Book Club: Lucy-Isobel Bonner, Stylist

Welcome to the first edition of our Book Club series. Reading has always been a part of my life, for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always had a curiosity into what other people were reading, often questioning my family members about the books they had on their shelves or at the pool. Over the last few years, I’ve reconnected with that joy and it has become a constant with my friends, sharing our recent favourite reads, what we’ve taken away from them and what we are excited about exploring next. Bringing those conversations to 909, our Book Club series will delve deeper into other creative’s reading history from what they enjoyed when they were growing up, their most impactful read, quotes and more. In order to extend this community of readers, there is a bonus question for those who answer where they recommend a book(s) to next person who contributes to the club.

For the first edition of Book Club we have London-based stylist Lucy-Isobel Bonner who is a cross-functional creative with a focus on countercultural scenes. Noted credits include ASOS Creative Direction Award, Dazed & Confused’s ‘Future of Fashion Photography’ and Resident Advisor’s Playback Festival and recently styling for the likes of Eartheater, object blue, and Hyd.


Your favourite childhood book? 

I could read pretty well from a young age and the big one for me was the Noughts & Crosses series which my older sister gave me when they came out. I was obsessed. I’d get my mum to get them for her birthdays and christmas so I could read them.


Most impactful/influential book you’ve read? 

Making and Being: Embodiment, Collaboration, & Circulation in the Visual Arts. This was my backbone when I got into teaching and really shifted how I operate in an academic sphere and the importance of learning and sharing together. Also, Hannah Ewens’ Fan Girls had a major impact on my healing of my messiness of adolescence.


A quote that has stuck with you? 

There’s a lot in Flame Wars by Mark Dery that haunt me. I don’t bode well with cyber discourse.


Favourite writer?  

Jacqueline Wilson. I don’t even care. The way she communicated these stories to young (predominantly) girls is a true testament to exploring sensitivity that has impacted a generation.


Favourite genre?

My guilty pleasure is biographical from Parisian Fashion 70s. I went through a bit of a dark satanic feminism phase over summer so I was trying to finish the year slightly lighter but it’s got into borderline Urban Outfitters neurobiology territory. I think there’s a lot of sequences between my phases of literature of alienation, cult and ostracisation. Next on my list is “Communication Between Man and Dolphin“.


A book that you recommend everyone should read in their lifetime?

This Is Your Mind On Plants by Michael Pollan and Testo Junkie which a friend recommended to me. I recommend both to everyone. Also, an obvious one, but Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams.


Your favourite setting to read in?  

I love reading in other people’s houses. I had a morning in the summer where somebody gave me a book and we’d been out the night before (after not having spoken in a long time) and I just laid on his sofa reading for hours and it was special. They’d given me this book that they knew I’d love and I couldn’t put it down. I lost the book and I don’t speak to that person anymore so it was like that little bubble of time existed around that book.  It was Subculture: The meaning of style by Dick Hebidge.


Are you someone who shares books with friends? If so, which book have you shared recently? 

I just recommended Junglist – Two Fingaz to my friend Emily, it’s a really beautiful, compelling, stream of consciousness


What are you currently reading? 

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor – its full force fiction with no holding back. It’s pretty grim and fully chaotic but the hysteria of the character’s lives is infectious.


Bonus: A recommendation for the next Book Club contributor to read? 

Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera. Absolutely incredible. Stunning.

Girls Against God by Jenny Hval