Last month I finished the sumptuous and beautiful “Grayson Perry” by Jacky Klein which the lovely folk at Thames & Hudson sent me to review for Shiny New Books. I could literally look at a page of this book every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it, always finding something new.

Coming right up to date in the final chapter with Perry’s Brexit and identity politics pieces, and his pair of prints, “Sponsored by You” and “Selfie with Political Causes” which take two views of humanity, basically, this is a wonderful, generous and colourful journey through Perry’s life and art which can be enjoyed on a detailed or surface level. Naturally, it’s a beautifully produced large-format paperback with French flaps, notes, a chronology, a list of public collections holding Perry’s work, his exhibitions, including the ones he’s curated, a bibliography and an index. A great gift that would be appreciated by anyone with more than a passing interest in Perry and his work.

Read my full review here.

Books in

I have been buying many fewer books on Amazon recently, however I happened to notice that Stormzy’s book (co-written with Jude Yawson), “Rise Up”, which is the story of his company Merky, was on sale for £2. I already had “Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible” by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené in my shopping trolley, as I have just won “Loud Black Girls”, which builds on its foundations, through NetGalley: it felt important to read these narratives of successful Black women’s lives first, so I will.

I’ve been enjoying interspersing my on-going reading with the books on other people’s lives than my own demographic’s (although a discussion of “The Girl with the Louding Voice” reminded me that I have indeed been reading such books all my reading life). I hope I get as many views and comments as I do on my other books; I was a bit disappointed to see so little engagement with my review of “Our City” although maybe people thought it was one of those “Old Birmingham in Pictures” type books rather than the excellent work of social history and 21st century discussion on immigration that it actually was. I’m not reading such books to be worthy or performative; I picked a load off my wishlist so I could read them at the same time as others and discuss them, starting with books detailing people’s lived experiences and going on to those approaching racism and activism, so I hope my blog readers will come along with me in this project, too, as I know you have all sorts of interests and experiences to bring to the table yourselves, and I’m sure you’ve seen a good scattering of such books here in the past so you know it’s not some sort of bandwagon-jumping!