archive for the ‘good reads’ category

reading list for 2013 : update 2

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

my book shots are getting old...
well, i was hoping to report some progress after q2 of 2013, but i think i’ve been spending too much time either working-working, or working on the chores that one has when one is a single homeowner with a yard. i love the idea of sitting on my deck with a book on warm summer nights — i hope that is a reality for q3 so i can cross a few more off the list. here’s where i stand:

alice neel: the art of not sitting pretty – phoebe hoban
autobiography of a face – lucy grealy
blue nights – joan didion
born to run – christopher mcdougall
catching fire – suzanne collins*
crime and punishment – fyodor dostoevsky
decreation – anne carson**
dear life – alice munro
dekooning: an american master – mark stevens & annalyn swan
disaster preparedness: a memoir – heather havrilesky
the fifty year sword – mark z. danielewski
the forever marriage – ann bauer
a gate at the stairs – lorrie moore
green girl – kate zambreno
how should a person be? – sheila heti
the hunger games – suzanne collins
instant: the story of polaroid – christopher bonanos
i shock myself: the autobiography of beatrice wood – beatrice wood
the marriage plot – jeffrey eugenides
mocking jay – suzanne collins
revenge: eleven dark tales – yoko ogawa
schroder – amity gaige
spontaneous happiness – andrew weil
state of wonder – ann patchett
steal like an artist – austin kleon
the year of magical thinking – joan didion
36 hours: 125 weekends in europe – barbara ireland

* almost done!
** i didn’t finish this and i’m taking it off the list for reasons.***
***i stole “for reasons” from my coworker andy.

happy 4th of july weekend!

yummy quotes

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

some quotes i’ve savored from recently read books:

hyssop is (as you may know) a purificatory herb that smells like mint from outer space.
– decreation, anne carson

i didn’t really want more champagne, but i wanted him to come back to me.
– revenge, yoko ogawa

all she had consumed all day was smoke, heavy feelings, and chocolate ice cream.
– green girl, kate zambreno

but before this recognition quite a bit of sleeping goes on, or is prevented from going on, in noteworthy ways.
– decreation, anne carson

nobody can judge what goes on between two people. if one can be compassionate, understanding, patient, then the song of the stars begins and love is born.
– i shock myself, beatrice wood

the lakes where his factory has poisoned everything are as beautiful as a brueghel.
– decreation, anne carson

 

reading list for 2013: update 1

Monday, April 1st, 2013

so many piles of books!
q1 of 2013 has passed, and i’m happy to report progress! i’ve found that when i let reading take a priority, i can finish up a book pretty quickly. but finding chunks of time to devote to reading is still tough. my progress so far:

alice neel: the art of not sitting pretty – phoebe hoban
autobiography of a face – lucy grealy
blue nights – joan didion
born to run – christopher mcdougall
catching fire – suzanne collins*
crime and punishment – fyodor dostoevsky
decreation – anne carson*
dear life – alice munro
dekooning: an american master – mark stevens & annalyn swan
disaster preparedness: a memoir – heather havrilesky
the fifty year sword – mark z. danielewski
the forever marriage – ann bauer
a gate at the stairs – lorrie moore
green girl – kate zambreno
how should a person be? – sheila heti
the hunger games – suzanne collins
instant: the story of polaroid – christopher bonanos
i shock myself: the autobiography of beatrice wood – beatrice wood
the marriage plot – jeffrey eugenides
mocking jay – suzanne collins*
revenge: eleven dark tales – yoko ogawa
schroder – amity gaige
spontaneous happiness – andrew weil
state of wonder – ann patchett
steal like an artist – austin kleon
the year of magical thinking – joan didion
36 hours: 125 weekends in europe – barbara ireland

* new additions. sometime it feels like i add more than i finish! but i guess it’s good to always have a few waiting…

happy april!

