The February Shelf

To buy…

Mude Threads

Fashion on Instagram is fast becoming a global craze. Not for Mude Threads though. Their account was deactivated by Instagram for “sexually explicit content”. The platform’s misogynistic censorship has come under fire a lot in the last year with the “free the nipple” campaign. A real photograph of a nipple is one thing, but Mude Threads’ designs are illustrated drawings – they are art.

Designed by artist Jazz Moodie, aged 21, the collection includes sweatshirts, tote bags, cushion covers and charcoal prints, with beautiful outlines of nude female figures emblazoned on them. You can even commission Jazz to create a personalised nude of yourself!

Well-priced, beautiful pieces with elegant illustrations that would be hard pressed to offend anyone. Except, seemingly, Instagram.

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To listen to…

Lynn Barber’s Desert Island Discs

I’ve now completed all the Desert Island Discs from the last few years and am delving back into the archives. Interviewer and journalist Lynn Barber was a castaway with the lovely Kirsty Young back in 2010, and Kirsty holds nothing back – she grills Barber on the savage interviewing style that has earned her the title of the “Demon Barber”.

Her story had me completely gripped, and her honesty and humour were wickedly captivating. Her youth was peppered with stories of sexual adventure, one major narrative having been turned into her memoir, An Education, which was consequently adapted for the screen in a film starring Carey Mulligan. Having started out at Penthouse magazine, Barber hasn’t taken the usual career progression and it was this that made the interview so fascinating.

Open, witty and incredibly insightful. She was just as fabulous on the other side of the interviewing sofa.

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To read…

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Journalist Dolly Alderton is fast becoming a household name, thanks to the hit weekly news and pop-culture podcast The High Low, which she co-hosts with fellow journalist Pandora Sykes. The pair’s camaraderie and witty repartee make for an entertaining and simultaneously enlightening listen, and I, along with many others, am utterly hooked.

Her debut memoir, Everything I Know About Love tracks her relationships and friendships over the years, no doubt supported by her stint as dating columnist for the Sunday Times Style.

Discussing the struggles of becoming an adult and overcoming the obstacles involved in this, the prose could have come across as gimmicky or contrived, particularly given the vast amount of content out there dealing with similar such “millenial” issues. Dolly Alderton has instead succeeded in coming across as both witty and genuine, and the book is already a bestseller, having only come out a week ago. No surprise here.

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A few others to shelve…

Women and Power by Mary Beard
A wonderful examination of men seizing power across time, from Greek myths to on Twitter. A stunning, tiny little book to keep revisiting.

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Sean Bythell
The journals of an independent bookshop owner in a village in Scotland. Sold. Neat little narratives that leave me entirely undeterred in entering such an unprofitable profession in retirement.

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Lullaby by Leila Slimani
One of the most thought-provoking novels I’ve read in years. Could be enjoyed by anyone – so many layers of understanding. A thrilling read.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
I read this and immediately booked a flight to Poland to go to Auschwitz. I’m not even joking. A beautiful account of a tragic period in history and I am excited to learn even more.

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