Monday, July 22, 2013

On My Nightstand

Summer is the time when I usually load up on novels and spend as much time outside, reading, as possible.  This summer seems to be unusually busy, but I've been been able to squeeze in time for a couple of great books so far. In both, the main characters are artists, but that's where the similarity ends.

The first book, The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro is sort of a mystery based on a real event.  On March 18, 1990 two men dressed as police officers bound and gagged two security guards at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole 13 works of art that today would be worth more than $500 million dollars.  The people responsible for this crime have not yet been caught and the art has never been recovered.  But what if...

Shapiro carves out a possibility for this scenario.  What if a gallery owner and a fine artist work together to pull this off, but one of them has no idea of what they're involved in?  I'm not going to spoil the story for you, but I will tell you that this is a really, really good book!  I didn't want it to end.  I felt as if I was curled up on a couch in the artists' studio and witnessing the whole thing first hand.  It's THAT good!

The next book has been sitting on my shelf for awhile.  It was recommended in one of my art groups at least a year ago.  I grabbed it yesterday and started reading, and reading, and reading!  I can't put it down!

Broken Colors, by Michele Zacheim chronicles the life and career of Sophie Marks, an artist born in England in the 1920's.  It marks her heartbreaking struggle to survive during World War II and the after-effects of a life torn apart by war.  This is no fluffy English romance novel; it's a gritty and emotionally charged account of a fiercely independent and very stubborn woman who survives trauma only through her passion for art.  Zacheim's writing is strong and her voice is unique.  I'm completely absorbed and will probably be up all night reading.  I can't wait to see what happens next!

What are YOU reading?  I'd love to hear!

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