Books to look forward to in 2020

Posted on 18 Dec 2019

We take a look at ten of our best new books for 2020.

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years
Edited by Catrin Jones and Chris Stephens
Essays by Grayson Perry, Andrew Wilson and Catrin Jones

Grayson Perry is one of today’s most popular artists, known for his flamboyant persona and playful pots. For the first time, this book explores Perry’s artistic origins through the artworks that made his name in the years 1982–94, exploring his role as commentator on contemporary culture and the emergence of his own identity as ‘the Transvestite Potter’. The book includes an essay by Grayson Perry in which he looks back on this period of his life.

Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is the official accompanying book to ‘Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years’ at The Holburne Museum, 24 January – 25 May 2020.

Africa State of Mind
Ekow Eshun

With over 300 photographs by more than fifty photographers, Africa State of Mind is a mesmerizing introduction to the creative figures at the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic photography scenes. Gathering together the work of an emergent generation of photographers from across Africa and its diaspora, Africa State of Mind is both a summation of new photographic practice from the last decade and an exploration of the ways in which contemporary photographers from the continent are exploring ideas of ‘Africanness’ to reveal Africa to be a psychological space as much as a physical territory – a state of mind as much as a geographical place.

Dispensing with the western colonial view of Africa in purely geographic or topographic terms, Ekow Eshun presents Africa State of Mind in four parts: Hybrid Cities; Zones of Freedom; Myth and Memory; and Inner Landscapes. Each theme, introduced by a text by Eshun, presents selections of work by a new wave of African photographers who are looking both outward and inward: capturing life among the sprawling cities and multitudinous conurbations of the continent, turning the legacy of the continent’s history into the source of resonant new myths and dreamscapes and exploring questions of gender, sexuality and identity. Each of the photographers seeks to capture the experience of what it means, and how it feels, to live in Africa today.

Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World
Philip Matyszak

What do we know of the Bactrians, apart from their two-humped camels? Or of the Samaritans, other than that one of them was good? We call an uncultured lout a Philistine, but were the Philistines really ‘philistines’, and come to that, were the Vandals ‘vandals’? This book is about such peoples who, though largely forgotten, have directly or indirectly affected us today. Philip Matyszak brings these lost peoples out of the shadows to highlight their influence and achievements, and to explore the ways in which they helped to lay the foundations of our modern world.

Forty-five entries span the birth of civilization in Mesopotamia to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, offering an alternative history focusing on the names we aren’t familiar with, from the Hurrians to the Hephthalites, as well as the peoples whose names we know, such as the King Midas and the Goths. Each entry charts their rise and fall, and how their culture echoes through history into the present. Important ancient artefacts are illustrated throughout and fifty specially drawn maps help orientate the reader within this tumultuous period of history. Philip Matyszak brings to life the rich diversity of the peoples founding cities, inventing alphabets and battling each other in the ancient world, and explores how and why they came to be forgotten.

Goude: The Chanel Sketchbooks
Jean-Paul Goude. Texts by Patrick Mauriès

For the first time, Chanel and Jean-Paul Goude reveal the unseen drawings, collages and sketches that have inspired Goude’s advertising campaigns for Chanel’s world famous fragrances, from ‘Egoïste’ and ‘Coco’ to ‘Chanel No. 5’ and ‘Chance’.

Inspired by a small gold birdcage in Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment, Goude cast a young Vanessa Paradis as a Chanel ‘Tweety Pie’ bird, swinging on a trapeze to promote Chanel’s ‘Coco’ perfume. He went on to make Estella Warren the face of his Chanel No.5 campaign, and called for the entire façade of a Riviera Palace to be built in Rio de Janeiro for the first ‘Egoïste’ film, before capturing Karl Lagerfeld, Lily-Rose Depp and the ghost of Coco Chanel herself.

A must-have for Chanel lovers, the book also allows creatives and advertising enthusiasts to discover the imagination and creative process at work behind these unforgettable images.

