Books To Read During This Time of Self-Quarantine

Over the past year Frank Juarez, publisher of Artdose Magazine, has been buying books that he would like to read someday. He never realized that someday is ‘today’. He used to be an active reader, but as you know, life would always get in the way. Since 03/17/20 he has been spending a lot of time at home. Under the current circumstances of COVID-19, he is trying to make the most of his time doing things he once said he would do.

Today is the present. Now is the time. 

Frank was curious as to what others are doing with their time as we are all in isolation inside our own homes. He reached out via social media to see what others are reading.

Here is a list of books Artdose Magazine compiled. Thank you to those that have shared their book titles and authors.


How to be an Artist by Jerry Saltz

Art has the power to change our lives. For many, becoming an artist is a lifelong dream. But how to make it happen? In How to Be an Artist, Jerry Saltz, one of the art world’s most celebrated and passionate voices, offers an indispensable handbook for creative people of all kinds. 

From the first sparks of inspiration—and how to pursue them without giving in to self-doubt—Saltz offers invaluable insight into what really matters to emerging artists: originality, persistence, a balance between knowledge and intuition, and that most precious of qualities, self-belief. Brimming with rules, prompts, and practical tips, How to Be an Artist gives artists new ways to break through creative blocks, get the most from materials, navigate career challenges, and above all find joy in the work.
Teeming with full-color artwork from visionaries ancient and modern, this beautiful and useful book will help artists of all kinds—painters, photographers, writers, performers—realize their dreams.


A Little Life by Hana Yanagihara

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. 

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.


The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

The Great Believers has become a critically acclaimed, indelible piece of literature; it was selected as one of New York Times Best 10 Books of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Buzzfeed Book of the Year, a Skimm Reads pick, and a pick for the New York Public Library’s Best Books of the year.


The Water Dancers by Ta’Nahisi Coates

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.
So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures


Competence by Gail Carriger

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life’s most challenging questions:Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul? Will her   brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez? And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?


V by Thomas Pynchon

The wild, macabre tale of the twentieth century and of two men—one looking for something he has lost, the other with nothing much to lose—and “V.,” the unknown woman of the title.


Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Ageexplores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.


Sister Citizen by Mellisa V. Harris-Perry

Jezebel’s sexual lasciviousness, Mammy’s devotion, and Sapphire’s outspoken anger—these are among the most persistent stereotypes that black women encounter in contemporary American life. Hurtful and dishonest, such representations force African American women to navigate a virtual crooked room that shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Many respond by assuming a mantle of strength that may convince others, and even themselves, that they do not need help. But as a result, the unique political issues of black women are often ignored and marginalized.In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods of inquiry, including literary analysis, political theory, focus groups, surveys, and experimental research, to understand more deeply black women’s political and emotional responses to pervasive negative race and gender images. Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen instead explores how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as a citizen links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.


The Arabian Nights. Translated by Husain Huddawy

The stories of The Arabian Nights (and stories within stories, and stories within stories within stories) are famously told by the Princess Shahrazad, under the threat of death should the king lose interest in her tale. Collected over the centuries from India, Persia, and Arabia, and ranging from adventure fantasies, vivacious erotica, and animal fables, to pointed Sufi tales, these stories provided the daily entertainment of the medieval Islamic world at the height of its glory. No one knows exactly when a given story originated, and many circulated orally for centuries before being written down; but in the process of telling and retelling, they were modified to reflect the general life and customs of the Arab society that adapted them—a distinctive synthesis that marks the cultural and artistic history of Islam. This translation is of the complete text of the Mahdi edition, the definitive Arabic edition of a fourteenth-century Syrian manuscript, which is the oldest surviving version of the tales and considered to be the most authentic.


