What Are You Reading This Summer? (Curious Monday)

When I heard about Architecture’s Odd Couple, the new bio about Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson, I couldn’t wait to read it.

Book about Philip Johnson & Frank Lloyd Wright


I have a thang for architecture, and reading about the friendly rivalry between these two opposites was too appealing to pass up.

It’s my summer reading.

What’s on your list? Let us know in a comment below.

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127 comments to What Are You Reading This Summer? (Curious Monday)

  • oh dear!
    Am I the only artist in the world reading fantasy fiction as a way of stepping out of the world for a few hundred pages?
    Currently it’s Robin Hobb. Anything by. Working my way through her books at the library.
    Loving the sustained narrative skill. Perhaps it’s a southern hemisphere thing – it being midwinter here in Australia !

  • I am reading “Under The Wire, Marie Colvin Final Assignment”. It is a gripping account about how brave war reporters and photographers bring the human consequences of war to our unsuspecting eyes and breakfast tables. Marie Colvin, was an amazing daring and talented female photographer, some say one of the best of all the females and male photo-journalist, who also happened to die while on assignment. Amazing book so far.

  • Nice Post Alyson ! I will definitely try to read art books and how it changed present scenario.

  • I am visiting Amsterdam later this year and to get ready; I am reading a book about Vincent van Gogh.

  • Anne Marley’s The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the American Garden Movement

    I saw an exhibit at the NY Botanical Garden recently about American Impressionists and gardens – then discovered that there is another exhibit about American Impressionists and gardens at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT. This book was released when that exhibition premiered in Philadelphia. I’m hoping to get up to CT next month to see the show

  • Connie Solberg

    All the Light We Can Not See, by Anthony Doerr…..loving this one.

  • I am reading “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday. That is my daytime reading.
    I read light fiction as my bedtime reading. I recently reread “The Foundling” by Georgette Heyer after many years, and found it still very enjoyable.

  • In June I read Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck (wrote a blog post) and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain which is historical fiction about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Hemingway. I just started Paula McLain’s book, Circling the Sun about Beryl Markham. I enjoyed reading Beryl Markham’s book West with the Night many years ago, so I am enjoying McLain’s book. Great question by the way. I love to read so I got a few titles to explore from everyone who shared. Thank you for the question Alyson, and that you everyone for new book titles.

    • Did you like The Paris Wife, SuZan? I found myself (more than halfway through it) not caring a lick. So I put it away.

      • I admit that it did not grab me at first, but by the end of the book, I was curious about Hemingway’s creative process and observing how relationships seemed to be casualties for the sake of his writing. Probably not the intent of the book, but I found that aspect and interesting “study”. However, McLain’s second book I mentioned (Circling the Sun) has grabbed me from the the first page; hopefully it will continue on that path.

        As a side note, in May I read Strapless by Deborah Davis as a result of one of your blog posts. Oh my! Thanks for that suggestion too.

        • hola Kako, yo ya he quitado como te dije ayer por email o de la veifcrcaiion y en cuanto a la musica creo que no lo tengo activado pero si es asi comentamelo. Gracias. Bss

  • I just finished Art and Fear and stated Born to Create by Theresa Dedmon

  • I’ve just received Old Friend from Far Away, by Natalie Goldberg in the mail. So excited to begin! Beginning the long-time dream of incorporating writing many memories into my creativity practice.

  • I just finished “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd. I’m getting ready to read “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. I also read a lot out of poetry books just because I love poetry: Mark Nepo Seven “Thousand Ways to Listen”, David Whyte, “Three Marriages”, another poetry book that I don’t recall the name of the author called” The Firekeepers”

  • Linda Reid

    I have been reading nonfiction this summer. “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” by Michael Pollan inspired me to catch wild yeast and make my own sourdough starter, and also taught me how to ferment vegetables, so I made kimchi.

  • I’m reading the epic fantasy series “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss. I love his lush, detailed world, flawed and perfect characters, and his quirky humor.

  • I just finished Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and I loved it. A few of my favorite quotes from the book:

    “Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.”

    “You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”

    “At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is – if only so you can go on and make other things with a glad and determined heart.”

    “Failure has a function. It asks you whether you really want to go on making things.”

