I won’t lie, I’ve attempted to read the works of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer but its a little difficult for me and I get bored easily so I prefer another fantastic philosopher to give me the basics and the run down first! Thats why I love De Botton, his musings, his Channel 4 series and this book.
Alain De Botton : The Consolations of Philosophy (Penguin Celebrations)
E.L.James: Fifty Shades of Grey (and the other two)
E L James : Fifty Shades of Grey