Books and Bags... Because Study is Sexy

I love to learn, don't you? I make a significant point daily to ensure my brain is fed something new to munch on and digest, or to find something I can cognitively salivate over inquistively to channel into my life somehow.

We live in a time where the standardised education system has been shaken to its core, with students of today having to adapt to an odd regime of zoom calls and screens, as opposed to rows of desks and a barely-adult teacher dictating a curriculum devised by dinosaur politicians who, ultimately, decide what is and isn't relevant to our knowledge.

To this, I say folly.

Ancient civilisations. Classic studies. History of tradition from cultures across the globe. Psychology, psychiatry and sociology. Body language and decorum. The handling of bills, career, social circles and the comprehension of world affairs. Environmentalism.

Are these less important than finding the square root of x?

We can turn this post into a declaration of war against the current education system... OR we can make it more lighthearted and have me direct you instead into the concept and golden inspired light of grabbing a book on a topic that interests you, packing it into a bag, and setting off to a coffee shop or library (17 May and counting!!!) and harnessing these skills yourself.

But of course... we've got to do it stylishly, right?

With thanks to Net a Porter AND Waterstones, I bring you the ultimate book and bag edit. Dare I say it is the first of it's kind in the fashion cosmos? I'll just claim it, why not.

Prepare to flick and fold. It's time to get book and fashion smart.

The Book: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett BUY HERE

What's it about? Spanning the 1950s to the 1990s, and from the deep South to California, this stunning novel follows the journey of two estranged twins leading very different lives... so much so to the extent that they adopt different racial identities. The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' story lines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

The Bag: Bottega Veneta Point Small Leather Tote BUY HERE

The Book: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates BUY HERE

What's it about? In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical - and accessible - plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet's slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions-suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.

As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach

The Bag: Bottega Veneta Cassette Chain Embellished Padded Bag BUY HERE

The Book: Prisoners of Geography, Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall BUY HERE

What's it about? Seeing geography as a decisive factor in the course of human history can be construed as a bleak view of the world, which is why it is disliked in some intellectual circles. It suggests that nature is more powerful than man, and that we can only go so far in determining our own fate.

Splitting the globe into ten distinct regions, former Sky News Diplomatic Editor Tim Marshall redresses our techno-centric view of the world and suggests that our key political driver continues to be our physical geography. Beginning with Russia (and its bewildering eleven time-zones), we are treated to an illuminating, border-by-border disassembly of what makes the world what it is; why, for instance, China and India will never fall into conflict (the Himalayas), or why the Ukraine is such a tactical jewel in the crown.

With its panoptic view over our circumstance, Prisoners of Geography makes a compelling case around how the physical framework of the world itself has defined our history. It’s one of those books that prompts real reflection and one that on publication absolutely grasped the imagination of anyone who reads in.

The Bag: Valextra Shopping Canvas Bag BUY HERE

The Book: The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can't Cure Our Social Ills by Jesse Singal BUY HERE

What's it about? An investigative journalist exposes the many holes in today’s bestselling behavioral science, and argues that the trendy, TED-Talk-friendly psychological interventions that are so in vogue at the moment will never be enough to truly address social injustice and inequality.

In The Quick Fix, Jesse Singal examines the most influential ideas of recent decades and the shaky science that supports them. He begins with the California legislator who introduced self-esteem into classrooms around the country in the 1980s and the Princeton political scientist who warned of an epidemic of youthful “superpredators” in the 1990s. In both cases, a much-touted idea had little basis in reality, but had a massive impact. Turning toward the explosive popularity of 21st-century social psychology, Singal examines the misleading appeal of entertaining lab results and critiques the idea that subtle unconscious cues shape our behavior. As he shows, today’s popular behavioral science emphasizes repairing, improving, and optimizing individuals rather than truly understanding and confronting the larger structural forces that drive social ills.

Like Anand Giridharadas’s Winners Take All, The Quick Fix is a fresh and powerful indictment of the thought leaders and influencers who cut corners as they sell the public half-baked solutions to problems that deserve more serious treatment

The Bag: PARAVEL Atlantic Tote BUY HERE

The Book: Cultish, The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell BUY HERE

What's it about? What makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson documentaries by the dozen and fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone is because we’re looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join - and more importantly, stay in - extreme groups. We secretly want to know: could it happen to me? Amanda Montell’s argument is that, on some level, it already has...

Our culture tends to provide pretty flimsy answers to questions of cult influence, mostly having to do with vague talk of “brainwashing.” But the true answer has nothing to do with freaky mind-control wizardry or Kool-Aid. In Cultish, Montell argues that the key to manufacturing intense ideology, community, and us/them attitudes all comes down to language. In both positive ways and shadowy ones, cultish language is something we hear - and are influenced by - every single day.

Through juicy storytelling and cutting original research, Montell exposes the verbal elements that make a wide spectrum of communities “cultish,” revealing how they affect followers of groups as notorious as Heaven’s Gate, but also how they pervade our modern start-ups, Peloton leaderboards, and Instagram feeds. Incisive and darkly funny, this enrapturing take on the curious social science of power and belief will make you hear the fanatical language of “cultish” everywhere.

The Bag: Alexander McQueen The Tall Story canvas tote

The Book: The Future of the Museum: 28 Dialogues by Andras Szanto BUY HERE

What's it about? The world's leading museum directors discuss the future of museums in the wake of 2020's pandemic and social upheavals 2020 ushered in a new decade and with it a series of unforeseen events that have reoriented the future

The Bag: CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Cabata mini spiked printed leather tote BUY HERE

The Book: Glossy, The Inside Story of VOGUE by Nina Sophia Mirrales BUY HERE

What's it about? Glossy is a story of more than a magazine. It is a story of passion and power, dizzying fortune and out-of-this-world fashion, of ingenuity and opportunism, frivolity and malice. This is the definitive story of Vogue.

Vogue magazine started, like so many great things do, in the spare room of someone's house. But unlike other such makeshift projects that flare up then fizzle away, Vogue burnt itself onto our cultural consciousness.

Today, 128 years later, Vogue spans 22 countries, has an international print readership upwards of 12 million and nets over 67 million monthly online users. Uncontested market leader for a century, it is one of the most recognisable brands in the world and a multi-million dollar money-making machine. It is not just a fashion magazine, it is the establishment. But what - and more importantly who - made Voguesuch an enduring success?

Glossy will answer this question and more by tracing the previously untold history of the magazine, from its inception as a New York gossip rag, to the sleek, corporate behemoth we know now. This will be a biography of Vogue in every sense of the word, taking the reader through three centuries, two world wars, plunging failures and blinding successes, as it charts the story of the magazine and those who ran it.

The Bag: PRADA macramé leather and satin bucket bag BUY HERE