#Shookone by Charlamagne the God

Being shook is more than a rap lyric for Charlamagne, it’s his mission to overcome. While it may seem like he is ahead of the game and should have nothing to worry about, he is still plagued by anxieties—fear of being weak; fear of being a bad dad; fear of being a worse husband; and ultimately fear of failure. SHOOK ONE is his journey to beat back those fears and to empower you to no longer be held back from your potential.SHOOK ONE details how anxiety has been a driving force in Charlamagne’s life since childhood. For many years, he stressed over what he thought were personal shortcomings: fear of being unpopular in school, potential rejection by women, of being ugly and worst of all, falling into the life of stagnation or crime that caught up so many of his friends and family in his hometown of Moncks Corner, South Carolina.Even after achieving national prominence as a radio personality, Charlamagne still found himself paralyzed by thoughts that he isn’t going to be able to take his career to the “next level.” But now he is working through these problems with help from mentors, guests on his show, and therapy. He knows therapy and showing weakness is in itself anxiety producing in the black community, but this is one of the reasons he wants to own his truth—to clear a path for others to not feel shame dealing openly with their mental health.


Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming is the story of how Michelle Obama ended up excelling at school and meeting an up-and-coming lawyer named Barack Obama, who would become her partner in an incredible life. Realizing that she really wanted to help people more than be involved in the intricacies of contract law, Michelle left her job at a respected law firm to work in the world of nonprofits, community outreach and mentoring.This civic-mindedness is what she brought with her into the White House, where she strove to make an impact on children


The Heart of a Photograph by David duChermin

Photographers often look at an image—one they’ve either already created or are in the process of making—and ask themselves a simple question: “Is this a good photograph?” It’s an understandable question, but it’s really not very helpful. How are you supposed to answer that? What does “good” even mean? Is it the same for everyone?What if you were equipped to ask better, more constructive questions of your work so that you could think more intentionally and creatively, and in doing so, bring more specific action and vision to the act of creating photographs? What if asking stronger questions allowed you to establish a more effective approach to your image-making? In The Heart of the Photograph: 100 Questions for Making Stronger, More Expressive Photographs, photographer and author David duChemin helps you learn to ask better questions of your work in order to craft more successful photographs—photographs that express and connect, photographs that are strong and, above all, photographs that are truly yours.

From the big-picture questions—What do I want this image to accomplish?—to the more detail-oriented questions that help you get there—What is the light doing? Where do the lines lead? What can I do about it?—David walks you through his thought process so that you can establish your own. Along the way, he discusses the building blocks from which compelling photographs are made, such as gesture, balance, scale, contrast, perspective, story, memory, symbolism, and much more. The Heart of the Photograph is not a theoretical book. It is a practical and useful book that equips you to think more intentionally as a photographer and empowers you to ask more helpful questions of you and your work, so that you can produce images that are not only better than “good,” but as powerful and authentic as you hope them to be.


Allie Aller’s Crazy Quilting: Modering Piercing & Embellishing Techniques for Joyful Stitching

Jump into crazy quilting with seven enticing projects – ranging from small small quilts to needle cushions and bags – that teach you an array of easy-to-master techniques that combine traditional methods with modern fabric tricks for truly remarkable results.


Gardner’s Art Through the Ages 15th EditioN

The market-leading text for the art history survey course, GARDNER’S ART THROUGH THE AGES has served as a comprehensive and thoughtfully crafted guide to the defining phases of the world’s artistic tradition. With this book in hand, thousands of students have watched the story of art unfold in its full historical, social, religious, economic, and cultural context, and thus deepened their understanding of art, architecture, painting, and sculpture. By virtue of its comprehensive coverage, strong emphasis on context, and rich, accurate art reproductions, GARDNER’S ART THROUGH THE AGES has earned and sustained a reputation of excellence and authority. So much so, that in 2001, the Text and Academic Authors Association awarded both the McGuffey and the “Texty” Book Prizes to the Eleventh Edition of the text. It is the first art history book to win either award and the only title ever to win both prizes in one year. The Twelfth Edition maintains and exceeds the richness of the Gardner legacy with updated research and scholarship and an even more beautiful art program featuring more color images than any other art history book available.

