Four favourite books: Sam Collenette

Drum's Senior Strategist gives us his picks

When I discovered that there is a Japanese word for the pile of books you buy but never read (Tsundoku), I felt both seen and slightly attacked. As an English Literature graduate, I don’t read nearly enough, but I do a very good job of maintaining a sizeable list of books I intend to read at some undefined point in the future. Here are four books that I have actually managed to read in the last few years, which I highly recommend putting to the top of your pile.

The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

The Vegetarian by South Korean author Han Kang is the book I recommend to anyone who asks for reading suggestions. The novel tells the story of Yeong-hye and the fallout from her sudden decision to stop eating meat and live a more plant-like existence following a bloody, nightmarish dream.

Both beautiful and at times violent, it has a slightly surreal, otherworldly quality to it that has stuck with me more than any other book I have read in recent years. I would really recommend reading anything by the author, but this one is definitely where I would start.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell

As we give up increasing amounts of our lives to technology, the feeling that we all need to be constantly productive and optimising our existence can feel really overwhelming.  This book is a powerful call to arms to resist that pressure and reconnect with the world around us — a reminder that I frequently require.

no one is talking about this, by Patricia Lockwood

Written in two parts through a series of short narrative fragments, the story follows a chronically online writer whose life is altered by a family tragedy. At first the fragmentary format can seem impenetrable, but it is definitely worth giving it your full attention.

Lockwood captures the absurdity of our online existence with lots of humour, whilst also dealing with some more universal human themes. Both funny and poignant, it is a great example of the possibilities of contemporary writing.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, by Warsan Shire

This is the first full-length poetry collection by Warhan Shire, whose poem Home has travelled far and wide online on a number of occasions over the last few years.

I sometimes struggle to fully engage with poetry, but Shire’s collection is really vivid and powerful. She writes beautifully about womanhood, motherhood and family, as well as the experiences of refugees and immigrants.

Featured image: Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, by Warsan Shire

Sam Collenette, Senior Strategist at DRUM

Sam Collenette is a culturally-curious strategist, currently working as a Senior Strategist at DRUM in London. Moving between agency and client-side roles, start-ups and global organisations, Sam has spent the last decade working with companies to solve a range of business and communications challenges. Starting his career in editorial and PR, Sam’s experience has since spanned social media, content and marketing strategy. Having played a leadership role in delivering content and digital experiences at historic photography agency Magnum Photos and global charity Save the Children, Sam now works across the breadth of briefs at DRUM. Over the duration of his career, he has worked with a broad range of clients and talent across sectors, including Audi, Bacardi, Coors Light, HSBC, O2 and Samsung

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MediaCat is an online publication exploring marketing and media change. We focus on brands, the environments where they operate, and the industries that serve them, reporting on ideas, trends, and perspectives. Delving into modern brand experiences, evolving media landscapes, emerging forms of insight, the dynamic world of commerce, forces of transformation in organisations and markets, and the drivers of social impact, we aim to guide professionals navigating a brave new world.

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