25th June 2020

Culture / Featured / Charlie Gladstone

Recommendation: 15 Non-Fiction Books Charlie Gladstone has Read and Loved in the Last Year

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AA list of Good Book recomendations by Charlie Gladstone.

The Snow Geese by William Fiennes. I’ll kick off this list with a rare (for me) reread; this is a book that returns to my mind often. Recovering from illness, Fiennes travels to the US to follow the snow geese as they migrate. This is part autobiography and part reportage and it’s beautiful and moving.

The Second Summer of Love by Alon Shulman. This is an excellent book about dance music with contributions from luminaries such as Paul Oakenfold. You might think this is a bit niche for you but it straddles society, politics and culture eloquently and is straightforward and engaging from the off.

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd. This short, masterful piece of writing about the author’s love for the Cairngorms includes a long essay by super-fan Robert Macfarlane. A beautiful, lyrical, almost poetic guide to the North East of Scotland.

Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas. I absolutely loved this thorough and very human investigation into the world of fast fashion and all that is wrong with it. I am interested in clothes and this book is a critical part of that interest.

The Private Life of the Hare by John Lewis-Stempel. A lovely short book on perhaps our most beautiful and revered native mammal by the prolific but always wonderful Lewis-Stempel.

Do Death by Amanda Blainey. Blainey has dedicated her career to helping us think about death in a more positive and proactive way. I know that you might shy away from this but, honestly, it’s important and useful.

Warhol by Blake Gopnik. A disclaimer, this is 1000 dense pages long and I have not read it all. But I have spent many happy hours investigating bits of Warhol’s life and career that interest me and I recommend it for that purpose. It’s very approachable and amusing, too.

Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die by Andrew Krivine. I have spent hours inside this collection (the largest in the world) of punk and new wave design. I knew a lot about all of this and now I know much, much more. Inspiring, original, vital.

Fake Love Letters…. by Annie Atkins. Atkins is one of my graphic design heroes, not least of all because she designs lots of assets fro Wes Anderson’s films. This is a lovely book, beautifully designed in itself and inspiring at every turn.

Do Present by Mark Shayler. Ostensibly this is about public speaking and the fear so many hold of it. I like public speaking but I learnt some interesting things here. And anyway, this is about more; it’s about being human and being yourself. It’s funny, too.

Natural Wine For the People by Alice Feiring. This spring I suddenly decided that I wanted to become super-engaged with the world of natural wine (I am not good at doing things by halves). This is a great guide to the subject, mixing science with subjectivity and never finding itself disappearing up its own arse.
Do Sing by James Sills. Sills has become a guru for many, connecting them to their singing voice, which is something that’s almost primaeval and hugely restorative. This short book oozes positivity and will help you to sing like you’re winning every day.

The Consolation of Food by Valentine Warner. This is absolutely not another book of recipes, though it does contain them. It’s an autobiography and a manifesto and it’s opinionated and very funny too.

Broken Greek by Pete Paphides. To be honest, I found this too long but it is great, too. It’s an autobiography by the music journalist about growing up Greek in England (and deciding not to speak for a few years in childhood) and about music and culture and I recommend that you at least dip into it. Some bits are truly wonderful.

This Could Be Our Future by Yancey Strickler. I can count the business books I’ve read on one hand, but this grabbed me at its subtitle “A Manifesto for a More Generous World”. Strickler cofounded Kickstarter and he knows what he’s talking about.

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Charlie Gladstone and his wife Caroline, are the founders of The Good Life Society (The Good Life Experience, Camp Glen Dye, Camp Hawarden and Some Good Ideas), Pedlars, Hawarden Estate Farm Shops, Glen Dye Cabins & Cottages, The Glynne Arms and more. Throughout all their businesses, Charlie champions integrity and sustainability.

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