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some thoughtful must-reads

i know, i’m so overdue for a ‘must reads’ post, i can’t even tell you….but i’ve been devouring great summer reads left and right, with all the best-laid plans of passing along my summer reading list.  next week, i promise!  for now, i’ve been wanting to share two titles that are really more thought-provoking dinner conversation than poolside entertainment, but both are definitely titles you’ll want to add to your must-read list.

obsessive consumption is by kate bingaman-burt, one of my favorite artists (she has some amazing pieces up on 20×200 right now).  she’s been drawing a sketch of one thing she purchased every day since 2006, and this book is the result.  i love kate’s art to begin with, but this title in particular just felt like such an interesting look into the most random parts of someone else’s life, and i think we all love a little voyeurism.  it made me feel better about some of my purchases (and made me feel a teeny bit guilty about some, too).  definitely food for thought, and a perfect title to leave out on the table at your next party…it’s sure to inspire conversation!  read more about kate (and order a seriously cool limited-edition of the book) on her website, or nab the book for $14 at your friendly neighborhood amazon.

my other recent favorite book to skim when i have five minutes to kill is lists, compiled by liza kirwin.  kirwin manages the smithsonian’s archives of american art.  in other words, she has access to a truly amazing collection of personal papers from all sorts of famous and infamous people, and has compiled a collection of some of the most unlikely treasures in her stash:  lists.  everything from groceries to packing lists, address books and random sketches, from everyone from pablo picasso to franz kline.  in most cases, they’re reproduced in their original form, with a typed translation as well (for those countless illegible scribblings).  again with the voyeurism, i know, but this is one i just found completely fascinating.

if you’re weirdly fascinated (or comforted) by the details of other people’s lives, you’re going to love both of these titles..trust me.  just consider them the thinking woman’s ‘us weekly’.

oh, and don’t worry…we’ll have a pile of much lighter summer reads for you next week!

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