Hello Everyone~ I wanted to share a few good books I have been reading this month. Laura and I always talk about what inspires us beyond our art practice and for me it is finding a good book that either takes me to another world I know nothing about or teaches me something. I am particularly fond of historical fiction with strong women characters. I have three great ones to share with you today….
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett has taken me to the Amazon in her lush description of the indigenous people and plant life. I know so little about this part of the world. Her writing is so good that I had a vivid image in my mind about the place and well developed characters. The story is about one women’s journey into the Amazon to locate one of the employee’s of a drug company developing a drug related to fertility in women. Some women in this tribe in the Amazon are having children in their 70’s! There are a few love stories intertwined, adventure, relevant ethical questions about science, and an ending that had me wanting to know more about what happened next for the characters.
The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship by David Halberstam is a non-fiction story filling me in on some of the great ballplayers of the Red Sox from the 1940’s. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a self-proclaimed number one fan of this team. I fell in love with baseball after attending a game at Fenway Park back in 1997. Being at that park showed me the magic, relaxed yet intense nature of this intricate American game. Geesh, I love the Red Sox. This story chronicles the friendship of Johnny Pesky, Dominic DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, and Ted Williams. Ted is dying and the others are taking a drive down the coast to go see him for the last time. This is a rare glimpse into the friendships formed through the love of a sport. I feel that too as I play more roller derby with my team. I really love these women who are dedicated to this sport. By the way, you can see us play online at our first national tournament, East Coast Derby Extravaganza, NEXT weekend HERE! We play on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm, June 29, 30. Our team is the Lowcountry Highrollers. We will be getting down and derby!
Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kasama is truly inspiring me and helping me through some tough times in the studio. Being recently rejected from a show I really wanted to be in, she quotes “No matter how I may suffer for my art, I will have no regrets. This is the way I have lived my life, and it is the way I shall go on living.” Choosing an artist’s life is full of ups and downs coupled with few financial rewards, but to be able to create the work is a gift. I am fully aware that I live in a free society where women can work and be free but at the same time I am often riddled with doubt about the point of all this. It has been wonderful to read Kusama’s experience in the late 1950’s, and beyond, grappling with these same issues and knowing such artists as Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Cornell. Plus, reading her thoughts about her work and dealings with the art world are very informative. Laura and I saw her work at the Whitney Museum in NYC last summer and loved it.
What are you reading this summer? Leave some ideas for me in the comments section if you have a minute.