The Twelfth Edition features such enhancements as more color photographs, a stunning new design, and the most current research and scholarship. What’s more, the expanded ancillary package that accompanies GARDNER’S ART THROUGH THE AGES, features a wealth of tools to enhance your students’ experience in the course. With each new copy of the book, students receive a copy of the ArtStudy 2.0 CD-ROM–an interactive electronic study aid that fully integrates with the Twelfth Edition and includes hundreds of high-quality digital images, plus maps, quizzes, and more


You are a Badass: How to stop your greatness and start living an awesome life by Jen Sincero

In the book “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” Jen Sincero made out a guide on how you can live your best life. Whether your life totally sucks at the moment, or you’re living averagely and know you have untapped potential. 
Sincero writes from experience as a woman whose life once sucked and as a professional coach helping people whose lives suck. She recognizes the high level of skepticism directed at self-help topics, yet she ventures the terrain with detailed explanations and many personal stories. And addresses how human beings come about their unfulfilling lives. 


Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – Book Summary Dr. Yuval Harari received his PhD in History from the University of Oxford, specializing in world history. His book Sapiens has become a huge bestseller, translated into more than 20 languages. Harari brings us a detailed life of the humans before us, the Homo Sapiens, and provides us with a look of how the world came to be as it is now. He gives us his view, backed-up with actual facts found through research, of how our ancestors managed to survive while others did not and makes us think of how things would be if things had gone different. With thrilling stories and photos, he gives us a world that many of us never think about, and should.


There will be no quiet by Stanley Donwood

Widely regarded as one of the most important graphic artists of his generation, Stanley Donwood is the man behind Radiohead’s signature, yet ever-evolving, visual aesthetic. His influential work spans many practices over a 23-year period, from music packaging to installation work to printmaking. Here, he reveals his personal notebooks, photographs, sketches, and abandoned routes to iconic Radiohead artworks. Arranged chronologically, each chapter is dedicated to a major work—whether an album cover, promotional piece, or a personal project—and is presented as a step-by-step working case study. Featuring commentary by Thom Yorke and never-before-seen archival material, this is the first deep dive into Donwood’s creative practice and the artistic freedom afforded to him by working for a major music act. It is a must-have for fans of the band and anyone interested in graphic design and popular culture. 


My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.


Exhalation by Ted Chiang

This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. In “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary “Exhalation,” an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: “Omphalos” and “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom.”

In this fantastical and elegant collection, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth—What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?—and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.


How the Irish saved civilization by Thomas Cahill

From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne – the “dark ages” – learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of western civilization – from the Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works – would have been utterly lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland. 
In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known “hinge” of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the “island of saints and scholars, ” the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the west’s written treasures. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning. Thus the Irish not only were conservators of civilization, but became shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on western culture.


Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel

Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting — not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come. 

Gutsy and indomitable, Lee Krasner was a hell-raising leader among artists long before she became part of the modern art world’s first celebrity couple by marrying Jackson Pollock. Elaine de Kooning, whose brilliant mind and peerless charm made her the emotional center of the New York School, used her work and words to build a bridge between the avant-garde and a public that scorned abstract art as a hoax. Grace Hartigan fearlessly abandoned life as a New Jersey housewife and mother to achieve stardom as one of the boldest painters of her generation. Joan Mitchell, whose notoriously tough exterior shielded a vulnerable artist within, escaped a privileged but emotionally damaging Chicago childhood to translate her fierce vision into magnificent canvases. And Helen Frankenthaler, the beautiful daughter of a prominent New York family, chose the difficult path of the creative life. 
Her gamble paid off: At twenty-three she created a work so original it launched a new school of painting. These women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation. In Ninth Street Women, acclaimed author Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping not just postwar America but the future.


Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience by Yi-Fu Tuan

A study of the ways in which people feel and think about space, how they form attachments to home, neighborhood, and nation, and how feelings about space and place are affected by the sense of time.“Since it is the breadth and universality of his argument that concerns Yi-Fu Tuan, experience is defined as ‘all the modes by which a person knows and constructs reality,’ and examples are taken with equal ease from non-literate cultures, from ancient and modern oriental and western civilizations, from novels, poetry, anthropology, psychology, and theology.

