Donald Robertson: TOP TEN BOOKS


Photo courtesy of Brad Lansill

By day, Donald Robertson works in creative development at Estée Lauder; in his spare time he has become a popular illustrator, churning out coveted collaborations with brands from Smashbox Cosmetics to Canada Goose, writing his own children’s book, “Mitford at the Fashion Zoo,” and creating paintings and prints that have found homes with fans — including Beyoncé.  Self-proclaimed as the Andy Warhol of Instagram, he’s better known by his Instagram handle, @drawbertson.

Below are Donald Robertson’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.


A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures

Ben Bradlee
Biographies are the original self-help guides. It's like a life blow-by-blow by someone you admire. In this case this book was not only a great, inspiring read, it was my how to live a big life instruction manual.
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Franny and Zooey

J.D. Salinger
Reading Catcher in the Rye is always hard because you fly through it so fast and are always hungry for more. Discovering Franny and Zooey when I was a kid was like finding a half-eaten birthday cake in the back of the fridge. Every morsel was delicious, mostly because I was starving for more Salinger.
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The Other Side of Midnight

Sydney Sheldon
No one today can fathom not being able to just click on their phones for a bit of debauchery. Way back when, there was nothing! National Geographic had the odd nude shot. As a red-blooded Canadian teenager I remember stumbling upon this book on the cottage book shelf. Everything about it was steamy. I loved it. Too much info, I know I know.
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Green Eggs and Ham

Dr. Seuss
I have five kids. Kids’ books are mind numbing for the most part. Any Dr. Seuss book is like Warhol to me. Pop ART! Try and find someone who disagrees. You won't!
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Bright Young Things

Brooke De Ocampo and Jonathan Becker
There was something odd about how much I loved this book. Looking back I realize it was the precursor to Instagram. It was social sharing pre iPhone. Pour through it today— it’s like a day’s worth of scrolling. It was the beginning of global voyeurism. I love this book for this reason.
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Sick in the Head

Judd Apatow
I love Judd. This book is like opening up the top of his head and jumping in for a poke around. I have zero time to read. Who does? But I read this book. Paid cash for the hardcover and read it like it was 1979 (when I actually had time to read).
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Frank Gehry: The Houses

Mildred Friedman and Sylvia Lavin
I recently moved to LA with my family. Driving around the first few weeks, I realized how Frank started his genius career in a house in Santa Monica and with tiny commissions on Venice Beach. It's like I watched him blow up into an international architect super star. I love this archive of his greatest hits. His vibe is the reason I moved here in the end.
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Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand
I was not going to list this because it is so cliché. But recently, with all the Donald Trump nonsense, I've been flashing back to Ayn Rand’s philosophies on life and power. It's very teen-angsty, but I'm clinging to my teen-angsty self, so it's on the list!
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Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Jonah Berger
I bought this in an airport because it had an orange cover. I read it by accident because all the movies sucked on my flight to NYC. Now l have my college-aged daughter reading it because the guy is so clever. That's all.
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Once Upon a Time

Slim Aarons
I recently met with his daughter, Mary Aarons. She was telling me how hard her father worked, traveling the world and taking all these incredible photos. It was his job. A perfectly normal dad from Connecticut jet-setting internationally. I'd like to congratulate Getty Images for saving all these photos that were stashed in his attic! It's a miracle they weren't all ruined. Now that everyone with a phone is considered a photographer, it's fun to a imagine a time when you had to wait to see what the world was up to.
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