Books

At each ATP Event we ask our curators to choose a reading list as part of their curatorial duties. Here are some books recommended by Portishead...

Room - Emma Donaghue

Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don't have the key.

Jack and Ma are prisoners.

'This book will break your heart . . . It is the most vivid, radiant and beautiful expression of maternal love I have ever read' Irish Times

'Startlingly original and moving . . . Endearing and as utterly compelling as THE LOVELY BONES' Scotsman

'This is a truly remarkable novel. It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live' New York Times Book Review
Life - Keith Richards

With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics and the songs that roused the world, and over four decades he lived the original rock and roll life: taking the chances he wanted, speaking his mind, and making it all work in a way that no one before him had ever done. Now, at last, the man himself tells us the story of life in the crossfire hurricane. And what a life. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records as a child in post-war Kent. Learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones' first fame and success as a bad-boy band. The notorious Redlands drug bust and subsequent series of confrontations with a nervous establishment that led to his enduring image as outlaw and folk hero. Creating immortal riffs such as the ones in 'Jumping Jack Flash' and 'Street Fighting Man' and 'Honky Tonk Women'. Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the US, 'Exile on Main Street' and 'Some Girls'. Ever increasing fame, isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Mick Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Solo albums and performances with his band the Xpensive Winos. Marriage, family and the road that goes on for ever. In a voice that is uniquely and intimately his own, with the disarming honesty that has always been his trademark, Keith Richards brings us the essential life story of our times.
Blood River - Tim Butcher

When "Daily Telegraph" correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to cover Africa in 2000 he quickly became obsessed with the idea of recreating H. M. Stanley's famous expedition - but travelling alone. Despite warnings that his plan was 'suicidal', Butcher set out for the Congo's eastern border with just a rucksack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots. Making his way in an assortment of vessels including a motorbike and a dugout canoe, helped along by a cast of characters from UN aid workers to a campaigning pygmy, he followed in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurers. Butcher's journey was a remarkable feat, but the story of the Congo, told expertly and vividly in this book, is more remarkable still.
Whole Earth Catalogue - Stewart Brand

The WHOLE EARTH CATALOG was published regularly from 1968 to 1972, but only intermittently thereafter. During its four years of regular publication, the Catalog earned a reputation, a following, and a National Book Award, the only time a catalog has been so honored. Standing with one foot firmly in the rugged individualism and back-to-the-land movements of the Sixties counterculture and the other in the nascent global community made possible by the Internet, the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG offered an integrated, complex, challenging, thought-provoking, and comprehensive worldview. Founder Stewart Brand, in his 1968 CATALOG article, "We are as gods" said, "At a time when the New Left was calling for grass-roots political (i.e., referred) power, Whole Earth eschewed politics and pushed grassroots direct power--tools and skills. At a time when New Age hippies were deploring the intellectual world of arid abstractions, Whole Earth pushed science, intellectual endeavor, and new technology as well as old. As a result, when the most empowering tool of the century came along--personal computers (resisted by the New Left and despised by the New Age)--Whole Earth was in the thick of the development from the beginning."
A Darker History Of Bristol - Derek Robinson

Bristol has much to be proud of, having prospered as a city and a major port for over six hundred years. But its past includes more than a fair share of cruel, inglorious and scandalous episodes that are generally little referred to. Included in this book are slaving, persecution, greed and incompetence, and riot, giving some amazing stories from Bristolian Derek Robinson.
This Sporting Life - David Storey

Rugby League football in an industrial northern city circa 1960 is a life of grime, mud, seat, intrigue and naked ambition. In THIS SPORTING LIFE, David Storey recounts the fortunes of gladiator hero Arthur Machin from the day of his inclusion in the local team to the match when he begins to feel age creeping up on him. Through Arthur we are taken into his raw, often brutal world of players, backers, Saturday crods bloody noses and broken teeth, landladies and communal baths.