With Spring around the corner and the UK’s road map well underway, things are starting to look a little brighter. Visions of picnics in the sun aren’t looking so distant after all and perhaps reading outside might even be within reach?
With that in mind, Book Club has decided to do things a little different this month, with the AucArt team sharing their recommendations for April's installment. We hope this selection of light-hearted reads will inspire your next book of choice, encourage you to pick up where you left off with the novel sitting by your bedside, or even spark a chat with a friend over a coffee. Certainly, there has never been a better time to connect, communicate and have a good old barney about the joys of getting stuck into a book.
by Glennon Doyle
Untamed is the third of Glennon Doyle’s memoirs and it does not disappoint. Sitting at the number 1 spot on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list for seven weeks, this has become a cult favourite of many – notably including Adele, who aptly described it as making your “soul scream”. In the book Glennon talks about taking the steps to follow her inner voice and stop pleasing others. She investigates gender and society through experiences of her own and those of her family, sifting through all life lessons, from life changing decisions down to the everyday mundane. If you’re looking for something to stop you in your tracks and make you really think, this one’s for you.
the war of art
by Steven Pressfield
The War of Art was born out of Pressfield’s desire to help others succeed in the creative industry – whether it be embarking on a business venture or writing a novel. The succinctly engaging and practical guide, delivers a battle plan to inspire those who struggle to unlock their creative potential, investigating what keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?
Out of This Century Confessions of an Art Addict:
The Autobiography of Peggy Guggenheim
by Peggy Guggenheim
Guggenheim, whose contribution to art is staggering, as a dealer and collector and a champion of artists, left behind an extraordinary legacy which saw her find, curate, popularize, dignify, define, and preserve the canon of modern art as we know it today. The fascinating autobiography of the mistress of modern art, captures an eccentric bohemian lifestyle travelling across Europe, weaving in and out of stormy relationships recounted in her somewhat amusingly laconic tone. Her formidable list of “friends”, acquaintances, husbands and lovers notoriously includes the likes of Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Moore, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy, Jackson Pollock, John Cage, and Max Ernst (to mention just a few). A must-read for anyone looking to gain insight into the life of such a major patron of art and delve deeper into the juicy drama of this seminal period of art history.
The House of Gucci
by Sara Gay Forden
Sink your teeth into this fascinating tale of murder, madness and intrigue surrounding the infamous homicide of Maurizio Gucci. Forden’s story tackles the rise, fall and resurgence of the Gucci brand, with impeccably researched details on the fashion dynasty’s twists, turns and vendetta’s galore. This gripping tale of the Gucci fashion empire covers not only the sensational murder, but importantly the boardroom fiascos, power struggles and legal battles – a page turning account of high fashion meets high finance with a large serving of tragedy.
The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov
One hot spring, the devil arrives in Moscow, accompanied by a retinue that includes a beautiful naked witch and an immense talking black cat with a fondness for chess and vodka. The visitors quickly wreak havoc in a city that refuses to believe in either God or Satan. But they also bring peace to two unhappy Muscovites: one is the Master, a writer pilloried for daring to write a novel about Christ and Pontius Pilate; the other one is Margarita, who loves the Master so deeply that she is literally willing to go to hell for him.
by Milan Kundera
This short novel is about an emigre, Irena who runs into her former lover (and fellow emigre, Josef) from Prague, on her return to Czech Republic, having spent much of her adult life in France. Kundera offers a crisp story embodying a modern vision of the Great Return: the literary trope of homecoming. This re-imagining of the Odyssean journey home, simultaneously questions if such a return is even possible in the modern world. He frames the novel like a case study on the behaviour and effects of memory: how it is altered by the passing of time, how it is irreparably lost and fragmented, how it determines our present lives as it is shared – or not shared – between two people. A book in which each one of us can find ourselves in different proportions, exploring the extensive impact of mismatched memories in the relationship between two people.
Kiltie De Cleyn
A Thousand Ships
by Natalie Haynes
What Natalie Haynes’ re-telling of the Trojan war does is truly epic; breathing life, empathy and passion into the silenced women of one of the most important foundational texts of the Western tradition, The Iliad. Ironically, for a war infamously indebted to a woman – Helen of Troy – the women in Homer’s poem appear mute, passive objects and prizes for the opposition. Haynes’ fiercely feminist re-vision of the war, hands over the story to the women who practise a heroism greater than that of any warrior.
Ways of Seeing
by John Berger
Ways of Seeing is recognised as one of the most influential books on art in any language. Berger cuts through the mystification of art and strips it back to basics, showing the reader how to meaningfully engage and evaluate art, aptly coining him a “liberator of images”.
Pui Yee Wong
Before the Coffee Gets Cold
by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
If you have the opportunity to time travel to meet someone again, would you? Knowing your temporary visit to the past would not change anything in the present, would you still take the risk. All takes place in a seemingly quiet café in a small back alley in Tokyo. Kawaguchi asks us what our reason is for wishing to temporarily relive a past memory? And what do we expect from this experience?