New Map France
Herbert Ypma

In this new guide to France – the most visited country on the planet – Herbert Ypma surprises and delights with his unequalled eye for detail and his unerring ability to judge what makes the difference between a good experience and a truly memorable one. The numerous experiences and tips that he maps out across the length and breadth of France fall into four key categories. ‘Staying in Character’ presents thirty-five places to stay, from the grand to the eccentric, all embodying the soul and character of their setting – whether it’s bedding down in a surf shack at Soulac-sur-Mer or soaking up centuries of history at the luxurious Château de Canisy. ‘Eclectic Experiences’ offers thirty stand-out experiences, from climbing the Dune de Pyla to salsa-dancing in a calanque (a fjord-like inlet); ‘Legend for Lunch’ points you in the direction of twenty of the most authentic places to eat, while ‘Convincing Context’ presents ten experiences enhanced by nuggets of history.

This new map of authentic French experiences is the must-have 21st-century guide for the world’s most exacting traveller.

The Monocle Book of Japan
Tyler Brûlé, Andrew Tuck, Fiona Wilson and Joe Pickard Photographs by Taro Terasawa, Kohei Take, Yoshitsugu Fuminari and Arata Suzuki

Ever since it launched in 2007, Monocle has had a rich and deep connection with Japan. From day one the magazine has had a Tokyo bureau – which today also encompasses a Monocle shop and radio studios – run under the watchful eye of Asia Bureau Chief Fiona Wilson.

Over the past decade the magazine has built up a unique understanding and passion for the nation. It has covered everything from a live journey on the Emperor’s jet and the tastiest places to eat in Kagoshima to the fashion designers crafting new levels of excellence and the businesses with remarkable stories untold outside Japan.

This new book reveals the best of the nation in the run up to the 2020 Olympics. Complete with stunning photography and intriguing essays, it is a unique showcase of a country that for many still remains a mystery.

Making Living Lovely
Free Your Home with Creative Design

Making interior design choices can be daunting in a world flooded with trend-setting Instagram posts and Pinterest boards. Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe, creators of the 2LG Studio, specialize in designing homes for clients who know what they love but struggle to know where to start. Their fresh approach will empower everyone to create interiors that express their personality and address their needs.

This essential companion will equip readers with new ways to see their interiors and give them the confidence to create a home that helps them to live better. In eight chapters, Russell and Jordan cover everything from how to handle original features, use colour, pattern and texture, choose materials and curate objects. Focusing on people and how we use our spaces, this book also covers finding one s style, cohabiting and design compromises, exploring one s creativity and rediscovering the fun in interior design. Box-outs and tips throughout offer practical guidance on where to start, as well as a range of examples from the designers own work and that of key designers around the world.

Vincent van Gogh: A Life in Letters
Nienke Bakker, Leo Jansen and Hans Luijten

Vincent van Gogh’s letters have long been prized as some of the most valuable documents in the world of art. Not only do they throw light on Van Gogh’s own complex and intriguing character, they enlighten the whole creative process as seen through his eyes.

Illustrated with original manuscript letters, sketches and paintings, this selection provides a new and accessible edition of these intimate personal documents. Here we can observe Van Gogh’s thoughts and opinions at first hand, as well as his close ties with his brother Theo, his sometimes troubled relationships with friends and fellow artists, his personal doubts and fears, and above all his overriding passion for his art. This personal written testimony to a life consecrated to art will provide lasting pleasure to readers familiar with Van Gogh’s paintings, some of the most famous works of art in the world.

Vincent van Gogh: A Life in Letters offers the definitive view of one of the greatest creative minds, in his own words.

World of Art 

We are relaunching our signature World of Art series in 2020 with the publication of twenty titles on art, architecture, design, photography and fashion. These include classic volumes in updated editions and never-before-published books.

See the arts through expert eyes with the World of Art, which stands at the vanguard of art scholarship and remainsa bedrock of knowledge for students and lovers of art and culture everywhere.

Goddesses and Heroines
Xanthe Gresham-Knight. Illustrations by Alice Pattullo

Told afresh for a contemporary readership, Goddesses and Heroines brings alive stories from different cultures with palpable energy. We meet the youthful Aphrodite; Hecate, the math whizz; the heroic Mulan; Osun, the Nigerian goddess who showed that unless we live as one we will never truly be free; and the not-so-fairy Russian godmother Baba Yaga, whose bone-crunching approach
to life will be an inspiration to any aspiring young entrepreneur.

A section on the symbols commonly associated with each goddess provides context for each story and familiarizes readers with the symbols to spot her by. Goddesses and Heroines highlights the women of myth and legend who are all too often left out of the history books and celebrates their enduring relevance.

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Please note, all covers are provisional.