The result is a remarkable synthesis, which reflects well the subtleties of experience and yet avoids the pitfalls of arbitrary classification and facile generalization. For these reasons, and for its general tone and erudition and humanism, this book will surely be one that will endure when the current flurry of academic interest in environmental experience abates.” Canadian Geographer


A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

From the New York Times bestselling author of The House of the Spirits comes an epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents, following two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a new place to call home.

In the late 1930s, civil war gripped Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life irreversibly intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them wants, and together are sponsored by poet Pablo Neruda to embark on the SS Winnipeg along with 2,200 other refugees in search of a new life. As unlikely partners, they embrace exile and emigrate to Chile as the rest of Europe erupts in World War.

Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning. Over the course of their lives, they will face test after test. But they will also find joy as they wait patiently for a day when they are exiles no more, and will find friends in the most unlikely of places. Through it all, it is that hope of being reunited with their home that keeps them going. And in the end, they will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.


Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher

New York Times Bestseller * USA Today Bestseller * Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Publishers Weekly Bestseller The instant bestseller from the author of Reviving Ophelia– a guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age. Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be. In Women Rowing North , Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. “If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully,” Pipher writes, “we will experience a joyous time of our lives. If we have planned carefully and packed properly, if we have good maps and guides, the journey can be transcendent.


Color and Light by James Gurney

From New York Times best-selling author of the Dinotopia series, James Gurney, comes a carefully crafted and researched study on color and light in paintings. This art instruction book will accompany the acclaimed Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist.

James Gurney, New York Times best-selling author and artist of the Dinotopia series, follows Imaginative Realism with his second art-instruction book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. A researched study on two of art’s most fundamental themes, Color and Light bridges the gap between abstract theory and practical knowledge.

Beginning with a survey of underappreciated masters who perfected the use of color and light, the book examines how light reveals form, the properties of color and pigments, and the wide variety of atmospheric effects. Gurney cuts though the confusing and contradictory dogma about color, testing it in the light of science and observation. A glossary, pigment index, and bibliography complete what will ultimately become an indispensable tool for any artist.


September: Gerhard Richter by Robert Storr

Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) is one of the most influential artists at work today. His painting September, a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was made some four years after the event. The eminent American critic and curator Robert Storr, who has had a long working relationship with Richter, explores both the painting and the event itself, through a very personal account of his experience in New York on the day of the attacks. Storr shows, both through words and comparative illustrations, how this painting is part of a current running throughout Richter’s career of responses to traumatic, violent, and controversial events, including works based on the bombing of cities in World War II and the capture of the West German Baader-Meinhof terrorist group.


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 

The Goldfinch is a story about love: love for a mother, love for a father figure, love for a girl, love for a friend, and most importantly, love for a painting. The Goldfinch centers on the presence of Carel Fabritius’ painting of the same name in the life of a young boy named Theodore Decker. Young Theo survives a traumatic explosion in a New York City museum that changes his life forever and ultimately shapes the man he will become.


Life in the Dark Illuminating Biodiversity in the Shadowy Haunts of Planet Earth by Dante Fenolio

Deep inside caves, at the bottoms of oceans and lakes, beneath the ground: these concealed habitats are absent of sunlight. This strange and fascinating world of complete darkness is not a solitary place–it is inhabited by millions of life forms. Yet most humans–creatures of daylight–have never seen any of them. Until now.

In this fascinating–sometimes eerie–book, extreme wildlife photographer and scientist Dante Fenolio brings the denizens of these shadowy haunts into focus. Life in the Dark shows us the many ways in which life forms have adapted to lightless environments, including refinements of senses, evolution of unique body parts, and illumination using “biological flashlights.”

With more than 200 mesmerizing color photographs, Life in the Dark unveils bizarre creatures like the firefly squid, the giant Amazonian catfish, the Chinese cavefish, and even the human bot fly, which lives in the darkness beneath its host’s skin. Fenolio’s rich and vibrant images shed new light on the world’s fascinating creatures of darkness.


Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lillies by Ross King

Claude Monet is perhaps the world’s most beloved artist, and among all his creations, the paintings of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny are most famous. Seeing them in museums around the world, viewers are transported by the power of Monet’s brush into a peaceful world of harmonious nature. Monet himself intended them to provide “an asylum of peaceful meditation.” Yet, as Ross King reveals in his magisterial chronicle of both artist and masterpiece, these beautiful canvases belie the intense frustration Monet experienced at the difficulties of capturing the fugitive effects of light, water, and color. They also reflect the terrible personal torments Monet suffered in the last dozen years of his life.

Mad Enchantment tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came ever closer to Paris and Giverny, and a new generation of younger artists, led by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, were challenging the achievements of Impressionism. By early 1914, French newspapers were reporting that Monet, by then 73 and one of the world’s wealthiest, most celebrated painters, had retired his brushes. He had lost his beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean. His famously acute vision–what Paul Cezanne called “the most prodigious eye in the history of painting”–was threatened by cataracts. And yet, despite ill health, self-doubt, and advancing age, Monet began painting again on a more ambitious scale than ever before. Linking great artistic achievement to the personal and historical dramas unfolding around it, Ross King presents the most intimate and revealing portrait of an iconic figure in world culture–from his lavish lifestyle and tempestuous personality to his close friendship with the fiery war leader Georges Clemenceau, who regarded the Water Lilies as one of the highest expressions of the human spirit. 


The Obama Portraits by Tania Caragol, Dorothy Moss, Richard J. Powell, and Kim Sajet

From the moment of their unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in early 2018, the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama have become two of the most beloved artworks of our time. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former first lady have inspired unprecedented responses from the public, and attendance at the museum has more than doubled as visitors travel from near and far to view these larger-than-life paintings. After witnessing a woman drop to her knees in prayer before the portrait of Barack Obama, one guard said, “No other painting gets the same kind of reactions. Ever.” 

The Obama Portraits is the first book about the making, meaning, and significance of these remarkable artworks.Richly illustrated with images of the portraits, exclusive pictures of the Obamas with the artists during their sittings, and photos of the historic unveiling ceremony by former White House photographer Pete Souza, this book offers insight into what these paintings can tell us about the history of portraiture and American culture. The volume also features a transcript of the unveiling ceremony, which includes moving remarks by the Obamas and the artists. A reversible dust jacket allows readers to choose which portrait to display on the front cover.An inspiring history of the creation and impact of the Obama portraits, this fascinating book speaks to the power of art—especially portraiture—to bring people together and promote cultural change.


Less by Andrew Greer

Writer Arthur Less is turning 50 and he just got a wedding invitation from his young ex-lover who is getting married to somebody else. Not wanting to be the butt of jokes, he accepts invitations from unheard of literary events outside the US. Thus starts his hilarious and disastrous travels to Paris, Berlin, Kyoto, Morocco, India and other parts of the world. Encountering ridiculous situations that test his self-worth along the way, will Less overcome his self-loathing and find new love?

Less is winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It is the latest novel of Andrew Sean Greer who is known for his critically acclaimed The Confessions of Max Tivoli.


Art of Travel by Alaine De Botton

Few things are as exciting as the idea of travelling somewhere else. But the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams. The tragi-comic disappointments are well-known: the disorientation, the mid-afternoon despair, the lethargy before ancient ruins. And yet the reasons behind such disappointments are rarely explored.

We are inundated with advice on where to travel to; we hear little of why we should go and how we could be more fulfilled doing so. The Art of Travel  is a philosophical look at the ubiquitous but peculiar activity of travelling ‘for pleasure’, with thoughts on airports, landscapes, museums, holiday romances, photographs, exotic carpets and the contents of hotel mini-bars. The book mixes personal thought with insights drawn from some of the great figures of the past. Unlike existing guidebooks on travel, it dares to ask what the point of travel might be – and modestly suggests how we could learn to be less silently and guiltily miserable on our journeys.


