If you’ve already tarnished your New Year’s resolution to hit the gym, there’s still a way you can turn your life around. Strengthen your intellectual chops instead, and stay in with these books. Or if you’re doing Dry January, don’t be the righteous bore at the pub. Read these books by yourself instead.
Vincent Desailly: The TrapBy Vincent Desailly
Trap has various meanings – ranging from ‘snare’ to the style of music that’s originated from Atlanta to houses where drug deals are regularly exchanged. French photographer Vincent Desailly explores the world that gave rise to the musical genre in his photo book The Trap. From intimate portraits to the mundane details of the everyday lives of artists, all three meanings overlap in this red-bound book. There’s text by Gucci Mane, too. An essential for all trap fans.
Mechanical Fantasy Box: The Homoerotic Journal of Patrick CowleyBy Patrick Cowley
Mechanical Fantasy Box contains 13 previously unreleased tracks by Hi-NRG pioneer Patrick Cowley, created between 1973-80. Accompanying the release is the producer’s very own journal, which he’s described as “graphic accounts of one man’s sex life”. Beginning from 1974, Cowley traces his rise to fame and musical trajectory up until his 30th birthday in 1980. Beyond music, he recounts his experiences cruising in SoMa’s sex venues in the 70s, and tales of sexual liberation.
Hidden AlliancesBy Elisabeth Schimana
Hidden Alliances is an illustrated volume offering an alternative history to the development of electronic music – one where the works of women are amplified. Swiss composer Elisabeth Schimana, who has conducted a wealth of research in the sphere of electronic music, questions why there’s been a lack of recognition for women in electronic music since the 90s. Here, she spotlights artists such as Éliane Radigue, Maryanne Amacher, Beatriz Ferreyra, Heidi Grundmann, Rebekah Wilson and more, digging deep into their contributions and work.
Get Out: The Complete Annotated ScreenplayBy Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele’s Get Out made its cinematic debut in 2017, and it rapidly became one of the most discussed films of the year, marking the director out as an exciting talent. Blending horror and dark humour, the director’s multi award-winning screenplay reveals the terrifying realities of racism in America. Famously, Peele has described his directorial debut as a “documentary”. Now, the annotated version gives fans the opportunity to learn more about Peele’s screenwriting process. An accompanying essay by author and scholar Tananarive Due also provides deeper insight into black horror and the concepts interwoven into the screenplay.
Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy YearsEd. Catrin Jones and Chris Stephens
Grayson Perry is now considered to be one of the world’s leading artists, and his striking ceramic pots won him – and Claire, his female alter-ego – the Turner Prize back in 2003. This book examines the plates, statues and pots he created between 1982-94, which propelled him into the limelight. Furthermore, it details the thought process behind his work and the various subcultures of London’s art scene at the time. Inside, readers will also find essays written by Andrew Wilson and Catrin Jones, and one from Perry himself in which he reflects on his life and work.
Fiorucci Made Me HardcoreBy Mitch Speed
Mark Leckey’s 1999 video installation Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore is one of his best-known works; a video montage that weaves together vignettes on underground dance culture and Britain’s youth. Mitch Speed’s book is the first comprehensive analysis on the art piece, delving into its nuances and how it links to cultural shifts during the Thatcherite era.