Book Casing

Great books recommended by great people.

Simon Doonan's Bookcase

Simon Doonan (born 1952) is the Creative Ambassador-at-Large of the New York City-based clothing store Barneys.

Recommends

The dazzling, prizewinning, wickedly funny tale of Mary Karr’s hardscrabble Texas childhood—the book that sparked a renaissance in memoir

When it was published in 1995, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, as well as bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr’s comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger’s—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. Now with a new introduction that discusses her memoir’s impact on her family, this unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as “funny, lively, and un-put-downable” (USA Today) today as it ever was

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

"America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek) trains his satirical eye on Modern Art in this "masterpiece" (The Washington Post)

Wolfe's style has never been more dazzling, his wit never more keen. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. The Painted Word is Tom Wolfe "at his most clever, amusing, and irreverent" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

In a dark comedy of errors, Iris Murdoch portrays the mischief wrought by Julius, a cynical intellectual who decides to demonstrate through a Machiavellian experiment how easily loving couples, caring friends, and devoted siblings can betray their loyalties. As puppet master, Julius artfully plays on the human tendency to embrace drama and intrigue and to prefer the distraction of confrontations to the difficult effort of communicating openly and honestly.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK

Consummately contentious and fabulously funny, The Idler Book of Crap Towns is the real rough guide to where not to go in Britain. The authors name and shame the 50 worst towns on the island, revealing them in all their hideous glory. From the dull and lifeless to the ugly and depressing, no concrete monstrosity or phony heritage center has gone unscathed. Woking, Bognor Regis, Cleator Moor, Crouch End, Slough—your time is up.

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From DJ flap - Liberace conducts a guided tour through his Hollywood and Palm Springs homes, pointing out his most treasured possessions and illuminating his feelings about his life and the way he lives. Within a few years Liberace sprang from his musical youth in Wisconsin to become one of American's first television matinee idols and a very successful nightclub performer.

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Scruples is the novel that  created publishing history, the first-and widely  acknowledged to be the very best-novel ever written  about the staggeringly luxurious life of a Beverly  Hills boutique and the people who work in it.  Scruples was translated into twenty  languages and made Rodeo Drive famous around the  world. The New York Post said  that "Scruples was born to  be a smash bestseller. . . It has more inside  information about the worlds of high fashion and  Hollywood than you'd find in a dozen manuals."  With Scruples, Judith Krantz earned her reputation  as a blazingly talented and original storyteller.  she takes her readers behind the scenes of wealthy  and fame to show them the real people and the real  emotions that exist at the core of even the most  high-powered lives. Scruples is the leader of her  #1 best-selling  novels.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

First published in 1913, Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country is a scathing novel of ambition featuring one of the most ruthless heroines in literature. Undine Spragg is as unscrupulous as she is magnetically beautiful. Her rise to the top of New York’s high society from the nouveau riche provides a provocative commentary on the upwardly mobile and the aspirations that eventually cause their ruin. One of Wharton’s most acclaimed works, The Custom of the Country is a stunning indictment of materialism and misplaced values that is as powerful today for its astute observations about greed and power as when it was written nearly a century ago.

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