Tom Greig's Top 5 Books

Our London rep, author of 500 Hidden Secrets of London, Tom Greig tells about his 5 top picks.

Lost Futures

This fantastic little book, recently published by the Royal Academy, explores Britain's lost heritage of brutalist architecture. Brutalism has been undergoing a significant critical reappraisal in recent years, so the book is timely as there's now a lot of interest in this type of architecture, making it an easy sell into London's bookshops and galleries. Lost Futures highlights important buildings from 1945-1979 that have for various reasons been destroyed, demolished and lost over the past decades.

Greenterior

This recent interior design title is one of my favourites. It was the first book to document what is now quite a trend for botanical interiors. The focus of this book is on plant-loving creatives and how they use greenery in their homes. Since this was published there have been other books on the same subject from a number of publishers. I've had a lot of lifestyle stores getting in touch with me that are keen to stock this book. Yes, I do have a few pot plants at home now.

The Long Shadow of Chernobyl

An extraordinary large-scale photo book that examines the legacy of the 1986 nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union. The photographer Gerd Ludwig made many trips to the site over a long period of time an d his documentary photographs of the site and surrounding area have a disturbing power. The book includes an essay by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It is similar to, but very much stands apart from, the popular photo books on abandoned places. A future classic of its kind.

Paul Nash John Nash Design

When I started working for ACC this book had been recently published. At the time I was not aware of the work of the painter Paul Nash and his brother John. I've since become very interested in Paul Nash's work, and enjoyed Tate Britain's recent retrospective exhibition. This book was a really good introduction to his work outside of painting. It's in ACC's award-winning Design Series that examines the commercial illustration work of artists from the first half of the 20th Century.

African Modernism

This book is a huge exploration of the radical and daring modernist architecture that was built in the newly-independent African countries of Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire and Zambia in the 1950s and 1960s. The photography is all contemporary, undertaken by Iwan Baan and Alexia Webster, and is brilliantly presented by the publisher. The book examines the relationship between architecture and nation-building and it's legacy in the countries today. It's full of amazing, unfamiliar and surprising buildings.

 

You can view Tom's latest title, 500 Hidden Secrets of London, here.