Once a voracious reader, over the last few years I noticed that my time spent immersing myself in a good book had dwindled until it seemed like my daily reading was reduced to scanning blogs and social media. I collect very few things but when it comes to books and magazines, I’m obsessed. After all, being glued to a screen 24/7 just doesn’t provide the same experience.
After the aforementioned dry spell, I’ve been making up for lost time and buying all sorts of books. My taste tends to focus on design, fashion and autobiographies but I’m always up for a wild card.
These are my top nine picks right now and I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!
By Betty Halbreich
Betty is now in her late 80s and a master at personal shopping. She’s so good at it that she spent close to 40 years at Bergdorf Goodman giving celebrities, socialites and stylists advice on what to wear. She has managed to master the art of transformation, helping people look and feel their best but the biggest transformation of all came from within.
Betty was married to a partner who turned out to be a terrible match and after they divorced, she reclaimed her independence in the form of going out and finding work at Bergdorf’s, which saw her potential and soon asked her to manage their first personal shopping service.
She is living proof that it’s never too late to make a big life and career change, even if you’re already many decades in.
By Alexander Vreeland
I have been digging into the life and times of legendary tastemaker and Vogue editor Diana Vreeland in preparation for The Art Of V course and this book is especially interesting because it’s a collection of her memos, typed and handwritten to the Vogue staff, often with the photographic outcome on the next page. It really gives you a look into her thought process and how discerning of an eye she had.
Diana wasn’t big on meetings, instead preferring to send these very direct memos and because of that, we have a paper trail of how she transformed Vogue into the biggest fashion publication in the 1960s.
By Counter Print
I’m a visual learner and seeing a design really resonates with me. I love logo compilation books because they provide so many potential ideas to jump-start your thought process without having to do all the tedious research online.
Alphabet Logo is a small but mighty book and features 228 pages of letter-based logos. I’m excited to be included in the mix, too!
By Diana Vreeland
Wanting to learn more about Diana Vreeland on a personal level, I picked up this autobiography that covers her whirlwind existence from living it up alongside the who’s who of 1930s Europe to landing in New York and working her way up through the ranks of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, later becoming the Editor-in-Chief.
By Grace Coddington
Creative Director at Vogue, notoriously press-shy Grace Coddington gives you a glimpse inside her world. She’s passionate about the work she produces and a loyal friend to some of the fashion industry’s biggest personalities. This book is also beautifully designed and a perfect addition to your coffee table.
By Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips
This is a must-have for any graphic designer, explaining all the fundamentals of two-dimensional design including hierarchy, scale and more. The best part is that the book is illustrated throughout with examples of each concept put into play.
By Fiona Humberstone
This is a book that I wish had existed years ago because it’s unlike anything else out there. How to Style Your Brand explores the process of creating the perfect brand identity for your business. What I find especially endearing about this book is the approach — the concepts and accompanying explanations are easy to grasp, even if you have no prior design experience.
By Sandrine Gulbenkian
I’m so obsessed with this book! It’s all black and white and packed with sharp, angular design to match Karl’s notorious wit. You never quite know what’s going to come out of his mouth — but either way, it’s never dull.
Karl Lagerfeld inspires and offends in equal measure but that’s a part of his charm. He’s never afraid to say exactly what he thinks and in this age of political correctness, that’s refreshing.
By Nigel Slater
I picked this book up on a whim, at first inspired by its simple cloth cover and was impressed with its ease since many cookbooks can be bloated and hard to follow. Inside, it’s packed with more than 600 ideas for simple meals, most of which take well under an hour to make. Food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and the recipes in this book prove it.
Your turn! What books are you obsessed with at the moment?
Top photo: Shell De Mar.