I’ve recently got to know Jordan from Mr Turner due to the unprecedented amount of time I spend in Bondi bookshop, Gertrude & Alice. Bookshop manager, GQ insider and fashion blogger at Mr Turner, he’s quickly become one of my favourite people to talk books with and I’m beyond thrilled to be joining forces with the bookshop to host a monthly literary shindig. With our first event launching next week (tickets are sold out but you can find more details here), I wanted to invite Jordan on to my Desert Island Books series to find out which books make him tick. And so, from his favourite fashion tome to contemporary fiction at its finest, find out the books he’d be taking with him to the sandy shores of a desert island below…
Euphoria by Lilly King
A delectable read that follows a social anthropologist in the 1930’s, maddened by being isolated from people he can truly connect with. Distance, language, and his own conscious hold him prisoner. He develops an obsession with old friends which takes the story on an unpredictable ride that I couldn’t get enough of. I imagine his internal monologues would act as insight to life on a desert island, but the story is one I can read over and over again.
Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
A friend recommended this fantastic novel and I’m completely taken by it. It’s contemporary fiction at its absolute finest. Apollo and Hermes have taken human form and are getting inebriated in a bar. They stumble on the topic of human happiness – or rather their unhappiness – and make a bet that animals would live happier lives with our consciousness. And so it begins, the beauty and perils of our thinking played out within dogs as they build a language, hierarchy and their own concept of thinking.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I feel as though I would miss the internet being stuck on a desert island, but reading about Eleanor’s experience regarding her “online research” would soundly kill that vice for me. She’s also a character I often think about even after having finished the novel. I constantly find myself wishing the best for her. I wonder what she’s up to, how her work and personal relationships are going. And how she’s finding the rapidly changing technologies/stalking capabilities.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I seem to be picking books based on my emotional attachment to them, but that’s also one of the things I love about physical books. Going through the journey an author sets for us and either loving or loathing what you’re holding in your hands. The first book that gave me a love for fiction outside of high school came in the form of The Secret Life of Bees. A colourful, visual and emotional experience. I don’t know if I’d have delved into reading as hard as I did without this book.
Perfume by Patrick Süskind
As a creative, I found Süskind’s rich descriptions of people and places utterly enamouring. Is it odd that I’m hailing the imagery of a novel about a serial murderer? Yes, but I hope we all echo the spellbinding descriptions of the senses. The book flowed so effortlessly – it was the first novel I had read that felt like a true masterpiece. It’s a book in 4D.
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
I have quite a lot of books with emotional themes, so I thought I ought to bring one for problem-solving and entertainment. I think with the number of times I’d be able to re-read this on a desert island I could even create an Agatha-Christie-formula and make my own stories. Death on the Desert Island, watch this space!
Tom Ford by Tom Ford
Fashion is and always will be my first love. I couldn’t leave civilisation without a reminder of the magical, trending, and consuming world of Fashion without the book of my icon. If Anna Wintour’s alluring profiles of Tom Ford and his work don’t sweep you off your feet, the imagery spanning across his career most definitely will. It’s a chronological visual essay of his days as Creative Director for Gucci, and YSL, to the creation of the Tom Ford label, his very own empire.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A novel that ruined me. That continuously built up my hope only to tear it down again. It’s made me cry on a holiday, and on public transport. And I loved it so much I’m taking it with me to the desert island! There aren’t too many books I can think of that portray friendships, co-dependence, and character development as grandly as this. A harrowing read that I’d happily put myself through time and time again. This is a must-have for me.
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Images: Jordan Turner