Winter Reading List

In my Editor’s Note in the fresh-off-the-press December issue of the magazine, I talk about the thinking part of creativity—the times when we are immersed in thoughts about not just what’s on the easel but thoughts about what’s going on in the world around us. Everything we do and everything we read—art related or not—has the potential to trigger creative ideas and artistic impulses, which is why I thought it’d be fun to ask the staff about what they’ve been reading lately outside the specific topic of art or pastel.

page0_sidebar_1.jpgAnne (Editor) Recommends
Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression (Bantam, 2007): In this charming and funny account of her childhood in the 1920s and 30s, Mildred Armstrong
Kalish writes a book that’s part memoir, part cookbook and part encyclopedia of home health remedies. I’m not sure if this has influenced me creatively, but it has left me wanting to go mushroom-picking—something I’ve never done—and also wanting to add butter or cream to everything I cook. So, proceed with caution!

Knopf cover small.jpgSarah (Features Editor) Recommends
The Boat by Nam Le (Knopf, 2008): a collection of short stories with incredible geographic and emotional scope. The stories take place in Australia, Tehran and Iowa City and cover a wide range of human experiences. Sarah says she’d be remiss if she didn’t mention that she and Le are former classmates, but given that Michiko Kakutani also reviewed the book favorably in The New York Times, she feels safe it’s not favoritism that’s leading her to call it “a darn good read.”

Jessica (Managing Editor) Recommends
In between her plunges into What to Expect When You’re Expecting and The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregancy, Jessica had time to read White Teeth (Vintage, 2001), the debut novel by British author Zadie Smith. She describes it as a tale of friendship between two men, who are friends from WWII. One is Bangladeshi; the other English. The Englishman marries a Jamaican girl about half his age, and the Bengladeshi marries a much younger Indian woman. With sharp language, it follows their lives and families with an emphasis on culture, race and class.

landing_LL.gifCindy (Art Director) Recommends
The Last Lecture (Hyperion, 2008) by Randy Pausch. Pausch is the Carnegie Mellon professor who delivered a lecture for the university’s “Last Lecture” series after learning he had terminal cancer. His now-famous talk, called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” is an inspiring argument for living with purpose and joy.

Tell us what YOU are reading in the comments section!

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2 thoughts on “Winter Reading List

  1. Gina Weston

    I picked up the book "The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican" by Benjamin Blech and Roy Doliner….book was recommended in The Watercolor Artist and I picked it up. Very good…As a matter of fact, I miss this article that was in the Sketchbook Magazine…..I got some goo summer reading books from there.
    I also read the "Lace Reader" by Brunonia Barry recently and it was excellent.