14 more books to delve into while staying in during COVID-19

Inspiration for great reads keeps coming from the Mint staff. Following are 14 more books to help fill the void and curiosity while you are at home. Order print copies from local bookseller Park Road Books for curbside pickup, or find digital copies on Audible, Hoopla, and Overdrive.  

ARTFUL READS 

Old Masters, New World: America’s Raid on Europe’s Great Pictures by Cynthia Saltzman 

“This book answers the question: How did big American art museums acquire so much European art?  Wealthy Gilded Age American entrepreneurs jostled with one another to collect and bring known works of art across the Atlantic —  Rembrandts, Raphaels, etc. 

—Joel Smeltzer, Head of School and Gallery Programs

The Popes of Avignon: A Century in Exile by Edwin Mullins 

As an Italian Renaissance scholar, I have usually looked at this period in the history of the Catholic Church from the Italian perspective and not the French. Well written and a good read. 

—Todd Herman, President and CEO 

NOVELS 

The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 

I’m spending lots of time reading to my kids these days. This week we started reading “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien to my eldest daughter. She may be a bit young for some of the material, but our family has been enjoying reading a “big girl book” nightly. It provides us all a chance to escape, and have an adventure without leaving our house — something that is becoming more challenging everyday. This copy actually belonged to my mother when she was a child, and she read it to me when I was young, so it has been well loved. 

—Rebecca O’Malley, Exhibition Coordinator 

The Hundred Story Home by Kathy Izard 

I saw Kathy Izard speak and was so inspired by her story that I bought her book. I started reading it this week and was reminded of how helping others changes us. Her work with homelessness in the Charlotte area led to the city-wide effort to build Moore Place. This book has reminded me of the importance of listening to your inner voice. It’s helpful for us, especially now, to find ways to practice compassion – even if we have to do it with a mask on. 

—Maggie Burgan, Public Programs Coordinator 

Introducing the Honourable Phryne Fisher

Introducing the Honourable Phryne Fisher by Kerry Greenwood 

The adventures of a sassy flapper in 1920s Australia who just happens to be a private detective.  She’s daring, independent, and smarter than all the men around her. What’s not to like? 

—Ellen Show, Archivist 

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 

Oryx and Crake is from the same author as A Handmaid’s Tale, and is centered around a man living in the post-apocalyptic ruins of a world he helped create, after humanity is near-entirely killed off by a bio-engineered plague. It’s the first book in the MaddAddam trilogy, and was a very good read.

—Benjamin Elrod, Graphic Designer 

NONFICTION 

A Little History of The World by E.H. Gombrich 

I keep this book on my nightstand. It was recommended to me by one of my favorite art history professors. It’s not filled with names and dates, but is a collection of 40 short chapters about human experience and achievement  a fairy tale-like history of the world. Perfect for young readers and fun to read aloud to smaller children. 

—Maggie Burgan, Public Programs Coordinator

Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard 

This enchanting book uses a mouthwatering metaphor to unlock the magic in interior spaces. The chapters delve into the hidden life of the house, rooms, nests, shells, attics and cellars. Adult readers will enjoy sharing excerpts and helpIng their family to find and savor familiar spaces. Miniatures and shells are some of my favorite chapters. (Free download available.) 

—Cynthia Moreno, Director of Learning and Engagement

On Looking by Alexandria Horowitz 

A walker’s guide to the art of observation. I am enjoying it because Horowitz shows is how much more there is to see if we only take the time to look. 

—Diane Lowry, Guest Services Associate 

My 25 Years in Provence-Reflections of Then and Now by Peter Mayle

Easy, fun read that breaks up the more academic books. Wonderfully written. 

—Todd Herman, President & CEO

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

I always try to have one book of poetry going for when I need an escape from reality, but I only have five minutes to make the trip. Tracy K. Smith’s books have been in rotation for a while, but her Life on Mars collection is a favorite because it not only plays off her love for David Bowie, but the title is my favorite Bowie song. Also, rereading it, I’m surprised by how much it captures the hope in the bleak unpredictability of every day. Take the end of her poem, Sci-Fi:

. . . Weightless, unhinged,

Eons from even our own moon, we’ll drift

In the haze of space, which will be, once

And for all, scrutable and safe.

—Jen S. Edwards, PhD, Chief Curator and Curator or Contemporary Arts

Powership: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome by Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank 

I have followed Daymond’s career and wanted to hear his advice on taking control of your destiny. So far it’s been lots of good tips and advice on how to make connections. It’s good listening while we work from home. 

Thesha Woodley, Associate Director of Visitor Experience and Membership 

Just for Fun

The Dangerous Book for Dogs by Rex & Sparky 

We have four legged “kids,” so just for fun we are reading The Dangerous Book for Dogs by Rex & Sparky. 

—Lori Rogers, Visitor Experience and Membership Coordinator 

Magazines 

I’ve not really been able to concentrate on a book, but I am loving magazines for a bit of respite from the surreal week we’ve had. The colorful and inspiring pages of House BeautifulArtist magazine and Traveler from AAA have been a feast to the eye. 

—Angela Lubincky, Guest Services Associate