Lifestyle, Arts & Culture

The Men’s Folio Editorial Team’s Amazon Summer Reading Book Wish List

The Men’s Folio Editorial Team’s Amazon Summer Reading Book Wish List

Reading is what? Fundamental. If you recognise this quote then pat yourself on the back because you’re a #pridemonthally.

If you don’t, then that’s cool; you’re going to want to pick up any of our Amazon book selections anyway to escape both mentally and spiritually.

Among our list, you’ll find prize winners, not-so-known classics, some pretty out there material and some of the best books of 2020 aka they are the ones we’re hoping to enjoy right now in these uncertain times.

Editor-in-Chief Wilson Lim

Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen: Apparently, Amazon Books categorise the type of self-books I’m inclined towards to as “motivational”.

This book got my attention because people who have worked with me know that I like to cover all grounds and always have several back-up plans set in place. My biggest mantra in life is: give others no reasons to say “no”, so I periodically suffer insomina from overthinking.

I’m hopeful this book will teach me some ways to have a good sleep.

Purchase the book here

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult: I rotate my reads between “not serious” (fiction) and “serious” (self-help & autobiographies). Jodi Picoult’s annual books often make it into my lists of “not serious” reads.

Of My Sister’s Keeper fame, Picoult’s books often educate about social issues through very dark and real emotions (one of the sisters died in her original book instead of the film’s survival of the two sisters) through her gripping storytelling (A Spark of Light narrated a terrorist attack of a women’s clinic in reverse chronology).

Hence, I am eagerly anticipating this year’s release with her exploration about “the choices that change course of our lives”.

Purchase the book here

The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by André Leon Talley

Even though there are stereotypes of myself only reading fashion-related materials, they do hold some weight. It should be understandably so because of the business I’m in.

I am also personally intrigued by fashion history as those were the period (before the noughts) when fashion was revered and elevated to a fine art.

Talley’s memoir namedrop fashion greats like Diana Vreeland, Halston and Yves Saint Laurent. I’m in!

Purchase the book here

Digital Editor Bryan Goh

Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time: The first book I ever read by the famed Russian author was Crime and Punishment — a story about a man who murdered someone out of curiosity before falling prey to his psychological demons (so deep, right?).

This book, a five-volume literary biography chronicles all of his work by putting them into the context of the era each was written it; both the history and ideologies behind Dostoevsky himself.

It’s a little bit of a heavy read so pour over it only if you’re in a good mood.

Purchase the book here

Erwin Blumenfeld: Blumenfeld Studio: Color, New York 1941 to 1960: I first came across the famed fashion photography (ok fine, the most famed and well paid fashion photographer of his time) when someone made a link between a photo he did of a stone bust to a necklace Phoebe Philo designed during her tenure at Céline.

While he was mostly known for his iconic magazine photos — Lisa Fonssagrives on the Eiffel Tower, Variant for ‘Rage for Colour’,  and The ‘doe eye’ Vogue cover — this heavy tome has unearthed some of his lesser known works where he explored surrealism, solarisation and chemical effects; just some of the techniques that have influenced digital imaging.

Purchase the book here

The Sesame Street Songbook: It’s quite an understatement for me to make that I am a HUGE fan of Sesame Street so much so that I have a mini Elmo plushie that I carry everywhere I go (anybody who has met me will probably have seen it at one point in time).

Heck, I even told my ex-boss during my first interview with her that my lifelong goal was to voice a character on the happiest street in the world!

But before I digress, this 1992 book that is the most comprehensive collection of Sesame Street Songs comes at an eye watering price but you can’t put one on happiness.

Purchase the book here

Associate Watch & Features Editor Asaph Low

The Sartorialist: This is not reading material but instead for one’s viewing pleasure. My fascination with street photography formally took off after chancing upon The Sartorialist website by Scott Schuman.

Needless to say, I bought the photobook later on as well. It is filled with beautifully taken images that one can take dress inspiration from.

There are multiple editions available with a new hardcover one releasing this September.

Purchase the book here

Tiny Leaps, Big Changes: I rarely read self-improvement books but decided to give Tiny Leaps, Big Changes a go while I was on an eight month sabbatical early last year.

The book explores how little steps add up to big progress over the course of time and all it takes is a tiny leap.

Gregg Clunis understands the challenges of making big changes but addresses it with easily digestible content.

Purchase the book here

Whiskey Words & a Shovel: Whiskey Words & a Shovel I, II and III is an emotional roller coaster packed into words.

R.H. Sin’s poetry addresses emotional turmoils we face in modern-day life as it draws power from love, pain, relationships and beyond.

Purchase the book here

Associate Art Director Izwan Abdullah

Duty Free Art: Art In the Age Of Planetary Civil War: Duty Free Art’ is a collection of essays by German filmmaker, Hito Steyerl from past lectures and performances.

Navigating through the processes of production, circulation and consumption of art in today’s increasingly undemocratic world – ‘Duty Free Art’ questions the position of art.

I guess you could say that Hito Steyerl explains why art and artists are essential to the world today.

Purchase the book here.

Radical Cut-Up: Nothing is Original: This book features contributions from artists and writers that question the dichotomy of original creation.

Its refusal to coherently stick to any particular discipline resulted in a literal and metaphoric ‘open container’ that comprises text, visual and motifs challenge the classical notion of aesthetic purism and autonomy.

Super relevant in the age of information overload that we live in right now.

Purchase the book here

The Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses: The Reproduction of Capitalism addresses the question of attachment to the ideals of liberty and equality.

It serves as a great reminder of the driving forces of modern capitalism that we live in right now and is an extended version from French Marxist Philosopher Althusser’s influential piece on ideology.

Purchase the book here

Fashion Stylist & Writer Manfred Lu

Cindy Sherman by Regis Durand: A monograph catalogue for her exhibition in Paris, Denmark, Austria, and Berlin from 2006 through 2007, this photobook of Sherman’s works throughout her career is beyond exceptional.

It encompasses all her most sensitive and personal materials, including those revolving around the themes of clowns, dolls, and Hollywood — which would be a focal point of her best artistry towards the early 90s.

Purchase the book here

Wolfang Tillmans: Concorde by Wolfgang Tillmans: While it’s not much of a heavy read (the book has no text), this casual and elegant archival photobook of concordes taking off in the sky by artist Wolfgang Tillmans is one of his most iconic successes.

In his words, ” for the chosen few, flying Concorde is apparently a glamorous but cramped and slightly boring routine while to watch it in air, landing or taking off is a strange and free spectacle, a super modern anachronism and an image of the desire to overcome time and distance through technology”.

It’s a flight of fancy that takes a majestic viewpoint to a minimal point of view that is simply stunning. 

Purchase the book here

The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide To the Present: Compiled and written by Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Shumon Basar, this invigorating and somewhat existential book examines the notion of being present through perspectives that are unimaginable.

It creates its own laws of human connection by questioning our existence without being all too fictional and in a humorous way.

I would recommend this to anyone who’s had to ask the hardest question of life.

Purchase the book here

Every book featured has been independently selected by our dedicated editorial team. Things you buy through the links above may earn us a commission.