‘A House Party in Tuscany’ author Amber Guinness recommends the Thames & Hudson books that have inspired her recently – including artful picks from David Hockney and Eric Ravilious, and ‘a glorious celebration of female creativity’.
In our Thames & Hudson Selects series, our brilliant authors and contributors offer a behind the scenes look at their bookshelves, sharing the Thames & Hudson books that have uplifted and inspired them.
Here, A House Party in Tuscany author Amber Guinness shares her top picks across art, interiors, history and design.
As a cook, food writer and founder of The Arniano Painting School, Amber is a trusted tastemaker. Her book A House Party in Tuscany is filled with recipes for classic dishes and cocktails, transporting you to Tuscan countryside and bringing the conviviality of Arniano to your table.
I have long been an admirer of Anna Spiro’s sumptuous and playful interiors, so to have all of her work brought together in one fabric bound volume is a joy. Aside from being a covetable object in itself, A Life In Pattern is filled with Anna’s design tips and philosophy expressed through her generous and honest writing.
High Street is completely delightful. Eric Ravilious’s charming illustrations of different types of shops are accompanied by fascinating text by J.M Richardson. The coach maker, knife grinder and clerical outfitter seem more of a novelty today, but in the age of online shopping it’s lovely to hark back to a time of the high street and a proper ‘family butcher’.
Spring Cannot Be Cancelled is a charming and engaging diary of new beginnings, and discussions on art, nature and friendship. I love delving into this book, which feels like sitting in a room with two knowledgeable old friends discussing what they’ve read and seen, such that there is no need to speak oneself.
A New Way Of Seeing offers a refreshing look at the history of art through 57 works, from the murals of Pompeii through to Botticelli, Picasso, Khalo and Bourgeois. Author Kelly Grovier illustrates how all these artworks share a ‘touch of strangeness’ or ‘eye-hook’ which elevates them to the level of masterpiece.
The Greek Myths That Shape The Way We Think is a wonderful reminder of the enduring influence of Icarus, the Amazons, Medea and countless other characters from Greek mythology on most art forms throughout the millennia. Buxton perfectly narrates and brings to life a selection of Greek myths in an entertaining way while simultaneously driving home their relevance to modern life and the way we think.
A Room Of Her Own is a glorious celebration of female creativity. Robyn Lea’s beautiful photography and prose perfectly captures the spirit, work and inspiration of the twenty creative women she has chosen for each chapter of this gorgeous book.