reading list for 2013

Friday, January 4th, 2013

a sub pile of the big pile
2012 slipped by without a last update on my reading list for the year, and i guess that’s for the best because i couldn’t cross off a single book in the last quarter. the majority of my reading list for 2013 is what i didn’t get to in 2012, with a few new additions:

alice neel: the art of not sitting pretty – phoebe hoban
autobiography of a face – lucy grealy
blue nights – joan didion
born to run – christopher mcdougall
crime and punishment – fyodor dostoevsky
dear life – alice munro
dekooning: an american master – mark stevens & annalyn swan
disaster preparedness: a memoir – heather havrilesky
the fifty year sword – mark z. danielewski
the forever marriage – ann bauer
a gate at the stairs – lorrie moore
green girl – kate zambreno
how should a person be? – sheila heti
hunger games – suzanne collins
instant: the story of polaroid – christopher bonanos
i shock myself: the autobiography of beatrice wood – beatrice wood
the marriage plot – jeffrey eugenides
revenge: eleven dark tales – yoko ogawa
spontaneous happiness – andrew weil
state of wonder – ann patchett
steal like an artist – austin kleon
the year of magical thinking – joan didion
36 hours: 125 weekends in europe – barbara ireland

i still have not been successful in carving out chunks of time for reading. i’ll need to try harder! and it doesn’t help that my brother gave me the complete series of the wire for xmas…

happy weekend, happy reading!

reading list for 2012: update 3

Monday, October 8th, 2012

my reading list might need to be carried into 2013...
are we really in the last quarter of the year? the days seem to pass so quickly, and yet, on those not-very-awesome days, they seem to drag onnnnnn. maybe if i stuck to my reading list, i’d have less time to focus on those icky days.

i haven’t made much progress on my list since my last update, but i was able to cross off a few more:

1Q84 – haruki murakami
a gate at the stairs – lorrie moore
alice neel: the art of not sitting pretty – phoebe hoban
and the pursuit of happiness – maira kalman
autobiography of a face – lucy grealy
blue nights – joan didion
confessions of an art addict – peggy guggenheim
crime and punishment – fyodor dostoevsky
dekooning: an american master – mark stevens & annalyn swan
the fault in our stars – john green
the forever marriage – ann bauer
green girl – kate zambreno
how should a person be? – sheila heti
i shock myself: the autobiography of beatrice wood – beatrice wood*
just kids – patti smith
the marriage plot – jeffrey eugenides
say her name – francisco goldman
spontaneous happiness – andrew weil
state of wonder – ann patchett*
starting from happy – patricia marx
steal like an artist – austin kleon
the year of magical thinking – joan didion
why we broke up – daniel handler

as we fall into the cooler months, i see more reading in my future.

* i’m almost done!

reading list for 2012: update 2

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

the pile!
aaaannd… it looks like i managed to add more books to my “to-read” list in the second quarter of the year than i read.

1Q84 – haruki murakami*
a gate at the stairs – lorrie moore
alice neel: the art of not sitting pretty – phoebe hoban
and the pursuit of happiness – maira kalman  (new addition)**
autobiography of a face – lucy grealy
blue nights – joan didion
confessions of an art addict – peggy guggenheim
crime and punishment – fyodor dostoevsky
dekooning: an american master – mark stevens & annalyn swan
the fault in our stars – john green (new addition to list)
the forever marriage – ann bauer (new addition)
green girl – kate zambreno (new addition)
how should a person be? – sheila heti (new addition)
i shock myself: the autobiography of beatrice wood – beatrice wood
just kids – patti smith
the marriage plot – jeffrey eugenides***
say her name – francisco goldman
spontaneous happiness – andrew weil
state of wonder – ann patchett
starting from happy – patricia marx
steal like an artist – austin kleon (new addition)**
the year of magical thinking – joan didion
why we broke up – daniel handler (new addition to list)

i really need to focus on reading!

* i’m almost done!
** additions as a result of seeing them in melinda’s fabulous library. thanks, m!
*** i’ve heard this one pales in comparison to middlesex & now i’m not sure i want to read it.

instant love

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

coffee table mess
my coffee table is a mess. i’m behind on my new york magazines, and i’m digging into afar, a travel magazine birthday gift from a fellow wanderer. i couldn’t resist the tartine cookbook, after having indulged at their bakery when i was in san fransisco last february. but it’s instant love : how to make magic and memories with polaroids, which was just released, that i’m really excited about.  i’m hoping for some free time this weekend to curl up and soak it all in.

that's me!
i had completely forgotten that i had submitted my name for the instant photographer list in the index. there i am! at the bottom!

want to know more about instant love? check out the book trailer.

making mini books!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

making mini books

more book news: there’s another great book out on the shelves, called making mini books, and my *hi* brag books are in it!

