I know we all say the same thing every year, but this year seriously is flying by. So, with Summer zooming towards us at the speed of light, it's undoubtedly time to start thinking about taking some time off work to enjoy the sunshine. To help you with your preparations, here we introduce the Tat Book Club.


If you're a sucker for a great holiday read but never actually know where to start, welcome to the club. The good news is that we've asked some brilliant creatives for their recommendations for you, and here they are:

 

Pandora Sykes, Journalist and Broadcaster


Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

There are many things to love about this debut novel, not least because its author is in her sixties and we often hear about young people doing marvellous things but less so about people in their second career, who often have so much more wisdom to bring to the page. Which, incidentally, this book has in spades. Elizabeth Zott is a brilliant chemist turned TV cook, with a precocious daughter and a highly-empathic dog, navigating science, workplace misogyny and heartbreak in 1960s California. It has been (or is set to be) published in 35 countries, was a Sunday Times bestseller when it came out at the end of April, and is being turned into a series for Apple TV, starring Brie Larson. But really, those aren't reasons to read it, as much as they reasons to have heard of it. Reasons to read it are that it's charming, quirky, and redemptive. All the best ingredients for a Summer holiday read.


 

Ruth Sleightholme, Decoration Editor at House & Garden Magazine

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson


Gilead lets us imagine that we are reading a bundle of private letters, written by an elderly Midwestern Pastor as he nears the end of his life. The letters are addressed to his young son, who we understand was a late-in-life blessing to our pastor.


The pull of the book, the thing which twists at my chest as I think about it, is the fervent kindness, fairness, self-awareness, humanity and love that this narrator puts into his every observation, as he muses on the lives of his father and grandfather (both pastors) the smallness of his town and the summing-up of his life. He seems to think carefully and gently about every word, resulting in lines that you want to write down and keep for life. He writes about the terrible power of an angry word, about being in love, about disliking someone unfairly, and simply about the physical world, with a raw love that comes from someone that knows they are about to leave it.

 

Guy Tobin, Head of Product at Rose Uniacke


John Harris - No Voice from the Hall: Early Memories of a Country House Snooper and Eching Voices: More memories of a Country House Snooper

A romance to ruins - deep art historical knowledge yet irreverent.....there was always a delight in passing on the film Withnail & I to the unknowing; Harris's books have the same magic.

John Jesse - A Fridge for a Picasso.

Everyone interested in dealing has read Duveen: The Story of the Most Spectacular Art Dealer of All Time (if not, they should). John Jesse is equally brilliant.


Harriet Vyner - Groovy Bob: The Life & Times of Robert Fraser

A wild ride through the 60's London art world. All these books are about mavericks but Robert Fraser was disruptive, hedonistic, tasteful, cruel and right at the heart of this exhilarating period.


 

Gavin Houghton, Designer & Ceramicist

Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart.


For starters, Chris Stewart was in Genesis at the beginning of their career, I think he was a drummer.So the book is all about him and his wife's adventure in relocating totally to Southern Spain in Andalucia.

He found an old, very very very rustic farmhouse on a hillside overlooking a gorge with a river below.

It's always at the back of my mind to move full time to my house in Morocco, which isn't too far away from Southern Spain, so some of the plants and weather he writes about match Northern Africa.


He's funny, touching and very brave. I love the hippy vibe around his house, which he entertains if people can get to it. I loved it.


 

Michael DePerno, Founder & Creative Director of Plain Goods


D.V. by Diana Vreeland


Unfortunately, I'm not reading much these days due to the busyness of the shop and our home restoration but I just finished reading a delightful book, D.V. by Diana Vreeland.

This witty autobiography is essentially a series of transcribed conversations of Diana’s magical storytelling about her very full life as a creative force.

It’s old school, opinionated and refreshing to read something with such a distinct point of view. She was a trailblazer and a force, who always kept an open mind to what was happening around her without sacrificing her point of view and exquisite style.


 

Fee Greening, Illustrator


Faithfull: An Autobiography by Marianne Faithfull


I devour any rock biography. There isn’t much I wouldn’t do to transport myself back in time to the summer of 1971 at Villa Nellcôte with the exiled Rolling Stones. I recently finished Faithfull my favourite of Marianne Faithfull’s memoirs as it focuses a lot on the early days of her friendship with Anita Pallenberg, who in my opinion is the coolest woman to ever tread the planet earth, they made a hell of a duo leading the Stones astray.


The perfect read to inspire some hot, hedonistic, holiday swagger.