Bending Concepts: The Held Essays on Visual Art, 2011 – 2017. Edited by Jonathan T. D. Neil and Alexander Nagel

A new compilation of essays from the Brooklyn Rail by 26 established artists, authors, and critics that investigate the changes in visual culture and society during the turbulent mid-2010s, between the heady days of Occupy Wall Street and the vicious rise of Donald Trump to the White House.Edited by Jonathan T.D. Neil and Alexander Nagel, it includes over two dozen texts by seminal writers across disciplines from art history, critical theory, fiction, and criticism such as Claire Bishop, David Levi Strauss, T.J. Demos, Ariella Azoulay, and Sheila Heti. 

As a chronological collection, it is a slice of shifting and evolving thoughts on art and politics, a topic that becomes more urgent every day. In light of current debates over arts funding, this topic remains more relevant than ever.These essays originally appeared in the pages of the Brooklyn Rail and are now available in this powerful, and timely compilation.


How to Diappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency by Akiko Busch

It is time to reevaluate the merits of the inconspicuous life, to search out some antidote to continuous exposure, and to reconsider the value of going unseen, undetected, or overlooked in this new world. Might invisibility be regarded not simply as refuge, but as a condition with its own meaning and power? The impulse to escape notice is not about complacent isolation or senseless conformity, but about maintaining identity, autonomy, and voice.

In our networked and image-saturated lives, the notion of disappearing has never been more alluring. Today, we are relentlessly encouraged, even conditioned, to reveal, share, and promote ourselves. The pressure to be public comes not just from our peers, but from vast and pervasive technology companies that want to profit from patterns in our behavior. A lifelong student and observer of the natural world, Busch sets out to explore her own uneasiness with this arrangement, and what she senses is a widespread desire for a less scrutinized way of life–for invisibility. Writing in rich painterly detail about her own life, her family, and some of the world’s most exotic and remote places, she savors the pleasures of being unseen. Discovering and dramatizing a wonderful range of ways of disappearing, from virtual reality goggles that trick the wearer into believing her body has disappeared to the way Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway finds a sense of affiliation with the world around her as she ages, Busch deliberates on subjects new and old with equal sensitivity and incisiveness.

How to Disappear is a unique and exhilarating accomplishment, overturning the dangerous modern assumption that somehow fame and visibility equate to success and happiness. Busch presents a field guide to invisibility, reacquainting us with the merits of remaining inconspicuous, and finding genuine alternatives to a life of perpetual exposure. Accessing timeless truths in order to speak to our most urgent contemporary problems, she inspires us to develop a deeper appreciation for personal privacy in a vast and intrusive world.


The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio 

Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887…This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as “The Golden Ratio,” was discovered by Euclid more than two thousand years ago because of its crucial role in the construction of the pentagram, to which magical properties had been attributed. Since then it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places, from mollusk shells, sunflower florets, and rose petals to the shape of the galaxy. Psychological studies have investigated whether the Golden Ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion extant, and it has been asserted that the creators of the Pyramids and the Parthenon employed it. It is believed to feature in works of art from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Salvador Dali’s The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and poets and composers have used it in their works. It has even been found to be connected to the behavior of the stock market!

The Golden Ratio is a captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics. It tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, including the followers of Pythagoras who believed that this proportion revealed the hand of God; astronomer Johannes Kepler, who saw phi as the greatest treasure of geometry; such Renaissance thinkers as mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa; and such masters of the modern world as Goethe, Cezanne, Bartok, and physicist Roger Penrose. Wherever his quest for the meaning of phi takes him, Mario Livio reveals the world as a place where order, beauty, and eternal mystery will always coexist.


My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams

My Own Words “showcases Ruth Ginsburg’s astonishing intellectual range” (The New Republic). In this collection Justice Ginsburg discusses gender equality, the workings of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams, who introduce each chapter and provide biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted.

Witty, engaging, serious, and playful, My Own Words is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women and “a tonic to the current national discourse” (The Washington Post).


