Art Reading Homework

Recently, one of my art groups (SLMM) created a book group on the side. Now, I’m kind of new to book groups in general. I do love to read, but ugh, hated literary criticism, and English classes in general. Just let me read, already! Recently, though, I’d had some luck with a book club in my Seattle neighborhood — more informal, yet engaging — so I was willing to give it a try.

Oh my. At the first meeting, one of the very keen participants had pages and PAGES of notes from what was a fairly thin book! Gotta love that enthusiasm, but it felt like I missed a memo somewhere. Then, when the group proposed an almost-500 page book as the follow-up, I really balked. So many books to read, so little time…

For me, art reading is done in snips & starts, as part of my working day, to break up segments of composing, and to bring in new ideas. I’ve been known to take MONTHS to finish a thick book. (Landscape & Memory by Schama, I’m looking at you!) I do want to fill in my knowledge gaps and be able to be part of the art conversation, but I wasn’t ready to read that intense a book on a schedule, with such a high bar of notetaking and analysis to meet.

So, I’m attacking my reading pile on my own time, and I’m always willing to add more suggestions to the pile. Thank you, art buddies, remote & local, in person & online, who share ideas & opinions. Here are some of the books I’ve particularly enjoyed, as I explore art in a meandering way:

And, yes, I’m tackling the long book my group suggested (Art & Physics, Shlain) but VERY slowly. What are YOU reading, and what do you recommend?

Chime in!