The Three Rivers Arts Festival — “10 days of free music and art!” — kicks off on June 3rd. If you’re anything like us, you’re going to want to have a good read with you while you’re sitting on the lawn at Point State Park, waiting for Guster to finish their sound check…
Below are some of Littsburgh’s reading recommendations for the fest, inspired by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s 90,000-book reading challenge. If you’re in the market for more recommendations, check out some amazing excerpts from local and visiting authors right here on Littsburgh!
This book hits many of my favorite notes in fiction: psychological breakdowns, tragic love affairs, gorgeous writing — but it’s just shy of 600 pages long. So I highly recommend it, but perhaps a slim volume of poetry that can fit in your fanny pack is a better companion for the art fest? I suggest Talking to Strangers by my favorite Pittsburgh poet, Patricia Dobler.
From the publisher: “Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlow finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.
Kostova’s masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, history’s losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.”
Before you head into the Arts Fest to eat funnel cakes and ogle the amazing work of the various artists and craftsman, read this ridiculously cool, seductive, and gritty novel about the art scene in 1970s New York. It’s insanely captivating and raw.
From the publisher: “The year is 1975 and Reno—so-called because of the place of her birth—has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world—artists have colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art…”
From the publisher: “Sherill Tippins brings to life the story of what was possibly the most fertile and improbable live-in salon of the twentieth century. Known as February House, its residents included, among others, Carson McCullers, W. H. Auden, Paul Bowles, and the famed burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. This ramshackle Brooklyn brownstone was host to an explosion of creativity, an extraordinary experiment in communal living, and a nonstop yearlong party fueled by the appetites of youth…”
Image courtesy of Peter Radunzel via Creative Commons.