On My Bookshelf:  Minnie Mortimer

By: Sarah Gordon

Fashion isn’t the only thing designer Minnie Mortimer knows a thing or two about. Her storied career has also involved a position with Italian photographer Oberto Gili, who makes an appearance on her Matchbook list. Read on to see what books have inspired her and why she loves to read—we certainly think she’s on to something…

I'm currently reading… All That Is, James Salter's newest novel. 

My favorite childhood book was….Baba – I love the large hard copy book that is the complete collection. I now read it to my daughter and she loves it just as much as I did. I find the artwork completely beguiling and the stories have endless layers filled historical and philosophical parallels.  

The book that I'll never part with is…Two books: A Confederacy of Dunces and Anna Karenina. The funniest book and the best saga respectively.

A book that changed my life…Forever by Judy Blume. We had one copy that we passed around our sixth grade class behind the back of the teachers with a list on the back page of who had read it and who was next in line. It had been read and reread to the point that the pages were falling out… It retrospect it is pretty tame but at the time it was practically pornographic to me. 

My favorite book to give as a gift…Luxury of Space the photography of Oberto Gili I think it's the best coffee table book ever. 

A fictional character I admire…Blackthorne from Shogun

On my coffee table I have…Leroy Grannis surf photography bookPurple magazineTina Barney photography books, the New Yorker, the Paris Review. 

I organize my bookshelves according to… 

1. Art, Photography, Travel

2. Fiction A-Z

3. Non-fiction 

4. Biography/Autobiography 

5. Poetry (this section is the smallest but I still call it a section) 

6. Reference some old dictionaries, quote books and other relics of pre-internet life. 

My favorite bookshop is…Book Hampton in Southampton and Diesel at the Brentwood country mart. 

I love to read because… It's my escape, my therapy, my solace. I don't go to the shrink, reading narrative is the way I process and identify emotion.

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang for Matchbook, April 2011}