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Our favourite summer reads

August 22nd, 2017

Cover of Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr.

There is nothing quite like picking up a good book (or magazine) and getting lost in it. With the end of summer and the new school year fast approaching, a few AGO staff members decided to take a moment and look back on the reads we enjoyed this season.

Whether you are an avid reader or you’re working on a resolution to finish one book by the end of 2017, let us help you find your next favourite read. Scroll through our recommendations below.

Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr
“A group of artists in New York’s East Village created political and personal artworks in the 1980s. This book focuses on David Wojnarowicz, who was central to the scene. Motivated by creating art while the HIV/AIDS pandemic raged, the contrast between that era and much of today’s art world (often driven by the market and image) is notable. The book is one of the rare times where well-researched art history is blended with a strong narrative.”
Stephan Jost, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO

Aperture Magazine’s Platform Africa Issue
“I’ve got Aperture Magazine’s Platform Africa issue tucked under my arm at the moment. Strong writing, striking design and a compelling selection of works all make the magazine a satisfying reading experience and I always discover something new.”
Sophie Hackett, Curator, Photography

Life is a Weaving by Etel Adnan
“I picked up this book this past winter at the Oakville Galleries, where there was a beautiful exhibition of Adnan’s paintings, drawings and tapestries on view. It consists of a series of letters written by Adnan in 1968 to her friend Claire Paget. The letters are meditations on the process of weaving, which Adnan was learning at the time, and on weaving as life. Like Adnan’s work, the letters are at once spare and dense, poetic and sharp, crystalline and expansive.”
Sean O’Neill, Director, Public Programs & Cultural Partnerships

Cover image of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris
“This is without a doubt one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read, in the same class as Spiegelman’s Maus and Chester Brown’s Louis Riel. I was intrigued by the title of the book because of our forthcoming show, Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters. When I opened it, I discovered that Ferris was an utterly inspired visual talent. She has produced one of the most breathtaking renderings of the nature of horror – personal, historical and spiritual horror – in the history of art and literature.”
Jim Shedden, Curator of Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

Fare Magazine
“Besides cookbooks getting ready for the AGO Bistro launch this summer, my extracurricular reading time has been spent reading a new food magazine, Fare. A new publication that is full of gorgeous photography and stories, Fare is a mag for the intellectual foodie who cares about more than just trends. Each issue will focus on a different city around the world and the inaugural issue is all about Istanbul, Turkey, complete with food imagery that makes your mouth and soul yearn to be there!”
Renée Bellefeuille, Executive Chef

Cover image of The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
“A summer book that begins at an arty summer camp that I read while perched on a rock in an Ontario provincial park? Yes, please. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer is giving me exactly what I love – a story steeped in relationships. So far (caveat: I’m only a quarter of the way through) it follows six summer camp friends and how their lives progress into adulthood. People living life, in its ups and downs. Truth be told, the nostalgia brought up by the central setting of a summer camp is letting me to hold on to summer for just a little longer.”
Lexie Buchanan, Social Media Officer

Make sure to browse our curated selection of art and culture books at shopAGO next time you visit the Gallery.

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