Piranesi’s Lost Words by Heather Hyde Minor

Giovanni Battista Piranesi was one of the most important artists eighteenth-century Europe produced. But Piranesi was more than an artist; he was an engraver and printmaker, architect, antiquities dealer, archaeologist, draftsman, publisher, bookseller, and author. In Piranesi’s Lost Words, Heather Hyde Minor considers Piranesi the author and publisher, focusing on his major publications from 1756 to his death in 1778. Piranesi designed and manufactured twelve beautiful, large-format books combining visual and verbal content over the course of his lifetime. While the images from these books have been widely studied, they are usually considered in isolation from the texts in which they originally appeared.

This study reunites Piranesi’s texts and images, interpreting them in conjunction as composite art. Minor shows how this composite art demonstrates Piranesi’s gift for interpreting the classical world and its remains–and how his books offer a critique of both the Enlightenment project of creating an epistemology of the classical past and how eighteenth-century scholars explicated this past. Piranesi’s books, Minor argues, were integral to the emergence of the modern discipline of art history. Using new, previously unpublished archival material, Piranesi’s Lost Wordsrefines our understanding of Piranesi’s works and the eighteenth-century context in which they were created


The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.
The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. 

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.
Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Starsis unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.


De Kooning: An American Master by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan

Willem de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, a true “painter’s painter” whose protean work continues to inspire many artists. In the thirties and forties, along with Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, he became a key figure in the revolutionary American movement of abstract expressionism. Of all the painters in that group, he worked the longest and was the most prolific, creating powerful, startling images well into the 1980s.

The first major biography of de Kooning captures both the life and work of this complex, romantic figure in American culture. Ten years in the making, and based on previously unseen letters and documents as well as on hundreds of interviews, this is a fresh, richly detailed, and masterful portrait. The young de Kooning overcame an unstable, impoverished, and often violent early family life to enter the Academie in Rotterdam, where he learned both classic art and guild techniques. Arriving in New York as a stowaway from Holland in 1926, he underwent a long struggle to become a painter and an American, developing a passionate friendship with his fellow immigrant Arshile Gorky, who was both a mentor and an inspiration. During the Depression, de Kooning emerged as a central figure in the bohemian world of downtown New York, surviving by doing commercial work and painting murals for the WPA. His first show at the Egan Gallery in 1948 was a revelation. Soon, the critics Harold Rosenberg and Thomas Hess were championing his work, and de Kooning took his place as the charismatic leader of the New York school—just as American art began to dominate the international scene.

Dashingly handsome and treated like a movie star on the streets of downtown New York, de Kooning had a tumultuous marriage to Elaine de Kooning, herself a fascinating character of the period. At the height of his fame, he spent his days painting powerful abstractions and intense, disturbing pictures of the female figure—and his nights living on the edge, drinking, womanizing, and talking at the Cedar bar with such friends as Franz Kline and Frank O’Hara. By the 1960s, exhausted by the feverish art world, he retreated to the Springs on Long Island, where he painted an extraordinary series of lush pastorals. In the 1980s, as he slowly declined into what was almost certainly Alzheimer’s, he created a vast body of haunting and ethereal late work.

This is an authoritative and brilliant exploration of the art, life, and world of an American master.


The Dream Colony by Deborah Treisman and Anne Doran

An innovative, iconoclastic curator of contemporary art, Walter Hopps founded his first gallery in L.A. at the age of twenty-one. At twenty-four, he opened the Ferus Gallery with then-unknown artist Edward Kienholz, where he turned the spotlight on a new generation of West Coast artists. Ferus was also the first gallery ever to show Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and was shut down by the L.A. vice squad for a show of Wallace Berman’s edgy art. At the Pasadena Art Museum in the sixties, Hopps mounted the first museum retrospectives of Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell and the first museum exhibition of Pop Art–before it was even known as Pop Art. In 1967, when Hopps became the director of Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art at age thirty-four, the New York Times hailed him as “the most gifted museum man on the West Coast (and, in the field of contemporary art, possibly in the nation).”