making mini books

and not only are my brag books in it, but there are instructions for how to create your own.

making mini books

i’m still too scared to read the instructions myself, afraid that i missed a step or wasn’t clear. (silly, i know…)

making mini books

there’s even a template and i reveal how i make my perfect holes with a japanese drill punch. i was a little worried about telling the world how to make one of my signature pieces, but in the end, i realized that i’d rather inspire someone to create than be worried about copycats.

making mini books

and in the index, a big bio. i had forgotten about my goofy bio! writing bios is so hard: i don’t want to sound stiff and boring, and yet i want to sound interesting and inspiring without sounding pompous and full of myself. this bio is a little playful, maybe too much so. but it was fun to write. and i’m under kaija‘s bio! i’ve been a huge fan of kaija’s work for years. what an honor to be included with her and so many other great book artists.

aside from my little project, making mini books really is a fun book. there are many different binding types covered: accordion, coptic, stab bound, case bound, match book, and more… there are detailed instructions, diagrams, and templates for over 30 projects. it’s a great add to any maker’s bookshelf. and i’ll use it myself: i sense a mini book themed pARTy in the future.

reading list for 2012 : update

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

tea time
so! we’re at the end of the first quarter of the year, and YES! i have been reading! i wish i could say i’ve read more than i have, but i’m spending less time zoned out in front of my computer… and more often than not i’m going to bed before i’m tired and skipping wine so i can read. here’s what i’ve finished, 3 months into the year:

1Q84 – haruki murakami
a gate at the stairs – lorrie moore
alice neel: the art of not sitting pretty – phoebe hoban
autobiography of a face – lucy grealy
blue nights – joan didion
confessions of an art addict – peggy guggenheim
crime and punishment – fyodor dostoevsky
dekooning: an american master – mark stevens & annalyn swan
the fault in our stars – john green (new addition to list)
i shock myself: the autobiography of beatrice wood – beatrice wood
just kids – patti smith
the marriage plot – jeffrey eugenides
say her name – francisco goldman
spontaneous happiness – andrew weil
state of wonder – ann patchett
starting from happy – patricia marx
the year of magical thinking – joan didion
why we broke up – daniel handler (new addition to list)

and every single book finished so far is highly recommended! i’m tempted to write mini-reviews, i really am, but i’m not gonna. you’ll have to read them for yourselves…

reading list for 2012

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

books in bright morning sun
growing up, we didn’t have a tv, so every week we went to the library and brought home a grocery bag or two of library books.

i miss reading books. i still read, but it’s mostly magazines and news sites online, and while i can say i’m pretty well informed about the things that are going on around me, i miss devouring books on a weekly basis like i did when i was a kid. so i’ve started a pile/list. some of the books have been in my pile/list for over a year and some are new adds, and i would guess the pile/list might grow as the year progresses.

i’m not sure how i’m going to do this (what will get cut out of my day?!) but here’s what i want to read in 2012:

1Q84 – haruki murakami
a gate at the stairs – lorrie moore
alice neel: the art of not sitting pretty – phoebe hoban
autobiography of a face – lucy grealy
blue nights – joan didion
confessions of an art addict – peggy guggenheim
crime and punishment – fyodor dostoevsky
dekooning: an american master – mark stevens & annalyn swan
i shock myself: the autobiography of beatrice wood – beatrice wood
just kids – patti smith
the marriage plot – jeffrey eugenides
say her name – francisco goldman
spontaneous happiness – andrew weil
state of wonder – ann patchett
starting from happy – patricia marx
the year of magical thinking – joan didion

eeeks. that’s a lot of reading. i think i’ll start by dedicating 15 minutes before bed. once i get into the habit, i’ll want to go to bed earlier, right?

on my coffee table

Monday, October 24th, 2011

de kooning and make & do
i’ve started to prepare for the upcoming winter months: i’ve increased my dosage of vitamin d, i’m putting heavier lotion on my already dry skin, and i’ve got new additions to the coffee table.

de kooning in his studio
the first addition: moma’s de kooning : a retrospective. i went to see the show last monday, and it so was stunning that it brought tears to my eyes. and while i still need to work on the biography, i really wanted to have the visuals available to me.

woman, 1950
this is one of my favorite paintings.

