Book Talk

I have been immersed in the art world during these cold winter months and have some books to share--

The Hare with Amber Eyes is a family memoir where the author traces an inherited set of Japanese netsukes back through the generations to their original owners. On the way he discovers (and reveals) the art world of nineteenth-century Paris, the turmoil of Odessa, the final days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a family's trials during World War II. The author's family was one of the wealthiest Jewish families in Europe and it was interesting to follow their story.
I then moved on to The Lake of Dreams. This book is set in the finger lakes region of New York and tells the story of a young woman who uncovers her family's hidden past beginning with some old letters and scraps of fabric that she finds in her family home. Connected to these documents are a series of stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes dominated by strong women. The descriptions of glass blowing and the creation of the windows are beautiful.


Finally, I read Clara and Mr. Tiffany, which took me into the Tiffany Studios and the world of the Art Nouveau. This was an interesting story focused on a recent discovery that many of Tiffany's designs--the lamps in particular--were actually designed and created by women. The author does a wonderful job of bringing robber barons, sweatshops, and the tenements of New York during the Gilded Age to life. I enjoyed the women's perspective.


I still have Steve Martin's new book, The Object of Beauty, sitting on my "library shelf." This book takes place at Sotheby's, and I've heard good things about it.

I didn't set out to read a series of books on art, but I am so glad this group of books ended up on my shelf. Have you read anything great lately? I'm always on the hunt for some good books.

ellen  – (February 22, 2011 at 1:13 PM)  

I did love Girl in Hyacinth Blue, so I will have to check out her new book.
Recent reads, though not art related, but loved are:
The Devil in the White City
Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel
A Place of Greater Safety, also by Mantel
Waiting For Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire..a heart breaking memoir..so beautiful.
I have Laura Hillenbrand's new book, but haven't started it. I loved her Seabiscuit.
Thanks for the recommendations!

Sarah  – (February 22, 2011 at 1:20 PM)  

I am going to check these books out. I read the new Laura Hillenbrand book and learned a lot. It was interesting. Forgot to report on that one!

Sarah  – (February 22, 2011 at 1:23 PM)  

I want to know more about Cuba so will order "Waiting for Snow" from my library. I will also try "Wolf Hall" as we are going to England this summer!

Susan  – (February 22, 2011 at 4:39 PM)  

What a great list, Sarah. I definitely think I will pick up the Kim Edwards book during my next library visit.

In the autumn I discovered Kate Atkinson's books featuring the detective Jackson Brodie. These books are far beyond the typical whodunit mystery book. For one thing, they are really very funny and full of interesting characters who, in the end, all wind-up being linked together in a fascinating way.

Dawn  – (February 24, 2011 at 5:35 PM)  

You have led me to several very good books over the years, so I love it when you make these lists. I read another book by Steve Martin, called Shop Girl, that was good.

THE OLD GEEZER  – (February 26, 2011 at 11:33 AM)  

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