Gobe’s Summer Reading List

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A mixture of autobiographies, photo books, classic stories and love letters to nature, this is what our contributors, ambassadors and team members are reading this summer. There’s something in here for everyone to pick up at their local bookstore and get lost in over the holiday break.

Words by Gobe HQ

Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles


This is a collection of autobiographical short stories of Myles’ life, exploring her personal relationships as she matures and grows into adulthood. 

Her prose is beautiful and the way she talks about her craft and her open queerness inspires my own practise. Even though not based in photography, her way of seeing the world can help anyone open their eyes to a new way of seeing. 

Pages from the Glossies by Helmut Newton


Curated by Newton and his wife, this book showcases Helmut Newton’s magazine work across Europe and the US. Brilliant insight into style history.

Incredible creative vision and stylistically cohesive, this book inspires my own development and my aesthetic. A must-read for any photographer.


Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer


This book is basically a love song to nature. It combines indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants. Seeing the world through this author’s eyes is magic and makes you fall in childlike awe with the world again. 

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryū Suzuki


“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

This book consists of informal talks on Zen meditation and practice. Suzuki says you don’t need to have a deep understanding of Zen, it’s just a matter of seeing things as they are. I like that approach. 

The Return by Hisham Matar


I just started reading this a few weeks ago and I am really loving the intimacy of the writer’s experiences dealing with the pain of exile and the irrevocable loss that is connected with being uprooted from your home land (in this case, Libya). This is a theme I have become increasingly moved by and interested in this past year, particularly after my time spent in Iran and something I’m hoping to pursue through my future work. 

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton


I picked up this book for the worst possible reason – because I liked its cover. But I was then intrigued to find out that this story, which was adapted into a Francis Ford Coppola film in the 80s, was written in the late 60s by a young woman who was only sixteen at the time of writing. Now, it’s considered a must-read for its ability to capture the resilient spirit of youth.

Although only a chapter in, this book already feels intoxicating and rebellious in the way all good summer reads should be.

The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper


In The Arsonist, Chloe Hooper explores the psyche of a man who was charged with deliberately lighting fires during one of Australia’s worst bushfires in living memory – the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in February 2009. A wide range of eyewitness accounts from those haunting fires are weaved through the story, creating an uneasy mix of fascination and horror.

One reason I loved this book was for the fascinating insight into the obsessive mind of a person who is drawn to the immense power of fire. The unforgettable accounts from survivors reflect the terrifying nature of massive bushfires – they behave erratically, create their own weather systems and rarely relent. Given the current situation in Australia, I believe this is a must-read this summer.

Photowork: Forty Photographers on Process & Practice by Sasha Wolf


PhotoWork is a collection of interviews by a wide range of photographers about their approach to making photographs and, more importantly, a sustained body of work. Curator and lecturer Sasha Wolf was inspired to seek out and assemble responses to these questions after hearing from countless young photographers about how they often feel adrift in their own practice, wondering if they are doing it the “right” way.

The reason I like it is because, as an emerging artist it is incredibly difficult to navigate the photography world on your own sometimes, especially when creating new personal work. It feels great to read other artist’s opinion on a wide range of subjects. Overall an incredibly insightful and uplifting book that could shed some light into the matter of planning, producing and editing a full and cohesive body of work. Just what I needed right now.


Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace


Perhaps the best entry into DFW’s work, this collection of essays is insightful, gripping and expansive. Wallace invites you into the grotesque and surreal world of the Adult Video News Awards, discusses class and power dynamics in a critique of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, and dives into ethics within a review of the Maine Lobster Festival for the title essay.

The Girls by Emma Cline


I read this for the prose as much as the plot –  Emma sculpts language straight into feeling. I’ve never read such an assaulting insight into young women’s minds. Plus, if you watched the new Tarantino film this year – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood – this is a great novel inspired by the troubling era of Charles Manson.


Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux


I love this book for it’s bluntness as well as its beauty. Paul talks frankly about why some people avoid travelling in Africa, and why – for the same reasons – other people find exploring it unparalleled by anywhere else. Paul really paints a picture of the continent as the last place on earth you can get truly lost.

Plants for the People by Erin Lovell Verinder


On my beach reading list this summer is Plants for the People. Erin is a herbalist, nutritionist and energy healer. I cannot wait to learn more about plant medicine through her combination of ancient and modern wisdom.

On Photography by Susan Sontag


A collection of essays published in 1977 from Sontag who was a writer, filmmaker and philosopher. She writes about the history of photography and its contemporary (for the time) role in society. It’s a pretty polarising book in that she doesn’t hold back on her thoughts about photography’s role in religion and politics. I loved it because even though it was published in the 70s, some of the topics she covers are just as relevant today.

Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx


This collection of short stories dissects the relationship between mankind and nature using modern western vignettes. From the way humans treat each other to the impacts of domestic society on the world’s last wild places, each story wrestles with profound themes and keeps the pages turning with subtle drama. The book concludes with the short story Brokeback Mountain, which became one of the most famous western films of all time.

The Village By Matt and Lentil Purbrick


This beautifully designed book offers a practical guide (and compelling encouragement) to pickle, cook, preserve, and share home-grown food with your loved ones. Including advice on establishing your own garden as well as novice-proof recipes, this inspiring book asks you to connect with your village, to grow, and enjoy life’s delicious moments.

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Have you ever read a book that changed your life? This book is by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia – and within its pages was a message for the world. That business can be a tool for good, or at least a tool for social and environmental change.⁠ ⁠ Somewhat ironically, we found this blueprint for a planet loving business at an ASOS sample sale 4 years ago! Back then, we didn't have a clue about organic cotton, plastic microfibres, environmental footprints or transparent sourcing. Clothes were something to make you look damn good…or at least a bit better! We didn't realise that clothes have the power to make or break the world.⁠ ⁠ Within these pages we learnt that buying anything has an impact on the planet. The world has existed quite happily through nature working perfectly in a circular design. Making what it needs, breaking down what it doesn't…growing, evolving, sustaining. Then us humans have come along and want more than what nature can provide. We grow crops where nature never intended them to grow. We spray chemicals to get rid of nature, rather than harnessing its power. We fly through the air by burning what's laid deep underground for millennia.⁠ ⁠ But what if we thought like nature? We made only what we need. We made sure what we make can easily be returned as food for the earth. We grow slowly. We evolve little by little to better work together with the environment we find ourselves in.⁠ ⁠ What if that was business? What if that was success?⁠ ⁠ What if?⁠ ⁠ #goosestudios #patagonia #letmypeoplegosurfing #slowfashion #ecofashion #organiccotton #organicfashion #fashionrevolution #fashionbrand #fashionstartup #fashionbrand #fastfashionsucks #sustainablefashion #sustainableliving #greatreads #bookoftheday #futureoffashion #yvonchouinard

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Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard


Written by the founder of Patagonia, Let My People Go Surfing shares ten more years of business insights into how Yvon Chouinard built one of the most environmentally responsible brands in the world. True to Patagonia’s values, the book is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. 

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey


Poetic wisdom from a man acutely aware of the natural world and the transcendent forces that can be tapped into when you properly immerse yourself in the wilderness. A timely reminder of the connection we often lose or have diluted by the modern industrial age.

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2019-12-24T03:47:54+00:00Categories: Inspiration|Tags: , , |