12.22.15
Adrian Shaughnessy | Books

The Observer Decameron—Fifth Day

book cover The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Steven Pinker
Essential reading for anyone interested in improving their writing of English prose. Pinker is a great debunker of the shibboleths of English grammar and a fierce champion of clarity and precision.


book cover Boooook: The Life And Work Of Bob Cobbing
Eds. William Cobbing and Rosie Cooper
Cobbing was a powerhouse in the 1960s British avant garde; poet, artist, and serial counterculture entrepreneur, he was above all the poet laureate of aural concrete poetry.


book cover Adrian Henri: Total Artist
Bryan Biggs and Catherine Marcangeli
One of the “Mersey Poets,” the Liverpudlian poet and artist Adrian Henri emerged in the long shadow cast by The Beatles. He was a Pop-era William Blake.


book cover Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936–1986
Louise Sandhaus
A wonderfully eclectic, undogmatic, and free-wheeling crash zoom through a fertile era of exuberant and iconoclastic American visual expression.


book cover Latest Readings
Clive James
As yet unread, the prospect of reading a batch of essays by a master essayist is as enticing as it gets. Diagnosed with terminal leukaemia, James seems reluctant to leave the literary stage he has occupied with grace and wit since his arrival in the UK from Australia in 1962.


book cover 70x70: Unlicensed Preaching: A Life Unpacked In 70 Films
Iain Sinclair
Published to celebrate the author’s seventieth birthday this book forms an essential catalogue of trangressive, neglected, and liminal cinema without submitting, as Sinclair notes, to “anything as crude as good taste.”


book cover Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future
Paul Mason
Clear-eyed assessment of the failure of neo-liberal economics. Mason’s strength as an economist is that he understands how high finance impacts on everyday lives. How, for example, once prosperous small towns are now filled with payday lenders and betting shops.


book cover An Encyclopaedia of Myself
Jonathan Meades
The dark prince of architectural criticism in self-revelatory mode: few writers can match his literary horsepower.


book cover Epiphanies: Life Changing Encounters with Music
Ed. Tony Herrington
As Herrington notes in his introduction, musical encounters can be “instant, elliptical, numinous or traumatic … .” Here are fifty-two descriptions of such encounters ranging from the joys of file sharing (Kenneth Goldsmith, natch) to Robert Wyatt on discovering Ray Charles.


book cover Jenny Diski writing in London Review of Books
Few writers have affected me more than Diski’s unsentimental reporting from the frontline of cancer. Her life is as rich and complex as any comparable literary figure, and her forensic ability to dissect that life is what makes her so readable.




See all the Top Ten Books from our contributors here

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