Jun 20, 2019 | By Quentin Humphrey
From future food and the New York rock underground to topical novels and meditations on the nature of power, WGSN editors are giving you a look at their bookshelves this winter. As we’ve been reporting on literary communities, we’ve formed our own for you to enjoy.
On our main site, we’ve got an extensive ‘shelfie’ for subscribers to get stuck into. Here, on Insider, we’re previewing four insightful reads that’ll help get you through the lengthening days until spring arrives.
WGSN’s executive editor for the Americas and director of consumer insight, Andrea Bell, shares a magazine she’s been obsessed with since she discovered it. This pick also looks ahead, but towards arguably the most important category: food.
“If you’re thinking, ‘great, another food magazine’ – think again. Mold delves deep into the future of food and the lifestyle shifts that are driving these changes.”
“From vox pop interviews with local street vendors to utensils of the future (space forks, anyone?), Mold is a must for foodies, non-foodies and people that have a general desire to discover new foods (charcoal ice cream?!) to eat while Netflix and chilling.”
Insight editor Elle Lasher contributes this, an in-depth look at what makes New York cool.
“Every New Yorker views their city through the rosy tint of nostalgia. This book is a tribute to a pivotal point in the evolution of New York’s underground music culture. Led by The Strokes, it documents the international takeover of romanticised urban bohemia, the New York that only exists in our memory”.
“Defining a very specific and influential moment in New York’s history, it gives credit to ‘cool’ and underground culture (which is often difficult to track or define) and explains how this culture is evolving today.”
“The book ultimately credits this movement as leading to the hipster aesthetic and lifestyle and the gentrification across Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, pretty fascinating stuff if you ask me. For late Millennials and early Gen Xers there is something irresistible about seeing your once-contemporary culture evolve into legitimised history.”
Our brand new associate editor Alice Gividen contributes Mohsin Hamid’s novel Exit West, which also appeared on Barack Obama’s list of favourite books from 2017. Picking this one up will put you in good company.
“I read Exit West last year and, despite reading many other books since then, it’s easily left the most lasting impact.”
“A pretty brutal and candid account of refugees and the Middle East, it helped to humanise a topic that is difficult to grasp simply through news reports. Being able to draw parallels between myself and a fictional character so far removed from my own life is what made Exit West so extraordinary.”
“It has to be considered a great piece of fiction if it can help raise your awareness of and give insight into real life events – everyone should be reading it.”
Our final suggestion is from print and graphics editor Isabel Wharton.
“Weapons of Reason is an insightful and enlightening eight-part magazine series that focuses on different societal and environmental issues. I read ‘Weapons of Reason: Power’, which looks at power in the broadest sense of the word, revealing the world’s hierarchies and how they were built, as well as what possibilities might be on the horizon.
“Using information most of us are aware of but shedding light on new perspectives, this magazine had me glued to the pages of each article, which are penned by a carefully curated selection of knowledgeable experts. The impact of these issues will affect how we think and act in the future as people as well as consumers, so it’s perfect reading for anyone invested in pre-empting what’s to come.”
Want to be part of the book club? Access the full report here.
Got the book club buzz? We’re reporting on literary communities on WGSN.
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