He was also arguably the most unpredictable, an eccentric genius who was chronically late. (His staff at the Corcoran had a button made that said WALTER HOPPS WILL BE HERE IN TWENTY MINUTES.) Erratic in his work habits, he was never erratic in his commitment to art. Hopps died in 2005, after decades at the Menil Collection of art in Houston for which he was the founding director. A few years before that, he began work on this book. With an introduction by legendary Pop artist Ed Ruscha, The Dream Colony is a vivid, personal, surprising, irreverent, and enlightening account of his life and of some of the greatest artistic minds of the twentieth century.


Basquiat: A Graphic Novel by Paolo Parisi

Cool, talented, and transgressive, Jean–Michel Basquiat’s life is just as fascinating as the work he produced. Delve into 1980s New York as this vivid graphic novel takes you on Basquiat’s journey from street–art legend SAMO to international art–scene darling, up until his sudden death. Told through cinematic scenes, this is Basquiat as seen through the eyes of those who knew him, including his father, Suzanne Mallouk, Larry Gagosian, and, most importantly, the man himself. Basquiat is a moving depiction of a troubled artist’s life for those interested in both the art and the man who made it.


Leo & His Circle by Annie Cohen – Solai

Leo Castelli reigned for decades as America’s most influential art dealer. Now Annie Cohen-Solal, author of the hugely acclaimed Sartre: A Life (“an intimate portrait of the man that possesses all the detail and resonance of fiction”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times), recounts his incalculably influential and astonishing life in Leo and His Circle

After emigrating to New York in 1941, Castelli would not open a gallery for sixteen years, when he had reached the age of fifty. But as the first to exhibit the then-unknown Jasper Johns, Castelli emerged as a tastemaker overnight and fast came to champion a virtual Who’s Who of twentieth-century masters: Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Warhol, and Twombly, to name a few. The secret of Leo’s success? Personal devotion to the artists, his “heroes”: by putting young talents on stipend and seeking placement in the ideal collection rather than with the top bidder, he transformed the way business was done, multiplying the capital, both cultural and financial, of those he represented. His enterprise, which by 1980 had expanded to an impressive network of satellite galleries in Europe and three locations in New York, thus became the unrivaled commercial institution in American art, producing a generation of acolytes, among them Mary Boone, Jeffrey Deitch, Larry Gagosian, and Tony Shafrazi. 

Leo and His Circle brilliantly narrates the course of one man’s power and influence. But Castelli had another secret, too: his life as an Italian Jew. Annie Cohen-Solal traces a family whose fortunes rose and fell for centuries before the Castellis fled European fascism. Never hidden but also never discussed, this experience would form the core of a guarded but magnetic character possessed of unfailing old-world charm and a refusal to look backward—traits that ensured Castelli’s visionary precedence in every major new movement from Pop to Conceptual and by which he fostered the worldwide enthusiasm for American contemporary art that is his greatest legacy. 

Drawing on her friendship with the subject, as well as an uncanny knack for archival excavation, Annie Cohen-Solal gives us in full the elegant, shrewd, irresistible, and enigmatic figure at the very center of postwar American art, bringing an utterly new understanding of its evolution.


Richard Tuttle: The Weave of Textile Language by Tate Modern

Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall has played host to some of the world’s most striking and memorable works of contemporary art. Now, this vast space welcomes the largest work ever created by renowned American sculptor Richard Tuttle (born 1941).Entitled I Don’t Know . The Weave of Textile Language, this newly commissioned sculpture combines vast swathes of fabrics designed by the artist from both man-made and natural fibres in three bold and brilliant colours.The commission is part of a wider survey of the artist taking place in London this autumn and comprising a major exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery surveying five decades of Tuttle’s career and a sumptuous new publication rooted in the artist’s own collection of historic and contemporary textiles.


Factory: Andy Warhol by Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore was 17 years old when he began hanging out at The Factory – Andy Warhol’s legendary studio in Manhattan. Between 1965 and 1967, Shore spent nearly every day there, taking pictures of its diverse cast of characters, from musicians to actors, artists to writers, and including Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, and Nico – not to mention Warhol himself. This book presents a personal selection of photographs from Shore’s collection, providing an insider’s view of this extraordinary moment and place, as seen through the eyes of one of photography’s most beloved practitioners.


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