make & do spread
the second addition: mollie green’s make & do: paper fascinations for every occasion. paper crafts! inspiration that will be desperately needed mid-january! i’ve been a fan of mollie’s royal buffet etsy shop for a while and i love that she has shared her talent with us.

make & do spread
the book is well designed, and the instructions are easy to follow. i can’t wait to dive in! i think i need to host a garland pARTy in december…

are you doing anything to prep for winter?

de kooning

Friday, September 9th, 2011

de kooning
i’m heading to new york city in october, and there will be a de kooning retrospective at the moma while i’m there. last week while reading about the retrospective, i learned about the pulitzer prize-winning biography by mark stevens and annalyn swan. i think the retrospective be even more intense if i devour the biography first.

it’s 615 pages, and i’ve been averaging about 2 books a year. i’ve got 5 weeks to go… and i’m on page 9…

happy weekend!

dappled

Friday, July 8th, 2011

nicole krauss's great house
i really must sit outside and read more often.

happy weekend!

reading pile #2

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

reading pile for next week!
i still haven’t completely finished the first reading pile, and i already have another. i’m looking forward to some time at home next week and working through the good books that await…

amsterdam made by hand

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

amsterdam made by hand
new inspiration from pia jane bijkerk: amsterdam made by hand. pia’s work is gorgeous, and amsterdam is one of my favorite cities, so i had to pre-order this little guide. it arrived a couple of days ago, and it’s hard to crack open, because i then wish i was there, instead of here.

(the canal house is a little piece that i bought in amsterdam – it’s painted styrofoam, with tinfoil peeking thru the windows/door. i keep thinking that one day i’ll actually put glass in the windows… and maybe some day i’ll get around to it!)

nox

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

nox
i ordered nox by anne carson and it arrived monday. it is the book i wish i had created:

nox
it is one long accordion fold of text/image/collage, housed in a clamshell box.

nox
written after her brother died, the author’s visual exploration of grief is familiar to me.

nox
the ephemera/photos/collages/clippings convey what written words cannot say.

nox
i want to devour it up all in one sitting… but i also want to savor every page.

reading pile

Friday, March 5th, 2010

i wanna dig in!
my to-read pile is getting bigger and bigger…

  • dear james: letters to a young illustrator. an xmas gift from jenn.
  • picasso. gertrude stein’s memoir of the man and artist.
  • a gate at the stairs. lorrie moore’s newest. i loved birds of america, and really wish i hadn’t loaned it out. it was never returned to me.
  • everybody’s autobiography. more gertrude stein. i just can’t get enough.
  • the importance of being iceland. there was a lot of buzz about this book when it came out last year…
  • bauhaus 1919-1933. the catalog from the moma show that came and went so quickly (november thru the end of january) and i wanted to go but with the holidays making me crazy and a trip planned for seattle already i just couldn’t get myself to spend more money but now i really regret not just going for 2 days to see the show since i love the bauhaus soooo much. wah. so i have to settle for the book version of the show. and i will read it from cover to cover. soon.

i’m starting on my list this weekend with a trip to the upper peninsula. no dog walking, no computer, no tv, no job, no crafting = reading and maybe knitting.

happy weekend!

frida kahlo @ walker art center : oct 27 – jan 20

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

frida kahlo @ walker art center
another great local show featuring a woman artist: frida kahlo opens saturday at the walker art center.

photo credit: walker art center

(more…)

the principles of uncertainty by maira kalman

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

detail from the principles of uncertainty
detail from the principles of uncertainty

i just added this book to my xmas list (which is silly, as we’re not celebrating xmas anymore, so i guess it goes on my after-you-get-paid-from-freelance-work list). the book’s description:

the principles of uncertainty is an irresistible invitation to experience life through the psyche of maira kalman, one of this country’s most beloved artists. the result is a book that is part personal narrative, part documentary, part travelogue, part chapbook, and all kalman. her brilliant, whimsical paintings, ideas, and images-which initially appear random-ultimately form an intricately interconnected worldview, an idiosyncratic inner monologue. kalman contends with some existential questions-what is identity? what is happiness? why do we fight wars? and then, of course, death, love, and candy (not necessarily in that order).

lovely illustrations, witty prose: fabulous. i can’t wait to see it in person.

(via new york magazine)