A New Kind of Book to Add to Your Reading List

I love reading so much that it is something I have to limit during the school year as my ‘just one more page’ habit has left me short on sleep more than once. All school year long I hear about books I want to read. That means, when summer comes, I am ready to get going!
new kind of book
Last year I stumbled upon a genre of books I hadn’t spent much time reading. It started when a friend suggested reading The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. It is the story of Anne Morrow who married Charles Lindbergh. It was so good I had to read her books Alice I Have Been: A Novel and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel. Those lead me to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. Then came Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.

So, what do all these books have in common?  

They all fall into the genre of biographical fiction in which authors take real people and real events and add to them. Since the writing is fictional, it is written in an easy-to-read and interesting way. However, at the same time, it focuses on a real person and their real life events so you learn new things too. When I was in college, I had an amazing art history teacher who was not only extremely knowledgeable about the artwork but would also tell the most captivating stories about the artists, their lives and the times in which they lived. Reading these books was just like being back in his class.

One of my favorite books was Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. It was based on the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and it focused on his life with his mistress Mamah Borthwick Cheney. It was an amazing book and it got me hooked on him. I ended up spending a lot of time learning more about this wonderfully interesting architect.

Because I enjoyed those books so much last year, I spent some time searching out some more biographical fiction based on artists or artwork.  Feel free to check them out on this Pinterest page. Now I better quit writing and get back to reading.
Pinterest Page

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What are some of your favorite books about artists/artwork?

What books are on your must-read list this summer?


Jennifer Carlisle

Jen is a middle school art teacher from Norfolk, NE who loves exploring and teaching art through traditional and digital art mediums.


  • Always looking for great reads – thank you, I’m adding a couple of these to my list :)

  • ShellyL

    Tracy Chevalier’s “The Lady and the Unicorn”! Awesome book!

  • Susan

    Some books I’ve read and liked: “Picasso” by Arianna Stassinopouous Huffington; “Making the Mummies Dance” by Thomas Hoving (about being in charge of running the Metropolitan Museum of Art); ” Mrs. Jack” about Isabella Stewart Gardner, avid collector and patron of John Singer Sargent; “Giacometti” by James Lord.

  • Thanks for the great recommendations everyone!

  • pat

    The Forest Lover about Canada’s Emily Carr By Susan Vreeland

  • Jennifer Carlisle

    Keep the suggestions coming. I will keep adding them to the pinterest page. I have so much reading to do!

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