    “And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest—as politely as you possibly can—that they go make their own [expletive] art.”

  • Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists-Sharon Louden……

    …she is also touring with her new book which I can’t wait to get my hands on! The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Live.

  • Just finishing up with “And Then All Hell Broke Loose” by Richard Engel about the 20 years he spent in the Middle East as correspondent for NBC news.

    Also rereading the Game of Thrones series. Currently beginning “Clash of Kings.” I guess I too am trying to step out of the real world for a few thousand pages…..

  • I just finished reading “Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coelho and getting back to my pile of non-fiction books on different topics.

  • Finally got around to reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. He is so skilled at capturing human motivations and interactions. Also reading Cory Huff’s just released book How to Sell Your Art Online. Lots of great tips.

  • Cheryl Smith-Bell

    The book I most want to read is yours! Do to home repairs, I am getting very little else done, but that is on my list!

  • Im listening to Ken Follet’s The Century Trilogy on my iPod while I paint. It’s ridiculously long at 93 HOURS of listening, but it’s just great to get lost in this epic story, the narration is great and time just flies! Other great listens are My Life by Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, narrated by Johnny Depp! Also love podcasts, Alyson Stanfield (!), Serial, The Moth and Alec Baldwin’s podcast, Here’s the Thing. The actual reading time I have is spent catching up on art and design magazines! Happy summer everyone!

  • Currently reading “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson and “A Trick of the light” by Lois Metzler. Recently finished “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortensen, “A Different Kind of Cell: The Story of a Murderer Who Became a Monk” by W. Paul Jones,” In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette” by Hampton Sides, “Take the Long Way Home: a Memoir of Friendship” by Gail Caldwell, and “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters” by Chesley B. Sullenberger.

  • Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science’s First Family (finished)

    Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments by
    Auping, Michael, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brand: Harry N Abrams (luxuriating)

    Between the World and Me , Ta-Nehisi Coates (finished, a must read for all white folks)

    The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness , Michelle Alexander (3/4 finished and another must read for white people)

    One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way , Robert Maurer, Ph.D. (waiting for hubby to finish. It was his father’s day present and he is enjoying it.)

    More Modern Top-Down Knitting: 24 Garments Based on Barbara G. Walker’s 12 Top-Down Templates by Kristina McGowan, (knitting a sweater)

  • For some time I’ve wanted to read Emily Carr’s journal “Hundreds and Thousands” and was able to start it a few weeks ago. I am interested in how she articulates her painting process. I haven’t been disappointed.

  • “Onward” by Howard Schultz – the rebirth of Starbucks.
    A fascinating look behind the curtain of a well known company who appeared fine on the outside but was weakening their core values with rapid growth and straying standards.

    I found it a great example of successful people asking for help from many different sources. It also was a personal lesson on how telling your story builds interest and loyalty. I noticed myself becoming a fan of the coffee and the company just by reading the book. This will be applied to my art business.

  • Sue

    There’s some interesting books here to take a look at, that’s for sure. I’ve rediscovered fiction the last few years (it’s a great escape) and I’ve just started ‘The Songlines’ by Bruce Chatwin. It’s great so far. I’m australian but living in sweden so it’s a great book to soothe my homesick soul.

  • I just enjoyed “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp! Although she is a dancer/choreographer, the book had many good points that pertain to any type of artist.

  • I just finished Bettyville, good for those of us helping our aging parents and recently enjoyed Reflections on Western Town An Oral History of Crested Butte. Now I’m rereading Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I love to read. So many books so little time. Turning Pro is on the nightstand for my next reread.

  • I’m a HUGE fan of audible.com. And since I’ve been packing up our house and making numerous trips to Goodwill, I’ve been doing a lot of listening lately. Just finished Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew (and narrated by KM). Highly recommend it! Also re-listened to John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Still working my way through Heretic by Ayaan Hirsi on the need for Islamic reform – very intense and thought-provoking. And listen and re-listen to Alyson’s podcasts and the replays of the ACSS calls.

  • Linda

    I recently finished reading “The 6th Extinction” by James Rollins and am starting to read “Map of Bones” by him. The writing style is similar to that of Michael Crichton, one of my favorite authors. I enjoy fiction based on enough actual fact to make it seem believable.

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