Reading List 2010

House Rules – Jodi Picoult

Like Jodi Picoult’s other books, the story of House Rules unfolds through various viewpoints as chapters are written from different character’s perspectives. The character Jacob has Aspergers Syndrome and it is both interesting and eye opening to see events told through his point of view. Add a ‘mysterious’ murder, some family drama and a court case and you have a typical Picoult classic. This book was easy to get lost in. Although, I had my suspicions of how it would end and i turned out to be right. This is one of the few times I don’t enjoy being right.



Custom Kicks: Personalized Footwear – Maki

An inspirational book I posted about in the summer. Full of photographs of stunning customised footwear, it will surely inspire you to get creative with your own footwear. It certainly worked on me.



No Rules Logos: Radical Design Solutions That Break the Rules – John Stones

This book identifies the ‘rules’ most creative’s follow when designing a logo. We are then shown in detail the logos that succeeded despite breaking these rules. Expect to find the most innovative and radical logos from around the world in this book. Not just full of eye candy, there is also an analysis and feedback about each design. This is a book suitable for the collection of any designer.

If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern

(titled A Silver Lining in America)

Ahern is the acclaimed author of the book PS I Love You – a book I never actually finished reading when I started it years ago. It’s not what I’d normally read. This book was recommended to me by a friend and I wasn’t sure what to make of it when I first started it but overall I enjoyed it, I read it over a few evenings during the summer. It’s good for some light reading. The book is mostly grounded with a slight air of magic, which is always nice. Apparently it’s going to be made into a movie due for release in 2011 – starring Hugh Jackman. This, I cannot wait to see.

On Photography – Susan Sontag

I was given a week to read and review this book for uni. If I’m honest, I would’ve walked right past this book had I seen it in a bookshop. I’m interested in photography as a hobby but I don’t normally read literature on it.

The power, impact, limitations and reasons for photography are covered in this book. There are also a few occasions where Sontag sexualizes the act of photography. She compares photography to sexual voyeurism and the camera to a penis. Not sure if I agree with her there…

The book is essentially a collaboration of different essays. The essay “Freak Show” about the work of Diane Arbus in the second chapter had controversial reactions. Sontag speaks of the ‘ugly’ subjects Arbus focused on, claiming that these people are pathetic and repulsive yet do not arouse any compassionate feelings.  Many don’t agree with her at all, calling it ‘exemplary for its shallowness’ There was one point she nailed right on the head though. Everything exists to end in a photograph. This was written in the 1970s; in today’s society this couldn’t be truer.

There were also many references in French. If you don’t speak French then this can be quite annoying. They’re not popular phrases like je ne c’est quoi either.

If you’re interested in learning how to take better pictures or just looking at some professional photography then this book is not for you. Whilst important and good photographs are referenced, there are no visuals in the book. If you’re studying photography or wish to read about the subject in general then this is the book for you.

Wild Swans – Jung Chang

I haven’t finished reading this yet but it is undoubtedly the best book I read last year or even in years. It’s fantastic.

It’s one of those books you get completely absorbed in, so much so that it’s nearly a shock when you stop reading and realise you’re not actually in that world. This is an autobiographical family history spanning the lives of three generations – Jung Chang’s grandmother, mother and then herself. Reading this, you get a true feel for 20th century China as well as the culture and traditions. It will make you laugh, weep and wish for more.

‘It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this book’ Mary Wesley


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