For avid readers and the uninitiated alike, The Happy Reader is a magazine-shaped book club to inspire and entertain.
A collaboration between Penguin Classics and Fantastic Man, the concept is simple: the first half is a long-form interview with a notable book fanatic and the second half explores one classic Book of the Season from an array of surprising and invigorating angles
The Happy Reader. Issue 14.
The issue for winter 2019 marks The Happy Reader’s fifth anniversary. As absorbing, beautiful and freewheeling as ever, it brings together an in-depth conversation with fashion’s Grace Wales Bonner and an exploration of Joris-Karl Huysmans’ fascinatingly odd novel Against Nature.
Grace Wales Bonner is a 28 year old fashion designer from south-east London. She has been feted by the worlds of both serious culture and high glamour, but here’s the unusual part: her clothes come with reading lists. Interviewed by Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri for this Happy Reader cover story, Grace explains how she sees herself on some level as a researcher. She visits libraries, digests acres of complex ideas about politics and identity, and expresses them, among other things, via the realm of clothes.
The Happy Reader is the world’s magazine-shaped reading group: each issue explores a single book, a classic, a work that has survived the changing tastes of several generations. The Book of the Season this winter is Joris-Karl Huysmans’ Against Nature (1884), perhaps the most decadent novel ever written. Its relentless inventory-keeping thrills and inspires some readers and baffles others, and is highly relevant to this season of non-stop accumulation. Contributors include Jarvis Cocker, Lydia Davis, Rob Doyle and Jeanette Winterson.