If you’re an art lover, or if you’ve been following the latest news in the Isabella Stewart Gardner case here, we have a few books for you.
The Gardner Heist: the True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser. Written with the pacing of a novel, but including meticulous research, Boser recounts the crime, various leads pursued by art detectives, and eventually his own obsessive search for the lost masterpieces. This book showed why the largest unsolved art heist in history has captivated so many, and may light the fire of obsession in a new generation of readers and art lovers.
If fiction is more your style, The Art Forger is a must read for any art lover. Claire is a talented artist who has been unjustly blackballed by the art establishment. Then a successful gallery owner asks her to forge a Degas stolen from the Gardner museum in exchange for a one-woman show at his pretigious gallery. Almost immediately she suspects the stolen painting might be a forgery, but the more she works on her own forgery, the more entangled she becomes. This novel has so many rewarding twists and turns it is impossible to put down.
And for a new picture book to interest your little one in art (both the masterpieces and creating their own), try The Museum by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. A child makes her way through a museum and reacts to the some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. And, of course, is inspired to create her own.
The Gardner Heist: the True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser; Harper Collins; $14.99
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro; Workman; $23.95
The Museum by Susan Verde illus by Peter H. Reynolds; Abrams; $16.05
I read so many books for children and teens, that sometimes I feel like the only grownup books I read are for book clubs. The Aviator’s Wife is a novel my book club will definitely enjoy.
Most of us know some aspect of the Lindberghs’ story, whether it is the aviation hero we learned about in elementary school, or the tragic kidnapping of their baby, or the darker, more unsavory subjects that were revealed in later decades. The Aviator’s Wife shows us yet another side of that story. Melanie Benjamin has crafted a thoughtful novel from the perspective of Anne Lindbergh that chronicles her rise to fame, her personal aviation success, and her tumultuous marriage.
This celebrity couple captivated the world’s attention, and Anne’s growth from a timid youth to fearless aviator to independent woman will captivate readers. The prose is precise, yet descriptive, and the pace is contemplative, but not too slow. The history, the emotional storyline, and the writing make The Aviator’s Wife a great book for discussion. All in all, it’s just an enjoyable read.
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin; Delacorte Press; $26.00
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (adult book)
Adult readers, take heart. It’s not always books for children here at Hooray For Books! My pick of the day today is the newest novel by Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife. The two books aren’t related, except in that they are both a meditation on enduring love. Her Fearful Symmetry is a modern gothic tale filled with eccentric characters — two sets of dress-alike twin sisters and an agoraphobic crossword-puzzle-maker, for starters — and set next to a cemetery. The story unfolds as Julia and Valentina move into their deceased Aunt Elspeth’s flat (their mother is Elspeth’s twin Edie). The move from Chicago to London begins to drive a wedge between the twins, which only deepens as they communicate with the dead, take on inappropriate suitors, and plan their futures . The story is slow-going as the plot unfurls, but the pace picks up considerably towards the end. The dominant feeling of the novel is a restrained sense of foreboding, even throughout daily life, but Niffenegger also includes wonderful moments of humor, horror, poignancy, and hope. I enjoyed this book, and found the novel very well-constructed. It’s a delightfully creepy read and perfect for Halloween!
Time Magazine (overview)
The Guardian (long)
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, 2009, Scribner, $26.99
Cat, by Matthew Van Fleet (All ages)
The first thing I do when I get to work at Hooray For Books is to take a walk around the store checking out the new books that have come in since my last work day. This book immediately caught my eye. It is fabulous and I just love it! If you are a cat lover, know a cat lover, are a pop-up book lover or just a plain old book lover you MUST own this book. Cats is for children and adults and has wonderful realistic photographs of the many different species of cats. On top of all that this book will make you laugh out loud!!!
Cat, by Matthew Van Fleet, $16.99, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books