Last month (May) was a slow month for my TBR so I decided to wait until I had a post-worthy amount of books to talk about. Over the years of writing this blog I’ve noticed that come mid-year my reading verve dies down a bit. I have no idea why this happens but it’s a time when I tend to read slower than the rest of the year. I’m in the southern hemisphere so it might have something to do with it being Winter.
I’ve been thinking a lot about photography recently. More specifically about the theory side of it. One of the books I featured on my A Photographer’s Theory Reading List post was On Photography by Susan Sontag. A few people have mentioned this book really changed their perspective of the art of photography so this one makes the TBR list. (GoodReads)
I’ve read a couple of Louise Erdrich‘s novels and The Plague of Doves is next for me. It is about the same family featured in The Round House which I enjoyed so I’m keen to revisit them. I expect to enjoy this book as I have the others. (GoodReads)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain has been on my TBR for a while. I consider myself quite introverted and so was drawn to the book. I find the world can be a little too noisy for my liking sometimes so I’m intrigued as to what the book has to say. (GoodReads)
Juno Diaz has been on my radar for a while but I always seem to forget I want to read something by him when I’m picking my next read. I read an excerpt recently from The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and found the writing so beautiful that I knew this would be the one. (GoodReads)
Last but not least is Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. Murakami is another author I’ve been dying to get into but I couldn’t figure out where best to start. This post on Book Oblivion helped me decide to go with this one because it was recommended as the first one of his books dealing with the unconscious to start off with. (GoodReads)
Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any other similar recommendations?
The Photosmudger did a great post on the books photographers should read to get insight into the critical theory side of the art. I want to share with you the top three books on his list that he’s convinced me to read. To see the rest of the reading list and to be convinced, as I was, why you should delve into critical theory head over to the photosmudger post.
Ways of Seeing by John Berger
This, according to the photosmudger, is “the grand-daddy of them all” and required reading.
The GoodReads blurb: John Berger’s Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: “This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.” By now he has.
On Photography by Susan Sontag
This one comes highly recommended by many so it’s worth taking a look at.
“First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images which are continually inserted between experience and reality. Sontag develops further the concept of ‘transparency’. When anything can be photographed and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, the most famous being “In Plato’s Cave”, make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.” (GoodReads)
Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes
That epic line about looking on eyes that looked upon Napoleon is from this book. Need I say more?
“This personal, wide-ranging, and contemplative volume–and the last book Barthes published–finds the author applying his influential perceptiveness and associative insight to the subject of photography. To this end, several black-and-white photos (by the likes of Avedon, Clifford, Hine, Mapplethorpe, Nadar, Van Der Zee, and so forth) are reprinted throughout the text.” (GoodReads)
Have you read any of these? Share your thoughts with us. Do you have any more suggestions for photographers?